About Explay

ExPlay represents the independent games development and design industry across the South West of England and beyond. We hold an annual conference that attracts leading speakers from the indie games circuit and support the growth of the industry through bespoke training programmes, business support and networking events throughout the year.

ExPlay is the bond between games academia and games industry, helping students and graduates connect with industry byshowcasing the best indie games companies to create opportunities for that new talent, whilst building communities through meet-ups and holding Game Jams.



Previous Festivals

Festival 2011 – Plymouth

Extended Play 2011 took place at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth on 3rd – 5th November 2011, once again celebrate the notion of 'Play' using digital media. The festival delivered a two-day programme of inspiration and creativity, showcasing the region's best talent within the gaming and interactive industries, while addressing some of the sector's most current debates. The theme for the inaugural festival is "games as a service," exploring the challenges that the gaming industry faces today and in the future. The event will include industry speakers, sessions and a Game Jam for the public, as well as a Boot Camp for independent gaming studios, stimulating the region's interactive industry. The festival will open with a keynote speech from Richard Wilson, CEO of the UK games industry trade association TIGA, and continue with panel discussions that will include, Guardian games journalist Keith Stuart, Preloaded Creative Director Phil Stuart, and BAFTA-winning designer Andrew Smith among others. Keynotes for this years festival will be Games Industry luminary Ian Livingstone OBE and emergent indie superstar Paul Taylor from Mode 7 games.

Festival 2010 - Plymouth

Extended Play (or ExPlay), was Plymouth's first Games event discussing the future of the games industry and the positive impact it can have on the region's emerging and talented producers, artists and developers. From console to phone, web to multiplatform, the games industry has become a dominant force in the media and design world. With the southwest traditionally being a fertile breeding ground for game developer talent, Extended Play looks to highlight the emerging games industry in the region and uncover what opportunities exist for graduates and companies. With a strong academic presence in the region experimenting with new technologies, interfaces and methodologies the opportunity to seed a buoyant and sustainable games industry has never been so viable. Extended Play features a heavyweight line up of some of the industry's most innovative games development studios and developers from across the country, featuring support from the city's colleges and university. We are proud to feature the British Council's young interactive entrepreneur of the year, 26 year old Paul Croft, who will centre his talk around the 'origin point of success', talking about his experiences in becoming such a recognised player in the industry. To compliment Paul's keynote, we have selected a panel of various speakers from the UK to discuss the future of the games industry, along with the growth areas and opportunities available for Plymouth, to encourage growth for the games industry in Devon. With an outward view on the UK's primary game development regions, the panel will discuss the key challenges and opportunities to create a viable industry here in the southwest and the benefits it can have to creative industries, looking specifically at academia, job creation, talent retention and economic growth. Extended Play is an informal event that will leave ample time for networking and of course game play, along with a complimentary bar for those wanting to continue the discussion.

News

Final details of Explay Festival 2013 announced!

21 October

Explay Festival organisers announce that they are to host a new range of events and workshops to run alongside the established expo floor and speaker sessions this year, with a special showcase planned for participating companies to gain nationwide exposure. This expanded show will feature the inaugural Indie Game Olympics where delegates will have the chance to compete against each other, playing new games from some of the UK’s most established, and emerging, development studios.

A range of prizes and awards await those that can achieve a combined score for their efforts, making this live playtest an invaluable opportunity for studios wanting to get their games noticed. In classic button mashing style, games have been selected based on their arcade feel and addictive nature, ensuring that this year’s expo floor is buzzing from the moment the doors open on the 31st October! For more information on what games we have selected this year, click here

Other sessions that are made available free of charge to all delegates, will include game design workshops, technology demonstrations and hands on advice for those looking to recruit or find a job in the games industry. There will also be a series of rapid networking lunches located across the City that will allow delegates to quiz speakers and other industry figures whilst chowing down on some of Baths finest cuisine.

Explay director, Ella Romanos said “We are delighted to be announcing the very first Indie Game Olympics at Explay this year, an event that will bring a unique dimension to the festival by having our own visitors become participants in a two day gamathon! The games featured are a mix of new and established studios, which could see any one of them be singled out as the latest indie hit! Explay has always been about helping studios get exposure, and with our Indie Game Olympics we intend to do that whilst letting everyone have fun along the way!”

This years evening programme includes the opening reception located in the Roman Baths, with the official opening party on Thursday 31st October being held at the newly refurbished Porter hosting the highly entertaining Micro Rave, and the hugely popular Edge Magazine pub quiz on Friday 1st November drawing the festival to a close.

The full speaker schedule has now been released, and alongside Mike Bithell’s keynote, speakers will include Clive Lindop (The Creative Assembly), Alex Trowers (Boss Alien), Simon Barratt (Four Door Lemon), Alistair Aitcheson, Barry Meade (Fireproof Games) and Simon Roth, with the VIP Opening keynote by Andy Payne (Gambitious, AppyNation, Mastertronic).

Explay is proud to be supported by some of the largest names in the games industry, such as this years gold sponsor Epic Games, creators of the award-winning Unreal Engine known for its cutting-edge graphics technology, world-class toolset and scalability across PC, console and mobile platforms. Other leading technologies such as Unity, Marmalade and Applifier will also be in attendance providing the latest info on their platforms.

Also supporting Explay again are Creative England, who will be on hand to highlight the various funding and training programmes that they have on offer to help emerging games studios get themselves on the ladder to fame and fortune. There is also representation from Plymouth University and The University of Bath showcasing their excellent games programmes to industry that are looking to recruit new talent.

The festival, now in its fourth year, is to be held again at the Assembly Rooms in Bath on Thursday 31st October and Friday 1st November, with the evening VIP Opening Event on Wednesday 30th October.

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ExPlay Global Game Jam 2013

06 January

Will you be representing the South West at Global Game Jam this year?

Now into our second year running the regions largest Global Game Jam, ExPlay represents the independent games industry across the South West of England and is the bond between academia and industry, helping students and graduates connect with industry. ExPlay will be promoting all the games created, as part of our on-going mission to raise the profile of the South West games industry.
This year we are also pleased to have support from Creative England and Microsoft, who will be running 2 sub-themes to add a twist to the global theme and give teams the chance to take their prototypes onward into full development!

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Visit Microsoft HQ

04 January

ExPlay is coordinating a unique opportunity to visit Microsoft’s HQ this January.
This exclusive site visit will give you the lowdown on Windows 8 game app development and the commercial opportunities that go along with that! Included will be a tour of the Microsoft Technology Centre and a chance to meet Dr David Brown to experience a demo of NuiVerse! If we can get enough people to make it along, Microsoft will also invite a huge keynote speaker to talk through game development and the games industry.

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Extended Play 2011 is Live!

Monday 22th August

Welcome to the all new Extended Play 2011 website, lovingly crafted by, organisers of the Extended Play Games Jam and all the community funky stuff thats going on to keep you entertained in-between all of the talks, panels and keynotes!

The Mutants are a close team of interactive designers & developers who share a passion for creating games and online experiences with a difference, specialising in creating Flash Games & iPhone Apps. If you bump into some guys wearing lab coats whilst at ExPlay, shake a tentacle and say hello! They're all lovely and happy to help you out!

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Extended Play 2011 pre-launch at Develop Conference in Brighton

Wednesday 20th July

Designed In Devon are very pleased to announce the pre-launch of Extended Play at the countries largest games conference in Brighton. This year, the annual Develop conference has been focusing on how the small, independent development studios are able to create products and services that become instant successes allowing those companies to become globally recognised brands overnight.

The 2011 Extended Play Festival aims to showcase the very best the indie games development talent the county has on offer and is the first event of its kind in the region to focus on the potential this high growth industry has. With confirmed support from recognised industry speakers and partners, Plymouth will be the place to be for indie gaming this Bonfire night weekend.

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