Indie BootCamp

Free sessions for students, start-ups, and anyone else looking to be the next big thing! Join us to hear straight talking from successful indie developers about how they started, what worked for them, and what mistakes they made – so you can avoid repeating them. Plus talks from experts and leaders in their field who can guide, advise and inspire you on your game making journey.

Indie BootCamp sessions

Designing Better Quests Using Science

Wednesday 27th October: 11.00 - 11.45 :

We love to give players tasks to do, whether we call them quests, Achievements, Trophies or something else. But other than giving some structure to the game, why do they work? What parts of our gaming brains do they tap into? Are they rewarding in and of themselves? Are we, as game developers, making the most of these opportunities to potentially increase the depth and enjoyability of our games? By exploring these questions, Hal goes into how giving players tasks (and subsequently promising future rewards) influence gamers’ motivation – both good and the bad. Using evidence from scientific studies, the information enables game developers to create “game tasks” that players will find more engaging, enjoyable and rewarding.


  • Understanding the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation
  • Does gamification make people more or less engaged?
  • What is Self-Determination Theory, and how can you use it to make players enjoy your game more?
  • How to create more engaging Achievements, Trophies and quests.

There’s a New Way to Develop and Thrive

Wednesday 27th October: 12.00 - 12.45 :

Mike Gamble, the former European head of Unreal Engine, is calling on developers to rethink how they develop and take games to market – whilst retaining IP ownership, creative control and managing the tricky problem of discoverability.

Talenthouse Media Foundry is a suite of services that provides developers access to the skills they don't have internally, allowing them creative and commercial control of their projects  throughout the entire development cycle from Pre Production right through to 'Go to Market'.

Mike will call on developers to seriously consider how they target and develop projects, the best use and ownership of IP, creative freedom and even the nuts and bolts of how they develop their titles.

This presentation is a must see for any developer considering their development and commercial options, either in the short or long term.

Don't Panic: Scaling Your Team Without Losing What Makes You, You.

Wednesday 27th October: 14.00 - 14.45 :

Studio growth brings many unexpected challenges - not least during a pandemic that redefines the way we all work and relate. How do you engage with new hires? How best to structure your work in this new environment? What surprises are waiting for you? And most importantly, how do you manage change and growth while retaining the things that make you, you?


  • Lay your foundations right
  • Build your team on those foundations
  • Storms will hit, get ready!


Case Study: How No Man's Sky Used Azure to Share an Infinite Universe

Wednesday 27th October: 15.00 - 15.45 :

Xbox veteran and Azure gaming lead Harvey Eagle is joined by Iain Brown, Server and Multiplayer Lead for Hello Games, to discuss how No Man’s Sky’s procedurally generated universe was shared by its players. From cross-play, in-game communication and database management, to scaling server infrastructure to cope with player demand, you’ll learn more about how Azure and Azure PlayFab helped enable players to share the No Man’s Sky universe.


  • An understanding of the Microsoft Game Stack and how it can help game creators realize their vision
  • Learn about Azure and Azure PlayFab implementation in No Man’s Sky
  • Find out more about Azure for game developers

Meditation for All

Wednesday 27th October: 16.00 - 16.45 :

Mental health is a topic rarely discussed but it has now become more important than ever, especially in the games industry. In this talk, you will learn how to build practices and routines that help improve your life and stay sane in challenging situations. I will share my own experience of building a regular yoga and meditation practice whilst managing a busy game studio. I will talk about how it impacted my own life and how it helped me navigate my own project from financing through to release. 

Running a business is risky and we face doubts on a daily basis. Will I get investment for my project? Will I be able to ship the game in time and will people like it? 
But on a deeper level, many of us experience stress for all sorts of reasons. 

Yoga and meditation can help you stay positive and productive in the face of these challenges. 
I will share my own journey with you and show you examples from my asana, meditation and breathing practices. I will also give simple, practical tips on how you can build your own practice. It’s a topic I am excited about and I love to share because it has worked for me and I hope it will work for you too. 


A personal and practical look at how to integrate small but powerful yoga and meditation practices into the busy life of a game developer.

Contract Killers: What Developers Should Eliminate From Their Publishing Agreement

Thursday 28th October: 11.15 - 12.00 :

For many indie devs getting a publishing contract is the Holy Grail. Publishers can provide much needed funding, production and marketing support, as well as providing access to a community of players for your game. However, any publishing agreement is by default likely to weigh in the publisher's favour.

"Contract Killers" are those common clauses and provisions in those contracts that developers should be aware of, and understand the legal and commercial ramifications of accepting those clauses at face value. 

We will look at whether certain provisions are "fair and reasonable" legally and commercially and hopefully give developers some confidence heading into a negotiation that it is ok to ask for certain clauses to be changed before they sign on the dotted line.

Attendees will learn that it is ok to negotiate their publishing contract. This presentation will look in-depth at what certain clauses (or the absence of certain clauses) will mean for developers, and what they should look for if they are given a contract by a publisher.

How Your World Builds Fans (and How Fans Build Brands)

Thursday 28th October: 12.15 - 13.00 :

No matter what role you have in gaming, what game you're developing, or your reason for building a game, it all leads to fan engagement. These are the people that play your game, stream your game, get good at your game, get frustrated with your game, review your game, and demand more from the universes you build. Fans, to put it simply, turn your world into something they adore, own, and engage with. In turn, transforming that world into a living, breathing brand. This talk works with brands and why you see gaming imagery on t-shirts, exactly how powerful, creative and exciting licensing can be for fans, and why you need to build a game with a brand in mind.


  • How fandom works, and why intellectual property is a key first step in game design
  • How to create a game, universe, story or property that can evolve into new products
  • Why going from indie success to global brand isn't a bad thing 

The FIVE Indie Marketing Mistakes I See Everyday

Thursday 28th October: 14.00 - 14.45 :

It's never too early to start thinking about marketing, it's a key component of the development process and yet is so often considered an additional luxury - this is particularly true of the indie industry.  

A lot of indie developers won't have the resources to explore every aspect of marketing but a strong grasp on the basics can go a long way to avoiding the more obvious pitfalls.  

Join indie game marketing expert, Jon Calvin as he brings years of experience helping indie game developers release their games condensed down into a quick fire list highlighting the most prevalent marketing missteps indies can make in today's competitive market. 


  • The key marketing mistakes indie developers can avoid
  • The best practice approach for mastering the basics of indie marketing
  • An experience based approach to ensuring developers meet the indie marketing minimums 

From Classroom to Boardroom

Thursday 28th October: 15.00 - 15.45 :

From graduating from university to securing funding for their first title, Waving Bear Studio explains how they transitioned from students to professionals. Originally choosing to form a studio instead of taking a placement year at university, they will share key takeaways from their 3-year journey post-graduation, whilst offering advice to others in a similar position. Talking points include securing funding, handling rejection, staying passionate, motivated, and open-minded, as well as always ensuring you are still having fun.


  • How to secure funding without a publisher.
  • How to handle rejection and stay passionate and motivated.
  • What we wish we had known at the start of this journey.

Calling all wannabe speakers!

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!

find out more

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There are many ways you can be part of Develop:Brighton - including taking a booth in the Expo or choosing one of the many sponsorship opporunities during the event or at the Star Awards.

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