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Friday, 23 June 2017

Develop:Five - Chris Parsons, Revelation Games



Every week, we ask some of the best game development minds five questions in a feature we are calling Develop:Five. This week, Chris Parsons of Revelation Games answers our five question blog feature.


1. What’s your earliest memory of playing video games?
My earlier memory is starting up my TRS-80 before breakfast, inserting the Donkey Kong cassette tape, having breakfast, getting dressed for school, and coming back to the computer when it had just finished loading. At that point I usually had 5 minutes to play before I had to leave for school! It was about 1983 I think.

2. What are you most excited or annoyed about in the games industry today?
The barrier to entry has never been lower, which is both a good and a bad thing. Whilst I’m delighted that the rise of the “free" engine has made it easy for people to make good games, it’s just as hard as ever to make a great game, and great games get missed amongst the sea of good ones, which is a shame.

3. Tell us about a life-changing or special moment you've had at Develop:Brighton in the past?
I’ve only been once, but really valued the camaraderie and humility of the UK indie dev scene - some great conversations and mutual support.

4.  What are you most looking forward to at Develop:Brighton 2017?
Meeting more developers like myself and sharing tips and stories!

5. Which game developer would you most like to meet and why?
Shigeru Miyamoto - a legend of design. I’d love to pick his brains about the essence of great game design and thank him for writing the first game I remember playing!

Chris Parsons
Chris Parsons makes deep, characterful and procedural games with friends. After beginning his career in AAA games 20 years ago, he built a software development company from scratch, before coming back to games in 2011. He released Sol Trader in 2016 and is the early stages of his next game: Ealdorlight.

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Find out more about Develop:Brighton and Mark's talk here

Friday, 16 June 2017

Develop:Five - Mark Sorrell, Rovio

Every week, we ask some of the best game development minds five questions in a feature we are calling Develop:Five. This week, Mark Sorrell from Rovio answers our five question blog feature.

1. What’s your earliest memory of playing video games?
Playing Superman on the Atari VCS when I was about four in 1980ish. It was the first game I played where you could walk off the side of the screen and it didn't loop or block you, there was actually another part of the world to explore. Which at the time was basically witchcraft.

2. What are you most excited or annoyed about in the games industry today?
I'm mostly excited about the incredible breadth of experiences and possibilities in the panoply of things that we call videogames and mostly annoyed about the lack of words to describe them. Having spent considerable time in Finland, Finnish has different words for playing a musical instrument, playing without explicit purpose, like a child does, or playing a competitive game, along with others. In English we have none of that subtlety, which leads to a lot of needless arguments and slows down the progress of the medium(s).

3. Tell us about a life-changing or special moment you've had at Develop:Brighton in the past? 
In truth, there is no one stand out moment. Develop has been more like a clock, parcelling out my time in the industry, allowing me to see how things have changed, how I've changed, how the industry has changed, and how it hasn't, catch up with old acquaintances and meet new ones. For me it's less an instrument of change and more a device to measure it.

4.  What are you most looking forward to at Develop:Brighton 2017?
I know you want me to say Tetsuya Mizuguchi but the real answer is the ten minutes directly after I've finished my talk. The buzz when you come off stage is _the_100_emoji_

5. Which game developer would you most like to meet and why?

I have no idea what his English is like because my Japanese is non-existent, but presuming we could actually communicate, Yasumi Matsuno, the game director of Final Fantasy 12, which for me is the most forward thinking and visionary game ever made. I want to know how he managed to believe in his vision so completely.

Mark Sorrell is Head of Studio at Rovio's London Studio, a new venture set-up to build mobile F2P MMO games. Over the last two years, Mark has helped Rovio complete the transition to a true F2P company, as Vice President, Product. This comes after a career spent making games for unusual platforms, customers and business models. 
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Find out more about Develop:Brighton and Mark's talk here

Friday, 2 June 2017

Develop:Five - Leanne Bayley, We Heart Dragons

Every week, we ask some of the best game development minds five questions in a feature we are calling Develop:Five. This week, Leanne Bayley from We Heart Dragons answers our five question blog feature.


1. What’s your earliest memory of playing video games?
I spent a lot of time as a kid watching my mom play games on a ZX Spectrum (that apparently only worked in thunder storms when I wanted a go!), but I think I got into games with either Alex Kidd or Sonic the Hedgehog on the SEGA Master System.  I honestly can't remember which I played first, but these were the two games that cemented gaming as a hobby for me.

2. What are you most excited or annoyed about in the games industry today?
It still really annoys me that mobile games are judged as not being 'real games' by so many people.  We all know not to judge a book by its cover yet so many people will dismiss a game because of the platform it's released on.

3. Tell us about a life-changing or special moment you've had at Develop:Brighton in the past?
Develop:Brighton 2015 was a pretty special year for me.  My team won the Develop Game Jam with our pebble themed game Tiny Golem and my soap box rant about why hiring parents is good for your studio won me a talk slot for the following year!

4.  What are you most looking forward to at Develop:Brighton 2017?
Catching up with and making new industry friends is always a highlight of Develop:Brighton!  This year I'm also looking forward to my talk on how we have done F2P with Glyph Quest Chronicles and showing off our newest project Space Krieg.

5. Which game developer would you most like to meet and why?

Hidetaka Miyazaki, because Dark Souls! 

Image result for Leanne Bayley from We Heart Dragons
Leanne Bayley is co founder of award winning micro indie games studio, We Heart Dragons.

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Find out more about Develop:Brighton here

Friday, 26 May 2017

Develop:Five - Tanguy Dewavrin, Atom Republic

Every week, we ask some of the best game development minds five questions in a feature we are calling Develop:Five. This week, Tanguy Dewavrin from Atom Republic answers our five question blog feature.


1. What’s your earliest memory of playing video games?
That would be a Space Invaders arcade cabinet in a Café in Evian, where I spent my summer holidays, in the early eighties. I was too little to have pocket money so I kept going back to my mum to ask for more coins to play!
2. What are you most excited or annoyed about in the games industry today?
I am really excited about the possibilites of VR and the technical and creative possibilites it offers. It's mind blowing, but it just needs 1 game to capture everyone's imagination and really take off. Like Mario 64 sold the N64, or Wii Sports for the Wii: I can't wait to play the Mario 64 of VR!
3. Tell us about a life-changing or special moment you've had at Develop:Brighton in the past?
I like going back to Develop:Brighton every year to catch up with my peers and old friends from the industry. It's a nice break form the daily grind, and lets me step back and look at the bigger picture, by taking in others' perspective on our industry.
4.  What are you most looking forward to at Develop:Brighton 2017?
I'm really looking forward to the indie sessions: indie developers are the lifeblood of the industry, indie devs are so creative and it's vital that good indie games should manage to find their audience.
5. Which game developer would you most like to meet and why?

I'd like a chance to bump into John Romero to tell him how much his work inspired me to work in this industry! 

Tanguy Dewavrin has been a videogame developer for the last 24 years. He worked for Kuju, Argonaut, EA, Sony, on games like Geometry wars, Harry Potter, Catwoman, South Park... Started as an Artist, he then became Lead Artist and Art Director; he managed teams of up to 15 people. Founded Atom Republic Ltd in 2012 to specialize on virtual worlds content, and later co-founded Atom Universe in 2014 to make the world's first and only cross-platform virtual world.
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Find out more about Develop:Brighton and Tanguy's session here

Friday, 19 May 2017

Develop:Five - John Campbell, Triangular Pixels

Every week, we ask some of the best game development minds five questions in a feature we are calling Develop:Five. This week, John Campbell from Triangular Pixels answers our five question blog feature.

1. The earliest game I have a clear memory of playing was Lord Of The Orb, a game for the Atari 800. Looking back it borrows a lot from pacman as you avoid monsters in a maze, but what makes it really stand out for me is the haunting music and sounds. It's a great example of how even primitive music can completely change the tone and feel of a game.

2. I'm concerned we're seeing the negative aspects of startup culture creeping into the games industry, particularly within VR. A culture of spending big, growing fast and flipping investors is harmful for the industry as a whole, and puts too much focus on marketing over results.

3. My favourite talk is one that I wasn't even intending to go to! I had a gap between talks and ended up listening to a wonderful programming talk about the simulation and rendering of ocean waves for a mobile surfing game. I do think more games would benefit if they started from a simulation approach and then worked the fun in on top of that.

4. I'm really looking forward to catching up with a whole bunch of friends and former colleagues over drinks and finding out what they're up to!


5. I don't really have a list of developers I'd really like to meet - but I do keep bumping into people I didn't realise I wanted to talk to. Recently I had a great chat with the music composer for Rez Infinite, one of my favourite games, and hearing his take on London was fascinating.

John Campbell is the Technical Director of award winning VR games studio, Triangular Pixels. With over eleven years of development experience on a variety of PlayStation hardware and VR devices, John works at the bleeding edge new platforms solving the tough technical challenges VR brings. With a background in gameplay, systems and networking he specialises in new user experiences and interactions, never more clear than in his innovative, BAFTA nominated game 'Unseen Diplomacy'. 

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Find out more about Develop:Brighton and John's session here

Friday, 12 May 2017

Develop:Five - Alex Moyet, Amcade Games

Every week, we ask some of the best game development minds five questions in a feature we are calling Develop:Five. This week, Alex Moyet from Amcade Games answers our five question blog feature. 

1. What’s your earliest memory of playing video games?

Playing Sonic the Hedgehog on my brother Joe’s Game Gear aged 4. If I was extremely lucky, he would let me have a go here and there. It was so magical.

2. What are you most excited or annoyed about in the games industry today?

I’m quite curious as to how the industry is going to support VR in the next couple of years and whether instead we’ll see a solid resurgence of AR/MR games. Is it wrong that what I’m most excited about is the release of South Park: The Fractured But Whole?

3. Tell us about a life-changing or special moment you've had at Develop:Brighton in the past - it could be an inspiring talk, someone you met or something that happened to change your career or business? Or something else completely! 

I met some amazing people at Develop:Brighton in 2016 who gave me the final push I needed to go freelance and set up my own consultancy, Amcade. It’s hard not to be inspired when you’re hanging out with some of the biggest industry players in the sunshine!

4.  What are you most looking forward to at Develop:Brighton 2017?

Catching up with industry friends and trying to catch wind of any new development talent or IPs

5. Which game developer would you most like to meet and why?

Jessica Curry – Every time I’ve seen her talk I’ve thought she seems like one of the most awesome, bubbly, sweary, intelligent, badass women in the biz. I think we’d get on!

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Alex Moyet is Founder & Director of Amcade Games - @amcadegames - and will be speaking at Develop:Brighton with her session entitled 'No Budget? No Problem/ Free Strategies to Effectively Promote Your Game'

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Find out more about Develop:Brighton and Alex session here

Friday, 5 May 2017

Develop:Five - Rhianna Pratchett

Every week, we ask some of the best game development minds five questions in a feature we are calling Develop:Five. This week, Rhianna Pratchett answers our five question blog feature. 

1. What’s your earliest memory of playing video games?

Playing Mazeogs on the Sinclair ZX81. I was six. Dad said I was frightened of the monsters at first, but once I realised you could pick up a sword and fight them, it started a long-term love affair with games.

2. What are you most excited or annoyed about in the games industry today?

I think there's too much hand holding that goes on with players these days. Developers get so worried that player won't know where to go for 10 seconds and pepper games with aggressive hinting. But getting lost and working out what to do is all part of playing games.

3. Tell us about a life-changing or special moment you've had at Develop:Brighton in the past

It’s been a great place for the game writers of the UK to meet up. We’re still quite a small group, but we’re always supporting one another and sharing war stories!

4.  What are you most looking forward to at Develop:Brighton 2017?

More meet-ups with industry friends.

5. Which game developer would you most like to meet and why?

I've met a lot of them over the years. I'd love to meet Roberta Williams (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roberta_Williams). I'm a great fan of her games and I'm sure she'd have some good stories about being one of the earliest high profile women in the industry.

Rhianna Pratchett is an award-winning, eighteen-year veteran of the games industry. She has wrestled the wild beasts of narrative on titles such as: Heavenly Sword, Mirror's Edge, the entire Overlord series, Tomb Raider and Rise of the Tomb Raider. Rhianna is regularly named as one of the most influential and recognised women in games. 

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Find out more about Develop:Brighton here