Posted: 9th September 2021
Conference passes available at discounted Early Bird rate saving up to £185 until 15 September.

Award-winning developer and self-proclaimed “living room developer” Mike Bithell will host a keynote fireside discussion about creativity with some of the UK’s top indie studios at Develop:Brighton 2021.

Known for John Wick Hex, Subsurface Circular, Volume and Thomas Was Alone, Mike Bithell is no stranger to creativity in games. Joining him in the panel are leads from White Paper Games, Spiral Circus and Jumpship.

Pete Bottomley is Studio Head at Manchester-based White Paper Games. He co-founded the studio in 2012 and has since gone on to work on Ether One, The Occupation and Conway: Disappearance at Dahlia View across PC and consoles.

He will be joined by Spiral Circus co-founders Tom Mead and Dom Clarke, and Chris Olsen, co-founder and Creative Director at Jumpship.

Both studios announced highly anticipated new games earlier this year. Spiral Circus announced surreal exploration game Silt, while Jumpship announced Olsen’s sci-fi passion project, Somerville.

The studios’ games have been credited as some of the most imaginative and innovative on the market. The developers will outline their approach to fostering creativity, encouraging imaginations to run wild and bringing ideas to life while also working from home.

“While the pandemic has certainly impacted all aspects of the game development process, those studios that have embraced the work-from-home culture have ultimately been successful,” says Mike Bithell. “With lots of studios now adopting a remote/flexible working environment, we must all be more mindful with our creative processes, which is what we’ll be exploring in this keynote.”

The group will outline how they were successful in continuing to work through the pandemic while building fresh and exciting games, sharing their creative processes and influences while discussing the triumphs and challenges of building new IP remotely.

Following a digital event in 2020, Develop:Brighton returns in a physical format at the Hilton Brighton Metropole from Tuesday 26 to Thursday 28 October 2021. Conference passes are now available at a discounted Early Bird rate until Wednesday 15 September.

“We are excited to be bringing the industry its first major opportunity to reconnect, share and learn together after a year apart,” says Andy Lane, Managing Director at organisers Tandem Events. “I am also looking forward to seeing how these incredible developers have continued to grow and innovate as teams - despite working remotely - to create some of the industry’s most interesting and unique projects.”

Now in its 16th year, Develop:Brighton will span three days of exciting activities for the brightest minds in games. The conference’s opening keynote will be delivered by Team17 CEO Debbie Bestwick, with additional keynotes from Insomniac Games president Ted Price and Lorne Lanning and Bennie Terry III from Oddworld Inhabitants.

Over 60 sessions have been announced so far, including:

  • 'Pivot and Adapt' - The Artistic Hurdles of a Multi-genre Game
    Rory Jobson, Dlala Studios
  • A Modern Development Culture for a Modern Development Process
    Whitney Burner, Darewise
  • Being Boring: How Less Innovation Made Overboard! a Hit
    Jon Ingold, inkle
  • (Almost) Everything You Need To Know About TikTok
    MJ Widomska, YRS TRULY
  • Show Me the Money
    Ian Livingstone CBE, Hiro Capital
  • How to Build Amazing Mobile Games With Rapid User Testing
    Kim Kohatsu, PickFu
  • How To Support Learning in Multiplayer Games
    Joseph Hesketh, University of York
  • Being Identified as an Individual
    Reema Ishaque, Splash Damage
  • How to Manage an Epic Music Project Remotely (in a global pandemic)
    Richard Jacques, Composer

Develop:Brighton will also see the return of much anticipated networking opportunities, from the formal meeting planner - [email protected] - to the many afterhours social events including the Develop:Star Awards on the Wednesday evening.

The Indie Showcase will also return to highlight some of the most innovative and imaginative indie games currently in development.

For those unable to travel to Brighton, a digital pass is also available.

For the latest on tickets, speaker announcements and The Develop:Star Awards 2021, visit: and follow @DevelopConf on Twitter.

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About Develop:Brighton conference & expo

The Develop:Brighton conference is where the European developer community comes together to learn from each other and share experiences, be inspired by world-renowned experts and gurus, get up-to-date with the latest development tools and techniques, make new contacts and catch up with old ones.

With a programme that is shaped by some of the industry's key figures, the conference touches all levels of the development community from the largest studios to the smallest indies; from development directors to programmers.

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