Lots of people having a good time at the Guildford Game Awards 2021


Comedy Room

  • 11:30Burpham Wellfest: Restorative Yoga for Spinal Space
  • 12:15Burpham Wellfest: Happy Face Yoga for a Better (inter)Face
  • 13:00Portfolio Reviews with nDreams
  • 13:45Portfolio Reviews with nDreams

Get into Game Audio

Bellerby @ 12:00

Video Games are an immersive experience, and if the audio isn't quite right it can be jarring. So how do some of the finest sound designers and audio wizards in the industry craft their layers of noise for the player? This talk will give you the inside track on just that...

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Greg Lester - Sound Cuts

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Greg Lester is a sound designer/ composer specialising in interactive audio for video games at Soundcuts where he has been for the last 2 years. Having worked on projects for console, PC, mobile and VR, Greg has a couple of titles with his name on including The Quarry, As Dusk Falls, Swords of Gurrah and Super Bally Ball and Electric Ambulance. Greg is also extremely passionate about sharing knowledge - his YouTube channel ‘Game Audio Analysis’ is a space for learning how soundscapes of various video games are made as well as tutorials for recreating iconic sounds. At the beginning of this year Greg launched Airwiggles, a social hub designed for the audio community to connect and learn from each other. Find out more using the links below!

Paul Weir - Hello Games

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Paul is an audio director, composer, sound designer and voice director with almost 30 years experience. Paul brings his obsession with great sound design to his work with Hello Games where he is audio director for the huge hit No Man’s Sky and also composed and performed all of the music for The Last Campfire whilst also handling sound design and voice direction.Paul has extensive experience across the entire audio landscape and has worked on an array of impressive projects, deploying a broad range of skills from creative to technical to managerial.

Alison Lau - nDreams

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Alison is a highly experienced multilingual project manager with 17+ years’ experience in localisation for console games, mobile apps and website content. Alison is the Shared Services Group Manager at nDreams where she utilises her proficiency in budgeting, stakeholder and vendor management, and process improvement to help keep the growing VR studio operating at its best.

Hugh Waller - Supermassive Games

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Hugh Waller is an Advanced Audio Designer at Supermassive Games where he has been for the past three years. Working on titles such as House of Ashes (a part of the Dark Pictures Anthology).

Crafting Interactive Narrative Games

Bellerby @ 13:00

Supermassive Games have become famous for branching, narrative horror games. The two genres boast a dedicated, vocal fanbases... that know what they like. How do SMG go about ensuring the stories they weave capivate players as much as they shock them? Come and hear all about it...

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Steve Goss - Supermassive Games

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Steve Goss is an experienced games development professional with over 30 years experience as a hands on video game designer, studio manager and creative director. Steve has worked for companies both in the UK and the US, including EIDOS, Atari, Electronic Arts, Crystal Dynamics, Lionhead and Microsoft. Steve is now studio director at long-running Guildford games studio, Supermassive Games.

Barney Pratt - Supermassive Games

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Barney Pratt is an award winning game audio director combining hands-on sound design with project management and mentoring. Linking creative and technical expertise designing hugely varied soundscapes while also designing tools, tech and best practices. Industry recognised innovation in procedural and advanced interactive audio and a passionate advocate for player immersion through sound and music.

Paul Martin - Supermassive Games

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Paul is a Narrative Designer at Supermassive Games. His journey to the games industry started in film - which isn't unusual for the industry at the moment, with many studios embarking on games that fully emmerse the player in characters and storylines. Paul brings a wealth of narrative crafting knowledge and expertise, expertise that Supermassive Games have been putting to great use on their Dark Pictures Anthology and likely other projects bubbling away in the background...

Women in Games Panel

Bellerby @ 14:00

The games industry is much changed from the 'boys club' reputation it gained in its early years, but we still have some way to go to ensure the industry is capturing the attention and imagination of girls with a view to them forging a path in game dev. This panel features 4 women in games, passionate about tipping the balance to achieve equal representation across the board!

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Lauren Kaye - She Plays Games

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Founder and host of She Plays Games, Lauren Kaye is well-versed in the world of video game journalism. Over 13 years ago, Lauren began her video games career as the social media manager, graphic designer and interviewer at gamesunion.net. She has worked at ‘into games’ as lead of social media and content, hosted the gaming news show Pixel Perfect and is now 3 years an ambassador of Women in Games.Lauren is also a huge fan of the Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy franchises, having hosted the Kingdom Hearts Union podcast and now leading the editorial team of the Final Fantasy Union. She also co-hosts the Final Fantasy Union podcasts which happen once every two weeks and is the video producer of the FFU Youtube Channel. See below what Lauren has been getting up to:

Adele Cutting - Sound Cuts

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Adele is a BAFTA-winning Audio Director and founder of Soundcuts. She’s been in the industry for 20 years with her career seeing her work on the Harry Potter franchise, The Quarry and Assassins Creed. She’s a fierce champion for women in games, talented, knowledgeable and one awesome storyteller.

Alyx Jones - Liquid Violet

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Alyx is an award-winning audio wizard - currently managing a small team at Liquid Violet as their Post Production Lead. Alyx has also worked as a freelance composer - some of her credits include AAA games such as Elden Ring, Final Fantasy VII Remake and Xenoblade 3!Alyx has been involved in the Guildford.Games community and has been running the G.G Game Jam for developers in and around Guildford. Recently, Alyx also started Guildford Game Audio, a mentorship initiative in Guildford for all things audio.Alyx has been a driving force in the Guildford and wider game dev community and was recently recognised as one of BAFTA’s Breakthrough Brits!

Becky Black - Supermassive Games

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With over a decade of HR experience under her belt, Becky is currently Head of HR & Recruitment at Supermassive Games. Although this is her first role in the games industry (previously worked within financial services and tech), she’s a keen gamer herself, and is passionate about representing and driving forward discussions and initiatives to improve the gender balance within the industry.

Guildford & Racing Games

Bellerby @ 15:00

Guildford Developers have been responsible for some of most well known racing games ever made - from Redline Racer to Burnout to Need For Speed, hear from the developers behind some of the world's most loved fuel injected video games!

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Kieran Crimmins - Criterion

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Kieran Crimmins is a creative director at Criterion, an award-winning Electronic Arts studio based right in the heart of Guildford. He has worked on some of the most beloved franchises brought by Criterion and most recently headed the creative team for the highly anticipated Need for Speed Unbound. Kieran brings a plethora of experience and we cannot hear more about racing games and their unexpected pedigree within Guildford.

Darren White - Criterion

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Darren has a proven track record with game dev tenure for over 25 years! Darren is currently Art Director, leading the art team of Need for Speed Unbound. He has also received game credits for some of the most popular racing games such as Need for Speed Heat, Project CARS 1&2 and more!

Nat Daw - Criterion

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Faring from the distant lands of Oz, Nat is the Audio Director for Criterion with game credits under his belt for Need for Speed Unbound, Battlefield 2042, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and more!

Chris Roberts - Stellar Entertainment

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Game designer extraordinaire behind Burnout’s innovative game modes and has played key roles on the Need For Speed and Harry Potter franchises. Chris is now bringing his AAA credentials to the Creative Director role at Stellar.

Christian West - Playsport

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Christian founded Playsport Games in the heart of Guildford and created the Motorsport Manager IP which has had over 2 million downloads. He has been working in professional games development for nearly two decades.

Powering Up Growth

Glass @ 11:30

What key commercial factors could you be missing?

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Gareth Hill - BDO

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Gareth is a Tax Director with over 15 years of experience in the sector - working with a broad range of clients including those from the creative sector. Gareth has experience in a wide range of tax matters and supports a great client portfolio to achieve their business goals and vision.

Steve Tinkler - Level Up Partners

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Steve is the founder and CEO of Level Up Partners - who provide tailored strategic advice across commercial, financial and legal matters at every significant moment of companies' journeys.

Neil Bancroft-Jones - Emergent Entertainment

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Neil is Chief Financial Officer for Emergent Entertainment with a wealth of experience in supporting game studios with their financial and accounting needs.

Diversity & Inclusion in the Games Industry

Glass @ 12:30

When talking about D&I in video games, we're referring to both within the game dev workforce and within the games themselves. The video games landscape would be very boring if every game drew from the same inspiration, which is why D&I is so very important. Diversity of developer brings diversity of story. This panel will elaborate on what studios can do to ensure they're considering D&I and why players will benefit from it.

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Jim Unwin - Glowmade

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Jim’s career started in 1999, and his tenure to date has seen him take roles at Kuju, Media Molecule, and Sony’s Creative Centre before settling on his current form as Project Lead at Glowmade - with a little UX on the side. He describes his role as ‘Keeper and communicator of the game vision, map maker, cat herder’ Jim’s as passionate about play and player interaction as much as he is about inclusion and diversity in video games. His thoughtful and considered approach to his work will make for an insightful talk! He’ll be speaking on a Diversity & Inclusion Panel at The festival, don’t miss it!

Dee Patel - Glowmade

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Dee Patel is a Senior Producer at Glowmade - with over 16 years of experience in the games industry. Starting off his career as QA tester, Dee has worked with some of the biggest game studios, including EA, Blizzard, Ubisoft & Playstation.Dee navigating the industry with passion and empathy and is a vocal advocate for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the games industry.

Niki Head - Stellar Entertainment

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Niki Head is HR Manager for Stellar Entertainment & a passionate ambassador for Women in Games, advocating for a more inclusive games industry.

Liz Prince - Amiqus

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Liz Prince is the leading director of Amiqus, the specialist recruitment agency for the video games industry providing professional candidates to companies across Europe and the UK. She is very well established with over 25 years of experience as a consultant, area manager and business manager putting together successful recruitment teams. Amiqus has won countless awards such as the Develop Games Industry Award for Recruitment Excellence 8 times, the TIGA award for Best Recruitment Agency across multiple years and the Mobile Games award in the recruitment category in 2018 and 2019. Also an ambassador of women in games, Liz Prince is the founder of the initiative ‘Putting the G into Gaming’ where she is a vocal and active supporter of promoting gender equality, diversity and inclusion in the games industry. She was a finalist in the Women in Games award category for Lifetime Achievement in 2022.

Creating VR Worlds and Gameplay

Glass @ 13:30

One of the many challenges of making video games is the ever changing tech available to developers. Mastering cutting edge tech, moving at fast pace, is a skill the teams at Supermassive and nDreams most certainly have. Come and hear a little about how the keep ahead of the curve whilst creating gameplay masterpieces!

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Matt Duff - nDreams

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As design director at nDreams’ most recent studio Elevation (opened Jan 2022), Matthew Duff has been around the games industry since 2005 having worked on projects across all platforms including the Nintendo Wii, DS and Switch, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS2, 3, 4 and Vita, PC, Daydream VR and mobile. Previously at EA games, Climax Studios and the Chinese Room, Matt has had a major hand in creating the Assassin’s Creed Chronicles, the mobile game Little Orpheus, the VR title Lola and the Giant and many more.

Russ Harding - Maze Theory

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Presently Chief Creative Officer at Maze Theory & Emergent Entertainment having had 30 years’ experience in designing and developing innovative gaming experiences across a variety of platforms. Russ has created some of the most ground-breaking experiences in AR/VR with brands such as LEGO, PlayStation, Harry Potter, Sony Music, Doctor Who & the soon to be released Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom.

Dave Raynard - Dream Reality Interactive

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CEO of DRi, an innovative immersive studio based in London. DRi leverage decades of game & XR know-how to design & build games and multi-user experiences utilising the latest technologies. Former Head of Sony’s European HQ Studio in London, Dave is a 25+ year games industry veteran and a known figure in VR. Dave worked on leading titles such as Hold the World with Sir David Attenborough, VR Worlds, Arca’s Path & The Pirate Queen. Dave is a long-serving board advisor to respected industry bodies such as BAFTA and the Game Developers Conference (San Francisco) as well as an investor/advisor to a number of games studios & tech start-ups.

Powered by cloud, ID@Azure Panel

Glass @ 14:30

ID@Azure are helping many game dev studios make games - the support they offer is just as invaluable for large, AAA teams as for indie teams. In this panel we'll hear from ID@Azure and some of the Guildford devs using their tools to deliver great games!

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Steph Rogers (host) - ID@Azure

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Steph is a Marketer, Globe-Trotter & Gamer and a fierce female gaming advocate. With over 10 years of marketing experience, she has invested significant time in understanding customer problems and helps roll out global campaigns focused on enabling Enterprise Developer & Video Game Developer audiences.

Iain Brown - Hello Games

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Iain has been in video games development for almost three decades, bringing his expert programming and server engineering expertise to several prestigious games businesses including EA, Lionhead and his current role at Hello Games.

Kostas Zarifis - Rogue Sun

Photo of Kostas Zarifis

Kostas is a highly experienced game developer with tenure at prestigious games studios such as Lionhead and Natural Motion but is also an entreprenurial founder of his own studio Rogue Sun where he is Managing Director and Games Director working on the beautiful, Lemmings-inspired Tin Hearts and another unannounced title.

Get into games

Rock @ 11:30

A session on standing out from the crowd is around job hunting in games, where to look for roles, how to decipher job descriptions, how to present a CV and portfolio that employers want to see and finally how to raise your game in interviews with Head of Amiqus Liz Prince

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Liz Prince - Amiqus

Photo of Liz Prince

Liz Prince is the leading director of Amiqus, the specialist recruitment agency for the video games industry providing professional candidates to companies across Europe and the UK. She is very well established with over 25 years of experience as a consultant, area manager and business manager putting together successful recruitment teams. Amiqus has won countless awards such as the Develop Games Industry Award for Recruitment Excellence 8 times, the TIGA award for Best Recruitment Agency across multiple years and the Mobile Games award in the recruitment category in 2018 and 2019. Also an ambassador of women in games, Liz Prince is the founder of the initiative ‘Putting the G into Gaming’ where she is a vocal and active supporter of promoting gender equality, diversity and inclusion in the games industry. She was a finalist in the Women in Games award category for Lifetime Achievement in 2022.

Educating Game Developers of the Future

Rock @ 12:15

The Game Assembly is a supplier of Higher Vocational Education, entirely focussed on educating game developers of the future. This talk will detail the role of education in supporting the games industry and will include details of our brand new Game Programmer Level 7 apprenticeship that has been launched in the UK.

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Per-Anders Roland Ring - The Game Assembly

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Per-Anders is Business Developer at The Game Assembly. He's been passionate about video games since the Commodore era. His career has spanned over 20 years in the entertainment industry, including The Swedish National Film School. Per-Anders will introduce The Game Assembly and why the school is considered one of the best in the world.

Funding your Games business

Rock @ 13:00

Details on the Uk Global Screen Fund

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Chris Filip - BFI

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Chris Filip, UK Global Screen Fund, BFIChris was appointed International Business Development Manager for the UK Global Screen Fund in October. Before joining the BFI, Chris worked with Creative England as Programme Manager for Creative Enterprise, managing the New Ideas Fund, and their games business support programmes - Foundations for Games and Games Scale Up - as part of their flagship business support and investment readiness programme, Creative Enterprise.

Tom Vian - SFB Games

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Mark Backler - Sketchbook Games

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Mark Backler is Founder and Creative Director at Sketchbook Games. Mark has worked in the games industry for nearly 20 years at companies like EA, Lionhead and Sony on games including Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and the BAFTA award-winning Fable 2. He now runs indie studio Sketchbook games, creator of multi-award winning puzzle game Lost Words.

Entrepreneurship and Indie

Rock @ 14:30

The business of games. An interview with one of the areas longest standing games entreprenuers covering many aspects of building and running a games business. From what makes "indie" different to what the future holds for small games businesses.

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James Brooksby - Absolutely Games

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James is the founder and CEO of Absolutely Games, his latest in a string of successful games business endeavours. James has been in the industry since the mid-nineties and brings a wealth of expeience on both the production and commercial side of games business.

Social Media and Games 101

Rock @ 15:15

Few things move as fast as the games industry, except maybe social media trends. Social Engagement teams in games have to keep up with both - but how do they do it? Come and learn how to identify which trends to create content for... and how long you may have before the internet moves on.

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Sheryl Banas - Supermassive Games

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Sheryl is an avid creator - whether for her day job as Supermassive Games' Social Media Manager or for her own personal tiktok channel. With the social media landscape ever changing and trending in different directions, Sheryl's passion for her role ensures she always has her finger on the pulse. Coming from puerveyors of esports, GinxTV, Sheryl brings a different spin on Social Media creation, what works and what doesn't, and how to identify trends, and she will be sharing it with us at the G.G Festival 2023!

Tara Bunker - Supermassive Games

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Bringing possibly the most unconventional experience to the Guilford game dev community, Tara spent portions of her career handling communications for Surrey Police as well as the British American Football Association. Now settled at Supermassive Games as Digital Content Creator, Tara's career path makes it clear that content creation has always been a passion for her. She has the knowledge and know how to allow her to track and understand trends, whilst seamlessly weaving Supermassive's themes and tone into her work as she goes.

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