Game visuals today range from iconic mobile graphics to lush AAA productions and now of course the shift towards virtual reality and a return to photo-realism. Our Art Track will provide artists with inspiration, practical advice, best-practise guidance and real-life case studies from not just the games industry but other creative industries too.

Art sessions

Building Dynamic Environments for the Dungeons of Gloomhaven

Tuesday 26th October: 14.00 - 14.45 :

This talk describes the tools, technology, and techniques used to build the varied environments needed for the digital adaptation of the Gloomhaven board game for Flaming Fowl Studios. It covers the game requirements and constraints, the generation pipeline that was built, the procedural scene elements involved, the interactive nature of the tools, and, the decoration, population, and styling of maps.


  • How hybrid approaches to content generation can draw on the benefits of each.
  • How procedural techniques can get you off the ground quickly.
  • How dynamic content can adjust to cope with a variety of constraints and changing requirements.
  • How a palettised approach to assets can benefit the project.
  • How interactive editing is a powerful tool in building complex, visual systems.
  • How node based systems can actually help manage complexity.

State of the Art – The Future of Visual Development

Tuesday 26th October: 16.00 - 16.45 :

Atomhawk is an award winning visual development studio. Since being founded in 2009 they have been involved with developing concept art for some of the world’s best know franchises, including Halo, Call of Duty, Minecraft and FIFA. This talk will look at the current concept art development process and then explore how this will likely change in the future. The talk will explore how areas like AI will be leveraged for speed, scope and creativity. How technology and tools will need to evolve to ensure work is fit for purpose. And, ultimately, the skillset that artists of the future will need to embrace to ensure they stay relevant and able to perform in the games industry of the future.


• Practical understanding of the current visual development stages and process (“I know how concept art is made and the stages involved”) • Case study examples from AAA projects (“I learned how art is made for a famous game I am familiar with”) • The emerging role of AI in art development (“I got an insight into how artificial intelligence will enhance and replace some elements of the current process”)
• Insight into new tools and technology (“I learned about new plugins and technology that people are beginning to use to help make art. I might try them myself now.”)
• Advice on the skills required to be an artist in the games industry in the future (“I learned which areas to train in to ensure I stay relevant in my field”)

Dynamic & Different: Real-time Look Development for Stylised Games

Wednesday 27th October: 11.00 - 11.45 :

Exploring a wide variety of non-realistic aesthetics using custom shaders to allow maximum flexibility and creativity. Nick breaks down his approach for achieving diverse visual directions by focusing on a workflow that allows traditional art techniques to guide visual style. He explains how using principles like limited values, edge quality, local colour variation etc. directly within shaders can give maximum artistic control and also yield results that feel more handcrafted than more standard approaches. This talk also covers how it is possible to incorporate elements such as photogrammetry assets and realistic textures into the process and still achieve cohesive, stylized results.


  • Achieve a wide range of visual directions quickly and intuitively by using simple, flexible shaders.
  • Incorporate traditional artistic principles and techniques into your shader workflow to create unique results.
  • Use post-processing and other tools to boost the appeal and cohesiveness of your chosen visual style.

Skye Tales: Creating a UI That Couldn’t Be Happier to See You

Wednesday 27th October: 14.00 - 14.45 :

The brief for Skye Tales was to create a user interface for a game that didn’t want a user interface. This talk goes through the full process of that UI / UX development and how the team tackled creating an interface that felt more like another part of the world than a menu. Diegetic UI is all about creating UI that doesn’t break the immersion of the world, and for Skye Tales the goal was to create something that felt just as tangible and interactive as the world around it. This is an examination of the entire UI / UX development process of Skye Tales and the various iterations of the UI, with insights on the challenges of working in an indie games environment and the learning curve for a graduate in their first professional games role. Skye Tales is Puny Astronaut’s debut title, a game that follows the adventures of Skye the friendly dragon in a world that couldn’t be happier to see you.


• Insights on creating diegetic UI/UX for games
• A comprehensive look into the UI development process for Skye Tales
• Lessons learned as a graduate UI developer in an Indie studio

'Pivot and Adapt' - The Artistic Hurdles of a Multi-genre Game and How it Applies to Wider Challenges

Wednesday 27th October: 16.00 - 16.45 :

A talk built around being a concept and production environment artist on Battletoads (2020) and how having to create unique art for 10+ different game modes pushed me to be not only a better artist but a 'smarter' one in the way I which I performed my job. Covering the process of working on the art for 2.5d brawler, 2D platformer, over the shoulder bike racer, top down space shooter and more. As well as working directly with design and the creative director to incorporate visual storytelling into the experience.


  • Techniques and methodologies used throughout the game
  • The challenges faced and how they were overcome
  • General tips for creating 2D art in a modern game

How an Artist Got into Game Development: The Art & Process of Making Silt

Thursday 28th October: 11.15 - 12.00 :

The story of how Spiral Circus came to be might not be a unique one, but it is an inspiration to all artists who one day wish to make their own game, in their own way. 

Tom Mead will share the story of his career from traditional artist to forming a games company, securing a  publishing deal with London publisher Sold Out and then being thrown straight into a two year development. Along the way  Tom had to figure out how to build and streamline a process that both worked efficiently and complimented the style of the art. 

The talk will cover Toms early art career and what lead him into games development, the how and why. As a non technical and usually traditional artist Toms regular methods had to be quickly altered to fit into the ever demanding and fast paced games environment.


  • Adapting as an outsider artist into the games world. 
  • From traditional art  to digital -   the hardships and pitfalls of some of those crossovers 
  • How art style is important to being seen in a large industry. 

The Artists Life: Collaboration and Creativity Working Together

Thursday 28th October: 12.15 - :

This session will talk about what it is like to work as an artist at a games studio that co-develops games with other studios.
We will discuss what work for hire is really like for an artist, how and why it is growing, and detail the pros and cons of being at a work for hire studio.

Questions that we might discuss - 
What is work for hire and how does it compare to working for a studio with its own IP?
What are the pros of working for a work-for-hire studio and what are the cons?
What might be the differences from an artist's pov in terms of workflows, skillsets, mindsets etc?
Why is co-development growing and what might the future look like? 


  • The differences between different types of game development studios.
  • Why co-development is becoming far more common in the games industry.
  • What the pros and cons are of working at a work for hire studio as an artist.

Ask Me Anything: Questions for the Artists

Thursday 28th October: 16.00 - 16.45 :

Come to this interactive panel to ask creative directors some burning questions that all artists face during their careers.  Bring your questions and maybe some answers.

Discussion topics will include:

  • What is the hardest thing about being an artist in the games industry?
  • What makes an artist's application standout? 
  • What does a technical artist do?
  • What is your day to day life in your role in your art specialism?
  • How can I get feedback on my portfolio?
  • What do you wish you had known when you first started as a games artist?
  • How might making art for games change with new technology in 5-10 years' time?
  • What proportion of a games art team are each speci



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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 25 Feb!

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