Develop Brighton: Round Up

A couple of weeks ago we lathered on the sun cream, bought the most egregious summer outfits we could find and hopped on a train to Brighton. Develop promised to be a big one for us; 3 nominations at the Gave Dev Heroes awards, one of our Lead Artists delivering a talk, a nomination for Major Studio at the Develop Awards and lots of cake to eat Gamerbake.

Brighton

Develop is a full on few days, so having a picturesque location to unwind in certainly helps. It’s no shock to anyone that Brighton is stunning, but for any gamers out there there’s also plenty of places to check out. C: Side Quest, Loading Bar’s sister cafe, has board games, arcades, gaming themed cocktails and a host of events (not least during Develop!) and attracts the most welcoming folks in the industry. There are also board game shops, video game shops, and a load of Adventure Time graffiti plastered around to bring a smile to anyone’s face.

But before this becomes a travel blog let’s talk about the event…

The Talk

One of our Lead Artists, Erol, gave a talk entitled ‘Visual Composition in Games’ – an outline of both the elements and principles of art, their use in traditional visual composition and the subsequent practical application of this to video games. The talk is great (all biases aside) and Erol will be delivering it elsewhere over the next few months, hopefully without technical hiccups!

Game Dev Heroes

This year’s Develop also saw the inaugural ‘Game Dev Heroes’ awards; a new initiative to recognise and celebrate the work of the people behind the scenes in the games industry. These aren’t the superstars gracing the stages at Develop, GDC and E3 – but could be anything – from veteran developers to support staff, from inspiring management to visionary role models, and we were fortunate enough to have 3 nominations. Three of our colleagues, Chris, Emma and JaeSeung, piled into a room with the other nominees, judges and friends (battled a little bit of heat) and cheered on their industry colleagues as people stepped up to collect their awards. Sadly we didn’t bring home any gongs, but the winners were more than deserving.

The Develop Awards

The time had come. We put on our Sunday Best (over our England shirts) and headed to the Develop Awards. The organisers were kind enough to open the doors early, and time dinner a little differently, given there was the small matter of a football match to contend with (the eagle-eyed among you will notice a Croatian man singing a national anthem in the picture). The next 120 minutes were excruciating for many; highs and lows, chants and cheering, before England’s eventual exit. That didn’t dampen the mood, though. Winners went up to rapturous applause, Ninja Theory won hundreds of awards, and Creative Assembly deservedly won the Major Studio award!

We were disappointed to miss out, but consoled ourselves with the beach and another great few days at Develop. We’ll be back next year and we’ll make it even bigger and better.