Back to Reality: Team AdInMo’s Top 3 Moments from Develop: Brighton

Nov 3, 2021

With the dark clouds of the pandemic hopefully beginning to clear, last week the UK games industry emerged, blinking, into the sunlight, and Team AdInMo made their way to the bracing beaches to participate in Develop: Brighton 2021. 

Always a popular get-together, this year’s Develop felt extra special, if just a little awkward, as everyone remembered how to talk to each other and it didn’t take long for both the expo and conference sessions (and of course the bar) to be buzzing again. 

Over three days it was the usual whirlwind of meetings and moments, but for the sake of brevity we’ve whittled down our Develop 2021 experience into three standout moments for Team AdInMo:

1: Electric Square’s Kristina Miles on FTUE

The conference rooms had a relentless schedule of fantastic sessions, with keynotes from big names like Debbie Bestwick, Ted Price and Mike Bithell bookending a diverse range of talks from an equally diverse range of industry professionals. There were many that stood out, but our pick of the bunch had to be the presentation by Kristina Miles, Lead UX Designer at Electric Square, on the importance of designing a great first time user experience (FTUE) for your game.

Miles took a real deep dive into the goals of a FTUE, and the common mistakes that developers make when putting theirs together. She offered a range of tips and tricks to optimise the player’s first few minutes in your game, and ensure that they turn into many more. We’ll be posting a full write-up on the session and what FTUE means for InGamePlay very soon.

2: Little Orpheus wins Best Mobile Game at the Develop Star Awards

It’s always great to see mobile game success stories, each one reinforcing the fact that some of the best stuff in the industry is happening in the mobile space. Little Orpheus, one of the pioneer titles for the much-lauded Apple Arcade service, was a worthy winner at the Develop Star Awards on day two. A real built-for-mobile experience, with short episodes designed to be played over the course of a commute to work; it’s increasingly rare, in a world of never-ending live service games, to see such respect for the player’s time.

It was definitely developers Sumo Digital’s night, as they also bagged the coveted Best Studio award.

3: The Creative Fire burns strong at the Develop Indie Showcase

While a lot of the headlines were, inevitably, claimed by the big names attending, the heart of Develop’s expo was the Indie Showcase. Featuring eight lesser-known developers, each keen to show off their wacky wares to a room full of prospective players.

The titles on display ranged from car parking simulators to complex explorations of grief and loss; from atmospheric co-op puzzling to card-based dungeon crawling. Each was unique and interesting in its own way, and presented with a real sense of artistic conviction. You’ll see this for yourself when our  Develop vlog, packed with interviews with the Indie Showcase developers, releases later this week!

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