Game Republic at the Game Developers Conference 2017

gdc17_logo_year_bug_bw1Game Republic will attending the Game Developers Conference 2017 in San Francisco, USA, from 27th February to 3rd March, meeting platform-holders, publishers, journalists, game developers and investors, as well as promoting the Yorkshire and Humber region, and all our game developers and universities/colleges across the North of England.

We’ll be heading to the biggest event in the global games development calendar along with many of our members including Team17, Sumo Digital, University of Leeds, Revolution Software, Red Kite Games, University of York, BetaJester and many more. Game Republic will also be attending the Game Connection event – speed-dating for games businesses – on Tuesday 28th February, to meet more companies for business opportunities.

If you would like to know more about the Game Republic network, and our amazing games companies, educational partners and affiliates, get in touch and meet us in San Francisco.

BFI Certification Unit joins Game Republic

BFI 450 x 200Game Republic is pleased to announce that the BFI Certification Unit has joined the largest games network in the North of England as an Affiliate member.

The BFI (British Film Institute) is a charity governed by a Royal Charter and a government arms-length body, combining a cultural, creative and industrial role. The BFI’s Certification Unit is responsible for certifying film, high-end television, animation television, children’s television and video games as British, the first stage in accessing the respective Creative Sector Tax Reliefs.

The Unit is also responsible for marketing and promotion of the creative sector tax reliefs, helping to educate creative companies across the UK about how their projects could benefit. Since the introduction of the Video Games Tax Relief (VGTR) in April 2014 the Certification Unit has presented the VGTR at a number of events and conferences such as EGX Rezzed, PG Connects and Game Horizon, as well as running annual Video Games Days, which have taken place in London, Nottingham and most recently in November 2016 in Leeds.

Anna Mansi, Head of the BFI Certification Unit said: “We’re delighted to be joining Game Republic as an affiliate and see this as an excellent opportunity to engage with games development companies across the north of England. We’re seeing a great range of projects apply for the VGTR from developers of all sizes and joining Game Republic will help us spread the word to even more UK companies.”

“It’s fantastic that the BFI and its Certification Unit has joined the network,” added Managing Director Jamie Sefton. “The BFI Certification Unit can now attend more of our events and our games developers will have even better access to the knowledge and expertise from the Certification Unit on the cultural test and receive vital tax relief on their games.”

In the year 2015 – September 2016, 167 UK games received final certification for VGTR, a huge 117% increase from the previous year – as well as 170 games receiving interim certification, a 50% increase. Since its introduction in 2014, VGTR has been a huge boost to the games industry, with companies and games of all sizes and budgets benefiting from a 20% return in the development costs for games that pass the “cultural test”. You can find more information on VGTR and the cultural test on the BFI website and on the Game Republic blog.

Game Republic Selling Your Game event – 16th Feb, York

Screen Shot 2017-02-08 at 11.52.24The next Game Republic event, supported by Autodesk, is “Selling Your Game” which is in partnership with the University of York’s IGGI (Intelligent Games and Games Intelligence) PhD programme and the Department for International Trade, Exporting is Great initiative.

With hundreds of games launching every week on app stores, in retailers and on digital marketplaces, visibility for a game in the marketplace is, along with investment, is the biggest issue for games developers looking to sustain a successful business. Selling Your Game is a special GR event featuring platform-holders and experts in PR/marketing, journalism and international trade, to help any games company wanting to make their game stand out from the crowd.

Ago Simonetta from ID@Xbox will be joining the event to discuss the latest opportunities for games developers with Microsoft Xbox One and PC, as well as how the games platform can help developers market their game. We will also hear from Stefano Petrullo, from Renaissance PR, and Tracey McGarrigan, Ansible PR about games PR and marketing, including how to set about making a PR plan, handling your community, and making the most from attending games events.

There will be a talk from Gill Greaves from the Department for International Trade (DIT) Yorkshire & Humber on the Exporting is Great initiative and how they can help companies access international events and more. The event will conclude with a PR and marketing panel featuring all our guests and the addition of Ric Cowley, News Editor at PocketGamer.biz at Steel Media.

Before, during and after the event, attendees will also be able to view the IGGI PhD student projects in the Ron Cooke Hub, which will also be accompanies by drinks and networking from 5pm. This is a Game Republic member event – if you’re interested in finding out more about the network and how it could benefit your business, please contact us.

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Game Republic Virtual Reality Conference GR/VR Report

GRVR2Game Republic, supported by Autodesk, hosted its first ever virtual reality conference on Wednesday 25th January 2017 at Sheffield Hallam University, sponsored by Digital Creativity Labs.

GR/VR attracted more than 50 games developers in the GR network and industry speakers from Atomhawk Design, Sigtrap Games, Dubit Ltd and DC Labs, as well as a VR panel. Dan Gilmore from Atomhawk (pictured below), that has worked on VR titles such as Eve: Valkyrie and RIGS, discussed “UI for VR” and included invaluable advice for VR developers, such as making the UI wrap around the player, so that the visual information is always at the same distance.Dan Atomhawk

Bobby Thandi from Dubit talked about VR being the “final frontier for entertainment”, while Alex Wade from DC Labs/Wadelabs discussed neuroscience research into virtual reality, and the effects of the technology on the brain. Finally, Luke Thompson from  Sigtrap Games talked about “Comfortable Movement in VR” and the company’s experience in making the 360-degree shooter Sublevel Zero, with the valuable advice that VR developers should “experiment, prototype, test, tweak and iterate – feel sick so that your players don’t have to!”Barog

GR/VR also featured a showcase of VR titles from Sheffield Hallam University, Barog Game Labs, New Moon Games and Sigtrap Games, as well as an opportunity for attendees to try the new Resident Evil 7 game in VR.

Game Republic also invited BBC Learning to the event, to discuss its Game Play event on 23rd February in Salford, plus developers had the opportunity to meet Nintendo developer relations and find out more about making games for the fantastic new Nintendo Switch, launching on 3rd March 2017.

Huge thanks to Sheffield Hallam University for hosting GR/VR and to DC Labs for sponsoring. Game Republic’s next event “Selling Your Game”, again completely free for members of the network, is on Thursday 16th February at the University of York, and partnered with IGGI (Intelligent Games and Games Intelligence) and the Department for International Trade – and will feature talks from PR/marketing experts and our special guest platform-holder, ID@Xbox.

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GR/VR event – Wednesday 25th January 2017

gr-vr-shotGame Republic’s first event of 2017 will be a special conference dedicated to the burgeoning games and tech innovations in virtual and augmented reality.

GR/VR will take place on Wednesday 25th January 2017 at Sheffield Hallam University and will feature talks and panels from games companies at the cutting edge of VR tech.

Richard Fabian, Co Dept. Manager at games developer nDreams will deliver a talk on “VR Untethered – a mobile and desktop comparison” after the company’s great VR work on games including The Assembly for PlayStation VR and Danger Goat for Google Daydream. Plus, Dan Gilmore from Atomhawk will discuss “UI design in VR”, having being at the forefront of UI/UX design for games including EVE: Valkyrie for CCP Games and RIGS for Sony.

GR/VR will feature other talks from Game Republic members including Dubit Ltd and Sigtrap, a talk from the University of York on VR and neuroscience, and a showcase of VR projects from our hosts Sheffield Hallam University and games developers including Barog Ltd. The event will also feature a very special guest – to be announced – and networking food and drinks afterwards.

Game Republic members can book the event for free – contact us for details on how to join the largest games network in the North of England.