Help shape the future of creative industries in the UK

Results just published from a pilot industry panel reveal the top priorities for film and games industry professionals.

Employers from the film industry joined Creative Skillset’s influential online industry panels and took part in its pilot survey in February.

Following the success of the pilot, the first of three annual surveys will take place in the summer and Creative Skillset is calling for more employers and individuals within the workforce to join. The short online surveys contain no more than ten quick questions and contributors get priority access to the results. 

The pilot results revealed that film employers identified investment needs, training and future trends as their priorities. The issues that were most prevalent around training were funding and future training needs, those most prevalent around future trends were future business needs and technology, and investment opportunities and company development were the most predominant concerns around investment needs.

Computer games employers identified future trends, training and talent acquisition as priorities. Technology, consumer trends, and ‘future needs of business’ were highlighted as the main areas of concern for the future. The issues that were most prevalent around training were funding, future training needs and return on investment, and the issues most prevalent around talent acquisition were staff retention and recruitment. Despite the growth of apprenticeships across the Creative Industries, employers felt these were less relevant to the computer games industry.

Results from the panels will feed into Creative Skillset’s strategies for developing skills and talent to drive growth in the Creative Industries and the UK economy.

Employers and professionals in the film and games industries are urged to give their views and be part of the panels to input into issues such as skills gaps, training and how best to support the UK Creative Industries in remaining globally competitive.

To register for the industry panels, visit www.creativeskillset.org/research/panels.

Watershed launches £30,000 Playable City Award

Calling all artists, techies, designers, playmakers and all round mavericks. There’s a new award in town and it’s not afraid to push boundaries. Criss-crossing the intersections between art, technology, play and culture, the Playable City Award is looking for imaginative, interactive and accessible interpreations of what it means to have fun in public urban spaces. Internationally minded, the award is open to anyone and everyone in the world and is accepting submissions now.

The deadline for applications is 5 December and a shortlist will be announced soon after. For more information please visit www.watershed.co.uk/playablecity

New York New York! Hide&Seek expands in USA


In case you haven’t heard yet, last week brought the news that games studio Hide&Seek, our friends behind The Building Is… and the recent Hide&Seek Weekender, are opening a new office in Soho, New York. The game studio already has commissions lined up but pssst…they will be revealed later in the autumn.

Margaret Robertson flew over to head the new States-side offices, and so is leaving her post as development director at Hide&Seek London. Her bedrock of experience means she’s well known in the international gaming community, having worked on games development for Sony, EA, Channel 4 TV in the UK, and regularly speaking at games industry conferences.

Replacing Margaret is Mark Sorrell, formerly Games Director at UK games and media agency Somethin’ Else. He’s a new hire for Hide&Seek and his time working on games at Quiz TV, Sky Games, and FremantleMedia’s Screenpop,  with brands such as Countdown, Scrabble, Ben 10 and The Premier League, is no doubt making him feel right at home at Hide&Seek.

Alex Fleetwood, director and founder of Hide&Seek, says, “This is a very exciting time for Hide&Seek. We have always held the US game development community in high regard, and are thrilled to be able to work with US partners, clients and colleagues more closely. The launch of Hide&Seek USA in New York marks a new phase for Hide&Seek internationally, as we begin to reach audiences across the world.”

Take a peek at Hide&Seek at: www.hideandseek.net.

Jo Twist to deliver ExPlay VIP keynote

 

ExPlay Festival 2012 organisers have announced this year’s keynote will be UKIE’s CEO Jo Twist.

Taking on the role earlier this year, JoTwist has been working to make the UKIE trade body relevant to modern games development by giving its members access to the latest platforms, experts, and technology they need to grow as a company, and providing them with advice on fundraising, building relationships with their fans, developing their creative IP and finding talent.

She’s not the only big name speaking at the festival either: The Guardian’s Keith Stuart, TIGA CEO Richard Wilson, Creative Assembly’s lead game designer Clive Lindop, Preloaded’s founder Phil Stuart, and Heldhand Limited’s director Harry Holmwood are all making an appearance.

Twist will be delivering her talk at the VIP event in Bath on the 31st October, ahead of the ExPlay Festival taking place from the 1 – 2 November.

Let the Game Jam commence

This October, London’s Science Museum and The Pervasive Media Studios in Bristol are turning themselves over for 24 hours to the ExPlay Game Jam. Organised by this year’s ExPlay festival and led by bio-medical scientists from the Wellcome trust, game developers from all over the country will have one short day to design and build a playable game based on a theme revealed at the beginning of the event. The winners from both Bristol and London will then be able to present their work at the ExPlay Festival 2012 in Bath at the beginning of November.

Game jams are hectic, pizza-fuelled events in which developers blast out a game in a limited amount of time. The results are often rough, surprising, but at their best, totally awesome. And, if you’re a developer, you absolutely have to try one. Happily, then, the ExPlay Games Jam, taking place on the 5 and 6 October, is free and open to all.

You can find out more about how to participate at www.explay.co.uk/gamejam

To find out more about the ExPlay festival, visit www.explay.co.uk

99 Tiny Games unleashed around London

Like mushrooms after rain, all manner of colourful circular shapes have sprung up over London. They come in a range of colours, are about a foot wide, and grow on the ground and walls for the duration of the London 2012 Olympic Games

Read the stickers, and you’ll discover a simple set of rules you can follow to have a game right there and then - whether you’re on your way from work on the Southbank, or shopping on the high street in Hounslow - each borough has one and they are for everyone no matter how young or old, timid or adventurous. Leading busy lives, we can sometimes forget that play is all around us and that no one is ever too adult to play.

These simple games, created by Alex Fleetwood and his team at Hide&Seek are easy to learn, fun to take part in and as easy as grabbing a latte on your daily commute.

Find out where and how to play at www.99tinygames.co.uk.

Part of Showtime, presented by Mayor of London and London 2012 Festival.