How to Win a Develop Award

How to Win a Develop Award
Michael French

By Michael French

April 8th 2010 at 12:55PM

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

In three months the cream of European games development will once again descend on Brighton to see the best of the best honoured at the 2010 Develop Awards. But how can you make sure you are in the running to win one?

Lobbying for the awards is now open. Here we run through the criteria for each. And pay attention, there are some changes and new awards.

From an actual prize perspective, the awards are a mix of the new and classic ­­– last year’s Best Engine award is back, while long running prizes like Best New IP, Best Independent Developer and Business Development remain.

However we’ve also added in Best Micro Studio, a new award to acknowledge the burgeoining and busy indie scene in the UK and Europe. What does ‘indie’ mean? To most it’s a vague, ethical label – but we’ve drawn the boundary to teams of 10 staff maximum, working on self-funded original IPs.

Another big change is when it comes to cost. We know budgets are tight, so we’ve reduced the prices for tables and tickets to make the event as accessible as possible. 500 games development execs from across the industry and around the world usually turn up to the Develop Awards, and its now never been easier to join them.

New prizes for disruptive developers and more affordable admission are just two facets of an awards show that gives everyone pushing the boundaries of games development, both creatively and commercially, their moment in the spotlight.

But none of that will happen without suggestions from readers on who should be put forward as a finalists. So read through the below guide to the event and have a think about whether you, your partners, or colleagues should be considered.

As ever, lobbying is free, and is an open process that allows everyone to have their say. It’s the only way to make sure that the right people get their chance to shine on the night of July 14th at the Metropole Hotel in Brighton. See you there.

Michael French
Editor-in-Chief
Develop

THE CATEGORIES

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

TECHNOLOGY & SERVICES
Technical Innovation
Best Tools Provider
Best Engine
Creative Outsourcing
Services
Recruitment Company

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

SPECIAL RECOGNITION
Development Legend
Grand Prix

Creativity

Best New IP


Who’s Eligible?
Any UK or European studio-made IP released in the last year – download or otherwise – that has introduced a new brand, gameplay aspects and/or original characters to consoles, portable devices or PC.

How to Lobby: Send a 300 word pitch about your company/game and its achievements in the last 12 months to developawards@intentmedia.co.uk. Further details can be found at the bottom of this page.

Last Year’s Winner
2009: LittleBigPlanet (Media Molecule)

Previous Winners
2008: Lost Winds (Frontier Developments)
2007: MotorStorm (Evolution/SCEE)
2006: Console IP - Buzz! (Relentless/Sony External Development) PC IP – Fahrenheit (Quantic Dream)
2005: Far Cry (Crytek)

Best Use of a Licence or IP


Who’s Eligible?
Any game released in the last year 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.

How to Lobby: Send a 300 word pitch about your company/game and its achievements in the last 12 months to developawards@intentmedia.co.uk. Further details can be found at the bottom of this page.

Last Year’s Winner
2009: Lego Batman (Traveller’s Tales)

Previous Winners
2008: Lego Indiana Jones (Traveller’s Tales)
2007: Lego Star Wars II (Traveller’s Tales)
2006: King Kong (Ubisoft France)
2005: Lego Star Wars (Traveller’s Tales)

Visual Arts


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

How to Lobby:
Send a 300 word pitch about your company/game and its achievements in the last 12 months to developawards@intentmedia.co.uk. Further details can be found at the bottom of this page.

Last Year’s Winner
2009: Media Molecule (LittleBigPlanet)

Previous Winners (Best Art & Audio)
2008: Rockstar North (Grand Theft Auto IV)
2007: Rare (Viva Piñata)

Audio Accomplishment


Who’s Eligible?
Any UK or European studio, or creative services company working in the audio space, that has shown pitch-perfect audio design, sound or music production skills in its output during the past year. Use of licensed and original tracks will also be taken into account.

How to Lobby: Send a 300 word pitch about your company/game and its achievements in the last 12 months to developawards@intentmedia.co.uk. Further details can be found at the bottom of this page.

Last Year’s Winner
2009: Lionhead Studios (Fable II)

Previous Winners
2008: Rockstar North (Grand Theft Auto IV)
2007: FreeStyleGames (B-Boy)

Publishing Hero


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

How to Lobby: Send a 300 word pitch about your company/game and its achievements in the last 12 months to developawards@intentmedia.co.uk. Further details can be found at the bottom of this page.

Last Year’s Winner
2009: Apple

Previous Winners
2008: Nintendo
2007: Sega
2006: SCEE
2005: SCi

Technology & 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 new product in the last 12 months.

How to Lobby: Send a 300 word pitch about your company/game and its achievements in the last 12 months to developawards@intentmedia.co.uk. Further details can be found at the bottom of this page.

Last Year’s Winner
2009: LittleBigPlanet (Media Molecule)

Previous Winners
2008: NaturalMotion/Image Metrics (GTA IV)
2007: Realtime Worlds (Crackdown)
2006: Relentless/Sony External Developments (Buzz!)
2005: Morpheme (Bluetooth Biplanes)

Best 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 versions and industry relations are all key.

How to Lobby: Send a 300 word pitch about your company/game and its achievements in the last 12 months to developawards@intentmedia.co.uk. Further details can be found at the bottom of this page.

Last Year’s Winner
2009: Autodesk

Previous Winners
2008: Epic Games
2007: Havok
2006: NaturalMotion
2005: Havok

Creative Outsourcing


Who’s Eligible?
This award acknowledges businesses or individual external contractors who have helped produce, manage or directly generate creative material – in areas such as audio, art or writing – for games released in the last 12 months and had distinct input into the title(s).

How to Lobby: Send a 300 word pitch about your company/game and its achievements in the last 12 months to developawards@intentmedia.co.uk. Further details can be found at the bottom of this page.

Last Year’s Winner
2009: Side and Sidelines

Previous Winners
2008: Richard Jacques Studio

Best Engine


Who’s Eligible?
Now in its second year, this is an award for third-party engines. The award is 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.

How to Lobby: Send a 300 word pitch about your company/game and its achievements in the last 12 months to developawards@intentmedia.co.uk. Further details can be found at the bottom of this page.

Last Year’s Winner
2009: Epic Games


Services


Who’s Eligible?
Any UK or European company that provides core games services or functions supporting the world’s games developers in fields such as testing, user experience, localisation, quality assurance, motion capture and the like.

How to Lobby: Send a 300 word pitch about your company/game and its achievements in the last 12 months to developawards@intentmedia.co.uk. Further details can be found at the bottom of this page.

Last Year’s Winner
2009: Audiomotion

Previous Winners
2008: Babel Media
2007: Babel Media
2006: Side UK
2005: Babel Media
2004: Audiomotion

Recruitment Company


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

How to Lobby: Send a 300 word pitch about your company/game and its achievements in the last 12 months to developawards@intentmedia.co.uk. Further details can be found at the bottom of this page.

Last Year’s Winner
2009: Amiqus

Previous Winners
2008: OPM
2007: Datascope
2006: OPM
2005: Datascope
2004: Aardvark Swift

Studios

Best 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. Companies do not need to have been founded during that period, however.

How to Lobby: Send a 300 word pitch about your company/game and its achievements in the last 12 months to developawards@intentmedia.co.uk. Further details can be found at the bottom of this page.

Last Year’s Winner
2009: Media Molecule

Previous Winners
2008: Doublesix
2007: Realtime Worlds
2006: BigBig
2005: Juice Games
2004: Swordfish Studios

Business Development


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

How to Lobby: Send a 300 word pitch about your company/game and its achievements in the last 12 months to developawards@intentmedia.co.uk. Further details can be found at the bottom of this page.

Last Year’s Winner
2009: Playfish

Previous Winners
2008: Realtime Worlds
2007: Blitz

Best Handheld Games Studio


Who’s Eligible?
Any UK or European games development company creating and/or producing games for mobile devices and/or handheld games platforms, such as iPhone/iPad, Android, PSP or DS. Studios should have had some significant output in the last 12 months.

How to Lobby: Send a 300 word pitch about your company/game and its achievements in the last 12 months to developawards@intentmedia.co.uk. Further details can be found at the bottom of this page.

Last Year’s Winner
2009: Rockstar Leeds

Previous Winners
2008: Idealworks 3D
2007: Rockstar Leeds
2006: Gameloft
2005: Morpheme
2004: IOMO

Best Micro Studio


Who’s Eligible?
A new award for 2010 representing the diversity in the games development scene, this award is for any UK or European games developer – consisting of an individual or small collective of people up to a maximum of 10 – who have had significant, self-funded and original output in the past year.

How to Lobby: Send a 300 word pitch about your company/game and its achievements in the last 12 months to developawards@intentmedia.co.uk. Further details can be found at the bottom of this page.

Best Independent Studio


Who’s Eligible?
Any UK or European games development company, that is 11 staff or more strong, 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 12 months.

How to Lobby: Send a 300 word pitch about your company/game and its achievements in the last 12 months to developawards@intentmedia.co.uk. Further details can be found at the bottom of this page.

Last Year’s Winner
2009: Media Molecule

Previous Winners
2008: Splash Damage
2007: Traveller’s Tales
2006: Traveller’s Tales
2005: Traveller’s Tales
2004: Crytek

Best 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.

How to Lobby: Send a 300 word pitch about your company/game and its achievements in the last 12 months to developawards@intentmedia.co.uk. Further details can be found at the bottom of this page.

Last Year’s Winner
2009: Rockstar North

Previous Winners
2008: Rockstar North
2007: Ubisoft France
2006: Criterion
2005: Rockstar North
2004: Ubisoft France

Industry 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.

How to Lobby: The winner of this award is chosen by Develop after sounding from the games industry – but you are welcome to make suggestions via developawards@intentmedia.co.uk.

Last Year's Winner
2009: Phil Harrison

Previous Winners
2007: Ian Hetherington
2006: Charles Cecil
2005: David Braben
2004: Peter Molyneux

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.

How to Lobby: The winner of this award is chosen by Develop after sounding from the games industry – but you are welcome to make suggestions via developawards@intentmedia.co.uk.

Last Year’s Winner
2009: Codemasters

Previous Winners
2008: Rockstar Games
2007: Sony Computer Entertainment
2006: Bizarre Creations
2005: Creative Assembly
2004: Sony London Studios

Need to know more? Frequently Asked Questions


When do the Awards take place?
The Develop Industry Excellence Awards take place on Wednesday, July 14th, 2010 at the Hilton Brighton Metropole Hotel.

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 the Develop team via developawards@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.

But you don’t need to go into masses of detail, we only need an overview and a run through of what your key achievements/recent releases. We know the industry well – and have probably heard of you.

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

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 by the end of June. That counts whether the game is a physical or digital release.

When is the deadline for lobbying?
We need all your ideas, details and suggestions by May 13th. There will be plenty of reminders issued via www.develop-online.net.

So what’s the judging process?
When the nominations are all 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 of 100 industry executives chosen by the Develop team. The judges confidentially disclose their choices and those with the most votes win. Simple. Judges are only named after the event.

I want to come! How much is it to attend?
Given the increased pressures on developers’ wallets and studio budgets in 2010 we’ve actually dropped the prices – how many award events can say that?

Early bird prices, for those tickes or tables booked on or before June 7th, are: Gold Table of 10 – £1,975 + VAT; Standard Table of 10 – £1,750 + VAT; and Single Seats – £175 + VAT.

After June 7th the prices change to: Gold Table of 10 – £2475 + VAT; Standard Table of 10 – £2290 + VAT; and Single Seats are £235 + VAT.

To book your place at the event contact Kathryn.Humphrey@intentmedia.co.uk

Can I sponsor the event?
There are a number of excellent promotional possibilities at the event that include category and award sponsorship, plus supporting coverage to raise your profile before, after and during the event.
 
Contact Katie.Rawlings@intentmedia.co.uk for more information on how you can get involved.