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CONFERENCE - All sessions

A-D | E-G | H-L | M-R | S-Z    

The Develop Conference sessions are being added all the time.  Please check back for new sessions and speaker information.

The tracks are built around threads of relevant sessions, covering all the main development professions, to ensure every delegate's time is well spent. Click here to see a list of sessions for each track: Coding, Design, Production, Business, Audio,The Next Wave and Art.

You can also view a complete list of sessions by track, click here all sessions.

Download a print version of the schedule here.

Academics Group Gathering

John Sear, University of Derby
Group Gathering, 60 minutes · Thursday, 13 July · 15:00-16:00

Educators and anyone interested in game education will gather to discuss the current status of international game education. What are the trends? How many game degree programs, undergraduate and graduate, are there now worldwide? Is the number of programs growing? Are departments and schools still resistant to having game related curriculum? To what extent are successful academic programs also well tuned to industry needs or is academia still out of touch with industry? If so, what can be done about this? Does the game industry need 'game degree graduates'? And if so, is this more important for certain positions in the industry - and if so which, programmers, designers, producers, artists...? To what extent should game based educational techniques be used to teach a wider range of topics rather than just be used to prepare students to enter the game industry?

Advance Programming Techniques on PlayStation Portable
Igor Makaruks, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe · Track: Coding
Theme: Profiting from Technology · Lecture, 60 minutes
Wednesday, 12 July · 15:30-16:30

This technical presentation will cover the latest development news about PSP (PlayStation Portable), the new portable entertainment system from Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. The presentation will provide a brief overview of the system architecture, discuss advance rendering techniques and finally give developers an insight into the new peripherals due to be released this year.

Animating characters within Maya & showcasing the real-time workflow within MotionBuilder along with FBX
Nick Jovic, Autodesk
Track: Art · Theme: Winning with Creativity · Sponsored Session, 60 minutes
Wednesday, 12 July · 11:30-12:30
Expo Seminar Theater, Wednesday, 12 July · 17:00-18:00

Maya – Nick will demonstrate the powerful animation tools in Maya including advancements in Bind Skinning; the new Full Body IK solver for automated character rigging; Blend Shapes & setting up a character to Export to MotionBuilder.

MotionBuilder – Nick will provide an insight into the real-time workflow of MotionBuilder 7.5 including Character Control Rigs; Non Linear Animation; Key Framing; Real Time device driven control, Story tool for pre-visualisation & in game cut scenes.


Animating Emotion
Ken Perlin, New York University
Track: Coding · Theme: Winning with Creativity · Lecture, 60 minutes
Wednesday, 12 July · 14:00-15:00

Will computer games ever be able to convey the sense of psychological buy-in that we  expect from movies and novels? In the future, will games ever be able to evoke emotional  depth, psychological complexity and empathy for  characters?  To achieve these goals, at least two capabilities will be required: a) true psychologically engaging non-linear narrative and b) interactive virtual actors that can  really act. 

This talk will focus on the second of these two problems.  We will explore ways that virtual actors can modulate their facial expression and body language to convey happiness, despair, interest or disinterest, as well as  emotional conflict.  How can an interactive character make you care?  There will be lots of cool demos.

ARG Developers Group Gathering
Adam Martin, MindCandy
Track: Design · Group Gathering, 60 minutes
Wednesday, 12 July · 14:00-15:00

HDTV. 32 shader pipelines. 8-way surround sound. All these aim to make the fake simulation of another world more real, to increase the fidelity of the simulation, whilst leaving the physical laws of that world in the programmatic hands of the computer game code.

Alternate Reality Games take completely the opposite approach: Start with reality, and see what games you can host inside the real world. We're guaranteed total fidelity of the simulation, so the real challenge then focuses on making great Stories, providing totally believable themes, and above all making a game that actually works, despite being set in the utter uncontrollable chaos of real life.

Come along to find out more and to meet developers currently making ARGs. We will talk about the core concepts of Alternate Reality Games, and the challenges and the possibilities of the genre. There should also be plenty of scope for meeting past and present ARG developers and looking at some of the radically different approaches people have come up with.

ARG: immersive gaming for the mass market
Adam Martin, MindCandy
Track: Design · Theme: Winning with Creativity · Lecture, 60 minutes
Wednesday, 12 July · 17:00-18:00

Alternate Reality Games use "real life" as the platform. There is no barrier between players' lives and players' gaming, and so inherently no barriers to entry for non-gamers to participate. The mass-market is welcomed into a game where every life-skill helps, not just touch-typing and mastery of the shoulder-buttons.

Yet reality presents a totally immersive environment, already far richer than any virtual reality available now or in the next fifty years. ARG players have already experienced everything from phone calls from an AI, to helicopter extractions, to baking cakes, to hacking servers.

This talk will cover the advantages and uses of ARGs, describe current and future directions, and hopefully inspire in you a stack of ideas for how easily and effectively your own games can break out more into the real world...

Associations and Gov Support Group Gathering
Jason Della Rocca, IGDA
Group Gathering, 60 minutes
Thursday, July 13 · 9:30-10:30

A growing number of trade/member associations and governmental bodies are working to support and foster the game development industry in their local regions - not to mention that they are also working to better the industry worldwide. This gathering is a rare opportunity for representatives from these groups to connect and share ideas on how to improve and accelerate their important work to support the industry.

IGDA chapter leaders, representatives from trade/member associations representing the industry and governmental related bodies supporting the game industry are welcomed to attend. Invaluable contacts in the governmental/support orgs domain and a better sense of who's doing what to support the industry will be gained.

Audio Programming, Tools & Techniques For NexGen AAA Games

John Broomhall, Andy Mucho, RockStar, Nick Wiswell, Bizarre Creations, Nick Laviers, Electronic Arts UK

Track: Audio · Theme: Profiting from Technology · Panel, 60 minutes
Thursday, 13 July · 11:30-12:15


The extra power of the new consoles offers an opportunity to turn games into a true dramatic medium which, arguably, is the biggest step forward that next-generation consoles offers us. But how can we take every nuance and subtlety an actor can deliver and turn it into a believable performance in real-time within the constraints of a game? This is a goal that many have attempted but no one has successfully achieved so far.

With the help of an actor involved extensively in CG performance and a premier film post-production house, Ninja Theory has been attempting to solve this problem. With demonstrative materials, the talk will cover in detail the path taken from on-set mocap performance to real-time execution. It is directed mainly at artists but should be of interest to anyone in development who is tackling the thorny issue of real-time acting.

Black: A Case Study

Steve Root, Electronic Arts UK

Track: Audio · Theme: Profiting from Technology · Lecture, 45 minutes
Thursday, 12 July · 9:30-10:15

Big gun Steve Root directed the audio for a game whose ambitious aim was to redefine the first person shooter.  With consumer and industry expectations high, EA’s Root determined to produce the ultimate action movie-style audio experience in a videogame.  In a rare appearance, he explains how the team created ‘a sense of having a viscious animal in your hand’ and how he explored a ‘choir of guns’ concept to avoid cacophony.  The reviews speak for themselves.

Bloggers Group Gathering

Jen Bolton, NCSoft

Group Gathering, 60 minutes · IGDA Booth Expo Floor
Wednesday, 12 July · 15:30-16:30


This is a meet and greet for game industry bloggers, who so often link to and comment on each other's sites, often becoming quite friendly without ever meeting each other face to face. Now is your chance to know your fellow blog posters face to face! There will be camaraderie and commiseration, and attendees are encouraged to discuss issues facing bloggers: privacy issues, dealing with troublesome posters and spam and choosing the best blog software.

Anyone who run blogs, or who are interested in meeting those who do, are welcome to attend. Those considering starting a gaming blog can pick brains for tips and tricks in starting up your own site. Attendees can take away a sense of kinship with their fellow web warriors, and whatever advice might be gathered from experienced game industry bloggers.

Bridging the Uncanny Valley: Style versus Realism in future games

Cumron Ashtiani, Kuji Entertainment, Steve Boxer, Susie Green, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe,  Ben Lee, Relentless Software,
Theme: Winning with Creativity · Panel, 60 minutes · Track: Art
Wednesday, 12 July · 17:00-18:00

“Bridging the Uncanny Valley: Style versus Realism in future games graphics" will explore artistic and style directions in a videogames world in which powerful next-generation consoles and ever-more-powerful PCs are beginning to raise the prospect of near-photo-realistic graphics. But will developers opt for realism instead of stylisation and inventive art direction? Recent games such as Ico, Shadow of the Colossus and Viewtiful Joe have managed to combine success with artistic merit. Are the next-generation consoles geared up to making this trend continue? Will Nintendo’s much-vaunted desire for the Wii to encourage off-beat games design make it the platform of choice for developers with an artistic agenda? Can truly arty games sell in big numbers? Are stylisation and realism mutually incompatible? Are publishers inclined to take risks with avowedly arty games? What new directions in game art could emerge? These questions will be among those pondered in Brighton on 12 to 13 July at the Develop Conference.

Buy now, pay later!

Dave Ranyard, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Sergio Pimentel, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe · Track: Audio/Production · Theme: Production and Pipelines
Lecture, 60 minutes
Thursday, 13 July · 15:00-15:45

The traditional model of game development usually involves hiring a team of talented individuals to create all the content before the game is released. From characters to vehicles to environments – this is both clunky and high risk: all the assets are paid for up front and if the product is canned or bombs, the time and money spent creating the assets is wasted.

What if there was some other way that would minimise this risk? Why not license the assets with a royalty and share the risk with the licensees? This means smaller teams, faster product turnaround and most importantly: lower cost game development. Take a look at successful games such as Singstar & Buzz: Both have relatively straightforward game mechanics and much of the content is licensed assets.
The Music Industry has a number of assets which can be utilised: Music/lyrics/video/master recordings/press shots.

This talk will go into the benefits of this approach, in particular for music and will also highlight ownership issues on assets such as press shots and their respective uses. In addition, the talk will address points on how to negotiate the music licensing jungle.

Casual Game Developers Group Gathering

Erik Goosens, Zylom Media Group

Group Gathering, 60 minutes · IGDA Booth Expo Floor
Wednesday, 12 July · 11:30-12:30

All developers of “casual” games are welcome to attend this gathering. The goal is to network, make connections and share knowledge and ideas related to the casual games market. Come ready to discuss the definition of a casual game, how best to reach a large mass market, the best tools and technologies for creating casual games and the business challenges related to bringing casual games to market.

Connected mobile gaming on Java

Matt Levy, SNAP Mobile & Markus Huttunen, SNAP Mobile Manager
Track: Coding · Theme: Profiting from Technology · Lecture, 60 minutes
Wednesday, 12 July · 11:30-12:30

This session describes how mobile game developers can create connected multiplayer games for Java handsets using SNAP Mobile and how to do business with these games. The presentation shows in detail the technical architecture of SNAP Mobile, discusses the features available, and gives hints and tips to connected mobile game development. Furthermore, the concrete business benefits and market opportunity for connected gaming as well as business models for creating and running connected SNAP Mobile games are discussed.


Creativity led production: How to bring new ideas into line

Tetsuya Mizuguchi, Q Entertainment
Track: Next Wave · Theme: Winning with Creativity · Lecture, 60 minutes
Wednesday, 12 July · 15:30-16:30

Gamers and games developers increasingly want to look beyond the shelves of games stores in their quest for new entertainment experiences, and for games which touch a greater range of human emotions. But publishers, naturally, still want the game on time and on budget. Over his long, pioneering career, Tetsuya Mizuguchi has been inspired by everything from raves and African dance (Rez) to the media's reporting of war (his upcoming Ninety-Nine Nights) -- yet he's always delivered hits. How does he reconcile his need to explore new avenues with the demands of modern, schedule-driven games development?

Design by democracy: How to keep your vision - while taking on board everyone else's

Peter Molyneux, Lionhead Studios
Track: Design · Theme: Winning with Creativity · Lecture, 60 minutes
Thursday, 13 July · 13:30-14:30

After years of fighting omnipotent programmers and recalcitrant artists, games designers have finally carved out a solid role for their profession at the heart of the development team. But equally, games design has come of age at a time of unparalleled pressures. Not only must designers balance marketing's views on trends on the high street with their CEOs desperate desire for original IP, there's also a million hardcore voices on the Internet scouring every press release, and commenting on your every design decision. How does a games designer cherry pick the best input from these disparate sources and reject the rest - whilst keeping the team and the community on board?

Design DNA: 10 new game designs ideas from the past 12 months worth stealing

Margaret Robertson, Edge magazine
Track: Design · Theme: Winning with Creativity · Lecture, 60 minutes
Wednesday, 12 July · 11:30-12:30

What if, instead of having to spend days resolving some particular design problem you could be ‘inspired’ instead by a solution another game has already found? What if that game wasn’t a triple AAA, 98% classic which everyone else has already stripped bare of ideas? What if it was something odd, or overlooked, or otherwise actually pretty rotten that meant those ideas were still fresh? And what if you didn’t even need to go to the effort of playing them yourself, but could rely on Margaret Robertson, deputy editor of Edge, to fill you in on some of the neatest design shortcuts of the last year.

Designing new kinds of games for the masses

David Amor, Relentless Software, Paulina Bozek, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe,  Rob Kay, Harmonix, Michael French, Develop magazine
Track: Design · Theme: Winning with Creativity · Panel, 60 minutes
Wednesday, 12 July · 14:00-15:00

With eight million PlayStation 2s sold in the UK alone – not to mention all the PCs, mobile phones, PSPs and others out there – it’s fair to say that games platforms are fast becoming ubiquitious. Why so many new titles still target the same old hobbyist-gamer demographic remains a fierce topic of debate. But this panel will focus on one critical aspect: the design challenges of making games that appeal to - and can be controlled by and enjoyed by - people who don’t actually play many games.

Developing with PSSG, a PlayStation 3 optimised cross platform engine

Richard Forster, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe · Track: Coding
Theme: Profiting from Technology · Lecture, 60 minutes
Thursday, 13 July · 9:30-10:30

PSSG is a high level, game oriented, cross platform graphics engine and tool set, optimised for Playstation 3. This talk shows how a simple game was developed for PlayStation 3 using PSSG's extensive library of APIs and tools. Although the game was developed in a short timeframe by a tiny team, PSSG enabled optimal use of Playstation 3 hardware resources.

The game uses the high level interface exposed by PSSG to leverage the SPUs and ensure competitive performance for scene graph, animation and rendering. Meanwhile the tool set provides a simple and automated path for importing and processing art assets.

The audience will take away an understanding one of the higher level components of the Playstation 3 SDK and how they simplify Playstation 3 (and other platforms) development while maintaining excellent performance. They will also gain some insight on optimising and refactoring for SPUs.

DirectX 10 for Techies

Nick Thibieroz, ATI
Track: Coding · Theme: Profiting from Technology · Lecture, 60 minutes
Wednesday, 12 July · 14:00-15:00

DirectX 10 is the new graphics API from Microsoft; and with it comes a new set of rules and features allowing a whole new generation of graphical effects. At the same time DirectX 10 eliminates some of the tedious programming tasks associated with previous iterations of the API.

Not only is DirectX 10 tied to the Vista Operating System, but it also requires dedicated DirectX 10 graphics hardware to run on. This design decision allows a fresh start to be made with the elimination of legacy code in both the runtime and drivers for higher efficiency - however this may also mean a steeper learning curve for programmers. This lecture will give an overview of the API and describe some of the cool new effects that it makes possible. A particular emphasis will be put on the efficient use of the API as far as graphics hardware performance is concerned.

Empowering SCM

Tony Smith, Perforce
Track: Coding · Expo Theater Seminar, Lecture, 60 minutes
Wednesday, 12 July · 11:30-12:30
Thursday, 13 July · 11:00-12:00

The Perforce SCM system is used by many leading studios as the sole asset management system for all source code, documentation, graphics, sounds and models. This presentation is about how SCM can empower developers and managers and lead to vastly improved collaborative development and productivity. Where multiple content types and collaboration between companies is used, SCM is vital to success.

Everything you know is wrong: four new developments that will turn the MMOG world upside down
Janus Anderson, Creative Director, NCsoft North America & Thomas Bidaux, Director of Products, NCsoft Europe
Track: Design · Theme: Winning with Creativity · Lecture, 60 minutes

Thursday, 13 July · 9:30-10:30

The world of massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) has undergone something of a revolution in recent times with increasing audience share and the heavyweights from the Far East are making their presence felt in the West.  Traditional console publishers and developers are now taking the online sector very seriously and a wealth of new products will be reaching the market over the next two years.  But do these new players understand the current and, even more importantly, the future MMOG market and what advice does one of the old school have for these new kids on the block?

NCsoft is a world leader in MMOGs and is constantly refreshing and reinventing the genre. In the session, Bidaux and Anderson seek to overturn the traditional perceptions of MMOGs and will look at the four new developments that they believe will herald a second, more lasting, revolution of the genre.

The Future of Audio in Interactive Entertainment: A Personal Vision

Marty O'Donnell, Bungie Software · Track: Audio · Theme: Winning with Creativity
Keynote, 60 minutes
Thursday, 13 July · 16:00-17:00


This talk will cover my answers to the following questions: What do I mean by “Interactive Entertainment”? How will changes to non-interactive entertainment affect our industry? How is non-linear audio different from linear and how is it the same? How do I implement my aesthetic vision? How will the proliferation of home theater systems and ear buds change my approach to audio? What about cell phones and iPods? What does “the remix generation” mean to me? What will change and what won’t? How should we all create and implement content? What’s the role of middleware for audio creators? How will IP exploiters and IP creators work together? And, perhaps most importantly, will better audio sell more games?

Expect audio examples and some slight humor. Expect to leave my talk a better person.

Games design room 101:  Four designers each consign a game design horror to the dustbin

Mike Goldsmith, Future Publishing, Jonathan Smith, TT Games Publishing, Simon Byron, Barringon Harvey, Peter Molyneux, Lionhead Studios
Track: Design · Theme: Winning with Creativity · Lecture, 60 minutes
Thursday, 13 July · 15:00-16:00

New game design ideas can spread like avian bird flu: unchecked and even unwanted, they can nevertheless infect every upcoming title before they've even proven their worth. Equally, new generations of games often push on carrying old features from a bygone age, like redundant DNA. For instance, should end of-level-bosses be given the shove, and do sandbox games need missions anymore? but what features or design ideas do our four expert game designers think past are their sell-by date?

Game Writers Group Gathering

James Swallow, freelance writer
Group Gathering, 60 minutes · Wednesday, 12 July · 17:00-18:00

Professional writing and narrative skills are increasingly vital to the success of games at the top end of the market, and a differentiating factor at the bottom end of the market. The IGDA’s Game Writing Special Interest group has attracted more than two hundred participants since its inception in May 2003, and is active in promoting and supporting the role of the game writer.

This gathering will allow discussion on matters of importance to us, and reinforce our sense of community. We can also discuss possible future actions by the SIG, which thus far has published several articles and papers promoting or supporting game writing, held several successful gatherings and workshops, spearheaded the development of a new conference for game writers in Austin, and built ties with several major writing organisations across the world.

Genre: dirty word or developer's friend?

Clive Fencott & Jo Clay, Strange Agency

Track: Business · Theme: Making Money making Games · Lecture, 60 minutes
Thursday, 13 July · 13:30-14:30

The games retail industry knows how to classify titles into genres as a generalised index for the titles on their shelves, but this has little relevance from a game development point of view. Online and offline review magazines also classify genres although, in contrast to the retail industry, these classifications suffer by trying too hard to be specific: “Persistent Online Fantasy Role-Playing” or “Modern Real-Time Strategy” being examples. This results in a single genre definition with tens of aliases and no clear answer to which is correct.

With such a fuzzy model of categorisation, how can developers use genres to help develop of their game concept? Other than labelling the game for the publisher, it has rarely been of much use in the creative process, until now.

This talk demonstrates that the activities players perform, when playing games, directly represent the game’s genre. This lecture then goes on to describe how classifying genres in this way can genuinely help developers investigate and develop their game concept. USPs can therefore be easily identified and also quantified, in relation to the other activities in the game.

In addition, this method of genre analysis can be used to easily identify competitors and the state of the market, by matching a game’s activity profile to that of other similar games.

Looking to the future, we can see this method of genre based games analysis as a standard in the industry for game classification, for developers and consumers alike.

Global Directions: A Holistic View of Game Development

Jason Della Rocca, International Game Developers Association
Track: Business · Theme: Making Money making Games · Lecture, 60 minutes
Wednesday, 12 July · 17:00-18:00

To spark change and growth in the game industry, one needs to fully understand the whole "ecosystem" and the interdependence of its parts. In seeking answers to questions like "how can we fund innovation", "where will the talent come from" or "how can we broaden the audience",, there are an endless number of variables in play that can only be properly considered with a more holistic view towards game production, the games business and gamer culture. Everyone needs to factor how their actions (or lack thereof) play into this bigger picture and effect the ecosystem on a global basis.
This session will focus on the interaction of these many possible variables and how each one of us can play a vital role in ensuring the continued advancement and evolution of games.

Gotham Racing 3: A Post Mortem on developing a XBOX 360 launch title

Gareth Wilson, Bizarre Creations
Track: Production · Theme: Making Money making Games · Lecture, 60 minutes
Thursday, 13 July · 9:30-10:30

Working on a 1st generation title for a brand new games console is an exciting and rare privilege in our industry. Developing Project Gotham Racing 3 has been a voyage of discovery into new hardware, XDKs and functionality that have influenced the design of the title. The power of the Xbox 360 has allowed us to implement graphical and gameplay features impossible on previous hardware.

This talk aims to identify some of the pleasures and pitfalls of designing and developing a game on an evolving platform, with a fixed deadline of being an ambitious day one launch title. I will also be addressing some specific points about working with the Xbox 360 including next generation tools development, moving to a scripting based system, handling high definition content and working in a much larger development team.

This will benefit producers, team leaders and project managers their future launch titles come in on time.  Also, executives who wish to have a greater perspective and understanding of working on next generation titles.

Hacking Through the Jungle: Interactive Storytelling Made Easy and Profitable

Ernest Adams
Track: Game Design · Theme: Winning with Creativity · Lecture, 60 minutes
Thursday, 13 July · 11:00-12:00

The debate about interactive storytelling rages on, throwing up creeping vines of verbiage bound to bog down all but the most determined. On one side, radical theorists are claiming that only a perfect social simulator will do; on another, a few hardcore ludologists say we shouldn't try it at all. "Everybody knows" adventure games are dead and "everybody knows" what happened to Wing Commander IV, but "everybody" is wrong. In this lecture, Ernest Adams hacks through the jungle of common wisdom and entrenched opinions to show why a) interactive storytelling is a financial necessity for all but the smallest games; b) it doesn't have to cost as much as you think; c) it's not nearly as hard as it looks.

How to win battles and influence publishers
Chris Deering, Codemasters & Jamie Macdonald, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Business · Theme: Making Money from Games · Lecture, 60 minutes
Thursday 13 July, 11:00-12:00

The relationship between platform owners and thier orbiting publishers and developers is complicated. Each needs the other yet there's normally a strong love hate relationship at play between the two. In this session two big hitters who hail from the 'dark side' discuss what they look for in a successful studio. Chris Deering has mentored a number of companies on how to play the publishing game. In this session he'll discuss the leadership qualities required to make an impact and the best strategies for growth and success.

Jamie Macdonald is instrumental in currently building relationships with a number of third parties with Sony. In this session he identifies the things he looks for that identify a well run studio and gives an insight to the workings of the London and Cambridge studios.

Following this session delegates will have a clearer idea of the winning strategies that they'll need to adopt if working with the major hardware players. If you're trying to get listed, get a game published or even sizing up for acquisition this is a not to be missed session.

I’m with the brand: Developers as the stars

Alison Beasley, Lincoln Beasley PR, Miles Jacobson, Sports Interactive, Chris Lee, Freestyle Games, Mark Ward, Bastion
Track: Business · Theme: Making Money making Games · Panel, 60 minutes
Wednesday, 12 July · 11:30-12:30

Bill Gates has said that if he was down to his last dollar he’d spend it on PR.  Like Bill, an increasing number of developers are recognising the need for PR.  It can be a valuable tool in winning contracts and attracting the attention of publishers, IP owners, potential investors and end users. The key to great PR is in its management but how do you select an agency?  How do you place a value on the coverage?   Is there really no such thing as bad publicity? Where do you draw the line between vapourware and a tantalising glimpse of something cool? The panel, including Miles Jacobson (Sports Interactive), Chris Lee (FreeStyleGames), Mark Ward of Bastion discuss the value and effective management of PR for development studios.

Indie Developers Group Gathering

Thomas Arundel, Introversion Software
Group Gathering, 60 minutes · Thursday, 13 July · 13:30-14:30

What makes a game developer independent? Do you have what it takes to make a great game and do it all?  If so, come 'meet and greet' other independent game developers. This is a time to network, share ideas, talk games, and learn more about the 'Indie' scene. How can we make it easier for Indie developers to create compelling games and profit from their ideas? Helping each other at forums like this, independents can not only survive but also thrive in the gaming industry. Come share your opinions, experiences, and stories. Come meet someone who is doing what you want to be doing or mentor others with fresh ideas but a lack of experience.

How can Indies get their games out to the players and into the stores? How do we move beyond 'downloadable games' and 'shareware' to compete in a global marketplace?  How can we juggle work/life balance issues that come with 'doing it all'? We welcome constructive debate, and look forward to seeing you at this group gathering!

Leveling the Playing Field

William Latham, Games Audit
Track: Business · Theme: Making Money making Games · Lecture, 60 minutes
Wednesday, 12 July · 14:00-15:00

Again and again we hear the phrase “the games development business model is broken but few alternatives are ever put forward. With a third of all console and PC games being “canned” in Development and only one in ten games making any profit for publishers and the other nine making losses. With multi billion dollar publishers relying on a small handfull of products to make profits, it does appear that the current system is flawed and high risk.. William Latham (Develop Magazine columnist, Developer CEO of the award winning PlayStation2 game THING, CEO of Games Audit) explores new business development models to replace the old and put the creative geniuses back in the driving seat again.

Themes include “company restructuring around game IPs”, “the Grand National with snipers”, “keep your IP or quit”, “mistrust and more mistrust”, “the five takeaways and the coffin shop”, “how to look glamorous to investors”, “the adoption of the film world process” and “games development middleware”.

Leveraging the Ageia PhysX SDK for advanced multi-core simulation

Jonas Gustavsson, Developer Support Engineer, Ageia Technologies
Track: Coding ·  Theme: Profiting from Technology · Sponsored Session, 60 minutes
Thursday, 13 July · 9:30-10:30

Beyond massive quantities of rigid-body objects, today’s multi-core gaming hardware is capable of processing extremely sophisticated simulations such as smoke and gaseous flow, massive systems of destructible objects, and truly interactive natural & urban environments. This talk will focus on the practical implementation of these systems using the Ageia PhysX SDK while taking into account content production, data management, rendering, and networking considerations.


Lights, Camera... Where Movies and Videogames Meet

Rob Fahey, & Andrew McDonald, DNA Films
Track: Next Wave ·  Theme: Next Wave · Lecture, 60 minutes
Wednesday, 12 July · 17:00-18:00

British film producer Andrew Macdonald has facilitated the creation of some of the UK's most successful movies - including Trainspotting, The Beach, and 28 Days Later. In an on-stage interview, he will discuss the funding models used in the film industry, his plans for a videogame based on 28 Days Later, and how the film and games industries can work together to mutual benefit.

Lost in translation: The coder’s guide to team communication

Jonathan Shaw & Tak Fung, Lionhead Studios
Track: Coding · Theme: Profiting from Technology · Lecture, 60 minutes
Thursday, 13 July · 15:00-16:00

With development teams getting ever bigger and working on even more complex games, good lines of clear communication between the different game development disciplines is vital. Programmers have a reputation (undeservedly so!) for not communicating well or communicating in such a technical way that no one can understand what they are tried to say! Jonathan and Tak of Lionhead Studios will demonstrate the reasons why regular and clear communication is essential to a trouble free development process. They will highlight common mistakes made by team members and explain how systems have been put in place to ensure that their team communicates as well as possible Tak and Jonathan will use anecdotal examples of good and bad communication and also detail techniques and systems that have now been put into practice at Lionhead.

Masterclass: Character Animation

Nick Jovic & Kevin Booth, Autodesk
Track: Art · Theme: Winning with Creativity · Lecture, 60 minutes
Thursday, 23 July · 9:30-10:30

Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Maya and Autodesk MotionBuilder software are the most widely used 3D modelling and animation packages for games development. Together they provide various approaches and platform choices for the games creative and technical pipelines. Many of these pipelines use a combination, and often all, of Autodesk 3D software in a single workflow, giving artists more choice, allowing collaborative working and flexibility.

Autodesk application specialists, Nick Jovic and Kevin Booth, will run through their latest tips and tricks using 3ds Max, Maya and MotionBuilder.

Money for Non-Suits
Jonathan Smith, TT Games Publishing & Nicholas Lovell, GameShadow
Track: Business · Theme: Making Money making Games · Lecture, 60 minutes
Wednesday, 12 July · 15:30-16:30

So you always wanted to “make games” – and now you’ve got responsibility for multi-million pound projects. You’re outsourcing, budgeting, dealing with contracts and looking at share prices... but how much do you really know about money and how it works? Not the common-sense money of paychecks and overdrafts, but the alternate universe of finance, tax and corporate funding?

From VAT to valuations; from cashflow to capital gains, Nicholas Lovell, (Managing Director, Media Corporate Finance at Lodestar Partners) and Jonathan Smith (Development Director at TT Games) give a rapid-fire introduction to financial concepts and issues affecting games development. Stuff you need to know, or that you’ll need to know before long. Stuff that’s just too important to leave to the suits…

Motion synthesis and unique game moments
Torsten Reil, NaturalMotion
Track: Art · Theme: Profiting from Technology · Sponsored Session, 60 minutes,
Thursday, 13 July · 14:00-15:00

This session will address the recent advances in motion synthesis on next-generation consoles, and their impact on interactivity, realism and – importantly – game play. It will be shown that, for the first time, we can generate unique moments in a game that have never happened before, and will never happen again. This, it will be argued, provides an opportunity to design games with much stronger individual impact on the player and will be a vital part of the next-gen experience.

New Techniques for Lighting: From Theory to Practical Implementation
Chris Doran, Geomerics
Track: Code · Theme: Profiting from Technology · Lecture, 60 minutes
Thursday, 13 July · 13:30-14:30

Few, if any, problems in gaming have attracted as much attention over the years as that of accurately lighting a scene given arbitrary light sources. The complexity of the problem is immense; the lighting equation governing all computer graphics describes a massively information-heavy scenario where every element of a scene can act as an emitter and potentially contribute to lighting the scene. Formulating the problem directly from this equation would involve vast matrices of transfer coefficients that are impractical to compute at real-time rates. But as computational power increases new techniques become available that has previously been dismissed as too expensive. In this talk I review recent developments from the fields of spherical wavelets, pre-computed radiance.

Next Generation Games with Direct3D10
Miguel Sainz, Nvidia
Track: Coding · Theme: Winning with Creativity · Lecture, 60 minutes
Thursday, 13 July · 15:00-16:00

This talk will focus on new Direct3D10 features and effects for the next generation of games. We will discuss the new capabilities and performance enhancements that the Direct3D10 API provides and present several techniques that can be exploited to create new effects.

The Next Generation of Mobile Gaming
Kay Gruenwoldt, Nokia Multimedia
Track: Business · Theme: Profiting from Technology · Lecture, 60 minutes
Wednesday, 12 July · 17:00-18:00

From this lecture you can learn about the next generation of mobile gaming from Nokia bringing the N-Gage experience to Smart Phones including the SDK, tools and the complete developer offering.

The Opinion Jam: Twelve speakers. Three minutes each. One winner.
Ernest Adams, Dan Bardino, Owain Bennallack, Simon Byron, Charles Cecil, Ste Curran, Kieron Gillen, Miles Jacobsen, Rob Kay,
Francois Masciopinto, Ken Perlin
Track and Theme: Next Wave ·
Lecture, 60 minutes
Thursday, 13 July · 11:00-12:00

We've all had it: conference fatigue. Sitting and watching people fill up their allotted timeslots can't always be interesting forever; some speakers are amazing, some are less than amazing, and after a while sessions start to feel like playing Russian roulette with a gun loaded with tedium. What if this one turns out to be another guy with grand designs that can be summed up in a single sentence, padded out with a pointless powerpoint presentation, degenerating into a dreary Q&A session?
It won't. This is the antidote to all of that, a quickfire battle of wit and wisdom, a conference condensed. Twelve speakers will rise to the challenge of punctual presentation, delivering radical ideas on the state and future of the games industry. They'll speed through their points with punchy passion and abbreviated eloquence, say everything they need to within a three-minute timeslot, then sit down to a chorus of boos or cheers. Whoever gets the best reaction from the unlikeliest proposition wins.

Optimize Your GPU with the Latest NVIDIA Performance Tools
Raúl Aguaviva, NVIDIA Developer Tools Engineer
Track: Code · Theme: Profiting from Technology · Sponsored Session, 60 minutes
Thursday, 13 July · 13:30-14:30

This talk showcases NVIDIA's latest suite of GPU performance analysis tools for OpenGL and DirectX, including NVPerfKit and NVShaderPerf.  Learn how to use NVPerfKit to find and remove bottlenecks with NVPerfHUD, access powerful GPU performance counters with NVPerfSDK, and identify OpenGL API usage and performance errors with GLExpert. Handheld developers will get a brief look at NVPerfHUD ES, a new performance tool for handheld GPUs.  Also, learn how to tune your fragment programs using NVShaderPerf.

PlayStation 3: A Parallel Universe
István Fábián, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Track: Code · Theme: Profiting from Technology · Lecture, 60 minutes
Wednesday, 12 July · 17:00-18:00

We are increasing the performance of our computing systems, but not exactly the way it's been originally expected: the megahertz (or shall we say gigahertz) myth is now indeed just a myth taking next generation computing into an entirely new direction. PlayStation 3 is one of the first next generation systems to move in this direction utilising the revolutionary Cell Broadband Engine developed by Sony, Toshiba and IBM to provide massive computing power consisting of multiple cpu cores on a single chip.

The PlayStation 3 provides a parallel architecture that requires advanced, multi-processing aware applications in order to make the most of the hardware and software design available. This presentation demonstrates the new challenges for developers when developing for multi-processing systems as well as techniques used to solve these problems.

Profiling and Debugging Your Game with PIX on Xbox 360
Bruce Dawson, Microsoft Game Technology Group · Track: Coding
Theme: Profiting from Technology · Lecture, 60 minutes
Thursday, 13 July · 13:30-14:30

PIX is an invaluable tool for doing graphics programming and optimization. In addition, PIX has features designed to help with CPU profiling and threading visualization. This talk demonstrates how to use PIX to optimize, better understand your graphics and code, and make you more productive.


Pros and Cons of Developing Your Own Middleware
Andrew Oliver, Blitz Games
Track: Code · Theme: Winning with Technology · Lecture, 60 minutes
Wednesday, 12 July · 11:30-12:30

With the growing complexity of gaming platforms and ever rising consumer expectations it is now a requirement for game developers to have access to a substantial arsenal of reusable tool and cross platform engine technologies, providing both a solid code foundation and optimal artist workflow.  This lecture contrasts the development and support of proprietary tools and technology with the deployment of third party off the shelf middleware solutions.

Independent UK developer Blitz Games is known for its industry leading game development technologies and well placed to give an inside view on the benefits and drawbacks of supporting a significant R&D investment.  Blitz CTO Andrew Oliver outlines key objectives and requirements of cutting edge games tools and technologies.  The talk provides a development post mortem of the Blitz technologies, along with an overview of the principle commercial middleware options.  The session concludes with an evaluation of the pluses and minuses of bespoke solution development versus third party middleware, finishing with the question – “Given the option, would we do it all over again?

PS3 Audio: Meet The Team

Jason Page, Oliver Hume, Nik Kennedy, Paul Scargill, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe · Track: Audio · Theme: Profiting from Technology · Panel, 45 minutes
Thursday, July 13 · 13:15-14:00

A unique chance to hear the story of how four UK audio techs landed the most important gig of their career, how they are harnessing the power of PS3 and are defining nexgen audio. (When they're not in the pub).

Real Characters, Real Fast: Next Gen character creation using Softimage|XSI

James Rogers, Softimage
Expo Seminar Theater, Lecture, 60 minutes
Wednesday, 12 July · 14:00-15:00
Thursday, 13 July · 13:30-14:00

Find out how Softimage|XSI can speed up your next-gen character pipeline. Learn how to use advanced tools like GATOR and Ultimapper, and see why companies like Lionhead, Valve, and Pandemic are switching to Softimage|XSI for their next-gen titles.

Recreating Reality

Kenny Young, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe · Track: Audio
Theme: Winning with Creativity · Lecture, 60 minutes
Thursday, 13 July · 10:30-11:15

It’s tempting to think that in order to create a plausible virtual world we need to dogmatically emulate the real world. But this school of thought doesn’t take in to account that the brain’s perception of a simulation, delivered by screen and loudspeaker, is quite different to its perception of reality. By exploring fundamental topics such as perception, the magic of sound and the moving image, the audiovisual contract and the use of sound in cinema, this presentation will examine why implausible sound is one of the most effective tools available to you when trying to create an immersive gaming experience.

Sega - UK's new Games Powerhouse

Mike Simpson, The Creative Assembly, Guy Wilday, Racing Studio, Miles Jacobson, Sports Interactive · Track: Business
Theme: Making Money making Games · Sponsored Session, 60 minutes
Wednesday, 12 July · 14:00-15:00

A few short years ago, following on from their decision to pull out of the home platform market, Sega became the first Eastern publisher to start taking the development talent in the West really seriously, realising that there was massive growth potential for their business outside their home territory. In that time, in the UK alone, they’ve worked with the likes of Team 17, Bizarre Creations, Sumo Digital and many more, alongside setting up their first UK internal studio, culminating in the recent purchase of stalwart UK indies, The Creative Assembly and Sports Interactive.

What made those successful indies take the plunge into becoming internal studios? What made Sega set up a racing studio in the UK? What differences have they found since integration into a larger organisation?

With so many UK developers no longer with us, and the transition period hitting hard, more and more indies are looking at what is best for their teams moving forward, is becoming internal the answer for future job security, or is it just an easy option to "cash in" with little care for creativity or the consumers?

This panel features Sega Europe’s 3 internal studio directors, Mike Simpson (The Creative Assembly), Guy Wilday (Racing Studio) and Miles Jacobson (Sports Interactive) with a moderated panel discussion talking about all areas of the working as an internal studio in the Sega organization and the studios various expansion plans for the next few years.

Shaders: The Sky is the Limit
Sébastien Dominé, NVIDIA & Richard Stenson, Sony Computer Entertainment America

Track: Coding · Theme: Profiting from Technology · Lecture, 60 minutes
Thursday, 13 July · 11:00-12:00

This talk will showcase PlayStation 3 shader development with FX Composer 2 and COLLADA. See how a variety of shader effects can be authored in a DCC application, exported, modified in FX Composer 2, and rendered with PSGL. The talk will also include an overview of the latest FX Composer 2 version, including shader profiling support, artist-friendly tweakables, scripting support, custom plug-in architecture, and much more.

Showcasing the interoperability between 3ds Max, Maya and MotionBuilder
Kevin Booth, Autodesk
Track: Art · Theme: Winning with Creativity · Sponsored Session, 60 minutes
Wednesday, 12 July · 15:30-16:30

Kevin Booth will demonstrate a workflow example between 3ds Max, Maya and MotonBuilder.  He will model and skin a character in Maya, create/model an environment in 3ds Max and then export both into MotionBuilder for the final animation.

Software engineering: Games programming for large scale projects

Jeremy Chatelaine
Track: Coding ·
Theme: Production and Pipelines · Lecture, 60 minutes
Wednesday, 12 July · 15:30-16:30

Programming video games for large scale projects can be daunting at first - there is so much going on that you may feel like you are a small cog in a big machine. Some may be willing to slow down the pace of the machine to cope with it, but if you follow a few simple rules, you may actually enjoy the fast progress made by a large team and still feel like you are in control.

In a large team, some people rely on management to assist them and others rely on communication. Without a doubt, these are important parts of large scale projects but what can a programmer do in his/her daily work to support a project like this? Optimising your workflow and pipeline may be a good start, simple and clear code design would certainly help too, but these may just be the tip of the iceberg.

This talk will provide you more than coffee and pizza usually do to support your productivity in an extended crunch period. It will give you guidelines and rules of thumb along with real examples that will make your project run more smoothly and will hopefully help you reduce that crunch time period at the end of every project.

Talking Sense: Raising The Bar For Speech In Games

Nick Laviers, Electronic Arts UK · Track: Audio
Theme: Winning with Creativity · Lecture, 45 minutes
Thursday, 13 July · 14:15-14:45

One leading audio developer's insights into the pitfalls and opportunities surrounding dialogue for games. All your bases belong to him.

Towards an industry standard publishing agreement: the TIGA Model Contract

Vincent Scheurer · Track: Business · Theme: Making Money making Games · Lecture, 60 minutes · Thursday, 13 July · 15:00-16:00

Negotiating a publishing agreement is as time-consuming as it is expensive. In addition, many development projects start well before the contract is complete, at substantial additional risk to both developer and publisher. This is not unique to the games industry, and most other creative industries already use standard form contracts in order to deal with this problem. In 2006, TIGA published the first games industry model contract for developing and publishing video games. This talk is an introduction to the TIGA Model Contract by the editor, Vincent Scheurer. It will describe the history of the project, who was involved, and the purpose of the Model Contract. It will consider how the Model Contract can be used by developers, publishers and intermediaries. Finally, Vincent will round off with an overview of the five principal risks encountered by parties negotiating publishing agreements, with some practical examples of how to mitigate those risks. Handouts: Attendees will be provided with a copy of the TIGA Model Contract.

Web-Enabling Your MMOG using BigWorld

Robert J. Spencer, BigWorld
Expo Seminar Theater, Lecture, 60 minutes
Wednesday, 12 July · 15:30-16:30

Along with the ever-increasing challenges of developing content for your MMO projects, many next-generation MMOs will require pervasive web access so that your customers can tweak settings, visit the auction house and interact with your game in myriad new ways on countless platforms, including mobile phones and work PCs. In this presentation Robert will show you how easy it is to open up these possibilities to make your players lives easier and create innovative new gameplay, using the BigWorld Technology Suite.

Which Ferrari should I drive to work today?

Andrew Eades, Relentless Software
Track: Business · Theme: Making Money making Games · Lecture, 60 minutes
Thursday, 13 July · 15:00-16:00

Motivating staff in the games industry is getting harder. As each title sucks up more and more people it's not easy to stamp your identity onto a game. This used to be fulfilling enough. The job used to be the motivation. Relenltess Software has put job satisfaction back into the equation proving you don't need pizza-fuelled crunches to make a million-selling game. This session will cover the policies that Relentless has put in place that promote the good habits needed to make video games on time.

Why good online games go bad

Frank Puranik, Director, Itheon Networks
Track: Business · Theme: Making Money making Games · Lecture, 60 minutes
Thursday, 13 July · 9:30-10:30 · Expo Seminar Theater

Nothing frustrates an online gamer more than delay. But games performance is heavily dependent on the network environment. Frank Puranik of Itheon Networks explains why games performance can suffer in the online world and the options for testing that your new game is going to work in WAN environments.

Women Developers Group Gathering
Mary Margaret Walker,
Group Gathering, 60 minutes

Thursday, 13 July · 11:00-12:00

If you’ve got two X chromosomes, then this event is for you. Come meet and greet with other women who work on games. The group gathering will feature all the networking and socializing you’ve come to expect from the IGDA. It’s a great opportunity to put a face to name or to reconnect with old friends. Networking is a priority at industry conferences: we invite you to use this event to make new professional contacts and increase your industry visibility. If you share the IGDA’s future vision of the games industry --­ a vision that includes a lot more women! ­ -- then we look forward to seeing you there.

This gathering is relevant to all female game developers, regardless of discipline. Come contribute to a fast-growing network of colleagues and professional friends. Everyone is welcome.

Working with Hollywood: The Storytelling Professionals
Mark Green & Katie Ellwood, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe

Track and Theme: Production · Lecture, 60 minutes
Wednesday, 12 July · 15:30-16:30

We've all had it: conference fatigue. Sitting and watching people fill up their allotted timeslots can't always be interesting forever; some speakers are amazing, some are less than amazing, and after a while sessions start to feel like playing Russian roulette with a gun loaded with tedium. What if this one turns out to be another guy with grand designs that can be summed up in a single sentence, padded out with a pointless powerpoint presentation, degenerating into a dreary Q&A session?
"The creation and execution of storylines in Videogames have come a long way in only a short space of time. Many developers will remember writing a game's story, maybe even doing the voice acting or perhaps deciding on all the camera angles and cinematic cuts themselves, but things are changing. Now games are reaching out into the Film and TV industries, hiring professionals for each of these roles and more.

Licensed projects like '24: The Game' bring on board, not only the cast, but a number of the crew in order to develop a videogame that matches the cinematic and story-telling levels set by the original TV show or film. Hollywood's Actors, Voice Directors, Scriptwriters, Cinematographers, Composers are all being utilised. Now, for the first time, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe's London Studio is creating an original IP, PlayStation 3 game, in which the high quality gameplay is finally matched by the presentation of the story - written, acted and directed by Hollywood professionals.

This talk will cover the experiences of working closely with Hollywood that were gained by SCEE's Cambridge and London Studios whilst working on games for the PS2 and PS3."

Xbox Live: Now and in the Future
Jeff Sullivan, Microsoft Game Technology Group · Track: Coding
Theme: Profiting from Technology · Lecture, 60 minutes
Wednesday, 12 July · 11:30-12:30

Xbox Live is the preeminent online gaming service for Xbox and the foundation for the Live Anywhere vision. Come find out why millions of gamers subscribe to the service and how to use features like achievements and gamerscore to keep them spending more time playing your titles. We'll also take a look forward to see how the service will innovate and evolve to support new features and platforms.


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