Schedule

EARLY BADGE PICKUP
2018-01-21
DAY 1 – Monday
2018-01-22
XR TRACK ROOM
DAY 2 – Tuesday
2018-01-23
XR TRACK ROOM
XR TRACK ROOM
XR TRACK ROOM
16:00 - 18:00
Early Registration

An opportunity to pick up your badge early and avoid the rush on Day 1.

Although access to the venue will be restricted, we’ll get you signed in so you’re ready to hit the ground running the following morning.

08:30 - 18:00
Registration

You want to come in? You’ll need a badge. And Registration is the solution to that mini quest.

10:00 - 10:20
Indie Survival In An Unreal Journey

Before joining Epic Games, Sjoerd De Jong built mods, created learning resources, and independently developed games. In this session, Sjoerd will talk about how the Unreal Engine and its community has helped him thrive for almost two decades, and how it helped him develop and sell more than 200,000 copies of his most recent game, The Solus Project. In covering challenges that indies face in today’s competitive market, Sjoerd will give tips and insight into working with the press and online community.

Sjoerd De Jong
Unreal Engine Evangelist at Epic Games
10:20 - 10:40
Premium To Free-to-Play – What Worked, What Didn’t And What We Would Do Differently Next Time Around
James Brooksby
CEO at Edge Case Games
10:40 - 11:00
Latest Trends Of Crowdfunding And Video Games

Crowdfunding video games is often seen through the lenses of the very successful projects, the ones that raise millions of dollars. There are opportunities for projects of all sizes though, and this session will show the latest trends, across the different platforms, and highlight the opportunities that currently exist for video games on those platforms and the best practices and state of the art to maximise those opportunities.

Thomas Bidaux
CEO at ICO Partners
11:20 - 11:40
Taking You To The Next Level In Video Game Tax Relief

If you’re working in video games, you already know it’s one of the UK’s fastest moving industries.

Video Game Tax Relief could see you getting lot of your costs back. Games for consoles, PC and mobile devices are all covered, as long as they’re not designed for advertising or gambling. Even if you’re making a loss, you could still end up with a valuable tax credit.

In 2015 alone, 237 games had their claims approved, with 116 companies getting their official certification. In all, the total costs that qualified for VGTR came to an incredible £181 million. Of 121 games still in development, they’re looking at qualifying expenditure of around £548 million.

Liam Dowe
Business Development Lead at RIFT Group
11:40 - 12:00
A Conversation With… Ben Andac – All Your Questions About Pitching & Indie Publishing Answered

A moderated Q&A session where we’re going to putting YOUR burning questions about indie publishing to Ben Andac from Good Shepherd and formerly of Sony PlayStation. Join this session if you have questions and want to know about pitching, material prep, publishing, concerns, fears, dos & don’ts and so on.

Ben Andac
Developer Relations at Good Shepherd
12:00 - 12:20
Indie Dev On The Road – How B2C Events Can Help Shape Development

Developing your game with the feedback from real players or how B2C events can shape development.

Ricardo Flores
Producer & Marketing at Fun Punch Games
12:20 - 12:40
How Work-For-Hire Can Help To Build Your Studio
Stefano Petrullo
Founder at Renaissance PR
Simon Iwaniszak
MD at Red Kite Games
12:40 - 13:00
It’s Time To Be Realistic About PC Sales Figures

Every day, Mike Rose of publishing label No More Robots hears from developers who believe their upcoming PC game will sell tens of thousands of copies — yet up-to-date Steam sales figures show that this is probably not the case. It’s time to get realistic about how well PC games are truly selling.

Mike Rose
Founder at No More Robots
13:00 - 14:00
LUNCH BREAK

Time to feed those fine neurons of yours.

14:00 - 14:20
Picking A Publishing Partner

Getting noticed is tough! A short presentation with a mixture of contextual and practical advice on pitching your project to a potential publishing partner.

Matthew Benson
MD at Team17
14:20 - 14:40
The Importance Of Awareness In 2018

Marketing and community are both important – but the signs are that they’ll be more important than ever in 2018. Here are some thoughts on why, and how the market has changed in the past twelve months.

Phil Elliott
Director of Indie Publishing at Square Enix West
14:40 - 15:00
An Introduction To Marketing PC Indie Games

The PC market has been saturated for some time, for both triple-A and indie titles, with more games coming out year on year, and especially for smaller developers, it can seem an overwhelming task to get discoverability and significant sales without big marketing teams and budgets. In this short session I’ll be giving a quick introduction to how to market your PC indie games, with an emphasis on free or very cost-effective tactics covering all the basics from finding an audience for your game to getting noticed on social media.

Alex Moyet
Marketing director at Curve Digital
15:00 - 15:20
Lessons From Working On Resident Evil 7’s Campaign
Steve Burns
Co-Founder at SpecialGun Productions
David Mills
Co-Founder at SpecialGun Productions
15:00 - 15:20
Beyond The Bubble

How SpecialGun’s founders looked beyond beyond their previous industry experience (games) when founding a video production company in order to differentiate their offering, and why key hires from other industries helps enormously with creative.

Steve Burns
Co-Founder at SpecialGun Productions
David Mills
Co-Founder at SpecialGun Productions
15:20 - 16:00
The Indie Publishing Panel
Jupiter Hadley
Senior Writer at AlphaBetaGamer.com
Simon Byron
Publishing Director at Curve Digital
Peter Willington
Producer at Auroch Digital
James Vaughan
Founder & CEO at Ndemic Creations
Andreea Chifu
High Priestess at Raw Fury
Agostino Simonetta
[email protected] Regional Lead – EMEA at Microsoft
16:20 - 16:40
Level Up Your Pitching And Presenting Skills

Communication Coach Jon Torrens will share tips for pitching at maximum power to secure investment for your game. Everything from writing concise, attention-grabbing material (to make your game idea easy to understand and utterly irresistible) to techniques for owning the room and conveying your priceless gem with supreme, level 99 confidence.

Jon Torrens
Communication Coach
16:40 - 17:00
Social Media Manager Vs Community Manager – What’s The Difference?

Imperia Online Ltd. is one of the biggest game production companies in SEE with 25 released games. With over 40 million users worldwide, the studio has lots of experience when it comes to social presence. Learn more about the real game-changers: the people behind the scenes with keen attention to detail to the company’s social accounts, because social media has become the go-to channel for customer care, content creation and branding for modern businesses and you cannot escape the trend.

Mariela Tzvetanova
Chief Marketing Officer at Imperia Online
17:00 - 17:40
The Press, PR, & Influencer Panel
James Batchelor
UK Editor at GamesIndustry.biz
Stefano Petrullo
Founder at Renaissance PR
Joel Gregory
Editorial Director at PCGamesN
Caroline Miller
Director at Indigo Pearl
Tracey McGarrigan
CMO at Bossa Studios
09:00 - 17:00
Registration

You want to come in? You’ll need a badge. And Registration is the solution to that mini quest.

10:00 - 10:20
PC To Mobile To PC – Interoperable Gaming
Matthew Kemp
Senior Product Manager at Jagex
10:20 - 10:40
Molecular Game Design – Tools And Practices

A presentation of tools and practices that streamline the conception and pre-production processes, and an introduction of Molecular Design—a game design method that focuses on player skills while constructing systems and mechanics.

Bave Grozdanov
Creative Director at BigBlue Studios
10:40 - 11:00
The Power Of Communities – How Indie Devs Make Friends And Find Customers

Juju Adams (Hyper Light Drifter; Swords Of Ditto) takes you through how indie devs make friends and find customers through honest community building.

Julian ‘Juju’ Adams
Games Programmer
11:00 - 11:20
Best Practices When Creating Your Multiplayer Game

Hear from Multiplay all about all about the best practices to consider whilst developing your next Multiplayer game.

Working alongside developers to ship over 150 different games to date, Will has seen and heard it all. Learn the common pitfalls and how to avoid them to release a great game!

Will Lowther
Head of Product Development and Strategy at Multiplay
11:20 - 11:40
Creating Large Scope Projects With An Independent Studio

In 2017, German studio Deck13 released “The Surge”, a game that had to compete with the big players, sporting a developer team of approx. 60 people and a budget below 10 million Euros. In his talk, Jan describes what made it a success, both for the studio and for the players, and gives insights into the studio organization, to explain what independent teams need to do in order to survive, get better, and excel at their goals.

Jan Klose
Creative Director at Deck13 Interactive
11:40 - 12:00
HTML5 Games Technology In 2018

The web platform moves quickly. Just a few years ago, many developers saw HTML5 as a weak alternative to native. The situation has changed considerably. Learn about how far the web platform has come, with technologies like WebAssembly and WebGL 2. Get a taste of things to come, with technologies like OffscreenCanvas, next-generation graphics, workers, and more.

Ashley Gullen
Director at Scirra
12:00 - 12:20
Prototyping Doesn’t Work (The Way You Might Think)

Playniac spent a year prototyping their new survival card battler, Insane Robots, and another year developing it. But what is great in a prototype might not work in the actual game. Worse still, your prototype might actually prevent you from spotting important design opportunities. Using examples from real-world productions and quotes from industry experts, this talk shows how to handle the “phase change” from prototype to actual game, spot prototyping issues and fix your prototyping process, giving you useful tools for your own games.

Takeaway:

  • Approaches to prototyping – what does and doesn’t work
  • Quotes and case studies from industry experts
  • The benefits of prototyping before and during development
  • What transfers well from prototype to digital game
  • What doesn’t transfer; and why
  • Tools you can use in your own games
Rob Davis
Founder & Director at Playniac
12:20 - 12:40
“They’ll Remember That” – Writing Choices In Games

Games are choices. To play is to make decisions about where to go, what to do, and how to do it. But how does one personalize those basic choices so they become memorable, powerful experiences? Today, my hope is to offer you a practical framework for examining your stories and maximizing their impact in an interactive medium.

Cash DeCuir
Narrative Designer at Failbetter Games
12:40 - 13:00
Making Games With Strangers – Decentralising Game Development

It turns out the film making model of freelancers coming together from around the world can and does work beautifully in our industry too. Dramatically lower overhead, better lifestyle, and a limitless talent pool that can live literally anywhere in the world has made this the only way we would make a game. I’m going to talk about why it works for us and why it might work for you.

Susan Cummings
Founder & Executive Producer at Tiny Rebel Games
13:00 - 14:00
LUNCH BREAK

You’re safe. Enough hours have passed since last night’s Connects party. Time to re-fuel.

14:00 - 14:40
All Games Are Equal, But Some Games Are More Equal – Adapting Animal Farm Into A Game
Georg Backer
Founder & Director at A BRAVE PLAN
Andy Payne
Chairman at AppyNation
Imre Jele
Developer of Animal Farm Game
14:40 - 15:00
TLDR – Making A Small Game, Well

A summary of the production of Subsurface Circular, a short game made in 6 months and a look at the lessons learned.

Mike Bithell
Founder at Bithell Games
15:00 - 15:20
3 Dads, Some Beer, And A BUNKER

The brief story of how and why the 2016 critically acclaimed FMV hit “The BUNKER” came to be. Why a hairdresser, a writer and a Tom Selleck look-a-like made a video game(without knowing how) and a movie at the same time.

Simon Sparks
Co-Founder & CEO at Splendy Games
15:20 - 15:40
Senua’s Sacrifice – Breaking Through

An insight into the making of Ninja Theory’s Independent AAA hit Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, where they attempted to blaze a trail for a new form of development: Taking a small team of 20 people and independently creating a AAA quality title that boasts the creative richness of an indie title. The presentation will cover the rationale behind the approach, the methods used and the results.

Dominic Matthews
Commercial Director at Ninja Theory
15:40 - 16:00
What To Do When You Suddenly Find Yourself Making An MMO

A rapid-fire tour of the ups and downs of making an MMO with less than 10 people on unproven tech.

What was it like hitting public playable in less than 6 months? How do you scale your team over 100% at short notice?

What kinds of headaches can you expect and how do you mitigate them? And perhaps most importantly of all, how on earth did all this happen – how can a tiny studio play with the big boys, and come out swinging?

Andrew Smith
Founder at Spilt Milk Studios
16:00 - 16:40
Football Manager – Art Imitating Life
Miles Jacobson OBE
Director at Sports Interactive
Michael French
Head of Games at Games London
16:40 - 17:00
Tales From Production Line Hell

The design, production and early access release of Production Line, the indie PC strategy game, from its first concept as a side-scrolling game in the 1900s to its final form as an isometric business sim set in the modern age. Why this genre was picked? the inspiration and the development challenges of producing a strategy/sim game with a single designer & programmer.

Cliff Harris
CEO at Positech
17:00 - 17:20
The Making Of Ogre

Nina Adams will be talking about Auroch Digital’s latest port of Steve Jackson’s iconic ‘Ogre’ to PC. In this talk, the Producer, Nina, will be covering topics such as; how to manage an existing IP with a cult following and how to underestimate a ‘simple’ board game port.

Nina Adams
Production Manager at Auroch Digital
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