This exhibition has now closed.

Featuring over 100 playable games, Game Masters showcased the work of more than 30 leading videogame designers.

The exhibition explored the development of videogames through interviews with game designers, rare original game artwork and interactives, as well as looking forward to how independently produced games are leading the way in design, aesthetics and game play. You can see the full list of playable games here.

Arcade heroes and game-changers

The exhibition commenced with Arcade Heroes, which focused on the seminal arcade games of the late 1970s and early 1980s, featuring pioneering designers such as Shigeru Miyamoto (Donkey Kong), Tomohiro Nishikado (Space Invaders), Ed Logg (Asteroids), and Toru Iwatani (Pac-Man).

The nature of gaming changed as it moved from the arcade to the home computer, console and handheld devices. Key designers whose work embodies these ‘game-changing’ transitions include Yuji Naka and the Sonic Team (Sonic the Hedgehog), Nintendo (Super Mario Bros), Blizzard Entertainment (World of Warcraft), Peter Molyneux (Dungeonkeeper) and Paulina Bozek (SingStar). 

  • Sonic the Hedgehog. © SEGA. All rights reserved.

    Sonic the Hedgehog. © SEGA. All rights reserved.
  • Mario Kart 8, 2014. © Nintendo.

    Mario Kart 8, 2014. © Nintendo.
  • Critter Crunch, 2009. Courtesy of Capy Games.

    Critter Crunch, 2009. Courtesy of Capy Games.
  • World of Warcraft, 2004. Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment Inc.

    World of Warcraft, 2004. Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment Inc.
  • From Dust, Eric Chahi, 2011. Courtesy of Eric Chahi and Ubisoft.

    From Dust, Eric Chahi, 2011. Courtesy of Eric Chahi and Ubisoft.
  • Psychonauts concept artwork, Tim Schafer, 2005. Courtesy of Double Fine Productions.

    Psychonauts concept artwork, Tim Schafer, 2005. Courtesy of Double Fine Productions.
  • Dance Central 2, Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy, 2011. ©2011 Harmonix Music Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.

    Dance Central 2, Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy, 2011. ©2011 Harmonix Music Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Minecraft, Marcus Persson, 2011. Courtesy of Mojang.

    Minecraft, Marcus Persson, 2011. Courtesy of Mojang.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, 2011. © Nintendo.

    The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, 2011. © Nintendo.


Indie pioneers

World of WarcraftThe Sims, created by Will Wright, and the Lego film-franchise tie-ins, such as Star Wars and Harry Potter, were among the famous names featured, while the key role played by smaller independent designers in game design and development was also explored, including Halfbrick (Fruit Ninja), Markus Persson (Minecraft), Rovio (Angry Birds) and many others. 

Scottish superstars

From the early 1990s, Scotland has been recognised as the home of some of the UK's leading game developers. For its Scottish stay, Game Masters featured the work of four pioneering Scottish companies.

DMA Design, from Dundee, created some of the most innovative games of the 1990s, including the hugely successful Grand Theft Auto (1997) and Britain's fastest selling game, Lemmings (1991).

Also from Dundee, recent University of Abertay graduates Space Budgie brought their innovative new game Glitchspace (2014) to the exhibition, offering you the chance to experience what it is like to programme code while solving challenges in a cyberspace world.

Flying the flag for Edinburgh was Lucky Frame, an independent studio known for its quirky, creative and musical approach to game design. Their Scottish BAFTA award-winning game Bad Hotel (2012) was also available in the exhibition.

Glasgow-based game designer Simon Meek, who was featured in The List's top 100 Scots to watch and Canongate's Future 40 Scottish storytellers, brings storytelling to his game development work. Featured in the exhibition was his ground-breaking game The 39 Steps.

  • Bad Hotel, 2012. © Lucky Frame.

    Bad Hotel, 2012. © Lucky Frame.
  • Bad Hotel, 2012. © Lucky Frame.

    Bad Hotel, 2012. © Lucky Frame.
  • The 39 Steps, 2013. © The Story Mechanics.

    The 39 Steps, 2013. © The Story Mechanics.
  • Glitchspace, 2014. © Space Budgie.

    Glitchspace, 2014. © Space Budgie.


Meet the Masters

 

 


The National Museum of Scotland was the first European venue for the exhibition.

Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne Melbourne

An exhibition created by the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne, supported by the Victorian Government.

#GameMasters

Exhibition information

When

5 Dec 2014 - 20 Apr 2015

Where

Exhibition Gallery 1, Level 3