Haden Blackman brings nearly twenty years of creative and production experience to 2K. As the founder of Hangar 13, he led the development of Mafia III, and now continues to focus on AAA game development and growing the studio’s global team across Novato, CA, Brighton, UK and the Czech Republic. Blackman began his career as a writer at LucasArts Entertainment, and later became the franchise director and senior executive producer for the Star Wars video game franchise. During his time at LucasArts, he became an instrumental figure in shaping and launching many of the company’s most beloved Star Wars titles, including Knights of the Old Republic and The Force Unleashed. He then went on to co-found Fearless Studios, an independent developer, which was acquired by Kabam in 2012. An accomplished writer, Blackman has won multiple awards for his writing, including the Writer’s Guild of America’s Videogame Writing Award for The Force Unleashed, and a GLAAD Media Award for his work on DC Comics’ Batwoman, a New York Times best-selling comic book series.
The one trait that sets humans apart from all other species is our ability to tell stories. From relating the events of a relatively mundane workday to the latest blockbuster film, narrative is core to the way in which we communicate and at the heart of nearly all of our art forms. However, while it has long been recognized that a strong narrative can enhance the success and immersiveness of interactive entertainment, the art of story-telling is often absent beyond a game’s central plot. In this presentation, veteran game developer and Hangar 13 Global Studio Head Haden Blackman (The Force Unleashed, Mafia III) will describe the key components of “story,” describe the differences between “narrative” and “story-telling,” and outline the importance of bringing these concepts to all aspects of game development, from world, encounter and systems design to milestone definitions. Blackman will share key learnings from his previous projects and describe the ways in which Hangar 13 strives to ensure that “Everything Tells a Story” from the moment the player hits “Start.
Develop:Brighton brings together the game dev community to share ideas, learn and be inspired by each other. So if you have an idea for a conference session we'd love to hear it. Hurry - the deadline for submissions is 19 February!find out more
Develop is a really great way to network, it’s also great for going to talks and finding that little tip that you didn’t know before and thinking – oh I’ll bring that back to the team!
Develop always gets put in the diary. There are many reasons to be here, not just the talks, but the networking, people exchanging ideas about where the industry is right now and where it’s going to. It’s pretty essential to be here I think.
Ian Livingstone, CBE
There’s really something for everyone at Develop and the experience of being around like-minded people is really useful.
One of the things I like about Develop is it brings people together from across Europe and the whole world. There is a very high level of professionals here, so you have company leaders having drinks with juniors from their community.
Dr Mata Haggis-Burridge
I’ve felt a big passion here at Develop!
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.
Develop is the must-attend event for the games industry in the UK. It’s where we all come together and learn from each other. It’s the best way into the industry and it’s the best place to learn from your colleagues.
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.
There’s something creative about Brighton, so it’s the perfect place to have the conference.
Develop:Brighton is especially unique - it’s by the seaside and there’s a lovely relaxed tone that goes with that.The talks are cool, the networking is cool and having the opportunity to catch up with people – that’s always the excitement for me!
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