Northern Powerhouse comes to Liverpool

Our Northern Powerhouse 2065 exhibition will be coming to FACT, after an extensive tour throughout the North of England.

Come down and see the last leg of the tour.
9 – 19 February 2017

Exploring a dystopian scenario created by young people from Burnley, Wigan and Hull, it introduces the public to ‘artefakes’, objects carefully selected by curators from the future, which provides the audience an insight to the online text adventure game Northern Powerhouse: Last Towns Standing.

Found the Lost Frog in St Helens

During St Helens Central Library SHINDIG, we took over the computer room to play some text adventure games. We played some real old classics – Merlin’s Castle, Lost Frog, Quest for the Golden EggcupZork and some new – Northern Powerhouse: Last Towns Standing and Wray Castle Text Adventure Game. 

Continue reading Found the Lost Frog in St Helens

Simon reviews NP:LTS

Simon is a self confessed misadventurer, taking the odd events in his life and sharing them. He tells people he is old enough to know better, but this doesn’t seem to stop him blogging about it.

From first seeing the map of “The North 2065”, the title emblazoned on a pie, I knew I was in for something special. Northern Powerhouse: Last Towns Standing is evocative of the text adventures of my youth. Echoes of The Hobbit, Zork, and the HitchHikers Guide to the Galaxy sprung to mind as I embarked on my quest.

Watching out for technology dead zones, robots, and the impenetrable Pennines. I set out to investigate the future as imagined by the youth of Wigan, Burnley and Hull. Continue reading Simon reviews NP:LTS

NP:LTS at Wuthering Bytes

We are going to Hebden Bridge for Wuthering Bytes, a Festival of Technology in the Heart of the Pennines! I’ll give a presentation about how we made the Northern Powerhouse.

There are some fantastic speakers and then myself. Check out the line-up. We will report more after the event!

If you’ve played the game and want to see the exhibition, it’s currently in Accrington Library.

Uncover More: Arts in Libraries National Symposium

Neil and myself went to represent Re-Dock at the Uncover More : Arts in Libraries National Symposium on the 17th of July. Hosted in Leeds Library, the event was a gathering to share the past 2 years of Grants for the Arts funding. It was pretty exciting to see what other libraries have gotten up to, how library cultures have changed and what new opportunities there are in the future. leedsnp

Continue reading Uncover More: Arts in Libraries National Symposium

Gilbert plays NP:LTS

Gilbert Lowe overcomes his childhood frustrations of text adventure games, and takes Northern Powerhouse for a spin with his teenage daughter.

I was a 12 year old ignoramus in 1983, the year I first got my hands on a Commodore 64, the Zork series was in full swing and soon after, Hitchhiker’s was released. The Tri-Lambs and Omega Mus amongst my classmates were obsessed. But did I indulge? Not a chance. Those “games” were too much like homework for me. Borrrrrrring, why would I want to spend hours or even days pondering over whether or not to open doors, envelopes and even more doors when I could be mastering The Way of the Exploding Fist? ‘Text Adventure Game’: a contradiction in terms if ever there was one, as far as I was concerned.

Now it’s thirty three – or should that be eighty two – years later and my hand-eye coordination has predictably rendered my fighting days a distant memory. So when I was presented with the opportunity to open those doors and envelopes and even more doors all these years later my reply was, unsurprisingly, a less than enthusiastic “Erm, sure, ok, I suppose so. Can’t wait, I guess”. And who better to drag along for the ride with me than my hyper-critical eighteen year old daughter – to call her reluctant would be an understatement. One tough crowd to please indeed. Continue reading Gilbert plays NP:LTS

Hannah reviews NP: LST

Hannah has just completed the Raspberry Pi Creative Technologist Programme 2015 – 2016, working on a Twine + Pi game of her own. Find about more about her work and play her game here

As an already established fan of anything that revolves around dystopia and futuristic fiction, I was excited by the concept even before I had a chance to start playing the game. Speculative fiction is interesting to me not only because it allows for us to indulge in thought experiments of future world settings, but it also gives us a chance to reflect on the world we live in. Often these are vast, complex ideas that can be difficult to explore and understand. However, when playing Last Towns Standing, the enthusiasm of the participants is clear, and it pleases me to see that they clearly thought deeply about their vision of The North in 2065.

Underground Wigan, after the nuclear explosion of 2035

Continue reading Hannah reviews NP: LST

Hull Central Library workshop

Northern Powerhouse 2065 is in Hull, the most high tech and advanced city left standing. To be fair, Wigan had to deal with a nuclear fallout and Burnley is controlled by robots, so even without the bioengineered pets and chip implants it’s still a nice place to live – comparatively. After all, you can work for FutureGen (just don’t ask about the lab under the Humber) or go to school at the Education Centre.

Northern Powerhouse in Hull

We ran a public event on the 9th April with Radamés running the Bots vs Bods workshop. It’s getting quite crowded in the labs of FutureGen. A few of the Young People who were involved in the project from the beginning were there to finally see the fruits of their labours.
Continue reading Hull Central Library workshop

Wigan Library workshop

The Northern Powerhouse 2065 exhibition comes to Wigan! Ground Zero after the nuclear incident in 2035, it’s a harsh environment but one makes do with the old tech lying around. Teletext anyone? To celebrate were some of the Young People who wrote the game and a drop-in Bots vs Bods workshop with Radamés & Hwa Young on the 12th March.

Northern Powerhouse Wigan workshop

This exhibition brings theNorthern Powerhouse: Last Towns Standing to life with artefakes from the game world.

Next stop for the touring exhibition is Hull Central Library (open 5 April – 7 May) with a drop-in workshop on the 9th April (11am – 2pm).


Burnley Central Library Launch

The Northern Powerhouse 2065 exhibition officially opened at Burnley Central Library on the 17th February. This exhibition brought the Northern Powerhouse: Last Towns Standing to life with artefakes from the game world. On hand at the event were some of the Young People who wrote the game and a special drop-in workshop with Radamés & Hwa Young.  Continue reading Burnley Central Library Launch