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Unite 2012

Last week our tech team managed to take some time out and attend Unite, the annual developer conference for those working with Unity, in Amsterdam. Over the past year Unity has become an increasingly important part of our technical strategy - we're working on multiple cross-platform Unity titles at the moment - and the huge turnout and enthusiastic atmosphere at Unite showed we're not alone in that respect.

As well as the excellent talks and presentations - more on our favourites later - we were really impressed with the number of Unity staff in attendance and how available and helpful they were. Whether it was an informal chat over coffee or a scheduled hands-on session to help with specific technical questions, there always seemed to be someone at hand. It was a nice touch from a company who seem genuinely interested in maintaining good relations with their developer community.

If you're ...

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Preloaded at Develop 2012

Last week, Team Preloaded headed down for our annual seaside trip to Brighton for the 2012 Develop Conference. It was a particularly big year for us this time round as we were very proudly to be featured on the agenda quite heavily!

Preloaded Highlights

Session: "Wellcome Trust Workshop: How Do You Make Science, Play?" 
Danny Birchall, Iain Dodgeon and Martha Henson (Wellcome Trust), Phil Stuart (Preloaded), Tom Rawlings (Auroch Digital)

We were very excited to be asked by the Wellcome Trust to help run a number of game design workshops, explaining how close collaboration between games makers and content specialists can produce great games, such as our recent Wellcome collaboration - Axon.

Session: "More Than Just Fun. Designing Games With Purpose" 
Phil Stuart (Preloaded)
Phil's session covered some of the key principals we use when creating games around specific content goals. If you didn't make it to his session ...

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Games for Change #9

Games for Change is one of the leading global advocates for supporting and making games for social impact and host to the 9th Annual Games For Change Conference, set over a sweltering three days in New York City on the 18th-20th June, 2012.

G4C is one of the few conferences we've found which focuses purely on the importance of games that educate, engage and ultimately change lives. This focus is firmly allied to our 'games with purpose' approach to game development so a great fit for us to both attend and speak at.  With an impressive line up of speakers, and an awards evening to boot, we knew it was well worth featuring in our 'must see' conference calendar.

Using games to inform, engage and educate is fast becoming mainstream, with institutions, financiers and governments all now beginning to see the value so G4C felt important. Everyone from Zynga ...

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Games that are ‘about’ something

We make fun games, with a purpose. They are often a direct response to a brief or commissioning opportunity, linked to learning or communication objectives and targeted to specific audiences. If you think that sounds boring, you are wrong! It’s awesome.

One of my all time design heroes Raph Koster tweeted this earlier in the year:

games about something tweet

I love this quote. Its now my favourite way to describe what WE do - 'games that are about something'.

A fair proportion of our games are commissioned by broadcasters, educators and not-for-profit organisations, such as the BBC, Turner, Channel 4, Wellcome Trust, Tate and the Science Museum. The 'about' in these games is the history, the science, the learning message - essentially the communication objective of the project - and all our games, start with it.

This post captures some thoughts on our approach to creating games that fuse a project's objectives into the ...

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