How to win a Develop Award 2013

How to win a Develop Award 2013
Will Freeman

By Will Freeman

April 5th 2013 at 3:00PM

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

The prestigious Develop Awards returns  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, Use of Narrative and Online Innovation return, while this year we have updated the awards for creative outsourcing, with specific emphasis on what the games audio, CG and other creative businesses have offered to specific projects released during the eligibility period.

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 10th 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 at developlobbying@intentmedia.co.uk. Deadline is April 16th.

THE CATEGORIES

New IP
Use of a Licence or IP
Visual Arts
Audio Accomplishment
Use of Narrative
Publishing Hero
Online Innovation
Technical Innovation
Tools Provider
Engine
Services
Creative Contribution - Audio
Creative Contribution - Visuals
Recruiter
Micro Studio
Business Development
Independent Studio
In-House Studio
New Studio

SPECIAL AWARD
Development Legend

NEW IP

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

Last Year’s Winner
Frozen Synapse (Mode 7 Games)



Previous Winners

2011: Enslaved (Ninja Theory)
2010: Heavy Rain (Quantic Dream)
2009: LittleBigPlanet (Media Molecule)
2008: Lost Winds (Frontier Developments)


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
Batman: Arkham City (Rocksteady Studios)


Previous Winners
2011: F1 2010 (Codemasters Birmingham)
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)


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
Ubisoft Montpellier (Rayman Origins)


Previous Winners (BEST ART & AUDIO)
2011: Playdead (Limbo)
2010: Black Rock Studio (Split/Second)
2009: Media Molecule (LittleBigPlanet) (for Best Art & Audio)
2008: Rockstar North (GTA IV) (for Best Art & Audio)
2007: Rare (Viva Piñata) (for Best Art & Audio)


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 be taken into account.

Last Year’s Winner
EA Dice (Battlefield 3)

Previous Winners
2011: Somethin’ Else (Papa Sangre)
2010: FreeStyleGames (DJ Hero)
2009: Lionhead Studios (Fable II)
2008: Rockstar North (Grand Theft Auto IV)

USE OF NARRATIVE

Who’s Eligible?
Any game that has made clear efforts to balance and combine storytelling and gameplay design. Finalists will be those games which have successfully mixed narrative into the interactive experience. A project’s specific writers will be credited where possible.

Last Year’s Winner
Dear Esther (Thechineseroom)

PUBLISHING HERO

Who’s Eligible?
Any games publisher, developer, hardware manufacturer, platform-holder or investor – from any country – that has supported the 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
2011: Valve
2010: Channel 4
2009: Apple
2008: Nintendo

ONLINE INNOVATION

Who’s Eligible?
Any UK or European game, studio or global technology provider which has pushed the envelope in terms of how games utilise the internet and connectivity.

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

Last Year’s Winner
World of Tanks (Wargaming.net) (for Use of Online)


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 tech, title or studio – provided it has been active/released as a new product in the last 12 months.

Last Year’s Winner
Geomerics (Enlighten)

Previous Winners
2011: Microsoft Research Cambridge (Kinect)
2010: Unity Technologies (Unity 3D)
2009: Media Molecule (LittleBigPlanet)
2008: NaturalMotion/Image Metrics (GTA IV)

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
Epic Games

Previous Winners
2011: Autodesk
2010: Hansoft
2009: Autodesk

ENGINE

Who’s Eligible?
This is an award for the best third-party engines. It’s open to any engines 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
Unity 3.5 (Unity Technologies)

Previous Winners
2011: Unreal Engine 3 (Epic Games)
2010: Unreal Engine 3 (Epic Games)
2009: Unreal Engine 3 (Epic Games)

SERVICES

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
VMC Game Labs

Previous Winners
2011: Audiomotion
2010: Testology

CREATIVE CONTRIBUTION – AUDIO

Who’s Eligible?
This new award goes to a creative outsourcer for its work on an individual project in terms of the game’s audio. It acknowledges businesses or individual external contractors that 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 (for Audio Outsourcer)

Previous Winners
2011: Side (for previous Audio Outsourcer award)
2010: Side (for previous Audio Outsourcer award)
2009: Side/Sidelines (for previous Creative Outsourcing award)

CREATIVE CONTRIBUTION – VISUALS

Who’s Eligible?
This new award goes to a creative outsourcer for its work on an individual project in terms of the game’s visuals. It acknowledges businesses or individual external contractors that have helped produce, manage or directly generate visual material (CG, video or assets) for a game released in the last 12 months.

Last Year’s Winner
Cubic Motion (for Visual Outsourcer)

Previous Winners
2011: Axis Animation (for previous Visual Outsourcer award)
2010: Axis Animation (for previous Visual Outsourcer award)

RECRUITER

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
Amiqus

Previous Winners
2011: Specialmove
2010: Amiqus
2009: Amiqus
2008: OPM

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
Thechineseroom

Previous Winners
2011: Mojang Specifications
2010: Hello Games

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
NaturalMotion Games

Previous Winners
2011: Mind Candy
2010: Sony XDev
2009: Playfish
2008: Realtime Worlds

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
CCP

Previous Winners
2011: Crytek
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
Creative Assembly

Previous Winners
2011: Media Molecule
2010: Rocksteady Studios
2009: Rockstar North
2008: Rockstar North
2007: Ubisoft France

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
Bossa Studios

Previous Winners
2011: Mojang Specifications
2010: Hello Games
2009: Media Molecule
2008: Doublesix
2007: Realtime Worlds

SPECIAL RECOGNITION

This year our longstanding Development Legend accolade is the sole focus of the Special Awards, giving singular recognition to a luminary of the games making sector. And, for the first time, the Development Legend award is open to games sector icons globally.

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
David Perry
Previous Winners
2011: Ian Livingstone
2010: The Gower Brothers (Jagex)
2009: Phil Harrison

How can I take part?

When do the awards take place?
The Develop Industry Excellence Awards take place on the evening of July 10th at the Brighton Hilton Metropole, during the Develop Conference 2013.

Can I sponsor the event?
There remain a number of excellent promotional possibilities at the event. Those include opportunities for sponsoring specific awards, and supporting editorial coverage to raise your profile before, after and during the event.

Contact Alex.Boucher@intentmedia.co.uk to discuss the other high-profile sponsorship opportunities available.

How can my company enter?
This one’s simple. Send us a short pitch (around 200 words will suffice), either as a Word document, or plain text in an email body, explaining why you or the compnay you are lobbying for should be considered as a nominee.

Please also supply a bullet point list of creative, commercial and/or technical accomplishments made by your business in the eligibility period. Send all that to developlobbying@intentmedia.co.uk.

And, importantly, don’t forget to tell us what awards you want to be considered for.

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 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 5pm GMT on Tuesday, April 16th.

What’s the eligibility criteria?
Please note that to be eligible the games in question must have been released somewhere in the world after May 1st, 2012 and by April 30th, 2013.

That counts whether the game is either a physical release or a digital title. It should be noted that games in a commercial public beta phase are also eligible for the awards.

Businesses must be based in Europe to be eligible – technology or services firms from outside Europe can lobby for their relevant catagories provided that they can prove worthwhile support or collaboration with studios in the region.

Technology or services firms based in Europe that have worked on games developed outside of the region are also able to apply.

So what’s the judging process?
When all nominations are in, they are each carefully 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 nominees with the most votes win in their award category. Simple. The names of the judges are only named after the event.

I want to come along. How can I attend the awards?
As ever the Develop Awards remain an affordable way to attend a key industry event, honour you peers and network with some of the finest of the global games industry.

Single seat ticket prices remain the same price as they were last year, and the full prices after the early bird remain the same – or even cheaper in the case of the Gold Table deal.

Early bird prices, for those tickets or tables booked on or before June 7th, are: Gold Table of 10 – £2,250 + VAT; Standard Table of 10 – £1,950 + VAT; and Single Seats – £195 + VAT.

From June 8th the prices change to: Gold Table of 10 – £2650 + 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.