About The Arcade Vaults

We are The Arcade Vaults, an exciting and unique venue and community in the centre of Cardiff for all things videogaming. If you make games, play games both old and new, want to learn about games, or would just like to engage with the community in this amazing world of games, then this is the place for you.

At the heart of The Arcade Vaults and its community is you; the players and the creators. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to play videogames and even more so, anyone should be able to make them and understand how they are made.

The Stuff We do

  • z
    Our arcade is split into two areas - we have a space featuring classic consoles and hundreds of games, with a small free-to-play area where we also serve coffee, tea, drinks and gamer friendly snacks. We are also open on selected evenings for those that like a stronger beverage with their gaming fun!
  • l
    We have a dedicated co-working space for anyone interested in making games or being part of a community who do. There are three pricing tiers available to anyone who wants to use the space, with high-speed broadband (wired and wireless), tea and coffee, and a kitchen, plus various tech facilities and business support!
  • d
    Our upstairs space is a flexible area available for hire. We can run events for you with a wide selection of retro and modern gaming consoles, or just provide the space on its own to you, with access to our bar and free-to-play area.
  • g
    We organise events and parties across the UK. And we really do everything, including supplying the gaming gear and screens, promotion of the event, set-up, photography, prizes and so on! We also do educational seminars and networking events for those of you in the community looking to learn something new or meet like-minded people.

Upcoming Events

    Pokémon Trading Card Game - Introduction and Talk

    Sat | 20 April 2019 | 14:00 to 17:00
    Sat | 20 April 2019 | 14:00 to 17:00

    The Arcade Vaults and Team Odyssey present an exciting introduction to the world of the Pokémon Trading Card Game.

    In this session the guys from Team Odyssey will show you the basics of the game, how to win, how to lose and of course how to play, compete and have fun.

    With a full presentation from Team Odyssey's very own Benji Hutchings, this event promises to be an engaging and interesting opportunity for anyone thinking of taking their first steps into the world of Pokémon TGC, looking to learn and develop their base knowledge and even take advantage of an opportunity to meet and discuss the game with some of Cardiff’s experienced and competitive players.

    Game Makers Club - Game Skins Workshop

    Tue | 23 April 2019 | 13:00 to Wed | 24 April 2019 | 16:00
    Tue | 23 April 2019 | 13:00 to Wed | 24 April 2019 | 16:00

    Aspiring game artists will attend a one-off game skin workshop and learn 2D art techniques and character design tips. Attendees will use pen and paper to design skins that will then be digitally displayed on 3D models. See the skins you’ve designed in action!

    The workshop session will take place across three hours. Introductory lessons and a showcase of the available 3D models to design skins for will kick off the workshop. From here the learners will have time to design and draw their skins with the provided drawing equipment. Staff will be working with the learners as they iterate upon their designs and work towards finished skins to be shown off on the digital 3D models.

    The last part of the session will see all the skins be wrapped around the digital 3D models for a showcase of everyone’s work. The staff will highlight how the taught techniques have been implemented into each skin, and learners will be given a certificate that includes instructions on how to see their skins at home!

    Learners will come away with:

    • Skills fundamental to texturing 3D models for video games
    • A certificate from Arcade Vaults to accredit the learner’s new skills
    • Access to the showcase containing all learners’ skins designed in the workshop

    Minecraft - Easter play and create

    Wed | 24 April 2019 | 14:00 to 17:00
    Wed | 24 April 2019 | 14:00 to 17:00

    This Easter, in conjunction with Mi Little Pad Ltd, we're running sessions for kids between the ages of 6 and 12 who love Minecraft! On provided tablets, they'll get the chance to play in a shared world and take on a challenges and group builds, run by an experienced co-ordinator who will help guide Minecraft beginners and experts alike.

    Parents and guardians are welcome to grab a coffee or tea at our bar and relax whilst the kids are occupied. And, as a bonus, the ticket price includes access to our arcade full of games both old and new!

    Game Makers Club - Retro Programming

    Thu | 25 April 2019 | 13:00 to Fri | 26 April 2019 | 17:00
    Thu | 25 April 2019 | 13:00 to Fri | 26 April 2019 | 17:00

    Want to be an Indie Game Developer? Have a bedroom, or shady corner, to do just enough of everything to make a simple, addictive game like "Celeste", "Binding of Isaac", or "Thomas was alone", all of which started small, but soon grew big. Attend this one (or two!) part workshop and learn just enough "Programmer Art" and (more than) enough coding to make your own "vertical slice"; a prototype to show off the game mechanics, and allow you to decide if your demo is good enough to develop further.

    Participants will use the popular "fantasy game console", Pico-8, which has pixel/sprite art, music editing, tile map creation, and LUA-based coding all built into one great SDK (software developer kit), capable of 2D (and limited 3D) development as standalone and web-based games. Every game made with Pico-8 saves as a single PNG file that contains all the source code and art, etc, so you can take existing games and alter them, to learn how they were made. If you have your own laptop or PC, we will provide you with a temporary copy of the software. If you don't, we will have raspberry Pis - the single board tiny computers that can cost as little as £7 each! - keyboards, mice and screens for you to work on your games. At the end of the four hours (or eight, if you attend both days), you will have a game to take away, which you built, made art for, and programmed.

    The workshop will take place across four hours. Introductory lessons, and a showcase of what is possible inside Pico-8, will kick off the session. From here the learners will have time to design and draw their game art assets with the built-in tools, working with existing code to test them out. Staff will then work with the learners as they take the reigns, begin coding, and work towards a small, but finished game of their own choosing. The last part of the session will see all the games available for a showcase of everyone’s work. The staff will highlight how the taught techniques have been implemented into each game, and learners will be given a certificate that includes instructions on how to play their games online, as well as how to purchase the SDK to carry on creating at home!

    Learners will come away with:

    • Skills fundamental to creating 2D video games
    • A certificate from Arcade Vaults to accredit the learner’s new skills
    • Access to the showcase containing all learners’ games designed in the workshop

    Charity Mario Kart Tournament

    Sat | 27 April 2019 | 15:00 to 21:00
    Sat | 27 April 2019 | 15:00 to 21:00

    Its the return of our Mario Kart 8 Deluxe tournament in conjunction! This time, we're donating to the MS Society who are a community dedicated to people who have Multiple sclerosis or care about someone who does.

    More details to follow!

    Community Game Jam

    Fri | 3 May 2019 | 16:00 to Sun | 5 May 2019 | 18:00
    Fri | 3 May 2019 | 16:00 to Sun | 5 May 2019 | 18:00

    Are you a creative games designer, artist, programmer or audio designer up for a challenge? If so, come and be part of the Games Wales Community Game Jam. You will have the weekend to conceive and build a game based on unique theme chosen by the community leaders!

    Doors will be open from 4pm on Friday evening for everyone to meet, after which the themes will be announced. Games will need to be submitted on Sunday before 3pm, after which teams will then have the opportunity to present their game to everyone else.

    Ticket covers running costs for the weekend, and access to Levels 2 and 3 of The Arcade Vaults. This includes free teas and coffees, plus access to a kitchenette with a fridge and microwave. There will also be a lot of pizza available to all on the Friday night! We're located right in the City Centre so you will have access to plenty of other food options for the entire weekend. 

    Remote jammers are absolutely welcome to participate as long as they are based in Wales or are Welsh, and are willing to link up with the main jam site via video contact (Skype, Facetime etc). If you want to participate remotely you'll still need to get a ticket though which will give you access to the upload site for the games to be submitted to.

    Note that this will not be a 24 hour site - access will be limited to 8/9am at the earliest and around 10/11pm at the latest. If you are coming in from outside of Cardiff there are lots of places to stay nearby.

    Maximum Melee - Series 2

    Thu | 11 April 2019 | 17:00 to Thu | 23 May 2019 | 21:00
    Thu | 11 April 2019 | 17:00 to Thu | 23 May 2019 | 21:00

    We're back with the second 6-week series of Melee events across April and May, featuring a mixture of Singles and Doubles tournaments with cash prizes as well as some free play set-ups for getting some practice in.

    • Venue fee: £3
    • Singles: £2
    • Doubles: £1 (note that doubles will be subject to demand)

    We're also awarding points to players each week depending on where they finish, which will go towards a league table over the 6 weeks.

Contact us

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Find us at:
27-31 High Street Arcade, Cardiff, CF10 1BB