De­velop evolves

A look at July’s De­velop event, in­clud­ing its new game jam

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This year’s De­velop con­fer­ence will take place July 8–10 in its usual home, Brighton, and will in­tro­duce a num­ber of new tracks and ses­sions.

Fore­most among these is the in­au­gu­ral De­velop Game Jam, which will take place dur­ing the main con­fer­ence (Wed­nes­day 9 and Thurs­day 10). The theme is yet to be set, but the con­fer­ence or­gan­is­ers are tak­ing team sub­mis­sions for the 48-hour cod­ing com­pe­ti­tion now.

Prior to that, on the first day of the con­fer­ence, De­velop will hold its reg­u­lar Evolve day – an ex­plo­ration of the cut­ting edge, and fu­ture, of game de­vel­op­ment, from con­sole gam­ing to hard­ware-ag­nos­tic ex­pe­ri­ences and vir­tual re­al­ity in your liv­ing room. As well as talks from de­vel­op­ers, in­clud­ing SkyDIEv­ing stu­dio nDreams, which will dis­cuss its up­com­ing Ocu­lus Rift game, Evolve will also fea­ture a psy­chol­ogy sub-track for the first time.

This will ex­plore the ways in which de­vel­op­ers are work­ing with psy­chol­o­gists to shape de­sign de­ci­sions, mon­eti­sa­tion and other ar­eas of games, and will also high­light the eth­i­cal is­sues of em­ploy­ing such strate­gies. The track will look at both real-world ex­am­ples of ap­plied psy­chol­ogy and the on­go­ing ar­eas of re­search within the gam­ing sec­tor.

The main con­fer­ence also has a new track that will fo­cus on mar­ket­ing, and joins the ex­ist­ing de­sign, art, cod­ing, busi­ness, au­dio and pro­duc­tion threads. This new sec­tion will ex­am­ine the in­creas­ingly es­sen­tial art of mar­ket­ing your game suc­cess­fully, ir­re­spec­tive of whether you’re a multi-stu­dio de­vel­oper or a bed­room coder. Speak­ers such as Si­mon By­ron, di­rec­tor of games at UK PR agency Pre­mier, and Ja­son Avent, who co-founded Brighton-based stu­dio Boss Alien, will of­fer ad­vice on build­ing au­di­ence en­gage­ment with­out un­der­min­ing the in­tegrity of your game.

Capy­bara’s Nathan Vella, one of the brains be­hind Su­per­broth­ers: Sword & Sworcery EP and cur­rently work­ing on Su­per Time Force and Be­low, will deliver the in­die track key­note. He’ll be joined by other in­die big hit­ters, such as Thomas Was Alone cre­ator Mike Bithell and Dlala Stu­dios’ AJ Grand-Scrut­ton, and the track will be sup­ported by an­other new ad­di­tion: In­die Boot Camp.

Boot Camp ses­sions will be free to at­tend and will cen­tre on real-world guid­ance to mak­ing your startup a suc­cess, with a se­lec­tion of es­tab­lished in­die voices of­fer­ing their ad­vice and ex­am­ples of the mis­takes they made along the way. There will also be an in­die de­vel­op­ment show­case, which will high­light some of the best new projects cur­rently in pro­duc­tion.

There are big names else­where, too. David Braben, Peter Molyneux and Mark Cerny will all deliver talks for the de­sign track, while artists will ben­e­fit from a key­note ad­dress from Aard­man Stu­dios’ Gavin Strange as well as ses­sions by Me­dia Mol­e­cule’s Rex Crowle – re­spon­si­ble for Tear­away’s charm­ing vis­ual de­sign – and Sony Com­puter En­ter­tain­ment art di­rec­tor Joel Smith.

An­other Me­dia Mol­e­cule

face is stu­dio di­rec­tor Siob­han Reddy who, to­gether with Bossa Stu­dios’ Roberta Lucca, will head up the busi­ness track with a joint key­note. Other con­firmed speak­ers across all the tracks in­clude EMEA re­gional di­rec­tor of Twitch, Stu­art Saw; game de­signer and AI specialist Richard Evans, of­fer­ing a ses­sion on cod­ing; and ExPlay di­rec­tor and for­mer Re­mode CEO Ella Romanos, who will talk about game de­sign.

De­velop’s reg­u­lar Evolve day will be an ex­plo­ration of the cut­ting edge, and fu­ture, of game de­vel­op­ment

Ad­di­tions to the three­day event in­clude the In­die Boot Camp and a new mar­ket­ing track

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