11 November, 2010

BAF Game day 2 overview - BAF 2010 Part 4

Tom Woolley, Curator of New Media at the Museum and BAF Game programmer, provides an overview of the final day of BAF Game at Bradford Animation Festival 2010:

The second day of the BAF Game talks took place up the road from the National Media Museum in the luxurious surroundings of the Great Hall at the University of Bradford.

Tim Heaton, Studio Director at the Creative Assembly kicked things off by talking about the history of the company and explaining all the different roles in the team behind the BAFTA winning Total War franchise. Tim also talked about the devout following the Total War games have attracted and revealed that the award-winning strategy games have nearly 1 million players with an astounding average play time of 91 hours.

Next up was Adam Green, Director of Assyria Studios, a small independent development house Adam formed last year during his University gap year. Assyria specialise in addictive, casual games for mobile platforms and have already caught the attention of Sony and Apple. Adam’s talk was an inspiring presentation with lots of practical advice on the challenges of setting up your own studio. Continuing the casual game theme, Simon Barratt from Bradford based studio Four Door Lemon then spoke about the ins and outs of making games for Apple devices such as the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

3D glasses were given out to the audience in the afternoon so they could enjoy Ian Bickerstaff's talk about the history and uses of stereoscopic 3D technology. A Senior Engineer at Sony, Ian is heavily involved with the recent push behind 3D technology. He explained how to get the best results from using stereo 3D in games to create more immersive experiences. A fervent crowd then welcomed Andy Brunton to the stage. Lead animator at Lionhead, Andy has worked on both Fable 2 and Fable 3 and revealed how the animation team works with coders to produce seamless interactive game characters. Andy showed lots of examples of animation tests and even added a few rather brutal execution scenes that got cut from the final game.

The concluding panel session chaired by Game Republic’s Jamie Sefton offered perspective on how technology impacts the games industry, particularly relevant considering the day’s release of the Microsoft Kinect peripheral. The discussion carried on over drinks in the University atrium before the Street Fighter 2 tournament took place in the Museum’s Games Lounge.

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