We’ve been up to quite a lot this summer, and while the majority of the team has unfortunately been sweating buckets in the office, working hard on contract work while hiding from invading bees the size of golf balls, I’ve been lucky enough to get a number of really cool events I’d love to tell you about.
First off, in June I managed to bag a seat at the hugely acclaimed Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards (THELMAs) held at the illustrious Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane. It was a great evening of awards, food and drink (Including purple carrots!) and to top it off was the night was hosted by the hilarious Richard Ayoade. Personally, I was already a fan of his previous work as Maurice Moss on the IT Crowd, so when I found out that he would be presenting I knew that I would be in for a treat. Overall the night was excellent, from the champagne reception with the opportunity to chat to some incredible people to the moment that Teesside University actually won the award that they were nominated for - the award for Knowledge Exchange. I felt truly honoured to be chosen by Teesside University to be on the table that represented them.
I even had the opportunity to pop along to the British Museum before getting ready for the night. It was a great opportunity to have a flying visit to the Egyptian mummies, Elgin Marbles and more!
Alongside the fantastic experience at the THELMAs, I also had the opportunity to hop on the train down to Brighton for a week at the 2018 Develop Conference with Aaron and Ole from Foxbyte Games and Matt Atkinson from Sekrit Games. The conference is held at the Hilton Metropole in Brighton and they host a week full of insightful talks, exhibitions and business meetings.
Through the daytime it was all about chatting with the UK’s best and brightest members of the games industry, and I ended up talking to lots of interesting people. We had a particularly great 1 to 1 meeting with Dovetail Games, makers of Train Sim World and Fishing Sim World as well as Polystream, who enable companies to allow instant streaming of their 3D software. I even met the Voice Actress who provides the voice acting for the Morrison’s Self Service Check-outs - Posy Brewer. Needless to say it was hilarious when she said “Unexpected item in the bagging area”! Another fantastic highlight of the week was a beer and burger at the Brewdog restaurant with management from Splash Damage, Square Enix and Linx. That burger was so delicious I’m still having dreams about it.
During the evenings, it was all about the parties - fantastic events where you could really get to know fellow developers around the UK and cultivate those important relationships. There was Marioke, which is Karaoke but the words are all changed to be game-themed. I performed a rather strange version of Lose Yourself by Eminem which seemed to go down well.
The parties at Develop are legendary, and even England’s defeat to Croatia in the Semi-Final of the World Cup didn’t hamper our spirits, after all if you give a bunch of developers an open bar, they feel like they’ve won the world cup already, and in a way, we had.
Some fantastic times over the last couple of weeks and i look forward to more adventures in the future, adventures where the whole team can hopefully join me on!