Develop in Brighton

From the 29th-31st of July I have been flitting around The Hilton in Brighton, fetching water, packing bags, standing at doors, talking nervously to as many of the attendees as possible, stuffing my face with free food and drinking far too much at the bars I managed to get to. At the end of each night I’d stagger home by the beach to my cheap hotel, where I lie awake until 2am as the thudding of music downstairs reverberates through the building, and a cockroach stalks my bathroom.

This was my experience of Develop in Brighton as a volunteer, and, it was absolutely wonderful (well, aside from Mr. Cockroach). I would do it again if it was happening tomorrow.

Volunteering, obviously your priority is to help all the attendees and fetch water for the speakers, among other menial tasks, but the rest of the time I was able to spend standing in on some interesting talks from the conference’s speakers. While I understand the conference wouldn’t appeal to someone purely interested in a good game, all the talks should inspire the developers who attended; different work models (to avoid “crunch”), techniques to scale down games for mobile devices, how developers and journalists view one another, along with programming lectures, education panels and a day of audio talks. I wish I’d been able to attend more of them!

The way that information and strategy is shared so freely is admirable, these are all people working under different publishers, on rival games, and differing platforms. Even the most experienced people are completely willing to share their pearls of wisdom with anyone who asks, even if you are a lowly volunteer dressed like a lemon.

We all know gamers’ themselves have broken out of the adolescent male in bedroom stereotype, perhaps it’s worth mentioning that the people who create, design and make the games’ we’re playing only seem to fit characteristics of talkative, sociable, helpful, and friendly. I haven’t met anyone the least bit condescending, even though so many of the bodies that attended Brighton have every right to be. Particularly when addressing a lemon.

One talk struck a particular chord with me; that games perhaps shouldn’t strive to be more like films, but should instead, to quote, “pillage” what they can from films, while adding the interactivity and freedom that only games can provide. I agree implicitly, why should games try to copy exactly what films are doing? It makes sense to see what a film does right, and take from it what you can, then play to the strengths that games have over other forms of entertainment.

It would be exciting to see how the attendees interpreted what they learned from this years’ conference, and if they can put any new knowledge into practise. All in all this was a very exciting event, and a great experience to mingle alongside developers and journalists alike. If developers can share their secrets, mistakes and ideas, it can only spell better games for us to play in the future.



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One response to “Develop in Brighton”

  1. Aerithscar avatar

    Wish I had known about this, I would love to speak to someone inside the game’s industry as it’s something I would love to break into eventually. Until then it’s back to Hammer to make a TF2 map.

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