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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

Friday, 21 April 2017

Develop:Five - Dan Marshall, Size Five Games

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

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

I remember seeing Pong being played and being fascinated by it, but my earliest memories are probably the likes of Chuckie Egg and FRAK on the BBC Micro. I also have fond memories of plying Monkey Island on a preposterous, hulking great big black and white laptop, but I suspect I was a bit older by then. It's a memory that's stuck, though!

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

I'm really excited by the idea of games breaking free of the confines we've placed upon them over the last few decades - the new Zelda game seems to be a good example of that, this 'here's a world, have at it' approach I find really exciting. The indie space has long been pushing this with Roguelikes, procedural generation and what-have-you, and it'll be amazing to see what AAA and money can do with those concepts.

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

I've met several people over the years at Develop, I'm not so sure there's one particular thing. But whenever we talk about Develop and what we want to see each year, the point I always hammer is that sense that when it's over I *can't wait* to get back to my desk and start working. It's like this big inspirational, cleansing process that reminds you how incredible the games industry is. Seeing talks, meeting people, taking some time away from 'work' makes the quality of what I'm doing in the weeks after Develop so much higher.

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

The same thing I look forward to every year - bumping into exciting indie devs showing off games on their laptops in bars. That's always the thing that reinvigorates me, it's about meeting people and seeing what incredible stuff people are coming up with.

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


Oh, I don't know. There are so many people I'd love to shake by the hand and just point out how much they influenced my life, and my career. I'd love to meet Gabe Newell, I think I can convince him to let slip about Half Life 3, I can be very persuasive at times.

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Dan Marshall (@danthat) is a BAFTA-winning Indie Game Developer and founder of Size Five Games.

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Find out more about Develop:Brighton here

Friday, 14 April 2017

Develop:Five Tim Wicksteed, Twice Circled

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

1. What’s your earliest memory of playing video games?
My earliest memory of playing video games was sitting around with my brothers, playing the demo discs that came with my Dad's Atari ST magazine. Seeing our fascination, and being a programmer himself, my Dad showed us how you could create a simple platformer using code. It was like magic! And that was that, I was hooked, from that young age.

2. What are you most excited or annoyed about in the games industry today?
The most exciting thing about the games industry today is that is feels like such an open playing field. There's such a diverse range of gaming tastes out there that there's room for games of every shape and size. There are amazingly affordable development tools and the route to the consumer has never been more direct, both in a promotional sense (YouTube, Twitch) as well as a technical one (Humble Widget, Steam Direct). But of course there's a catch; there are also more games and developers than ever before. It's both inspiring and terrifying, we all have the power to succeed but there's no-one to blame if we fail.

3. Tell us about a life-changing or special moment you've had at Develop:Brighton in the past.
I have very fond memories of my first visit to Develop: Brighton. I was still early on in my career and I was lucky enough to be invited to a couple of developer dinners by some friends of mine. It was daunting to hear that all these much more experienced developers were struggling with all the same things that I was at the time: discoverability, funding etc. But it was also reassuring that there wasn't some magic trick that I was missing due to my relative inexperience. The industry is constantly reinventing itself and in that flux there are opportunities for established players and new developers alike.

4. What are you most looking forward to at Develop:Brighton 2017?
I'm looking forward to catching up with developer friends from other parts of the UK. Develop: Brighton is special because it's the one nearly everyone goes to so it's a great place to catch-up, share and learn from the experiences of the last year.

5 . Which game developer would you most like to meet and why?
 I'd love to meet Finn Brice from Chucklefish (or perhaps their technical lead Catherine West) and talk deep, down, technical stuff. I'm amazed by the technical feat achieved by Starbound so it would be great to just geek out and learn how it was made.

Indie developer Tim Wicksteed (@TwiceCircled) runs Bristol based, one man game studio Twice Circled. He's the creator of pharmaceutical company simulator Big Pharma and was recently announced as a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit 2016. 

Tim will be speaking at this year’s Develop:Brighton – check out his talk here


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Friday, 7 April 2017

Develop:Five - Jonathan Smith, TT Games

Every week, we ask some of the best game development minds five questions in a feature we are calling Develop:Five. This week, Jonathan Smith from Traveller’s Tales answers our five question blog feature. 

1. What’s your earliest memory of playing video games?
Pounding aliens with a spade in "Space Panic". Dig-anywhere gameplay 30 years before Minecraft.

2. What are you most excited or annoyed about in the games industry today?
I'm hoping to see Switch players colonising public spaces with portable social multi-player fun. The more videogames are visible in the real world, the better.

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!
Develop: Brighton is always a highlight of the year. And I've seen... things... you wouldn't believe. One standout moment was watching David Braben and Dave Jones play GTA and Elite (respectively), two games I've loved dearly.

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

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

Miyamoto, to say thank you.

Jonathan Smith is Head of Production and Strategic Director at TT Games, and a member of the Develop:Brighton Advisory Board.
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Find out more about Develop:Brighton here