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Explay comes to Bath

Tell us who you are and what you do
I’m Korash Sanjideh, co-founder of ExPlay and organiser of the ExPlay Festival, numerous Game Jams and our bespoke training programme, Explay Bootcamp.

What is Explay?
ExPlay represents the independent games development and design industry across the South West of England. We hold an annual Festival and support growth through training, business support and networking events whilst showcasing the best games companies the region has on offer. We create opportunities for talent, build communities through meet-ups and regularly hold Game Jams, all helping to elevate the regional games industry.

This years’ Festival will take place on Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd November 2012 and will build on last year’s successful event in Plymouth by bringing talks, panels and discussions from recognised industry figures under three tracks: Inspire, Create and Share.

The conference programme is designed to inspire creativity across all areas of game development, from design and writing, to code and art, helping creators share their experiences and stories around all areas of game development. There will also be sessions that are designed to have practical take-aways, talking about tools, content creation, design and more. We are also showcasing some of the freshest game development talent in our Expo area with demos, interactive toys and playful experiences that will take you off the screen and past a controller!

Why is it coming to Bath?
Bath is historically playful and we wanted to bring our special brand of fun to the city, highlighting the South West games industry and helping to raise the profile of the companies and talent we have in the region. We felt Bath was a natural fit to grow the Festival into something that is regarded as a new national event on the games industry calendar. With its strong digital industries, excellent Universities and gorgeous setting we are hoping to leave more than a distant memory: we aim to help build a sustainable games community that will continue growing for years to come!

Who should come along and why?
If anyone is curious about how to break into the games industry, is looking to connect with some of the UK’s finest indy game studios, needs to meet developers that can make ideas come to life, or is curious about how you make your own game idea a reality, then ExPlay is for you.

The event is designed to be lots of fun, with a lineup of excellent speakers that are all at the top of their game, along with a raft of social events to help build a community of likeminded people. If you work in the digital industries, want to know how to get into games or even if you just like playing them, then ExPlay is not to be missed.

Anything else you think would be of interest to readers?
TIGA are also holding their inaugural national game awards at ExPlay this year, which will truly celebrate and honour the best games, the best people and the biggest contributors to our amazing sector! To be hosting the Awards this year is very special for us, and certainly puts the Bath and the South West on the map as an developing area in the UK games landscape – http://www.explay.co.uk/tiga-awards

About Mike

Mike Ellis is co-director of Bath consultancy Thirty8 Digital, BathCamp founder and Creative Director of Bath Digital Festival. In past lives he has been Head of Web at The Science Museum, Digital Strategist at Eduserv, Production Manager at Waterstone's Online and - once - a picture framer. At a push, he'll bang on about mobile technologies, social media, ubiquitous computing and innovation but ultimately he believes that shiny technology pales into insignificance next to the content it allows people to share. Mike lives in Bath with his wife and two sons.

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