The full itinerary for Edinburgh Interactive Festival 2007 has today been revealed – the highlights of which include keynotes from Sony Computer Entertainment, Head of BBC Vision's Simon Nelson and Ubisoft president, Yves Guillemot, plus presentations on the art of performance capture and a panel discussion on the phenomenal success of Second Life.
Further panel discussions and debates will also be conducted by many of the industry's most influential heavy-hitters in games development, publishing and hardware alongside emerging games talent and professionals from parallel creative industries and media.
Chris Deering, Chairman of Edinburgh Interactive Festival said: "The festival, now in it's fifth year, has grown bigger and stronger in its quest to look at the cultural impact and relevance of game’s in today's society. It focuses on this growing creative market and celebrates of the rise in popularity and the status the industry is enjoying. The schedule this year, from beginning to end, incorporates passionate speakers from some of the worlds leading names in interactive entertainment, discussing and examining new technologies, cultural issues and the future of this emergent industry."
This year's Edinburgh Interactive Festival, which takes place on Monday 13 and Tuesday 14 August at the Royal College of Physicians, Queen Street and The Odeon, Lothian Road, respectively, will put an increased focus on the cultural impact and relevance of games.
Monday 13th August – Royal college of Physicians, Queen Street
10:45 Keynote: Yves Guillemot
Yves Guillemot CEO of Ubisoft on what the future looks like for the second most successful global games publisher, on having studios in more countries than any other, and on new link–ups with the film industry.
11:45 What Am I Worth?
Ed Williams, David Higley
Ed Williams, industry analyst from the Bank of Montreal and Dave Higley review trends in consumer time allocation between community websites, free (casual) games, MMORG's, second life type games, and traditional PC/console games followed by a panel to discuss what the investment community is thinking?
13:30 Virtual Reality TV
Andy Ward, Peter Cowley
Virtual Reality TV supremos Endemol take a look at some of their new cross platform interactive content projects including Virtual Me (with EA) and iLand (Big brother with avatars with AOL USA) Peter Cowley and Andy Ward provide the low-down.
14:15 Eve Online
A look at the evolution of the ‘dog eat dog’ sci-fi MMOG out of Iceland favoured by Financial services CEO’s for honing their competitive skills – with CCP CEP Hilmar Petursson.
15:45 Games Actually
Sevket Gozolan, Marie-Sol Beaudry, Patrick O'Luanaigh, Sean Dromgoole
Are game developers and publishers paying attention to the fastest growing sector in the interactive games industry…the female gamer? Do they really need to? Join the debate with industry insiders Sean Dromgoole of Some Research, Marie-Sol Beaudry of Ubisoft, Patrick O’Luanaigh of nDreams and Sevket Gozalan of Play Vanilla.
16:30 Casting for Games - The CG Actor
Casting CG characters in games is a different mindset and skill – Ian Livingstone of Eidos puts some logic behind the evolution of games generated character and what makes success.
17:30 Edge Awards
Wii Sports, Final Fantasy XII and contentious schoolboy romp Canis Canem Edit are among the games short-listed for this year’s coveted EIF EDGE Award at the Edinburgh Interactive Festival O7. With eight worthy contenders in all for the award, the panel of five judges clearly have their work cut out.
Tuesday 14 August - The Odeon, Lothian Road, Edinburgh
10:00 Keynote: Sony Computer Entertainment
Sony is preparing to empower players with a variety of new titles for its PlayStation3 console including Home and Little Big Planet, a revolutionary title which crackles with creativity and allows players to dream up their own unique gameplay.
11:00 The Art of Performance Capture
Seamus Blackley, Stephen Berkoff
Seamus Blackley dissects the art of performance capture with Tameem Antoniades, Co-founder & Chief Creative Director at Ninja Theory. Tameem will speak of his experiences working alongside prolific practitioner and theatrical icon Stephen Berkoff and the world's leading CG actor Andy Serkis (Gollum in Lord of the Rings) on the much-anticipated Heavenly Sword video game.
12:10 Virtual Societies
Hilmar Petursson, Jessica Mulligan
Ren Reynolds chairs a discussion with Jessica Mulligan a 20 year veteran of the online games industry and Hilmar Petursson of Crowd Control Productions recently accused of manipulation behind the scenes of Eve Online, on what does go on behind the game – how do players behave what patterns follow real life?
13:45 Keynote: Simon Nelson
Simon Nelson who introduced podcasting in his last role for the BBC and now Head of BBC Vision reveals why BBC DG Mark Thompson said the corporation had something to learn from ‘games’ and how ‘games’ will figure in the beeb’s new media folio in the future.
14:45 Developing for Second Life
Jim Purbrick, Justin Bovington, Giff Constable
No one can still tell you what the real business plan is for Second Life but, if you want influence in the virtual business scene, you have to be there! And a real industry of developing content for these clients has grown up around the phenomenon – all is explained by a panel chaired by Ricard Gras, with Justin Bovington, ‘Rivers Run Red’ and Giff Constable (Electric Sheep), and Second Life CTO Jim Purbrick.
16:00 Embracing the Interactive (19 Entertainment)
Martin Lowde describes why digital media is becoming a key business interest to 19 Entertainment, their clients and the content they produce as well as the challenges they face in stepping into this brave new world.
The Festival is newly positioned to reflect video gaming’s rise in popularity and influence, helping the festival celebrate the best of video gaming here and oversees and examine the cultural issues of games and gaming - making it the world's only true cultural games event.
2007 also sees new partnerships for Edinburgh Interactive with Dare to be Digital and the inaugural academics’ conference, the Digital Interactive Symposium, which takes place at Edinburgh University on Wednesday 15 August.
The Edinburgh Interactive Festival not only features new branding and positioning but, to bring games closer to the TV and Film festivals, the content committee has appointed festival specialist Arthur Leone PR, who will be to bring the Interactive Festival closer to the fabric of the Fringe and the Festival.
For further details of the festival programme and events, along with details about registration and how to book, visit the Edinburgh Interactive Festival website at: EIEF