Brighton is preparing to unravel hundreds of extra deckchairs, as the elite of the European games development industry prepares to flock to the British seaside town for the start of the third annual Develop Conference and Expo, which kicks off tomorrow.
More than 1,000 industry professionals from all over the world are expected to congregate at Develop over the next three days for what is widely regarded as the ultimate networking and education destination for game developers in Europe.
This year’s Develop Conference will host more than 90 speakers and 60 sessions, kick started by no less than three specialist one-day conferences on the first day: Develop Mobile, Develop Online and GAMES:EDU.
A two-day powerhouse of keynotes, workshops, sessions and master classes follows addressing today’s most prevalent development issues across seven distinct tracks for 2008: Audio, Art&Animation, Business, Coding, Game Design, Production and World Vision.
With six not-to-be missed keynotes, delegates will need to plan their schedules carefully:
• 2008 Develop Conference keynote: BioShock and Awe: Immersing the Gamer in an Alternate World Without Drowning Out the Gameplay, presented by Ken Levine (studio founder and creative director), Nate Wells (lead technical artist), Chris Kline (technical director and lead programmer) and Bill Gardner (level designer) 2K Boston Studio
• Business keynote: The Broadening Imperative, Shannon Loftis, Microsoft
• Design keynote: Why the Future is Brighter than Ever, David Braben, Frontier
• Coding keynote: Halo AI Retrospective: Eight Years of Work on 30 Seconds of Fun, Damian Isla, Bungie Software
• Production keynote: Working Hard and Having Fun: How Naughty Dog Made Uncharted: Drakes Fortune, Richard Lemarchand, Naughty Dog
• Art keynote: Framestore and The Golden Compass: The Tools and Techniques of Visual Effects, Andy Lomas, Framestore
The entire conference is focused around four brand new themes: Capitalise, Specialise, Inspire and Enjoy, with the last being taken very seriously by Develop organisers Tandem Events. Believing that networking is just as important as learning, the after hours programme is just as packed as the day time events:
• Monday 28 July
20.00 Have I Got Games News For You
An evening of trivia and booze hosted by Aleks Krotoski and Keith Stuart from The Guardian’s gameblog
• Tuesday 29 July
18.00 Icebreaker Drinks , Bar 106, sponsored by CCP Games
Kick off the conference in style. Everyone's welcome - just bring your conference or expo badge
20.00 Develop Magazine Pub Quiz , Bar 106
A chance to knock back a drink and compete against game developers to find out who the brainiest team in games development really is.
Contact Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk for more info.
20.00 GamesAid Charity Poker Tournament, Grosvenor Casino
• Wednesday 30 July
18.00 Post Conference Drinks, Bar 106
Unwind from the day’s sessions and catch up with old&new friends.
18:30 - 19:30 Never Mind The Polygons
A topical discussion of the videogames industry with a beer-fuelled panel of developers and industry experts. Come along to see the debate, have a chat, or just heckle.
19.00 Develop Industry Excellence Awards
Tickets available in advance from firstname.lastname@example.org
• Thursday 31 July
20.00 The GamesIndustry.biz Summer Party 2008 (by invitation only)
“We’re very excited about this year’s conference: the programme content and the calibre of speakers are second to none. But we’re also very privileged that the development community continues to see Develop as the most important event in Europe for meeting, sharing, learning, networking and having a good time,” said Andy Lane, event director at Tandem Events.