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Hull’s digital stars of the future to shine in industry that is bigger than Hollywood

03/02/2010

From Apps to the Xbox, digital gaming is to take centre stage in Hull next month.
 
Leading local experts have joined forces to create Platform 2010, the city’s first annual gaming conference, designed to encourage and nurture local talent and cement the city’s growing international reputation in gaming education.
 
Organised by World Trade Centre Hull & Humber in partnership with Hull-based Garthwest Ltd, which designs and develops in-store marketing for top names in the home entertainment industry, Platform 2010 is a one-day event being held at Hull Truck theatre on March 25.
 
Open to all people interested in gaming, including individuals and commercial enterprises, the free conference will include educational seminars by leading industry experts, a showcase for local talent, competitions and game play.
 
Headline speakers include: Dr Jon Purdy, computer science expert at the University of Hull which boasts the best Msc in games programming in the UK; Jake Hapgood, author of the celebrated book, The Game Maker’s Apprentice and Arif Majothi, one of the industry’s best-known animators and games creators.
 
Central to the conference is The Showcase, Platform 2010’s main competition, that will provide 12 successful applicants (individuals or organisations) with a platform to demonstrate their skills and abilities. The criteria cover all elements of the gaming industry including new programming techniques or hardware concepts as well as games in development.
 
There will also be awards for the best gaming ability, which will be tested on a big screen, and for the best character creation.
 
Lindsay West, joint managing director of Garthwest Ltd, said that the potential for Hull to become a recognised hub for gaming professionals had inspired him to organise the conference, which intends to inform and educate in addition to putting Hull in the spotlight.
 
“Platform 2010 marks the beginning of a sustained effort by key players in the region to nurture, celebrate and support talented games developers and budding entrepreneurs, both school age and beyond,” said Mr West, who is also chair of World Trade Centre Hull & Humber’s advisory group.
 
“The gaming industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the new global economy, and we believe that the infrastructure is in place to put Hull at the forefront.
 
“If you are serious about developing a career in gaming, then Platform 2010 is a must. Nowhere else will you have access to such an incredible level and range of expertise which will provide you with the inside knowledge that is critical for success.
 
“The industry is bigger than Hollywood, more exciting and we want people to get involved.”
 
Platform 2010, is being supported by a number of organisations that have an interest in the gaming industry, technology or in promoting the region, including World Trade Centre Hull & Humber, Andrew Jackson solicitors, OneMannBrand, the University of Hull and Dark Raven Digital.
 
Dr Purdy, who will deliver a seminar on the history of gaming, said that the industry in the UK grew massively on the back of the expertise of enthusiastic amateur developers.
 
“That was in the days when one person could make and sell their own computer games,” he said. “With the development of the iphone, Microsoft’s XNA and the popularity of casual games, the days of the small developer are back. 
 
“Platform 2010 fills a niche in that it explores the tools and technologies available to new talent. We hope the conference will play a major role in stimulating the next generation of games developers in the region."
 
You can apply for a place at the conference or for the Showcase by registering at Platform2010.co.uk. Places are strictly limited.
 
www.platform2010.co.uk
www.wtchumber.com
www.garthwest.com

Notes for editors

Platform 2010 is being held on March 25 at Hull Truck from 10am until 5pm.
 
Speakers and workshops

Platform 2010 offers an agenda of speakers and workshops, with all areas of the gaming industry being addressed.
 
The History of Gaming
Dr Jon Purdy, Department of Computer Science, the University of Hull.
Experience an informative and fun journey from the pioneering days of the first games to the huge global industry it has become.
 
The Game Maker’s Apprentice
Presented by Jake Hapgood, author of the Game Maker’s Apprentice.
Jake will bring his experience and wisdom to Platform 2010. From developing games for Gremlin Interactive to Infogrames, Jake now works at Sheffield Hallam University.
 
Character Creation and Branding
Arif Majothi, founder of Dark Raven Digital and creator of Anaksha Female Assassin.

One of the most important factors of any successful game is to create a character or scenario that grabs the interest of your audience and holds it. Arif tells us how to bring a character from concept to life.
 
Also speaking on this subject is Lawrence Mann, founder of OneMannBrand.
Brand imagery and iconography is another key element in the success of many games. Lawrence is the ‘onemann’ to communicate how to succeed in this area.
 
From Apps to the Xbox
Rob Miles, the University of Hull.

Whatever game type you want to design/create/specialise in, programming is a critical ingredient. The gaming industry might be the broadest of churches, from simple Apps for the iPhone to whole new worlds for the Xbox, but we are here to help you!
Among his many achievements Rob Miles lectures at the University of Hull and is a Microsoft MVP (Most Valued Professional). An expert on programming he covers XBox to XNA.
 
Running with the Media
The media is a multi-level and vastly complex industry, and one that has a huge importance for the gaming industry. Whether it is via printed media, telecommunications or the internet, you need to understand its power and relevance to your target audience.
 
Protecting Your Intellectual Rights
Marie Kell of Andrew Jackson Solicitors
You spend hours developing the next big thing; you spend minutes finding out that you have lost your creative rights to it. Learn how to protect yourself.
 
I want that one! POP and In-Store Marketing
Lindsay West of Garthwest Ltd
How to create an impact in-store and maximize your sales. With a customer base ranging from the BBC to Penguin Books and Universal Studios, Garthwest will show you how to raise awareness of your finished product in-store and maximise your sales accordingly.

Competitions

Platform 2010 is running three competitions. People must enter using the online application form.
 
The Showcase
This is the main competition of Platform 2010. It is open to all categories of attendees, for example individuals or educational establishments, and offers entrants the opportunity to showcase the best of their skills and abilities. It is a totally open competition and covers all elements of the gaming industry - for example you can showcase any new game in any stage of development, new programming techniques or new hardware concepts.
There are 12 available spaces for successful applicants, who must apply soon via the website to avoid disappointment.
 
The Character
The best character concept will win a full size cut-out of their creation.
 
The Game
The game competition is being supported by Kingston Communications and enables attendees of Platform 2010 to test their abilities on the big screen in a competition that will last throughout the course of the day.
 
For media information, please contact Catherine Ackroyd at Mapa on 01482 589900, 07739 139056, catherine@mapa.org.uk