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February 13, 2009

Game developers conference updates content

The fourth Develop Conference, which last year attracted over 1,000 computer game developers from 30 countries, has added a new element, Evolve, which will focus on how to develop games for new platforms including mobile, iPhone and XBLA, new technologies and new markets like social and casual gaming.

The event will take place at the Hilton Metropole in Brighton, UK, from 14-16 July 2009, with the new Evolve sessions running across the first two days.

Evolve opens with three tracks on the first day (Coding & Production, Art & Design and Business), then individual sessions within the main conference programme on the Wednesday, which are cross-discipline and have a more general appeal.

The Develop Conference team has worked closely with the members of the advisory board, who represent some of the brightest and best of UK developers. It has taken on board feedback from delegates to come up with this new part of the conference, which will help game developers tackle emerging platforms and digital marketplaces, connected gaming, user-generated content and the crossover between games and internet services.

"We're looking forward to a fourth successful Develop Conference in Brighton, but that doesn’t mean we’re complacent,” said Owain Bennallack, chair of Develop Conference Advisory Board. “Our established two-day event will continue to deliver solid sessions packed with takeaway value, while our new Evolve opener is a direct response to developer demand. Fringe topics two years ago - downloadable content, microtransactions, social gaming and meshing your game with Internet services from Facebook to YouTube - are now centre stage, and it no longer makes sense to ghettoize sub-sectors like online, casual and mobile.”

Evolve is designed to help programmers and producers tasked with integrating connected features into their games, for games designers exploring how to create compelling games with user-generated and social networking content, and for managers and entrepreneurs set on exploiting the expanding crossover potential of casual games, social networking, mobile phones and today's connected games consoles.

It will also facilitate more cross-fertilisation of ideas between the different sectors of the game development community and offer better networking opportunities.

“We’re constantly striving to ensure that the Develop Conference stays at the sharp end of games development, and that it tackles the issues facing today’s developers – and provides solutions – whatever the area of development they’re involved in,” said Andy Lane, managing director Tandem Events, which organises the conference. “The programme is shaping up very well and, once again, developers can look forward to some insightful and thought-provoking sessions from many of the industry’s top names.”

Entry to the conference has also been simplified this year, with visitors able to secure one-day, two-day or three-day passes, to provide more flexibility and value for money.

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