How to Win a Develop Award 2012

How to Win a Develop Award 2012
Will Freeman

By Will Freeman

April 12th 2012 at 9:30AM

Your guide to July's key event for European game studios

Now in its tenth year, the prestigious Develop Awards comes back to Brighton in July to celebrate the cream of the European games development scene.

Lobbying for the awards is now open, and below we give you a run through of the criteria for each category.

Categories such as Best Micro Studio return, whilst we have added new awards in Narrative Design and Use of Online to reflect these growing areas in the industry.

None of this can happen however without suggestions from our readers. So read through our extensive guide below and have a think about whether you, your partners, or colleagues should be considered.

The awards ceremony will take place on July 11th at the Hilton Brighton Metropole Hotel.

500 games development execs from across the industry and around the world usually turn up to the Develop Awards, so why not join them in one of the industry’s most illustrious event celebrating the best it has to offer?

Send your suggestions as a short pitch to Develop’s editor-in-chief at michael.french@intentmedia.co.uk. Deadline is April 18th.

THE CATEGORIES

CREATIVITY
New IP
Use of a Licence or IP
Narrative Design
Visual Arts
Audio Accomplishment
Publishing Hero

TECHNOLOGY & SERVICES
Technical Innovation
Use of Online
Tools Provider
Engine
Audio Outsourcer
Visual Outsourcer
Services
Recruitment Company

STUDIOS
New Studio
Business Development
Micro Studio
Independent Studio
In-House Studio

SPECIAL RECOGNITION
Development Legend
Grand Prix

Creativity

New IP

Who’s Eligible?
Any UK or European studio-made IP introduced in the last year either as a boxed retail product or digital download which has introduced an original brand plus new gameplay aspects and/or original characters to consoles, portable devices or PC.

Last Year’s Winner
Enslaved (Ninja Theory)

Previous Winners
2010: Heavy Rain (Quantic Dream)
2009: LittleBigPlanet (Media Molecule)
2008: Lost Winds (Frontier Developments)
2007: MotorStorm (Evolution/SCEE)

Use of a Licence or IP

Who’s Eligible?
Any game released in the previous 12 months by a UK or European studio that is a proven quality title but is based on an external property (licensed or otherwise) not owned or created by its developer.

Last Year’s Winner
F1 2010 (Codemasters Birmingham)

Previous Winners
2010: Batman: Arkham Asylum (Rocksteady Studios)
2009: LEGO Batman (Traveller’s Tales)
2008: LEGO Indiana Jones (Traveller’s Tales)
2007: LEGO Star Wars II (Traveller’s Tales)

Narrative design

Who’s Eligible?
For this new award any game that has made clear efforts to balance and combine storytelling and gameplay design is eligible. Finalists will be those games which have successfully mixed narrative into the interactive experience.

A project’s specific writers will be credited where possible. Both boxed and download games can be considered for this award.

Visual Arts

Who’s Eligible?
Any UK or European studio that has demonstrated impressive graphical and/or distinct, iconic design work in the games or gaming content it has produced and released during the past year.

Last Year’s Winner
Limbo (Playdead)



Previous Winners
(BEST ART & AUDIO)
2010: Split/Second (Black Rock Studio)
2009: LittleBigPlanet (Media Molecule)
2008: Grand Theft Auto IV (Rockstar North)
2007: Viva Piñata (Rare)

Audio Accomplishment

Who’s Eligible?
Any UK or European studio, that has demonstrated pitch-perfect audio design, sound or music creation in its games released during the past 12 months. Use of licensed and original tracks can also be taken into account for this award.

Last Year’s Winner
Papa Sangre (Somethin’ Else)

Previous Winners
2010: DJ Hero (FreeStyleGames)
2009: Fable II (Lionhead Studios)
2008: Grand Theft Auto IV (Rockstar North)
2007: B-Boy (FreeStyleGames)

Publishing hero

Who’s Eligible?
Any games publisher, developer, hardware manufacturer, platform-holder or investor – from any country – that has supported UK and European games developers during the past year via the publishing, funding, distribution and/or co-development of new games.

Last Year’s Winner
Valve

Previous Winners
2010: Channel 4
2009: Apple
2008: Nintendo
2007: Sega

Technology and Services

Technical Innovation

Who’s Eligible?
Any UK or European studio or company that has demonstrated impressive technical innovation in any aspect of games development.

The award can be given to a specific technology, title or studio – provided it has been active/released as a new product in the last 12 months.

Last Year’s Winner
Kinect (Microsoft Research Cambridge)

Previous Winners
2010: Unity 3D (Unity Technologies)
2009: Media Molecule (LittleBigPlanet)
2008: NaturalMotion/Image Metrics (GTA IV)

 

Services


Who’s eligible?
Any UK or European company working non-creative support and production (such as QA, localisation or customer service) that has demonstrably served the needs and demands of the UK and/or European development community during the last 12 months.

Last year's winner
Audiomotion


Tools Provider

Who’s Eligible?
Any company, of any nationality, that has released middleware or tools which have enhanced or supported the work of UK or European games development teams in the past year. Developer collaboration, new technology and industry relations are all key.

Last Year’s Winner
Autodesk

Previous Winners
2010: Hansoft
2009: Autodesk
2008: Epic Games
2007: Havok
2006: NaturalMotion

Engine

Who’s Eligible?
This is an award for the best third-party engines. It’s open to any engine, regardless of where it is made, that has enhanced the work of UK or European games development teams in the past year. Weight is given to new versions or significant upgrades.

Last Year’s Winner
Unreal Engine 3 (Epic Games)

Previous Winners
2010: Unreal Engine 3 (Epic Games)
2009: Unreal Engine 3 (Epic Games)

Audio Outsourcer

Who’s Eligible?
This award acknowledges businesses or individual external contractors who have helped produce, manage or directly generate audio material (music, voice recording, or VFX) for games released in the last 12 months.

Last Year’s Winner
Side

Previous Winners
2010: Side
2009: Side and Sidelines (for Creative Outsourcing)
2008: Richard Jacques Studio (for Creative Outsourcing)

Visual Outsourcer

Who’s Eligible?
This award acknowledges businesses or individual external contractors who have helped produce, manage or directly generate visual material (CG, video or assets) for games released in the last 12 months.

Last Year’s Winner
Axis Animation

Previous Winners
2010: Axis Animation
2009: Side and Sidelines (for Creative Outsourcing)
2008: Richard Jacques Studio (for Creative Outsourcing)

Recruitment company

Who’s Eligible?
Any UK or European company working in the field of recruitment and human resources that has demonstrably served the needs and demands of the UK and/or European development community during the last 12 months.

Last Year’s Winner
Specialmove

Previous Winners
2010: Amiqus
2009: Amiqus
2008: OPM

Use of online

Who’s Eligible?
For this brand new award, any European game, studio, or global technology provider, which has pushed the envelope in terms of how games utilise the internet and connectivity is eligible.

Consideration will be given to examples from European-made games (such as specific gameplay devices) and both broader technology platforms from third-parties.

Studios

New Studio

Who’s Eligible?
Any new UK or European studio which has had its first game commercially released – either via retail or digital distribution – during the past year. However, companies do not need to have been founded during that period to qualify.

Last Year’s Winner
Mojang Specifications

Previous Winners
2010: Hello Games
2009: Media Molecule
2008: Doublesix
2007: Realtime Worlds

Business Development

Who’s Eligible?
Any UK or European studio that has, in the previous 12 months, improved its business as demonstrated by studio growth, acquisitions, investments both inward or outward and/or steps to improve its output, efficiency or commercial performance.

Last Year’s Winner
Mind Candy

Previous Winners
2010: Sony XDev
2009: Playfish
2008: Realtime Worlds
2007: Blitz Games

Micro Studio

Who’s Eligible?
Any UK or European games developer – consisting of an individual or small collective of people up to a maximum of ten – who have had significant original output in the past year.

Last Year’s Winner
Mojang Specifications

Previous Winners
2010: Hello Games

Independent studio

Who’s Eligible?
Any UK or European games development company, staffed by 11 people or more, and which is not owned or managed by a publisher working on any available game platform. Lobbying studios should have had some significant output in the last year.

Last Year’s Winner
Crytek

Previous Winners
2010: Quantic Dream
2009: Media Molecule
2008: Splash Damage

In-house studio

Who’s Eligible?
Any UK or European publisher-owned games development company or in-house games development resource – including those acquired recently – working on any currently available games platform with title(s) released in the past year.

Last Year’s Winner
Media Molecule

Previous Winners
2010: Rocksteady Studios
2009: Rockstar North
2008: Rockstar North

Special Recognition

Development Legend

WHO’S ELIGIBLE?
The winner of this award, especially chosen by the Develop team, is an individual who has made a significant impact on games development ­– in a commercial, creative or technological sense – during their lifetime and career.

Last Year’s Recipient
Ian Livingstone

Previous Winners
2010: The Gower Brothers (Jagex)
2009: Phil Harrison
2007: Ian Hetherington
2006: Charles Cecil
2005: David Braben

Grand Prix

Who’s Eligible?
This is a special award from Develop, bestowed upon a European individual or company in recognition of outstanding achievements in games over the past 12 months. The candidate is decided after soundings from the industry.

Last Year’s Winner
Rovio Mobile

Previous Winners
2010: Unity Technologies
2009: Codemasters
2008: Rockstar Games
2007: Sony Computer Entertainment
2006: Bizarre Creations

How can I take part?

Frequently asked questions

When do the awards take place?
The Develop Industry Excellence Awards take place on Wednesday, July 11th, 2012 at the Hilton Brighton Metropole Hotel.

Can I sponsor the event?
There are a number of excellent promotional possibilities at the event. Those available include opportunities for category and award sponsorship, plus supporting editorial coverage to raise your profile before, after and throughout the event.

If you are interested you can contact Alex.Boucher@intentmedia.co.uk
for more information on how you can get involved.

How can my company enter?
This one’s simple. All you need to do is send a short pitch, either as a Word document or plain text email, to Develop’s editor-in-chief at michael.french@intentmedia.co.uk.

Give us a bit of history and highlight your company’s key achievements ­in the last year – and don’t forget tell us what awards you want to be considered for.

You don’t need to go into masses of detail, as we only need an overview and a run through of what your key achievements/recent releases are. Be brief; it’s easier for you, and for us.

Remember, we know the industry very well and will have almost definitely heard of you.

You’re also actively invited to lobby for other companies across the games industry – be it publishing partners, your favourite services or outsourcing outfits, and the studios that you admire.

Lobbying isn’t voting, so there is no need to get all of your partners to put your name forward without any detail.

The deadline for lobbying is April 18th.

What’s the eligibility period?
For those awards criteria based on newly released products, please note that to be eligible the games in question must have been released somewhere in the world after May 1st, 2011 and by April  30th, 2012. That counts whether the game is a physical or digital release. Games in a commercial public beta are also eligible.

So what’s the judging process?
When all nominations are in, they are appraised by the Develop editorial team.

The team then decides upon a shortlist for each award based on the lobbying documents and industry standing.
Profiles of the shortlisted companies are then sent out to a judging panel made up of 100 industry executives hand-picked by the Develop team.

The judges confidentially disclose their choices and those with the most votes win. Simple.

The names of the judges are only named after the event.

I want to come along! How can I attend the awards?
Given the increased pressures on developers’ wallets and studio budgets in recent years we’ve actually dropped the prices – how many award events can say that?

Early bird prices, for those tickets or tables booked on or before June 8th, are: Gold Table of 10 – £1,975 + VAT; Standard Table of 10 – £1,750 + VAT; and Single Seats – £195 + VAT.

After June 8th the prices change to:
Gold Table of 10 – £2675 + VAT; Standard Table of 10 – £2350 + VAT; and Single Seats – £235 + VAT.

To book your place at the event contact kathryn.humphrey@intentmedia.co.uk

For more information visit the specially constructed Develop Awards website.