Animex Game

Thursday 11 - Friday 12 February

Teesside University, Middlesbrough



As usual, Game will feature a great mix of speakers from top AAA and exciting indie studios worldwide.

Animex Game is a packed two day programme of talks from world class games studios including an evening event for you to network with the creators of some of your favourite games.

Game started as a small one day event with around fifty places and has exploded into two days of talks from world class studios to audiences of nearly six hundred people spread across two venues.

Over the years we have managed to attract some of the biggest and brightest talents in the business and this year will be no exception.

Tickets often sell out long in advance of festival week, so make sure you get booked up as soon as you can to avoid disappointment. To see all of the presentations during Animex Game you will need an Animex Festival Pass or an Animex Game Pass.

Animex talks, networking events and workshops are not suitable for anyone under 16 years old.

Schedule

OL1 Europa Building, Teesside University

Thursday 11 February
Time Talk/Event
8:30am Registration
Bring ID to register in Europa Building Foyer.
10:00am Welcome
Gabrielle Kent Festival Director / Author, Teesside University
10:05am Everything they don’t tell you about making games
Ken Wong Lead Designer, Ustwo

There’s only so much a student of game development can learn from lectures about design, classes about tools, and studying post mortems. In between are hundreds of bits of advice that are less to do with polygons and programming, and more to do with personal development, the tension between creativity and business, and surviving the brutal games industry work culture. Based on 14 years of failures and successes, across PC, console, mobile and VR, Ken Wong condenses the most vital and important knowledge he can pass on to a game development student about to enter the industry.
11:00am When you poke it, it reacts - Narrative Design in open world games
Emil Kraftling Senior Game Designer , Avalanche Studios

Designer Emil Kraftling discusses how narrative design is approached in Avalanche games and how they aim to create strong individual player experiences in non-scripted, non-linear game worlds through emergent gameplay, player autonomy and systemic content.
12:00pm Lunch
1:30pm BASIC: a no-nonsense approach to understanding the challenges of launching a great idea
Ian McClellan Marketing Director, MMC Creative
A successful video game starts and finishes with an amazing idea. In the end, big or small, that is how you will be judged. However, having a clear marketing and business plan will help you explain your idea to consumers, bring your idea to the right people, at the right time. This can sometimes seem daunting, and so the aim of this session is to give you a few tips to help you overcome some of the challenges, drawing from both from a big company perspective, and from my own experience of running a small digital studio.
2:30pm Break
3:00pm There's a Storm Coming...
Raoul Barbet Co-Game Director, DONTNOD
Michel Koch Art Director, DONTNOD
Gary Napper Lead Game Designer, Sony
Life is Strange captured the hearts and minds of gamers when it launched in 2015 with an aim to revolutionise story based choice and consequence games. Join co-Game Directors Michel Koch and Raoul Barbet in conversation with Gary Napper regarding this highly acclaimed episodic graphic adventure.
4:00pm Wild West - The Frontier of Animation Principles in VR
Christine Phelan Animator, Valve
Christine’s talk will deconstruct animation concepts from film and video games and discuss how many of these ideas need to be re-evaluated when working with an audience that is both independent and directly embedded in a scene.

As an animator in the entertainment industry for nearly 10 years, Christine has worked for studios such as Nickelodeon, LucasArts, Double Fine Productions, Nintendo, and Valve.
Friday 12 February
Time Talk/Event
10:00am Star Citizen: From Concept to Reality
Neil McKnight Senior Artist, Foundry 42
Matthew Trevelyan Johns senior 3D environment artist , Foundry 42

An in-depth look at the development process the team uses to create truly immersive ships that push both the visual and technical boundaries within video games.
11:00am Storytelling in Games
Will Byles Executive Director, Supermassive Games

Will Byles, Director of the critically acclaimed, Until Dawn, talks about the challenges and hidden blessings unique to storytelling in games. GQ magazine said "Until Dawn is scarier than any horror film ever made” and Will reveals how Supermassive Games used new and bespoke techniques in cameras, lighting, performance capture, animation and writing to convey emotion, tension and horror.
12:00pm Lunch
1:30pm What's in an Idea?
Louise O'Connor Incubation Director, Rare Ltd
A talk that covers the creative process in games – how Rare has gone on a journey to push its boundaries in creativity and the techniques and thinking behind this journey. Everyone has capacity to be creative – how do you draw that creative energy from a variety of people and turn it into something tangible?
2:30pm Break
3:00pm Hearthstone: How to Create an Immersive User Interface
Derek Sakamoto Lead User Interface Designer, Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard's Derek Sakamoto discusses the organization, vision, and process used to create an immersive user interface for the popular card collecting game, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. Time permitting, team culture and cross-platform development will also be explored.
4:00pm Composing Amid Life
Austin Wintory Composer, Musician

Composer Austin Wintory walks through the creative choices he made on Assassin's Creed: Syndicate, and how they interacted with the personal events in his life they overlapped with.

Stephenson Building, ICLT 1, Teesside University

Thursday 11 February
Time Talk/Event
9:00am Registration
For unregistered attendees only. Europa Building
10:00am Welcome
Satish Shewhorak Co-host, Animex Game
10:05am Star Citizen: From Concept to Reality
Neil McKnight Senior Artist, Foundry 42
Matthew Trevelyan Johns senior 3D environment artist , Foundry 42

An in-depth look at the development process the team uses to create truly immersive ships that push both the visual and technical boundaries within video games.
11:00am Storytelling in Games
Will Byles Executive Director, Supermassive Games

Will Byles, Director of the critically acclaimed, Until Dawn, talks about the challenges and hidden blessings unique to storytelling in games. GQ magazine said "Until Dawn is scarier than any horror film ever made” and Will reveals how Supermassive Games used new and bespoke techniques in cameras, lighting, performance capture, animation and writing to convey emotion, tension and horror.
12:00pm Lunch
1:30pm What's in an Idea?
Louise O'Connor Incubation Director, Rare Ltd

A talk that covers the creative process in games – how Rare has gone on a journey to push its boundaries in creativity and the techniques and thinking behind this journey. Everyone has capacity to be creative – how do you draw that creative energy from a variety of people and turn it into something tangible?
2:30pm Break
3:00pm Hearthstone: How to Create an Immersive User Interface
Derek Sakamoto Lead User Interface Designer, Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard's Derek Sakamoto discusses the organization, vision, and process used to create an immersive user interface for the popular card collecting game, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. Time permitting, team culture and cross-platform development will also be explored.
4:00pm Composing Amid Life
Austin Wintory Composer, Musician

Composer Austin Wintory walks through the creative choices he made on Assassin's Creed: Syndicate, and how they interacted with the personal events in his life they overlapped with.
5:00pm Close
7:30pm Players' Lounge

A lively networking event for audience and speakers in our award winning student HUB
Friday 12 February
Time Talk/Event
9:00am Registration
For unregistered attendees only. Europa Building
10:00am Welcome
Gabrielle Kent Festival Director / Author, Teesside University
10:05am Everything they don’t tell you about making games
Ken Wong Lead Designer, Ustwo

There’s only so much a student of game development can learn from lectures about design, classes about tools, and studying post mortems. In between are hundreds of bits of advice that are less to do with polygons and programming, and more to do with personal development, the tension between creativity and business, and surviving the brutal games industry work culture. Based on 14 years of failures and successes, across PC, console, mobile and VR, Ken Wong condenses the most vital and important knowledge he can pass on to a game development student about to enter the industry.
11:00am When you poke it, it reacts - Narrative Design in open world games
Emil Kraftling Senior Game Designer , Avalanche Studios

Designer Emil Kraftling discusses how narrative design is approached in Avalanche games and how they aim to create strong individual player experiences in non-scripted, non-linear game worlds through emergent gameplay, player autonomy and systemic content.
12:00pm Lunch
1:30pm BASIC: a no-nonsense approach to understanding the challenges of launching a great idea.
Ian McClellan Marketing Director, MMC Creative

A successful video game starts and finishes with an amazing idea. In the end, big or small, that is how you will be judged. However, having a clear marketing and business plan will help you explain your idea to consumers, bring your idea to the right people, at the right time. This can sometimes seem daunting, and so the aim of this session is to give you a few tips to help you overcome some of the challenges, drawing from both from a big company perspective, and from my own experience of running a small digital studio.
2:30pm Break
3:00pm There's a Storm Coming...
Raoul Barbet Co-Game Director, DONTNOD
Michel Koch Art Director, DONTNOD
Gary Napper Lead Game Designer, Sony

Life is Strange captured the hearts and minds of gamers when it launched in 2015 with an aim to revolutionise story based choice and consequence games. Join co-Game Directors Michel Koch and Raoul Barbet in conversation with Gary Napper regarding this highly acclaimed episodic graphic adventure.
4:00pm Wild West: The Frontier of Animation Principles in VR
Christine Phelan Animator, Valve

Christine’s talk will deconstruct animation concepts from film and video games and discuss how many of these ideas need to be re-evaluated when working with an audience that is both independent and directly embedded in a scene.
5:00pm Closing Remarks

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