Evolve

Video games never stop changing, and we wouldn't have it any other way. Evolve explores everything that is new or cutting edge in game development across all disciplines - from new technologies and new trends to new business models. Plus there's some crystal ball gazing and debate on how to create the best new game experiences for the next decade. Evolve sessions are now included within the main conference programme across Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Evolve sessions

Beyond Gaming: How Live Streaming Brings Next Level Inclusion

Wednesday 11th July: 16.00 - 16.45 : Room 5

Live streaming has been growing for years and has become huge part of the video game industry. But what does streaming mean for gamers with disabilities? In this session, Tara will discuss live streaming and it’s impact for viewers and streamers with disabilities, provide an introduction to Twitch Extensions and Mixer Interactive, and tell you how you can leverage this new tool set to bring forth a new level of inclusion in your title or build accessibility tools for a whole new audience.

Takeaway

  • How gamers with disabilities engage in video game streaming as both a viewer and a broadcaster
  • Receive an introduction to Twitch Extensions and Mixer Interactive
  • Learn how to use these technologies to be more inclusive than ever

Fostering an Inclusive Mindset for the Future of Games Development

Thursday 12th July: 15.00 - 15.45 : Room 2

As the games industry seeks to encourage and exploit new player populations in order to actively expand its user base, the pressure on the games industry to ensure its work is socially responsible will grow exponentially. Not only are equality, inclusion and diversity key to growing an audience, they are also key to user wellbeing: a topic that will come increasingly under scrutiny as technologies that the games industry is very publicly exploring and utilising, such as artificial intelligence and extended realities, push further into people’s everyday lives. This talk, delivered jointly by Ziggy’s Wish MD Ravi Thornton and CTO Jordi Sola, is designed to help foster a responsible, adaptive mindset for the games developers of the future; to make sure they start thinking about tomorrow’s questions today, rather than playing catch up in the face of potential criticism further down the line. Ziggy’s Wish specialises in creating Applied Narratives and Applied Narrative Technology tools for scientific research projects focused on intersectional social impact. Using case studies that discuss the challenges around user vulnerability and resilience, as well tangible methods to evidence social responsibility, this session will leave games developers better prepared to ensure that their industry not only embraces and supports the important and growing trend for new voices to be heard, but also drives its continued momentum.

VR and Disability: An Overdue Love Story

Thursday 12th July: 14.00 - 14.45 : Room 5

Videogames are at their root about empowerment and escapism. Virtual Reality especially offers unprecedented options for immersion, enabling users, and freeing them from their physical constraints. People with disability are usually considered a niche market, an afterthought, a reasonable casualty in the existing marketing paradigm. With 1 in 5 having a disability, there is a large demand for entertainment by the people who need it most, but are notably discriminated against by VR titles available. Looking beyond the initial wow factor of VR, the truth is that people with transient or permanent disability look at VR as the primary tool by which they can expand their otherwise limited gaming and entertainment experience, making them an ideal core target.

The talk provides insight on the necessities, challenges, and requirements that disabled gamers meet daily, and practical, cost-effective approaches that developers may use to reach a wider audience that will persist past the initial curiosity wave.

Takeaway:

  • Why gamers with disability form a core audience for VR
  • What are their necessities and challenges
  • How developers can satisfy the added constraints in cost-effective ways
  • How to effectively include people with disabilities in the development process

Rise Of Story-Driven Games - Challenges For Voice And Word

Thursday 12th July: 12.15 - 13.00 : Room 4

Story driven games are back with a vengeance. The renaissance started when the title Lifeline paved the way for text adventures to reach a new audience on mobile devices. More and more platforms are offering an exciting experience - some linear, some interactive. In addition, voice-controlled devices like Alexa or Google Home are giving story-driven games a new dimension. But how does game design and storytelling work when visuals are no longer the primary way to excite your audience? And how to monetize these stories? This talk will offer some insights on creating story driven games for voice controlled devices and the special constrictions these platforms enforce. Some basic experience in story telling and some basic technical understanding are necessary to get the most our of this talk.

World of Tanks: Mixed Reality for R&D, Marketing & PR

Tuesday 10th July: 17.00 - 17.45 : Room 6

I’ll share how Wargaming (World of Tanks online game, 130million+ registered users) Special Projects group has successfully used all of the VR & AR tech imaginable to tell heritage stories in partnership with the largest tech companies and military history museums in the world, to engage internal and external digital native global audiences, online and at live events around the world, with heritage stories that actually capture their attention, while simultaneously garnering coverage from the world’s press, and doing important R&D work in preparation for ever-deeper dives into the growing mixed reality space… on reasonable budgets. I’ll use some concrete examples of projects we’ve launched:
- Sturmtiger Mixed Reality Experience – Microsoft Hololens, Google Tango, The Tank Museum at Bovington

- World of Tanks AR App - Google ARCore, Apple ARKit, Microsoft Hololens, Google Tango

Virtually Inside HMS Cavalier – Google Arts & Culture Platform, Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust

- War Knows no Nation - Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR, Littlstar on PSVR, Award-winning VR narrative short

Takeaway:

  • How to leverage new media effectively, without breaking the bank
  • Importance of the case study and meta-story when talking to your global community & press
  • Best practices in designing for non-gaming VR and AR experiences

Game On! Beyond Traditional Esports

Wednesday 11th July: 15.00 - 15.45 : Room 4

Mobile gaming competition is increasingly becoming a global sport. Mario Viviani, EU Technology Evangelist for Amazon Appstore, will discuss the future of mobile esports gaming and how Amazon is working with developers to build community and connect players through competitive play.

Artificial Stupidity to Killer Robots: The Evolution of AI

Wednesday 11th July: 14.00 - 14.45 : Room 2

AI is the next big thing. It's already better than you at chess, so we made it more playable with artificial stupidity. It's already creating killer robots, but for some games, that's OK too. And best of all, AI can recognise cat pictures, so when it drives a real car, it probably won't run over your pet. Games have always lead the way in AI, so how did we do it and where will it go next ? This is the story of when AI is useful, when it’s magic, when it’s an illusion, and even when it’s a mistake!

Takeaway

  • What AI does in games
  • Why that looks like magic
  • How games will drive the future of AI

PONToon - Digital Skills, Employment and Empowerment

Wednesday 11th July: 17.00 - 17.45 : Room 4

PONToon is an exciting project that uses a range of new and developing technologies such as games development, 3D/virtual reality, social media and web/mobile apps to engage, support and up-skill women in order to aid their employment opportunities. The project is centred around community development, social and economic inclusion and equality. It aims to produce a method of working that's not only scalable and transferrable but also applicable to broader demographic sets and geographical regions for continuing impact.

Takeway

  • Ideas about how to provide engaging ways of teaching women how to use technology such as games development and 3D/virtual reality technology. 
  • Ideas for creating a range of new and developing technologies to engage, support and up-skill women in order to aid their employment opportunities.
  • Ideas about how gamification techniques can foster community development, social and economic inclusion and equality. 

Developing New Story Telling Formats

Tuesday 10th July: 12.00 - 12.45 : Room 6

I will be talking about how new technology channels, and particularly VR, are opening up opportunities for content makers to develop new formats for storytelling. In particular there is a wealth of opportunity for traditional media creators in formats like TV and film to reach new audiences and generate new revenue streams.

Delivering Therapy Apps for Patients with Acquired Brain Injury

Tuesday 10th July: 16.00 - 16.45 : Room 6

In this session, I will concentrate on three e-therapies that cover the three stages of development (patient co-creation; clinical trial; roll out). These are designed for patients with acquired brain injury (stroke, brain tumours, traumatic brain injury) to be able to use with minimal help to improve specific aspects of their cognition (e.g. reading, understanding speech, word finding). As well as therapy elements (some of which are gamified to increase users’ engagement with the e-therapy), the apps also contain diagnostic and outcome measures, so users can see if they are improving or not.

The principles used in task-based rehahabilitation are very similar to those used in normal human learning. I think that web-based applications are a good way to make scientifically proven behavioural therapies available to suitable patients and their therapists.

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