The Rezzed Sessions 2019

Take a deep dive into video game creation and the games industry at large and informative sessions and panels.

The Rezzed Sessions 2019

Learn how your favourite games are made

EGX Rezzed Sessions feature your favourite developers spilling secrets about how they make games and discussing the latest trends in the games industry.

Taking place on an intimate stage, these are expert discussions where you'll have the chance to ask questions. They're perfect for curious players looking to peek behind the game development curtain and for those looking for practical advice on how to survive and thrive in the games industry.

What can I expect?

The Rezzed Sessions are hosted by expert panelists and presenters, including some of the industry's most successful developers. They'll talk you through the decisions behind their latest game, and discuss everything from gaming addiction to crunch culture to tips on how to market indie games.

Recent panels have included how Inkle designed a lost language for indie hit Heaven's Vault, what lies in the future of adventure games, and a discussion of the issues surrounding gaming addiction. You can watch the latter here for a taste of what the sessions are like:

Wasn't that fun and informative? We have lots more to come, and we'll update this page as soon as we're ready to announce this year's sessions.

17.10.19

Thursday

12:30-13:10

A Taxing Conversation with… Jennifer Schneidereit

Finding funding for experimental projects is rarely easy. In this session, game creator Jennifer Schneidereit (Nyamyam) chats to video game analyst Stuart Burnside (British Film Institute) about her latest project, Astrologaster, a narrative-based comedy game about real-life 16th century “Doctor” of Astrology Simon Forman and his many indiscretions. The project was funded in part through public programmes Creative Europe and the UK video games tax relief (VGTR). Jennifer and Stuart will discuss Astrologaster’s journey, including how developers can navigate the VGTR and Creative Europe application processes and the impact of the funding, working with The Casebooks Project (a digital archive of medical records from c. 1600), running an indie game studio, and bawdy Renaissance-era ballads.

13:30-14:10

Gaming Culture: Time to upgrade

Jay-Ann Lopez, founder of Black Girl Gamers will delve into the toxic aspects of gaming culture. Gaming is experienced by all different walks of life, but its culture has been considered a monolith for a long time. The rise of social media has brought new, diverse experiences and narratives to the surface that are challenging the status quo. Learn what everyone can do to make gaming a more progressive environment.

14:30-15:10

Indies Speak: Game subscription services

From Apple Arcade to Xbox Game Pass, gaming subscription services are on the rise, but there are still a lot of unknowns. Will players be less inclined to buy games? Will developers of short games lose out to a model that pays them based on minutes played? Will the funding from first-parties last? We've assembled a panel of indie developers and publishers to answer those questions and more.

15:30-16:10

RPS Presents: The making of Wilmot's Warehouse

Wilmot's Warehouse creators Dick Hogg and Ricky Haggett join RPS's finest stock person to discuss the development of their shelf-packing sort 'em up. We'll discuss why they decided to make an Argoslike, its journey from Humble Original to full release, and if there's time we'll open questions from the audience so you can finally find out what that weird shape with the hole in it is, or whether it's better to order items by icon or colour..

16:30-17:10

Should Nintendo go third-party? And other questions

Video games are art, video games are entertainment, but video games are also a multi-billion dollar industry where some of the biggest decisions are made in the name of business. Join the team at market-leading trade website GamesIndustry.biz for an audience Q&A session -- ask your questions, and find out what really drives the world of video games.

18.10.19

Friday

12:30-13:10

RICO vs Dead End Job: Postmortem Battle

Two indie games. Two Developers. Two stories of success and/or failure. James Parker and Tony Gowland go head-to-head on the lessons learned making and releasing their big second titles. CHEER as they find funding, WINCE at their hunt for publishers, and GASP at sales figures! (Also maybe a fight.)

13:30-14:10

Designing via game jams

Sumo Digital’s David Dino reveals the challenges and enormous benefits of running game jams across the company’s seven studios in the UK and India. He’ll share insights and lessons learnt along the way, including using game jams as a means of getting into the industry. He’ll also touch upon how the process delivered Sumo’s indie hit Snake Pass, and how their upcoming 2D brawler Pass The Punch – based on a winning Sumo game jam submission by Dino - has grown and changed since first starting as an internal game jam project. David entered the games industry after being recognised for his work as a creator in the Little Big Planet community. He is now Sumo Digital’s Business Development Analyst.

14:30-15:10

From GTA to Autonauts – Gary Penn’s 35 Years in the Gaming Industry

In this special interview session, Rock Paper Shotgun sit down with games industry veteran Gary Penn as he talks about his 35 years making and writing about video games. During this special retrospective Gary will discuss his time as editor of Zap64!, his role as Creative Director at DMA Design during Grand Theft Auto, and his work on 50+ other games including big-budget AAAs like Crackdown, TV Games, GBA classics (ahem, Go! Go! Beckham! Adventure on Soccer Island) and his brand spanking new colony and AI coding game, Autonauts!

15:30-16:10

RPS Presents: The making of Observation

No Code's creative director Jon McKellan joins Rock Paper Shotgun for a dive into the making of this year's critically acclaimed sci-fi thriller Observation, showing a behind the scenes look at its origin and development. From initial prototypes and production, through to turbulent story evolution and cinematic title sequences, explore never-before-seen footage and learn how a small team made a big game.

16:30-17:10

How to make an RPG like Disco Elysium

Lead designer/writer Robert Kurvitz and writer Argo Tuulik discuss the best and worst bits of creating an original IP and turning it into a video game with a 5 year development cycle. TL;DR - it's not very easy.

17:30-18:10

RPS Podcast Live!

Join Rock Paper Shotgun's Alice Bell, Matthew Castle and Katharine Castle for a sensorially enhanced live edition of the Electronic Wireless Show podcast. Watch: them sit on chairs. Hear: them talk about PC games. Taste: the delicious flavour of banter. Touch: their ears with your own questions. Smell: nothing. There will be no smells, thank you.

19.10.19

Saturday

12:30-13:10

DF Retro: 8-bit micros and the quest for 'Arcade Perfect'

What made 80s coin-ops so spectacular - and how did developers aim to bring the arcade experience home to computers like the C64 and ZX Spectrum?

13:30-14:10

Head Cook and Pot Washer - Being an Artist in an Indie Games Company

Coatsink senior artist Hannah Watts gives insights into working at indie studios and highlights why being a "jack of all trades" isn't necessarily a bad thing. The talk will involve general life advice for being an all-round creative in the games industry, as well as tips on how to broaden your skillset and continue learning.

14:30-15:10

Using violent games to promote peace and tolerance

Most games aren't designed with the intent to educate us, but games - including violent games - can be used not just to satisfy our trigger-happy in-game desires, but to convey a message where war is hard, unforgiving, and something we should never wish for. In this talk, Tsahi Liberman, an award winning narrative and game designer for games, education and impact, would share his experiences of using games to promote peace and tolerance around the world.

15:30-16:10

East meets West: Game Dev Collaboration Across Continents

Even in 2019, working with Japanese creatives on beloved IPs still remains an elusive feat for western developers. Over the years Mediatonic’s had the great privilege and pleasure to work collaboratively on a variety of Japanese titles, such as our tactical RPG Heavenstrike Rivals with Square Enix, to working with Hato Moa to bring Hatoful Boyfriend to the west. Join Ed Fear (Senior Creative), Naoko Ishibashi (Producer) and Luke Borrett (Producer) to hear the behind-the-scenes tales of what it takes to create games like these - and what it’s like when names like Final Fantasy, Secret of Mana, and Deus Ex are on the line. This panel will also feature a very-soon-to-be-announced title that we can’t wait to tell you all about!

16:30-17:10

The Past, The Present & The Future of Sea of Thieves

Multiplayer pirate 'em up Sea Of Thieves was released 18 months ago, but there's still a lot planned for the game's future. In this panel, developers Rare join GamesIndustry.biz's Chris Dring for an open and transparent discussion on the game's development journey so far, and where the adventure is taking them next.

17:30-18:10

The Rat Brigade: Dissecting a distinctly Failbettery story

Award-winning narrative games studio Failbetter Games discuss the development of a favourite story from Sunless Skies, in conversation with Alice Bell. Narrative director Chris Gardiner and writer James Chew will talk about the Failbetter pitching and writing process, and how they developed the companion questline for the Rat Brigade from concept to in-game caper.

20.10.19

Sunday

12:30-13:10

Cloud gaming: What does it actually mean?

Cloud gaming is gaming’s hottest trend, with Google, Microsoft and EA just a few of the big names who are investing. But what does cloud gaming actually mean and how will it change the games we play? Join Mat Kemp, Product Manager of London tech start-up Hadean, for a talk that will explain what cloud gaming is and the technology that powers it, giving examples of games that use it and which will use it in the future.

13:30-14:10

Tips for building your streaming audience with The Cyber Nerds

Learn how to build and grow a strong streaming audience with the 2019 YouTube Next-Up winners, The Cyber Nerd: They'll be giving out tips on equipment and program must-haves when you are on a budget, how to keep viewers entertained during a stream, and how to grow a fanbase that will support you.

14:30-15:10

From startup to small: The culture of a growing studio

Building a great team and trying to make a game at the same time is hard, especially when you're just starting out. Keeping that team happy, healthy and productive throughout is even harder - and what do you do when things start to go wrong? Jonny Hopper, formerly of Lionhead and Media Molecule and now studio head and co-founder of Glowmade, a small, scruffy independent studio in Guildford, will explain how to create a great culture and community, and how it can help when it seems like everything is on fire.

15:30-16:10

Designing for interactive live action

Flavourworks recently launched Erica, a narrative game that is 100% filmed in live action, but with tactile mechanics and branching gameplay. In this presentation, creative director Jack Attridge will talk the audience through the inception of the studio, the challenges of building a new type of game, and explain how they reached the game's final design.