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The GamesIndustry.biz Podcast

Fortnightly updates and insight into the global video games market for industry professionals, aspiring developers and more. The GI.Biz's world-leading team of experienced trade journalists will be joined by some of the most notable figureheads and promising talent from the industry, lending their thoughts on the latest trends in the market
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The GamesIndustry.biz Podcast
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Now displaying: Category: general
Aug 7, 2018

This week, we're joined by Simon Smith, managing director of family games publisher Thumbfood. 

Smith joins us to discuss why the family and kids games market needs "a kick up the arse" on consoles, and why a wider audience is the key to driving PlayStation 4 past 100 million sales.

We also touch on how to avoid the mistakes made by previous publishers with an interest in family games, how to compete with the flood of free-to-play kids titles on mobile, why educational titles might stand a better chance of breaking through the noise, and why Crash Bandicoot's ongoing success indicates there is demand from the mainstream for more family-friendly games.

As always, you can find more news, insight and analysis into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Jul 26, 2018

Recorded during Develop:Brighton 2018, we're joined by former Valve writer Chet Faliszek to discuss the realities and possibilities of AI in video games.

Faliszek shares how he believes AI can be used to build more systemic gameplay, and how this can create more unique experiences for the players. He also touches on why mid-sized studios are best placed to take advantage of this rapidly developing technology, and drops a few hints about his first project with UK developer Bossa Studios.

The discussion also covers the difference between player agency and interactivity, why writing more generically actually makes dialogue feel more natural, and how games can offer more options than 'kill all your enemies'.

As always, you can find more news, insight and analysis into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz

Jul 17, 2018

We're joined this episode by indie figurehead Mike Bithell, developer of Thomas Was Alone, Volume and bitesize text adventure Subsurface Circular.

Recorded just a few days after the surprise launch of the latter's spiritual successor, Quarantine Circular, we speak to Bithell about the advantages and potential of releasing games without any marketing build-up.

We also discuss the benefits of developing shorter games, the limitations this creates, and why embracing these limitations is the key to crafting a tight and easily digestible experience.

As always, you can find more news, analysis and insight into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Jul 2, 2018

This week, we're joined by Geogrify founder and ex-IGDA director Kate Edwards to discuss one of the less-highlighted challenges of working in the video games industry: Ageism.

Recorded at E3 2018, the discussion explores who is being affected by ageism in the industry, and the impact on both victims but also the companies neglecting them. 

Edwards also shares the process behind her recent 50 Over 50 list, which highlights both notable figureheads within the industry and those who have perhaps been denied the spotlight throughout their careers.

Finally, she offers advice to industry members of all levels on how we can combat ageism.

As always, you can find more news, insight and analysis into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Jun 21, 2018

The entire GamesIndustry.biz team convene to reflect on this year's major games showcase in Los Angeles.

Instead of talking through every announcement (which listeners are no doubt familiar with), we each choose a topic or trend that emerged from the show and discuss how it impacts the industry in general.

Throughout the episode we discuss the growing presence of consumers at E3, the continuing saturation of shooters and violent action adventures as the tentpole titles of the show, and the (glacially) slow shift towards a more diverse range of protagonists.

We also touch on the impressive roster of Avalanche Studios, what the future holds for the four developers acquired by Microsoft and where the console market is heading as rumours persist of a PlayStation 5 and a new Xbox.

As always, you can find more insight, news and analysis at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Jun 4, 2018

The full GamesIndustry.biz editorial team unites to discuss the upcoming video games extravaganza that is E3. Working through the major press conferences that always serve as the tentpole for this annual event, we discuss what we hope to see from each platform holder and publisher in terms of both line-up and strategy, as well as speculate on some of the games that might get announced.

The discussion ranges from Microsoft's lack of first-party titles and over-reliance on external publishers to Sony's oddly scattered approach to arranging game announcements before, during and after its showcase. As for Nintendo, what will the Mario maker focus on in its Direct and what will be revealed during the divisive (and very long) treehouse sessions.

We also touch on third-party publishers Bethesda, Ubisoft, Electronic Arts and Square Enix. A mix of leaks and pre-E3 announcements means much of these companies' line-ups is already known, but what surprises will there be? And did someone mention 'battle royale'?

As always, you can find more news, insight and analysis at www.gamesindustry.biz, where we will of course be covering E3 extensively.

May 18, 2018

Hot off the announcement of the Xbox Adaptive Controller, we're joined by SpecialEffect's Dr Mick Donegan, Joe Morgan and Bill Donegan - a trio of experts in the field of helping disabled gamers play the latest video games.

This episode begins with an insight into the making of the Adaptive Controller - for which SpecialEffect was one of the consulting charities - and how it marries different forms of input to open up gaming to as wide a range of people as possible, no matter what disability may have hindered them in the past.

We also discuss the next steps for the industry and whether we can expect more devices like this to appear, as well as general tips about how developers can make their games more welcoming for disabled gamers with considerations as obvious as customisable controls to more practice and tutorial areas.

Apr 21, 2018

This week we're joined by Mark Estdale, founder of leading voice production firm OMUK. Drawing on his experience directing actors for games ranging from best-selling PlayStation blockbuster Horizon: Zero dawn to Telltale's Game of Thrones series and indie hit hue, he discusses the elements that add up to a great performance in video games.

We discuss a brief history of voice acting in games, the reasons why A-list screen actors aren't necessarily best suited to the medium, and the importance of giving performers as much context as possible when they record.

There is also advice for studios looking to add voice acting on a low budget - even phone recordings can be of use - and how aspiring actors might get started in the field.

As always, you can find more news, analysis and insight into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Apr 4, 2018

We're joined by Kish Hirani, industry veteran and chief technology officer at new virtual reality start-up Terra Virtua.

Recorded during the official unveiling of the subscription-based VR platform, this episode discusses the remaining barriers between virtual reality and mainstream adoption.

Not only does this involve the ongoing search for that elusive 'killer app', but also a firmer understanding of what works in VR, the connection between the tech and rollercoasters, and the need for standards across the increasing number of devices on the market.

As always, you can find all your news, analysis and insight into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz

Mar 7, 2018

James, Brendan and Haydn discuss the impact and implications of Mountains' debut title, Florence: a short but definitely sweet love story built around gameplay vignettes.

We ponder the lessons to be learned from this acclaimed titles, both in appealing to a broader audience and exploring the wider remit of what video games can be. We also discuss other titles and developers attempting to break away from the typical gaming fare of bigger, better killfests.

We also compare Florence to Final Fight and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - it makes sense if you listen in.

Once done with this episode, why not read our interview with creator Ken Wong (https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2017-11-01-ken-wong-gamings-remit-is-up-for-us-to-challenge) or email your thoughts to james.batchelor@gamesindustry.biz?

Feb 28, 2018

This week we're joined by Kelly Wallick, CEO of Indie Megabooth and chairperson of the Independent Games Festival.

Wallick shares her views on the current state of the industry for independent developers, touching on the issues of discoverability, the varying success rate for studios that have previously exhibited at the Megabooth and the hard work that goes into sustaining an indie studio.

She also discusses the need for better curation on digital stores, plans for this year's Independent Games Festival, and some of her favourite recent indie games.

As always, you can find more news, analysis and insight into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Jan 25, 2018

This week, we're joined by Paul Barnes of App Annie and Adam Telfer of Chatterbox Games to discuss the future of the free-to-play market on mobile.

Recorded at Pocket Gamer Connects, we ponder the most recent trends and shifts in the mobile market, the impact the ongoing loot box debate might have on free-to-play games, and how the monetisation model might in the coming years.

Barnes and Telfer also offer advice on best practices and how to ensure your free-to-play mechanics are effective but not offensive.

As always, you can get more news, analysis and insight at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Dec 20, 2017

The GamesIndustry.biz team reflects on the games we have most enjoyed over the course of the year, ranging from major AAA blockbusters to mobile hidden gems – and, of course, a certain Switch game.

Our collective game of the year may not come as much of a surprise, but listen in to find out which other, more unusual titles we've been playing across all platforms.

We also discuss which games we're most looking forward to in 2018.

Dec 15, 2017

We're privileged to be joined by three prominent actors from the world of video games, all of whom appeared together in Assassin's Creed Origins. Our guests this week are Abubakar Salim (who plays main character Bayek), Alix Wilton Regan (Bayek's wife Aya) and Zora Bishop (Cleopatra).

The trio share their experiences with performing in video games – which in Alix's case stretches back to 2009's Dragon Age: Origins – as well as the merits of voice recording versus motion capture and the challenges actors face as publishers turn their attention to established Hollywood talent.

As always you can find all your news, analysis and insight at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Nov 28, 2017

We're joined this week by Gary D Nissenbaum, founder of the Nissenbaum Law Group, to talk about licensing out your IP.

Gary talks us through the pitfalls to watch out for, such as termination rights, and offers advice on how developers can ensure their property isn't abused by licensees.

The discussion covers everything from merchandise to cosplay, and even touches on how best to secure other licenses that you can develop games around. 

As always, you can find all your news, insight and analysis at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Nov 10, 2017

This week, we're joined by a quartet of VR pioneers: Dave Ranyard, founder of Dream Reality Interactive and former Sony London developer; Stuart Whyte, director of VR product development at SOny London; Anna Hollinrake, senior artist at Climax Studios; and Simon Barratt, director and founder of Cooperative Innovations.

Recorded during this week's Develop:VR conference, this episode discusses the next steps for virtual reality, the ongoing hunt for that killer app, the importance of social aspects in VR titles, the evolution of out-of-home VR and advice on how to best get started when developing for the technology.

As always, you can find all your industry news, analysis and insight at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Nov 2, 2017

We're joined by Playful CEO Paul Bettner to discuss his studio's forthcoming release – colourful platformer Super Lucky's Tale – and more.

During the episode, we talk about the potential for family-friendly titles on the traditionally hardcore Xbox One, how less realistic art styles might benefit from the power of Xbox One X and the leap from VR to standard 3D gaming for Playful's Lucky franchise.

We also touch upon recent pessimism surrounding virtual reality, why Playful isn't about to give up on the technology, and how it hopes to break new ground for VR with its upcoming adventure Star Child.

As always, you can find all your games industry news, insight and analysis at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Oct 3, 2017

This week, we're joined by games composer Gareth Coker to talk about his work on titles like Ori and the Blind Forest and most recently Ark: Survival Evolved.

In our interview, Coker discusses the challenges of composing for a game that's constantly evolving through the process of taking an Early Access game like Ark to launch, as well as the varied community feedback he received throughout the project. 

He also talks about conveying the game's thematic mix of prehistoric beasts and science fiction through the music, as well as his work on the Ori series and why he has published the entire Ark soundtrack to YouTube for all to enjoy freely.

As always, you can find all your news, analysis and insight into the business of video games at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Sep 25, 2017

Recorded during the GamesIndustry.biz Investment Summit at last week's EGX 2017, we're joined by Good Shepherd's business and product development consultant Ben Andac.

Our latest discussion explores the realm of indie publishing, touching on how firms like Good Shepherd decide whether or not to invest in a new studio, what developers should expect from their publisher and why even a one-game deal has repercussions for your business going forward.

As always, you can find all your news, insight and analysis at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Sep 15, 2017

This week, we're joined by Luke Savage (senior academic development manager at Sony Interactive Entertainment UK) and Marcia Deakin (games partnership manager at Next Gen Skills Academy).

The discussion focuses on the relationship between the games industry and academia – not just universities, but Higher Education and schools as well. With the oft-pondered 'skills gap' making it harder for studios to find the talent they need, what more can the industry be doing to help educational institutes train better potential recruits.

As always, you can find more news, analysis and insight at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Sep 7, 2017

Recorded during this year's European Women In Games Conference, James is joined by Dovetail Games' VP of HR and facilities Gemma Johnson-Brown, Space Ape Games' content marketing boss Deborah Mensah-Bonsu and Nyamyam co-founder Jennifer Schneidereit.

Together they discuss the various challenges involved in not only recruiting more women into the games industry – thus balancing the current gender split of the workforce - but also highlighting the accomplishments of those already established and ensuring their talents are recognised.

We also cover the lack of diversity when it comes to leadership positions, the media, games writing and more.

As usual, you can find all your regular news, insight and analysis at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Aug 21, 2017

After a disappointing showing at Xbox's Cologne showcase, GamesIndustry.biz editor-in-chief Matt Handrahan, UK editor James Batchelor and publisher Chris Dring unite to discuss the struggles facing the platform holder.

The delay of Crackdown 3 has unquestionably damaged the launch line-up for the Xbox One X, but it also exposes a more severe problem in the lack of system-selling first-party IP. Similarly, the confusion as to who the target audience is for this extremely powerful device throws the future strategy of Xbox into question.

We ponder all this and more in the latest episode of The GamesIndustry.biz Podcast. As usual, you can find all our news, insight and analysis at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Aug 9, 2017

Recorded during a recent press trip to Ubisoft's Singapore studio, we're joined by three of the publisher's regional studio heads: Singapore's Olivier De Rotalier, the Philippines' Chip Go and Chengdu's Jean-François Vallee.

The trio discuss the various unique aspects of the games industry in Southeast Asia, the differences in consumer tastes, and the wealth of stories and cultural influences available that can inspire games. They also discuss the talent pool in each of their areas and how they work with local institutes to help grow the games industry in the region.

As always, you can find more news, insight and analysis at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Aug 2, 2017

This week, we are joined by Kostya Lobov of legal experts Harbottle & Lewis to discuss IP protection. Before you cancel your download, bear with us - this is an essential guide for indie and new developers on not only how to protect your rights, but also how to avoid infringing on other people's.

Within less than 45 minutes, Kostya attempts to summarise the differences between copyright, patents and trademarks, offers advice on best practices when it comes to setting up a studio and choosing names for either your business or your games. He also touches on how to defend yourself if you're accused of copying the work of another developer, and what to do if you discover your own projects have been cloned.

As always you can find more news, analysis and insight at www.gamesindustry.biz.

Jul 19, 2017

This week, James Batchelor is joined by the games industry's power couple: John and Brenda Romero.

In a year where both development veterans are picking up multiple awards - including a BAFTA for Brenda – we discuss whether the duo faces the perception that their careers have peaked, and what they intend to do about it.

We also discuss how Donovan Brathwaite-Romero is coping with the success of Gunman Taco Truck, how the other Romero children are expressing their creativity, and the highlights and lowlights of both John and Brenda's respective careers.

As always you can find more news, analysis and insight at www.gamesindustry.biz.

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