Games gurus gun for Brighton

Games gurus gun for Brighton
Michael French

By Michael French

April 11th 2008 at 10:25AM

Plans build for Julyâ??s Develop Conference and Expo as first set of speakers are named

The third annual Develop conference is set to be its biggest and most comprehensive so far, with key names from the global games industry set to descend on Brighton in July.

60 sessions across eight tracks running for three days will see over 90 games development leaders provide lectures and talks on all areas of the business.

Microsoft Games Studios’ Phil Spencer, Ubisoft’s IP director Tommy Francois, and Bungie lead programmer Damian Isla are already confirmed as speakers. So too are Relentless’ development director Andrew Eades, Frontier’s David Braben, Naughty Dog lead designer RIchard Lemarchand and Traveller’s Tales’ development director Jonathan Smith.

The event runs from July 29th to 31st at the Hilton Metropole hotel in Brighton. Develop Mobile and education event Games:Edu take place on the first day, with the full conference and expo taking place on July 30th and 31st. The Develop Industry Excellence Awards take place on July 30th also.

“Last year, more than 1,200 delegates from 29 territories attended Develop – an increase of 12 per cent on 2006,” said Andy Lane, managing director of organiser Tandem Events. “To become established so rapidly as the destination for the development community in Europe is indicative that Develop is providing the industry with the content, networking opportunities and location the industry wants from its annual gathering.”

For 2008, the Develop conference has been programmed around new themes reflecting the current state of the games industry: capitalise (asking how studios can take advantage of market trends); specialise (examining how developers can stay at the cutting edge); inspire (covering how the industry can motivate and retain staff); and enjoy (with the event providing thought-provoking features and social events reaffirming the joy of games development).

“This is the most exciting yet least appreciated point in the development cycle – game projects started now will be the ones to truly exploit Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo’s current hardware, and so define this generation. We’re therefore going back-to-basics for 2008, with a packed programme focused on perfecting the state-of-the-art,” added Owain Bennallack, Develop conference advisory board chairman.

A variety of different pass types are available for this year’s event: Super, Standard, Mobile, Audio and Expo. Discounts are available on all passes purchased before July 1st, and the expo pass is free of charge. More details can be found at the official site: www.developconference.com