Robin Milton is the Founder of Fairer Games, a boutique games company based in Norwich. And she’s about to showcase its debut title, Brewess, about an ‘alewife’ in 16th Century Norwich, at the London Games Festival
A hyperlocal historical adventure game, about a woman building a career in ale brewing in Norwich amidst the witch-hunts of the 16th Century, has made the Official Selection for the London Games Festival, which starts on Wednesday. Brewess is the debut title of Fairer Games, a boutique games company based in Norwich which aims to create games content focused on the stories and histories of marginalised groups.
The title has been selected in the Historical Adventure category at the London Games Festival and is one of more than 30 games from around the world chosen as part of the festival’s annual Official Selection.
Fairer Games was founded in 2022 by Robin Milton, a Norwich University of the Arts graduate and co-organiser of Norfolk Game Developers. She and the studio team will be heading to London this week to pitch their game Brewess, which she describes as a hyperlocal cosy game about crafting ales and building friendships.
Robin says: ‘Brewess is set in 1550, a year after Robert Kett’s Rebellion, in the aftermath of the madness, which might not be familiar to the rest of the UK or the world but will hopefully be interesting to people in Norfolk, who know of Kett’s siege of the city. The central character is trying to rebuild her life after the Rebellion, and brewing is her way of doing that.’
She says of Brewess making the Official Selection for the 2023 London Games Festival: ‘It feels very surreal. It feels like we’ve been working on this project for a long time but also no time at all. For us to be such a fledgling games studio it’s a huge vote of confidence in the work we are doing and the game we are building, which is fantastic.
‘The game we are making is set in Norwich – we are celebrating the history and all the weirdness of the city we are based in! It’s exciting to be in the category of Historical Adventure and to be among some amazing games which are exploring history. There are not many hyperlocal games specific to a particular place.’
Led by Robin, the Fairer Games studio prides itself on having a diverse team of creatives, including game developer Oliver Cox, writer Gavin Spoors, Caitlin Devonsmith, Georgie Peck and local artist Dwyn D’Alton Goode. The game logo for Brewess was designed in collaboration with Darren Leader, a Norwich based graphic designer and local historian.
The studio has received help from a variety of accelerator and support programs, including Coutts Bank, Creative UK’s Game Foundation, Limit Break Mentorship, Games London Accelerator and Prince’s Trust Enterprise Program. Fairer Games was one of 17 start-up games studios to receive grant funding from Round 9 of the UK Games Fund. The hope is that Brewess will be released by Fairer Games in mid-to-late 2024.
Featured image of Robin Milton, by Mary Doggett of ETT Photography