Join us at Develop:Brighton
It's time for another trip down to the beautiful seaside town of Brighton. This year's Develop is once again crammed full of amazing speakers, comfy beanbags and loads of games for you to try out. If you're heading across to the conference, make sure to swing by the Epic Networking Lounge and say hello. We'll be on hand to answer questions about the engine and beyond, plus we'd love to see what you are working on!
Showcasing in our booth this year, we have the six semi-finalists of our Developing Beyond competition, in partnership with Wellcome. Based on the theme 'Transformations', the six teams have spent the last few months hard at work developing a playable protoype which will be judged during Develop, with the 3 winning teams receiving $60,000 of funding to continue developing until the final in January 2018.
Everyone is welcome to come by and check out their games!
Cure Me! (working title) by Sluggerfly
“Cure Me!” is a first-person asynchronous multiplayer game. One side controls an entity that can rapidly evolve and take on characteristics of different life forms such as bacteria, parasites or fungi. The other side plays as human scientists trying to prevent it from breaking out of quarantine. This is a biological arms race in fast forward.
Ecce Homo by Holy Warp
“Ecce Homo: A Journey Through the Dark” is a 3D action adventure game which explores the life of the early humans or, to be more precise, the evolution of the homo genus: from the earliest bipedal to anatomically modern human. The game is split into 11 segments (levels or chapters), with each chapter focusing on major milestones in development of early humans.
Seed by All Seeing Eye
“Seed” is a virtual reality game where players can discover, grow and engineer generative plant life. The game immerses the player into a visually stunning environment, using hand tracking to allow players to craft unique and beautiful plants which grow quickly before their eyes. As the planet’s population expands, the relationship with plants and crops is crucial to human survival. In the face of a changing world Seed aims to explore this relationship by taking inspiration from seed banks and the roles they play.
Singularity by Random Logic Interactive
“Singularity” is an interactive allegorical story with strategic elements about human transformation during the digital era and how seemingly logical beings are affected by information, and how we can become both “good Samaritans” and “Terminators” through apparently logical conclusions. In Singularity an AI transforms constantly to adapt itself to new obstacles, which serves as an allegory to human transformation and adaptation to new conditions, and explores how decision making, morality, information and context shapes both how we think and how we behave.
Terramars by Untold Games
In “Terramars” the player manages six crew members in a mission to start the terraforming of Mars. In order to do so, they will have to manage the planet’s resources, development of the human’s base camp and, most importantly, the repercussions on the mental and physical health of the astronauts from the conditions in which they’re living. Alongside exploring the transformation of the planet, Terramars explores the challenges and stresses on human bodies, minds and social relationships when adapting to life in an alien environment.
Winter Hall by Lost Forest Games
“Winter Hall,” a narrative exploration game about the legacy of the Black Death, enables the player to leap through time and live a few hours in the lives of a connected web of characters. As the player explores the world from their first-person perspective, and items and stories set in that era will be surfaced. The game sees the player transform into different people throughout time, and explores their lives and the changes that occur through the years.
Alongside our booth, there's a host of talks from Unreal developers at this years conference. Covering topics from design tips to production advice, from indie pitfalls to physics eureka moments there's something of interest for everyone! Check out the list below for details or view the full conference schedule here.
AAA Design Done Small: Designing The Flame in the Flood
Forrest Dowling, The Molasses Flood
12-Jul-2017 - 12:15 - 13:00 - Room 3 - Design Track
The Flame in the Flood was the first indie title from a team of AAA developers. This talk explores the design process from conception to ship, including kickstarting, early access, and final launch. The process was heavily informed by lessons learned from years spent in the mines of AAA game development, which helped the process of making a small title go smoothly, although not flawlessly. That’s never happened. Included in the talk are many clips of early prototypes and false starts, all of which are terrible and well worth seeing, as well as a lot of behind the scenes looks at the design process and documentation work Forrest Dowling has used throughout his career as a designer.
Indie Opportunities in AR/VR/MR
Simon Barratt, Cooperative Innovations
12-Jul-2017 - 12:15 - 13:00 - Room 5 - Indie Track
Simon comes from a background of running independent studio Four Door Lemon for 10 years producing a range of mobile, console and handheld games both original and work-for-hire. In 2016 he co-founded Cooperative Innovations a new studio focused on Social AR and VR games, hear about their lessons learned, the state of the market, the opportunities for indies in this space and how to capitalise on them.
Lessons learned are:
- To scope correctly for the market and platform
- To spot the promotion opportunities soon
- To act in a transparent and open manner, even more so than we did in previous companies
- To build on top of other technology and to choose battles carefully with a small team size
- That new markets are very fast moving
FREE: Wearer of All the Hats: Marketing for Indie Developers
Jess Hider, Unreal Engine
12-Jul-2017 - 16:00 - 16:45 - Room 1 - Indie Bootcamp
When working in small teams, time is tight and everyone has to pitch in for tasks that may not be their specialty with marketing often being sidelined until the end of development. In a time where gaining exposure is key, marketing can't be left as an afterthought.
Having come from an Indie development background and now working with developers to promote their work, Jess will run through simple best practices for marketing a project and share her experiences of promoting games both as an Indie and as a Community Manager.
FREE: Bears Can’t Drift!? The Pitfalls of Game Development
Arran Langmead, Strangely Named Studio
13-Jul-2017 - 11:00 - 11:30 - Room 1 - Indie Bootcamp
Watch as an indie developer rips apart a game he spent 3 years creating without writing a single line of code. Gasp in shock as he digs into the errors made in its creation, marketing and subsequent release. It will be brutal, and hopefully even informative.
Snake Physics – The Making of Snaking
Sebastiaan Liese, Sumo Digital
13-Jul-2017 - 14:00 - 14:45 - Room 5 - Design Track
Choosing to create a game character based on a creature that terrifies most people isn’t the most obvious idea for a fun, non-violent video game so what made Seb choose a serpent?
From humble beginners as a prototype of a piece of rope Seb will talk through the evolution of Snake Pass – from the design challenges of making a 3D game for a character that climbs but doesn’t have limbs; the real ‘snake physics’ of coiling, slithering and squeezing and the metamorphosis of the graphics style over the course of development.
Jumping to Conclusions - How to Teach a Player Something They Think They Already Know
Chris Wilson, Cardboard Sword
13-Jul-2017 - 15:00 - 15:30 - Room 4 - Indie Track
Chris Wilson, Design Director at Cardboard Sword, reflects on the challenge of teaching a complex control scheme that breaks from the genre norms. When the team began work on ‘The Siege and The Sandfox’, the rare blend of parkour and stealth meant combining two disparate jumps that often left players confused. This talk covers the journey from awkward jump to confident leap as the team learned how to convey the movement system through level design and careful application of psychological concepts.
Breaking The Chain: How Good Production Management Helps Get Your Indie Game to Market
Benjamin Hill, ADVECT Productions
13-Jul-2017 - 16:00 - 16:45 - Room 4 - Indie Track
Benjamin Hill, Producer and Indie Game Developer, discusses the importance of good production management, arguing that independent game developers need to develop skills and give focus to production planning in the same manner that they would with good game design. Focusing on practical advice, Benjamin explores indie game 'QUBE 2' by Toxic Games and Trapped Nerve as a case study to communicate accessible techniques in budgeting, scheduling and team management; all of which have helped fast track development and maintain high production values across all discipline areas in development of the project.
Questions answered include; how quality production can keep independent projects on schedule and in budget, how good production documentation can help indie studios access further funding, how producers help maintaining healthy relationships between development team members via clear communication methods, and how good production management can help break the constraints of your development chains, getting your awesome indie game to market.