Previously a programmer at award-winning studios Jagex and Bossa Studios. In 2012 Aj, along with then-partner in crime Craig Thomas, left their roles at Bossa Studios to start independent studio Dlala Studios...from their parents' garage. Nearly 6 years later and Dlala have worked with the likes of Microsoft, Rare, Disney, USC ICT, Team 17 and more. Having created their own IP, supported the IP of others and create training games for US government organisations. Aj was a programmer who wanted to be a designer, who became a company director and had to learn all the business crap that comes with it!
Aj will discuss life before, during and after signing the "contract of a lifetime". The ego driven rose tinted glasses that can cause you, and your team, danger. Scaling up for a contract and then maintaining that some number of staff when the contract is pulled from under you. This will cover managing budgets, remote workers, non-remote workers, overseas publishers, someone else's IP, contracts, a trip to Disneyland, a trip to another Disneyland, spending more money on "exploration" than you ever have on a game, that game being cancelled and everything that falls in between! How 5 guys in a garage got a multi-million dollar deal, turned into 14 people in a studio and then had that deal killed.
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By coming to Develop what you get is the opportunity to network like you can’t in any other situation. Everyone knows everyone and it’s such a wonderful community feel.
Develop is an excellent way of catching up with people – there’s a really nice community feel here.
Mike Bithell Games
We are so lucky to have Develop here in the UK. It’s a unique event where you can come and discover new things with people who care passionately about video games. It’s a sea full of new ideas.
I absolutely love coming to Develop, it’s a brilliant, brilliant conference – you just know you’re guaranteed to meet everyone.
Jo Twist, OBE
There really is a huge mix of people at Develop - loads of peers that you can learn from and the perfect blend of every element of game development as well.
Develop is a very important place – it’s one of the few developer focussed conferences we have in Europe and that makes it very valuable.
I’ve felt a big passion here at Develop!
There’s something creative about Brighton, so it’s the perfect place to have the conference.
I really like Develop, I really like the intimacy of it and I love the location.. there’s a good diversity of talks going on so there hasn’t been a time when there’s nothing I want to see.
A lot of the opportunities that come from being here are speaking to other developers who are doing exactly the same thing as you. And there are some good parties – it’s very much a pleasurable work experience!
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