Develop Awards 2014 - The Finalists: Services

Develop Awards 2014 - The Finalists: Services

By Lee Bradley

July 4th 2014 at 3:00PM

A rundown of the companies offering key services for game developers across the globe

AUDIOMOTION

Award-winning performance capture specialist Audiomotion Studios has had an outstanding year, working on a number of hit titles while expanding its operations considerably.

Utilising cutting edge technology from Vicon Motion Systems, AudioMotion provided capture animation for various titles over the last 12 months, including Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, FIFA, Moto GP, F1, Sniper Elite and many unannounced projects.

Having recently moved into new 21,000 square foot premises in Wheatley, Oxfordshire and expanding its services to include scanning and rigging, Audiomotion Studios has also collaborated with Axis Animation on the award- winning trailers for Dying Light and Halo Xbox One.

Continuing to cross over with new movie blockbusters including World War Z, Maleficent and Ronin 47, Audiomotion has consolidated its position as a leading performance capture studio.

DELTA DNA

In the last year, GamesAnalytics has rebranded and launched a new platform, offering technology that uses big data to understand player behaviours and identify actionable insights to personalise games, in order to improve player engagement.

Now known as deltaDNA, the company provides solutions for some of the industry’s biggest developers and publishers, including Sony, Sega, Square Enix, Gaijin Entertainment, Warthunder and 505 Games. And looking at the numbers, it’s easy to see why.

Since launch, the platform has a strong success rate, with the use of deltaDNA’s tools and services improving a game’s retention rates by up to 50 per cent and raising revenues by 30 per cent. As free-to-play continues to change the industry, deltaDNA helps developers and publishers to change the game.

DIMENSIONAL IMAGING

Founded in 2003 and based in Glasgow, Scotland, Dimensional Imaging supplies high definition 3D facial image capture and 4D facial performance capture systems, solutions and services.

Dimensional Imaging’s latest technology is the DI4D Head Mounted Camera System. Developed to meet the entertainment industry’s increasing demands for more true-to-life facial animation and engaging and emotive performances, it represents a major technical innovation.

Providing the higher fidelity of facial data DI is known for, the DI4D Head Mounted Camera System requires no markers, makeup or specialised illumination, yet provides freedom of movement and the convenience of untethered capture using dense optical-flow based mesh tracking.

The DI4D Head Mounted Camera System strengthens Dimensional Imaging’s position as a leading force in the performance capture industry.

ENGINE ROOM GAMES

Engine Room Games has expanded in 2013, announcing some exciting new partnerships and opening a new office near Stratford-upon-Avon in addition to its headquarters in Bristol.

Last year Engine Room Games began a collaboration with Unity Technologies, leveraging its triple-A console game experience on titles like Batman: Arkham Asylum and F1 2010 to create additional advanced gameplay experiences within Unity, as well as deliver more support for PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4 and next-generation platforms.

A recent example of a game made using the Engine Room Games’ Unity technology on Sony platforms is the critically lauded Stick it to the Man. Now in its seventh year, and with a cumulative 75 years of experience between its three founders, Engine Room Games is building an enviable reputation.

PLAYER RESEARCH

Player Research has been offering user research services to the video games industry since 2012, building on its goal of using scientific discipline to better understand and improving player experiences.

In the last year, Player Research worked on approximately 50 games. 100 per cent of the iOS games the company has worked on have made it to the front page of the App Store on release. Player Research calculates that the number of gamers who are playing games improved by the company’s work is around 250 million.

With hits including Hutch’s Smash Bandits, Ninja Theory’s Fightback, Madfinger Games’ Dead Trigger 2 and HandCircus’ Seabeard, among many more. Player Research’s work is quickly becoming a must for all studios focused on improving player experiences.

SPERASOFT

Founded in 2004, Sperasoft has grown to be one of the largest game developer and outsourcing companies in Eastern Europe, with over 200 veteran game developers, artists and production managers.

Headquartered in Silicon Valley and with development teams based in St. Petersburg and Volgograd, Russia, Sperasoft allows companies to rapidly adjust their workforce level in response to project needs and hit the ground running with a productive team from day one, while reducing the stresses of HR, hardware, software, and tools setup.

With work on franchises including FIFA, DC Universe Online, Mass Effect, Dragon Age and Star Wars: The Old Republic, Sperasoft is committed to hiring and maintaining a team of the best game developers in the world, then building the environment and processes required to help its customers get the help it needs to attain triple-A status.

SIMPLYGON

One of the few successful independent middleware companies in the game industry, Simplygon is also the leading tool for automating 3D optimisation, helping over 100 game developers across the world to save millions of dollars.

Simplygon offers game developers get all the benefits of optimisation techniques including level of detail, draw-call reduction, scene optimisation and more, without the usual drawbacks. In 2013, Simplygon helped Warner Bros, Rockstar Games, Microsoft and more in the production of their studios’ biggest titles.

The fifth iteration of Simplygon 5 also launched in the last year, introducing a slew of improvements and new features. The Simplygon Cloud service in Unity went into beta also, offering indie teams a freemium alternative to Simplygon’s triple-A tool. Simplygon helps developers both big and small.

VICON

With offices in Denver, Los Angeles, Oxford and Singapore, Vicon has revolutionised the motion capture industry for over 25 years, consistently pushing the boundaries of what is possible with its range of cutting edge mo- cap technology.

In 2013, Vicon made public its new head-mounted camera rig system, Cara. A lightweight, four-camera facial capture system that outputs 3D data, as opposed to the 2D many custom head-rig mo-cap systems deliver, Cara was developed over the course of five years for use at studios of every size across a spectrum of entertainment, not just games.

Cara is just the latest product of Vicon’s long history of innovation, work that can be seen throughout the games industry at mo-cap focused company’s such as AudioMotion and Quantic Dream.

About The Develop Awards 

The 2014 Develop Awards will take place on Wednesday, July 9th at the Hilton Metropole Hotel in Brighton, and recognises the best innovators and development talent in the UK and Europe.

If you want to attend, you can book single seats and standard or gold tables by contacting Kathryn.Humphrey@intentmedia.co.uk or calling 01992 535646.

There are multiple new awards this year, with a total of 24 prizes up for grabs, while PlayStation 4 lead architect Mark Cerny is 2014's Development Legend.

There is a host of big names backing this year's Develop Awards, including Crytek and Deep Silver as Platinum Partners, a slew of Gold Partners in King, UKIE, Amiqus, Keywords International, Codemasters, Perforce, Cubic Motion and Unity, Event Partners Wales Interactive, InnoGames and Tandem Events and Table Gift Partner OPM. Epic Games is Drinks Reception Partner.

For more information on the sponsorship and partnership opportunities still available, contact Alex.Boucher@intentmedia.co.uk or call 01992 535647.

You can find out more about the Develop Awards at the official Develop Awards website.