EN catches up with Tandem Events, the organiser of Develop Brighton and other key conference and exhibitions for game developers.
Who is Develop: Brighton aimed at?
It’s for anyone involved in the business of games. So it’s for everyone from the game designers to the programmers, coders, audio management and anyone else involved with all stages of consumer video game development.
What are its event components?
We’ve been at the Hilton in Brighton since July 2006 and we’ve been growing the event year-on-year. We’ve a three-day conference with around 100 sessions from top quality speakers. Running alongside the Develop: Brighton conference is a two-day Expo. It’s free for all visitors to attend and brings together some of Europe’s most innovative companies from every sector of games development. The Expo also features the Indie Showcase, which demo’s some of the best independently developed projects around. Then we have a whole programme of networking and social events.
We also run a game jam, which is a free competition for developers. They can come along, work on a project for 24-hours and come out the other side with a game that gets showcased to our audience during the event.
How much do you consider diversity when choosing conference speakers and planning sessions?
Our core aim is to make sure we are representative of the entire gaming industry and that we’ve got a rich mix of varying talents, skill-sets and creatives on the programme. If we have that, we know that we’ll have a strong cross-section of gender and race. We’ve always prided ourselves on being inclusive, from the smallest independent developer right up to the largest studio.
What’s special about Brighton that keeps you returning year after year?
It’s such a creative community in Brighton but it’s also easy to access from London so we know we’ll get the London crowd as well as the Brighton set. Also, Brighton has such a great range of accommodation, from Airbnbs to five-star hotels so visitors and exhibitors can choose depending on their budget or at what stage their business is at.
How is the game market currently?
It’s thriving. We’ve been analysing this industry for the past 26 years so we’ve got a good perspective on current and future trends, where it’s heading and what developers need to know, to stay engaged. Events have to be about the take-aways to stay successful. If developers can return to their studios and actually implement what they’ve picked up from Develop: Brighton, you know they’ll return the following year because it was worth their time and investment.