As the countdown begins to this year's event, we run through the hopeful studios and the games that could earn them our coveted awards
Everybody's Gone To The Rapture
The Chinese Room
Proving the power of a rural English setting as a platform for a distinctly eerie, atmospheric experience, The Chinese Room's non-linear adventure presented a chilling, carefully presented tale from the Shropshire countryside. It was as engrossing as it was distinct, enjoying a bounty of critical praise without pandering to convention.
Hailed as the return of the FMV game, a triumph of the non-agme, and simply a damn good game, Barlow's creation left much of the storytelling to its players, speaking volumes in the moments it left details buried in a video archives. Clever, understated and witty in equal parts, few who play it will forget Her Story.
Time travel infamously makes for a cumbersome subject matter for some of the world's most renowned storytellers. Remedy, however, tackled the theme with grace, combining an intense action game with live action episodes. Perhaps no surprise, then, that it was crowned as the biggest selling new IP of the current Microsoft generation
Beguiling critics and players alike with its considered writing and rich atmosphere, Frictional Games' horror work did away with many genre conventions, resulting in something surprisingly through-provoking and powerfully engaging, all without the use of combat gameplay to heighten tension. And tense it was, with the audio team deserving much credit there.
Tom Clancy's The Division
The Division was preceded by remarkable hype, setting expectations particularly high. The online shooter not only met the anticipation, but arguably exceeded it, all the while delivering nuanced game design and captivating style. It was a huge seller too, demonstrating that creative dedication need not dent revenues.
Powered by a highly regarded screenwriting team, a carefully chosen cast and a studio with a heritage working on a wildly diverse catalog of games, Until Dawn's debut met with much critical praise, thanks to its narrative grace and knack for quality horror, making it a darling of the YouTuber scene.
Pitched as a love poem devoted to the striking geography of Coldwood Interactive's Northern Swedish home, Unravel is one hell of a pretty game. And it has more than just good looks; though exploring the beauty of isolation and desolation, it is both a touching emotional experience and tremendously rewarding.
The Develop Awards 2016 takes place on Wednesday, July 13th at the Brighton Hilton Metropole, and honours the best in games development talent from across the UK and Europe. You can find a full list of this year's finalists here.
The awards are supported by headline partner CV Bay, with gold partners MoGi Group, Amiqus, Epic Games, Sumo Digital, Crytek, Perforce, Games London, UKIE, and King. OPM returns as table gift partner, alongside exclusive drinks reception partner Keywords Studios, table drink and gold partner Nordeus, and event partner Tandem Events. Epic Games are also an award partner, as are Aardvark Swift. Unity is award and opening video partner.
Contact Charlotte Nangle via firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about the opportunities available, both at the event and in editorial coverage before, during and after the Awards.