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.
Large teams, small teams, global teams – there are so many different ways that studios are organised these days. And, the world has changed enabling teams to work remotely around the clock in London and Singapore on the same project. We’d all like to see crunch time becoming a thing of the past, so this roundtable discussion will dive into different company cultures and explore new ideas for killing crunch without killing your studio’s soul.
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If you really want to have a good interface with the British game developer community then this is the place to come.
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!
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.
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.
Building games is hard and it’s taxing physically, mentally and emotionally. So being around a community that understands that is great – there’s a comraderie here.
There’s something creative about Brighton, so it’s the perfect place to have the conference.
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 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.
Develop:Brighton’s a great conference. It’s got a spread of people from all parts of the games industry talking about such a wide range of topics.
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 are many ways you can be part of Develop:Brighton 2018 - including speaking in the conference, taking a booth in the Expo or becoming a sponsor.Find out more