Posted: 1st February 2022
Winners will be announced on Wednesday 13 July during Develop:Brighton 2022

Entries for this year’s Develop:Star Awards are now open. Hosted at the Hilton Brighton Metropole during Develop:Brighton 2022, the awards will take place on Wednesday 13 July.

Entries can be submitted across 18 categories until 23:59 BST on Friday 1 April. Further details on the submissions process are available on the Develop:Brighton website.

This year’s Develop:Star Awards will see the introduction of two new awards: Best Technical Innovation and Best Extended Reality Game. The former will recognise technological innovations across video game software and hardware, while the latter will reward an outstanding Virtual, Augmented or Mixed Reality game.

The qualifying period for entries is from 1 June 2021 to 31 March 2022. Only games released during this period are eligible for nomination.

“In 2021 Develop:Star Awards represented one of the first opportunities in quite some time for the game dev community to gather and celebrate their incredible achievements together,” commented Tandem Events Managing Director Andy Lane. “As nominations open, we’re proud to be introducing two new awards this year, which will further recognise game-changing projects from inspiring teams across the industry.”

The Develop:Star Awards 2021 saw PlayStation exclusive Returnal pick up Best Game and Best Visual Art, while The Chinese Room’s Little Orpheus won Best Mobile Game. Sumo Digital was crowned Best Studio, while Röki developer Polygon Treehouse won Best Micro Studio.  

Elsewhere, Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout picked up two prizes in the Best Game Design and Best Original IP categories, and No More Robots proved a popular winner in the Publishing Star category.

In addition to the 18 categories, the Develop:Star Award will once again honour an extraordinary industry figure for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the industry. Previous winners included Hello Games’ Sean Murray, Bethesda Game Studios’ Todd Howard and in 2021, Team17’s founder and CEO Debbie Bestwick MBE.

This year’s Develop:Star Award recipient will be announced soon.

Submitted entries will be judged by a panel of industry experts, who will whittle them down into the final shortlists. These will be announced in the Spring ahead of a closed industry vote to determine the winners in each category.

Further details are below for each of the 18 award categories now open for nominations:

  • Best Studio
    This award celebrates any studio with five or more employees who’ve achieved exceptional critical and commercial success during the qualifying period.
  • Best Micro Studio
    This award will go to a studio with four or fewer employees who’ve achieved exceptional critical and commercial success during the qualifying period.
  • Best Game
    Rewarding the game that stands out above all others in terms of gameplay, storytelling, art style, character development, creativity and overall player experience - across all genres and platforms.
  • Best Mobile Game
    This award will be given to the game that offers best overall player experience on a mobile phone or tablet.
  • Best Extended Reality Game
    Rewarding an outstanding Virtual, Augmented or Mixed Reality game that offers the best overall player experience, including gameplay, immersion, innovation and originality.
  • Publishing Star
    Recognising an organisation that has shown outstanding support helping developers get their game published. This can include via funding, discoverability, research or anything else that helped secure a successful route to market for new games. 
  • Diversity Star
    This award celebrates an individual who has shown a commitment to promoting diversity and inclusivity within the games industry.
  • Recruitment Star
    Recognising an organisation that has shown outstanding support helping development studios successfully recruit and retain new team members.
  • Tomorrow’s Star
    The Tomorrow’s Star award will recognise the achievements of new talent in the games industry. Nominees should be below senior management or director level.
  • Best Audio
    Rewarding a game that demonstrates distinction in the use of sound or music to improve player experience.
  • Best Visual Art
    Recognising a game which demonstrates exceptional achievement in visual art and/or animation, across any genre.
  • Best Narrative
    Rewarding a game that far exceeded expectations in storytelling to create an outstanding player experience – through innovative or ground-breaking writing.
  • Best Game Design
    This award recognises the game that demonstrated exceptional and creative game design via the use of controls, level design, pacing and mechanics.
  • Best Original IP
    This award will recognise the creation of the best new intellectual property in a game.
  • Best Technical Innovation
    The award which recognises technological innovation in the video game space. This could be a pioneering gameplay experience, a breakthrough new development technique, inventive hardware or anything showing true innovation.
  • Best Technology Provider
    For this award we’ll be rewarding the organisation who have provided outstanding hardware and/or technological support for UK game developers. This could include third party engines, motion capture tools, dev kits or microprocessors.
  • Best Creative Provider
    This award recognises the organisation that has provided exceptional audio assets (voice acting, music or sound effects) or visual assets (porting or creating sections of the game) for the game developer community.
  • Best QA and Localisation Provider
    Recognising the organisation that has provided the highest quality of service and contributed the most to usability, testing and localisation within the game developer community.

For more information on The Develop:Star Awards and how to submit nominations, please visit: https://www.developconference.com/whats-on/develop-star-awards

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About The Develop:Star Awards

Taking place alongside the conference, the Develop:Star Awards recognise the very best of the game development community. The achievements of developers and success of great games and creativity will be celebrated across 18 categories, including one ultimate ‘Develop:Star’ honouring an extraordinary game developer for outstanding achievement and contribution to the industry.

About Develop:Brighton conference & expo

Develop:Brighton brings together the entire UK game dev industry to learn from each other, share ideas and experiences, network, and do business in a friendly and inclusive environment. The event also offers high quality conference sessions - from the industries brightest minds and talents - with practical takeaways that allow delegates to “skill-up” and be inspired to make better games.

With a programme shaped to reflect attendees’ feedback and hot topics for game makers in 2022 (monetisation, the Metaverse, ethical working practices, environment and sustainability, etc.) the Expo brings together some of the most innovative companies from every sector of games  development. Guests can also keep up-to date with the latest dev tools/tech and get hands on with all the games on display.

Develop:Brighton offers three days of inspiration, fulfilment, and fun by England’s south coast.

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