Adventure Convention

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This is an annual event held in the UK from 1990, usually held on the last weekend of October.

It was originally (1990 and 1991) called "Adventure Probe convention" and later simply "Adventure Convention" or "Adventure Convention <YEAR>". It's also sometimes referred to as the "U.K. Adventurer's Convention".

The Megapoints Competition, in which the players must play as far as possible a text adventure in 20 minutes, was held at the Convention.

In 2009 it was decided to change the format of the convention to a social event rather than a formal convention with a set program or hired room. This change in format will match the London-based Hamilton Halls gatherings.

Introduction

Back in the mid to late 80's, when home computers such as the Commodore 64, Sinclair Spectrum, BBC Micro and many others were popular, text adventure games (traditional puzzle-based Interactive Fiction as defined in the original Adventure a.k.a. Colossal Cave) were very popular, some people have called that period the "golden age."

There were programs such as The Quill, Graphic Adventure Creator and Professional Adventure Writer (Quill 2) that allowed users to write their own adventure games without the need to learn complex programming languages, although the programs themselves could be quite difficult to master.

This lead to a thriving "home brew" adventure game scene, which inspired many non-profit "fanzines" to appear that were run by volunteers. The content was provided by the readership sending in articles and reviews. One such magazine was called "Adventure Probe" and back in 1990 the Editor and some of the readership got together to put on the first "Adventure Probe Convention."

First Adventure Probe Convention (1990)

The first convention took place at the Strathallan Thistle Hotel in Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands, UK on Saturday, 15th September 1990, and was a success, being attended by up to 100 people. Many of the "home brew" software houses were in evidence, selling and demonstrating their games. A number of the readers of Adventure Probe brought their computers along and so there was plenty to do and see and play. Several of the more "interesting" members of the readership were present, including "The Wayfarer" who could be seen dressed in travelling cloak and holding a lantern on a pole. Although the hotel staff were somewhat unsure, most attendees simply treated his appearance as "normal" which probably didn't help the staff that much.

See also: November 1990 issue of The Balrog.

Second Adventure Probe Convention (1991)

The second convention, often described by veterans as "The Big One with the Video", took place at the Royal Angus Thistle Hotel in Birmingham on Saturday, 26th October 1991 and attracted up to 150 attendees. The highlight of this convention was the first Adventure Probe Awards which were awarded in several categories. Representatives from some of the professional software houses were present to accept their awards in person. This itself was an indication of the influence of not just Adventure Probe but the other “fanzines” that were around at the time.

See also: May 1991, January 1992 and June 1992 issues of The Balrog; July 1991 (1), (2) and February 1992 (1), (2) issues of The Dungeon Master; article (in Spanish) from El Aventurero #5 (February/March 1992).

Third Adventure Convention (1992)

  • The third convention took place on Saturday, 24 October 1992 at the Royal Angus Thistle Hotel in Birmingham. There were Adventure Convention Awards that year.

See also: October 1992 and January 1993 issues of The Balrog.

Adventure Convention 1993

See also: this article and the editorial from issue #27 of SynTax Adventure Magazine.

Adventure Convention 1994

Adventure Convention 1995

  • The sixth convention was held on 21st October 1995 at Ariel Suite, The Royal Angus Thistle Hotel, Birmingham.

See also: this article from issue #39 of SynTax Adventure Magazine.

Adventure Convention 1996

  • The seventh convention was held on Saturday, 19th October 1996, at the Royal Angus Thistle Hotel, St Chad's, Queensway, Birmingham B4 6HY.

See also: this editorial from issue #43 of SynTax Adventure Magazine.

Adventure Convention 1997

  • The eigth convention was held over the weekend 10th - 12th October 1997 at the Royal Angus Thistle Hotel in Birmingham.

See also: this article (issue #51) and this article (issue #52) of SynTax Adventure Magazine.

Adventure Convention 1998

  • The ninth convention was held on Saturday, 24th October 1998, in the Ariel Suite of the Royal Angus Thistle Hotel, St. Chad's, Birmingham.

See also these Usenet threads: 1, 2 and 3, and this announcement from issue #55 of SynTax Adventure Magazine.

Adventure Convention 1999

  • The tenth convention was held at The Royal Angus Thistle Hotel, Birmingham, on Saturday, October 30th 1999.

See also this Usenet thread, this announcement from issue #61 and this article from issue #64 of SynTax Adventure Magazine.

Adventure Convention 2000

Adventure Convention 2001

  • Adventure Convention 2001 was held on October 20th, 2001 at the Allesley Hotel, Allesley Village, Birmingham Road, Coventry, CV5 9GP.

See also:

Adventure Convention 2002

See also: announcement (issue #78), announcement (issue #79), and article (issue #82) in SynTax Adventure Magazine.

Adventure Convention 2003

  • Adventure Convention 2003 might have also been called Adventure2003 and was held on 1st November 2003 at the Allesley Hotel, Coventry.

See also: article (issue #87) and editorial (issue #83) in SynTax Adventure Magazine.

Adventure Convention 2004

See also: announcement in SynTax Adventure Magazine #90.

Adventurers Convention 2005

Adventurers Convention 2006

Adventurers Convention 2007

Adventure Convention 2008

  • Adventure Convention 2008 was held on Saturday 25th October 2008 at the usual venue of the Allesley Hotel, Allesley Village, Coventry.

Adventure Convention 2009

  • Adventure Convention 2009 was held on Saturday 24th October 2009 at the usual venue of the Allesley Hotel, Allesley Village, Coventry. The attendees decided to change the format of the convention to a social gathering with no set program or format. The decision was made in response to falling numbers and the increasing cost per person of running the event with a hired room.

Adventure Convention 2010

  • Adventure Convention 2010 will be held on Saturday 30th October 2010 at the usual venue of the Allesley Hotel, Allesley Village, Coventry. It is to be in the new format as a social event rather than a convention with a set program.

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