John is a Senior Gameplay Programmer at Jagex working on RuneScape, the iconic MMORPG now in its 19th year as a living game. His role enables him to be designer, gameplay scripter and game engine developer, and in some cases perform all three simultaneously. John was responsible for developing RuneScape combat system and developing systems in the in-house game engine, such as supporting a bespoke scripting language and writing ELO and matchmaking systems.
At Jagex, developers are encouraged to have a regular open dialogue with our players. Players are a core part of the design and decision-making process‚ as part of our player obsessed approach to living games. They're empowered to have their say in how RuneScape and Old School RuneScape evolve and we involve them from idea generation through to post-release feedback.
This session discusses the learnings we've gained from over 19 years of taking this approach. Why does Jagex put so much importance on our developers talking to our players regularly? How do Jagex's developers get so much value out of a free-talking crowd? What methods do Jagex's developers employ to take this largely subjective and qualitative feedback source and turn it into actionable feedback? Players won't always like what you have to say, and, in some cases, dialogue can get toxic. What methods do Jagex's developers employ to deal with this?
Overall this session aims to offer developers the understanding and the tools needed to decide if this player-focused approach is right for them and apply it.
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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.
I’ve been to every single Develop in the last 12 years. One thing you get here is networking - you will meet the most amazing individuals in the video games industry.
There’s really something for everyone at Develop and the experience of being around like-minded people is really useful.
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!
If you really want to have a good interface with the British game developer community then this is the place to come.
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 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 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!
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!
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.
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