Entries for this year’s Develop:Star Awards are now open. Hosted at the Hilton Brighton Metropole during Develop:Brighton 2023 – where Women in Games hosts its popular Fizz & Cake networking event – the awards will take place on Wednesday July 12th.
Entries can be submitted across 19 categories until midnight on Friday March 31st so make sure you don’t miss the deadline. Further details on the submission process are available on the Develop:Brighton website.
This year’s Develop:Star Awards sees the introduction of a new award: Talent Development Star. This will recognise an in-house team that has shown outstanding policies and initiatives, and produced impressive results in successfully recruiting, retaining and developing talent within their team.
In addition, the former Best Micro Studio award will become the Best Small Studio award – expanding the eligibility to include teams of up to ten full-time staff.
Here’s the full list of categories:
Best Visual Art
Recognising a game which demonstrates exceptional achievement in visual art and/or animation, across any genre.
Rewarding a team who have far exceeded expectation in their storytelling to create an outstanding player experience – through innovative or ground-breaking writing.
Best Game Design
This award recognises a team responsible for exceptional and creative game design via the use of controls, level design, pacing and mechanics.
Rewarding a game that demonstrates distinction in the use of sound or music to improve player experience.
Best Original IP
This award will recognise the creation of the best new intellectual property.
Best Technical Innovation
The award which recognises technological innovation in the video game space. This could be a pioneering gameplay experience, a breakthrough new development technique, inventive hardware or anything showing true innovation.
This award celebrates an individual who has shown a commitment to promoting diversity and inclusivity within the games industry.
Recognising a UK-based individual, in-house team or external agency that has shown outstanding achievement in promoting a game – including marketing, PR, influencer relations and community development.
Best QA and Localisation Provider
Recognising the organisation that has provided the highest quality of service and contributed the most to usability, testing and localisation within the game developer community.
Best Creative Provider
This award recognises the organisation that has provided exceptional audio assets (voice acting, music or sound effects) or visual assets (porting or creating sections of the game) for the game developer community.
Best Technology Provider
For this award we’ll be rewarding the organisation that has provided outstanding hardware and/or technological support for UK game developers. This could include third party engines, motion capture tools, dev kits or microprocessors.
Talent Development Star
Recognising an in-house team that has shown outstanding policies and initiatives, and produced impressive results in successfully recruiting, retaining and developing talent within their team.
Recognising an external organisation that has shown outstanding policies and initiatives, and produced impressive results in successfully recruiting new team members for development studios.
Best Mobile Game
This award will be given to the game that offers the best overall player experience on a mobile phone or tablet.
The Tomorrow’s Star award will recognise the achievements of new talent in the games industry. Nominees should be below senior management or director level.
Recognising an organisation that has shown outstanding support helping developers get their game published. This can include via funding, discoverability, research or anything else that helped secure a successful route to market for new games.
Rewarding the game that stands out above all others in terms of gameplay, storytelling, art style, character development, creativity and overall player experience – across all genres and platforms.
Best Small Studio
This award will go to a studio with ten or fewer employees who’ve achieved exceptional critical and commercial success during the qualifying period.
This award celebrates any studio with five or more employees who’ve achieved exceptional critical and commercial success during the qualifying period.
In addition to the 19 categories, the Develop:Star Award will once again honour outstanding achievements and contributions to the industry. Previous winners included Bethesda Game Studios’ Todd Howard, Team17’s founder and CEO Debbie Bestwick MBE, and Arkane Lyon Studio & Co-Creative Director Dinga Bakaba.
Submitted entries will be judged by a panel of industry experts, who will whittle them down into the final shortlists. These will be announced in the Spring ahead of a closed industry vote to determine the winners in each category.
For more information on The Develop:Star Awards and how to submit nominations, click here.