Video gaming masterminds David Braben (Frontier Developments), Damian Isla (Bungie Studios), Richard Lemarchand (Naughty Dog) and Phil Spencer (Microsoft Game Studios Europe) and top animator Andy Lomas (Framestore) will deliver keynote addresses at this year’s Develop Conference and Expo, which takes place from 29-31 July in Brighton.
For the first time, each of the seven conference tracks (Art&Animation, Design, Production, Coding, Business, Audio and World Vision) will be led by a unique keynote address in recognition of the increasing sophistication of the varying disciplines within games development. These presentations are in addition to the overriding high profile Develop Conference keynote speaker who is yet to be announced. The following have been confirmed to date:
• ART&ANIMATION KEYNOTE
Framestore and the Golden Compass: The Tools and Techniques of Visual Effects - Andy Lomas, Framestore
Andy Lomas is head of computer graphics at Framestore CFC. Over the last 15 years he has been involved in a wide range of projects ranging from commercials and long form television to live action visual effects and CG feature animation. His credits include Walking with Dinosaurs, Dinotopia, The Matrix: Reloaded, The Matrix: Revolutions, Over the Hedge, Lost in Space, Fairy Tale: A True Story, The Odyssey, Alice in Wonderland, Arabian Nights and Jason and the Argonauts. He has won numerous awards for his work, including Emmys for supervising the computer generated effects on The Odyssey and Alice in Wonderland. Currently he is working of Framestore’s first CG Feature Animation film: The Tale of Despereaux.
• DESIGN KEYNOTE
Halo AI Retrospective: Eight Years of Work on 30 Seconds of Fun - Damian Isla, senior engineer; AI lead programmer Halo 2 and Halo 3, Bungie Studios
Damian Isla is a Gameplay and Artificial Intelligence Lead at Bungie Studios, where he was responsible for the AI for mega-hit first-person shooters HALO 2 and HALO 3, two of the most successful video games of all time. Before coming to Bungie, he earned an M.Eng. at the MIT Media Lab’s Synthetic Characters Group, where he did research on learning and behavior for artificial creatures. He has spoken on games and character AI at the Game Developers Conference, the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI), the AI and Interactive Digital Entertainment Conference (AIIDE) and at Siggraph, and was a contributor to Game AI Programming Wisdom 1 and 3. He has a B.Sc. in Computer Science, again from MIT. He enjoys drama of all kinds.
• PRODUCTION KEYNOTE
Working Hard and Having Fun: How Naughty Dog Made Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune - Richard Lemarchand, co-lead game designer, Naughty Dog
Richard Lemarchand was the lead game designer of Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, and also worked on Naughty Dog’s Jak 3 and Jak X: Combat Racing. He has made story-based character-action games the main focus of his design career and has worked with some of the industry’s best and brightest along the way. Richard is a hands-on designer who loves the practical business of building out a game in common-sense ways while keeping standards high. He spends his days with his metaphorical sleeves rolled up, championing the player’s experience and helping keep the development team on track.
• CODING KEYNOTE
Why the Future is Brighter than Ever - David Braben, founder, Frontier Developments
Award-winning David Braben and his Cambridge based studio Frontier Developments are recognised worldwide as leading innovators in video game development technology and design. Frontier's most recent title Thrillville published by LucasArts in North America was the best-selling original children's/family title in 2006. Frontier's work on The Outsider promises to deliver yet another ground-breaking title and a number of gameplay firsts. David is directing the development of several titles which all utilise the studio's sophisticated in-house tool chain.
• BUSINESS KEYNOTE
The Broadening Imperative - Phil Spencer, general manager, Microsoft Game Studios Europe
Phil Spencer is responsible for building great games with Microsoft’s European development partners and internal studios including Banjo Kazooie 3, Fable 2, Viva Pinata. Spencer joined Microsoft Game Studios in 2002, managing the development of externally developed MGS first-party games, and was promoted to general manager in 2006 overseeing all internal and external Windows and XBOX game development including such games as Halo 2, Halo 3, Age of Empires 3, Gears of War and others. He came to London to head up the European office of Microsoft Game in May 2007.
“This year’s keynote speakers are all revered experts in their fields and we are looking forward to hearing five very different presentations depicting the wide variety of stories, experiences and end products that make working in these industries so unique,” said Andy Lane, managing director, Tandem Events.
Notes to editors:
About Develop Conference and Expo: The third annual Develop Conference will host more than 90 speakers and 60 sessions moulded around tracks that are key to the world of games development: Audio, Art&Animation, Business, Coding, Game Design, Production and World View.
A full list of confirmed sessions can be found online at www.developconference.com. Registration is now open and delegates can apply for Super, Standard, Mobile, Audio and Expo passes for the Develop Conference and Expo online at www.developconference.com. Discounts are available on all passes purchased before 1 July 2008. The expo pass is free of charge– please register online.
Develop Online, Develop Mobile and GAMES:EDU will run alongside the Develop Conference&Expo on Tuesday 29 July. Develop Mobile is expanding to offer delegates two tracks– business and development– with sessions focused on everything from the latest 3D technologies, to case studies of successful games, proven techniques for launching a new IP, and cross-platform casual games design.
GAMES:EDU is an annual conference, which aims to light a spark under the debate over the current and future education needs of the gaming community. It offers a unique opportunity for those who have a passion to transform the UK development community. Backed by Skillset, GAMES:EDU brings together the UK's foremost educators from across all disciplines to connect directly with developers and games producers, to exchange ideas and perspectives.
About Tandem Events:
Tandem Events has over 20 years of experience in organising market-leading exhibitions, conferences and events across a number of industry sectors, including Develop Conference&Expo, Develop Mobile Conference, GAMES:EDU, Games Marketing Forum and Games Grads. For more information, please visit www.tandemevents.co.uk
Interested in participating at Develop? Please contact:
Craig Mundle or Andy Lane on +44 (0) 20 7405 4500