Yorkshire Games Festival 2019: Everything That Happened

If you’re a game developer, or you’re interested in getting into the field, it can be hard to find the right people to talk to outside of a Reddit Ask Me Anything thread, so events like the UK’s annual Yorkshire Games Festival are something that’s sorely needed.

GameByte had the pleasure of attending this years’ event, which had some of the biggest names in game development attending and presenting over the five day experience.

Credit: Yorkshire Games Festival

Developers and team members behind the likes of Wolfenstein, Dead Cells, Hitman 2, Steamworld and PS4’s Dreams, were just a handful of the speakers who appeared at the event, which featured a total of ten creators who each tackled a different topic with their eager audience.

Media Molecule’s Gem Abdeen discussed how MM works as a company, what it looks for in its staff, and the limitless possibilities we’ll be treated to when the upcoming Dreams launches on PlayStation 4.

Flying the flag for independent gaming, Rami Ismail ran through an A-Z of “Experiences Of Independent Games Development”, giving a brutally (and refreshingly!) honest overview of what can be a tough industry.

Level designer for Hitman 2, Mette Andersen, represented IO Interactive. She discussed how the intricate levels of the play-how-you-feel Hitman are created, and how much social behaviours affect level design in “Designing Hitman: Levels As Social Space.”

Credit: GameByte/Yorkshire Games Festival

Image & Form’s Brjann Sigurgeirsson gave us a history of the evolution of the massively-successful Steamworld series, injecting a huge dose of comedy into the festival with his quick-wit and laugh-out-loud humour.

For those interested in the artistic side of creating a game, Hwa Young Jung was there to discuss art’s role in the gaming industry and how she uses the space to tackle difficult topics in games through her artistry.

Steve Filby, part of the team behind the incredibly successful and award-winning Dead Cells, threw in his experience of Motion Twin’s journey to create the game and how Steam’s Early Access assisted in the journey.

Industry icon Charles Cecil, who’s been working in game development since 1981, also took the stage to talk the audience through the processes and changes in the industry that have led to a huge shift for developers.

Credit: GameByte/Yorkshire Games Festival

Richard England, BAFTA nominated Creative Technologist and Founder of consultancy Reflex Arc, took the place of Jeff Minter. England talked about his journey working with VR/AR tech, and the development of the recent Jurassic World VR Expedition experience with The Virtual Reality Company for Dave & Busters and Universal.

Lucid Games’ George Rule explained just how important community is to the process of creating a successful game, sharing a little about the studio’s upcoming game, Switchblade.

Finally, the talks ended with the one and only Andreas Öjerfors from MachineGames, who together with Bethesda and id, brought Wolfenstein back to life.

YGF 19 was much more than just a series of talks though, as it really focused on how to help the next generation of developers. The festival gave the opportunity for people to network with the special guests during its Meet The Developers and B2B events, and even offered a multitude of ways to take part in each Q&A for those who might not have the confidence to grab hold of the microphone.

Credit: Yorkshire Games Festival

Its informal and relaxed atmosphere really encouraged even the most shy of attendees to go over and have a chat with some of the special guests, and its inspiring events – including board game reveals, game demos, and a weekend of fun for younger gamers – culminated in a festival that really did have something for everyone.

Whether a game developer, a writer, artist, or even if you just really like playing games, everyone took something new away from the inspiring and thought-provoking five days.

Even though this is only the third year of the Yorkshire Games Festival, it boasted thousands of attendees over the course of the event, and it looks like it’s only set to get bigger and better.

Keep checking GameByte for exclusive interviews, stories and more from Yorkshire Games Festival 2019! GameByte was the official media partner of Yorkshire Games Festival.

Featured Image Credit: GameByte/Yorkshire Games Festival.