Fear not: Every one of the sessions making up our tracks will either help you to better make games, or expand your vision as to what games might be made.
The tracks are built around threads of relevant sessions, covering all the main development professions, to ensure every delegate's time is well spent.
At the Develop Conference, we want game developers to lift their eyes from their daily preoccupations to take in the big - and exciting - picture. Our themes make this explicit:
Profiting from Technology
In today’s high-risk climate, deciding whether to build your own engine, buy in middleware, try something new or develop for a new format can no longer be considered as simply technical issues. Technology has to pay its way too: we find out how.
Winning with Creativity
We should be proud: game developers are pioneers at the frontiers of human entertainment. Yet too often creativity is a frightening, even a dirty word. We hear from game developers who have embraced innovation and lived to tell the tale - and to bank the royalty cheques.
Production and Pipelines
Games development teams keep growing, and software tools and specialist skillsets are proliferating too. Knitting together these various elements of making a game - to time and to budget - is becoming the make-or-break battle facing studios.
Making Money making Games
The old-timers who couldn't accept that games development is a business aren't in business anymore. But it's not enough to simply be aware of the often brutal financial landscape of development: our speakers will highlight the practical measures you can take to keep your bottom line in the black (and maybe your sports cars in the redů)
The Next Wave
From filmmakers to screenwriters, graphic artists to rappers, the pool of people interested in getting into creating games is growing. Equally, there's a new openness in development towards the ideas, techniques, and even the sheer balls of other industries.
Still the linchpins of a project, the role of the programmer is evolving fast. Specialists in AI and physics have emerged to sit alongside the long-established engine programmers, while others are focusing on bridging the gap between code and art and audio, or concentrating on tools. And of course, robust systems and solid technologies remain of prime importance for next generation titles. We'll take a look at lighting techniques, facial and emotional animation, physics, and several next gen case studies.
How do you design a game for an ever-broadening demographic, with publishers wary of gameplay that rocks the boat, yet consumers hungry for something new? And how do you do it on schedule? We'll offer some clues, with topics covered in our design sessions including using physics as gameplay, the gameplay mechanics of tomorrow, 'traditional' models of play, and a closer look at next gen games that got it right.
Game artists have come along way in realizing lush worlds, life-like human faces, and smoother animation. But graphics is a bar that keeps on rising. The Develop Conference's sessions will help artists sharpen their everyday skills, and inspire their artistic vision. We will also ask artists to put down their tablet pens to collaborate with the coders, the designers, and even the audio department.
Everyone from the marketing and financial departments to license holders and hardcore fan sites are waiting to see if your game is released on time. But the next gen producer has more than just the production schedule to contend with: more unwieldy teams, more complicated pipelines, and a growing reliance on off-site resources for starters. Topics at the Develop Conference targeting producers include outsourcing, previsualization, managing bigger teams, and keeping to budget.
Making games is a tricky business, where the financial targets are not so much moving as threatening to spiral out of control. Whether you're studio head at a start-up or an MD at a super-developer, our business track will pay dividends, with sessions on building and retaining your IP, securing government funding, creating the perfect pitch, and making games with a global appeal.
With a sensible budget and deadline in place, music and sound effects in games can now match the standards of movie making, technically and creatively. To ensure you deliver a high score, attend our sessions on cross platform audio challenges, creating interactive music and sound, and collaborating with artists and programmers to deliver audio that counts.
The Next Wave
The Develop Conference's Next Wave track will offer either a vibrant meeting ground, or a violent culture clash - either way, it will be well worth watching.