Steven and Robin’s jaunt to the Seaside: Develop Conference 2015

Posted on in Showcasing To-Tum

Last week Robin and Steven made their way from Norwich and Dundee to Brighton to attend this year’s Develop Conference. Here they tell us about their top moments from the event, and what they brought away from it.

brighton pier


Steven and Robin’s Top experiences from Develop Conference 2015!

Robin’s Top 5

  1. Pie-Maker to Game-Designer; (https://twitter.com/anagamedev) Ana Ribeiro’s frank and honest talk about how she found her entrepreneurial spark in baking, quit her ‘safe’ job working in the Brazilian Government and came to the UK to fulfill her dream of creating games. Ana’s talk was truly inspiring, showing that if you have passion for your vocation, and the courage to take risks, you can achieve a great deal – no matter which point you are at in life, or your career. Ana’s eloquent and humorous way of answering the questions from the audience, especially one which pointedly asked about her ‘experiences’ as a ‘female’ games designer, was a real credit to both her professionalism and natural charm.
  2. Killing the “Lucky Indie” Myth: How to Build a Sustainable Micro Studio; (https://twitter.com/simoroth) Simon Roth did an amazing job of running through the realistic day-to-day of keep a studio sustainable and supportive of its staff. As a very newly fledged indie myself, I found his business outlook on what is too often whipped up into a fantasy story of how every indie has the potential to become a millionaire, both refreshing and instructive. I will be writing a more in-depth write up of his talk, with references to his slides later on this week.
  3. Indie Keynote: Rami Ismail; (https://twitter.com/tha_rami) Rami gave a great talk, full of frank observations and advice on how you work with your community. His advice was great for anyone who might feel that they need every single customer, no matter how intolerant those customers might be towards the developers. Online harassment and the worries that a developer might have surrounding this are a hot topic at the moment, and Rami tackled this head on showing that we are all human, and all have the potential to be wrong. However, none of us deserve to be harassed for what we create, or for who we are.
  4. Networking in ‘The Bar’; Before I arrived at Develop, I had asked friends who had been before what their top tips were for a ‘newbie’. One had said to go for the ‘house party approach’ and to spend time in the bar chatting and networking, and letting people come to you. This really is true of the bar at the Hilton, I spent the better part of my day in the bar on Wednesday and met some amazing and interesting game developers, recruiters, writers, artists, publishers and educators – all in one place! It is a great mixing pot, and meeting place as often you will not get to catch up with contacts and friends at other points in the year due to the often demanding constraints of working within the industry! It was excellent meeting new people and getting to bump into many more friendly faces.
  5. The Wellcomme Trust; (https://twitter.com/wellcometrust) The stand at the expo was a great place to learn more about the really interesting projects that The Wellcomme trust work with. I have always had an eye on the kinds of projects which are funded by them, and loved learning more about their most recently supported game which followed the processes of crime scene investigation at different points in history. Hearing about the combination of research for the technical potential of the game, the considerations of a general public audience, and the historical inspirations for the game was fascinating, and I hope to hear and see more of Welcome Trust projects at other gaming events.

Steven’s Top 5

  1. Fragments of Him (http://fragmentsofhim.com/) – This game really caught my attention a few weeks ago through online groups, and I when i spotted it on the expo floor i had to try the game a talk to the developers. Briefly speaking to Mata Haggis (https://twitter.com/matahaggis) about the narrative design of the game, it was clear that the team took a lot of real world experience they had and put them into the game, making Fragments if Him very personal for the team.
  2. Ana Ribeiro (https://twitter.com/anagamedev) discussing VR, and her fascination with the medium. Ana described VR as a “Totally New Experience” for engaging audiences and “not just a new game platform, but a New Media”. Her enthusiasm for Game Development and VR came across so well during her talk, it was very infectious!
  3. Rami Ismail (https://twitter.com/tha_rami) discussing customers and their value for your company, and standing for something was very insightful , especially considering we are in the early stages of developing our company. It was great to see how Vlambeer (http://www.vlambeer.com/) treat Customers as having value, how a customer is not entitled to be negative in their community just because they purchased their game. When social media tends to show the loud and hurtful minority of audiences, it’s nice to see their approach to dealing with them, by not pandering to customers.
  4. Dan Da Rocha (https://twitter.com/dandarocha) discussing his time as an Indie Developer over the last 5 years was a key highlight for myself! It was great to hear how he has managed to stay relevant in that time period in an ever changing industry, and to see some insight into what he has learned over the last five years as a developer.
  5. Finally it was amazing to hear a developer actually discussing the numbers in terms of sales, downloads, revenue, and this was provided by Jennifer Schneidereit (https://twitter.com/nyyjen) of Nyamyam. Her open and honest discussion on the development and process behind Tengami (http://nyamyam.com/category/tengamigame) was fascinating, especially seeing how the team had set out their goals, and how they went about achieving them in a market dominated by free to play games.

steven robin brighton

Thank you for reading out blog post! Did you attend Develop this year? Let us know what your favourite moments of the conference were, and be sure to check us out on twitter (@team_ii) and Facebook!