Train2Game News Northern Exposure

Secret Sauce, producers of Northern Exposure, are thrilled to announce their day-long games event will return for its third instalment on the 27th February at the Northern Design Centre in Gateshead’s thriving digital quarter.

Cumron Ashtiani, Founder at Atomhawk, will be speaking at February’s conference and said “I’m delighted to have been asked to get involved in the latest Northern Exposure event. October’s event was a great opportunity to meet and discuss ideas with so many people who are passionate about the games industry. I’m looking forward to returning in February to follow up on my previous talk about the highs and lows of growing a business and to meet with more great people”.

Northern Exposure will be partnering with UKIE to deliver a well-rounded day of discussions including a keynote courtesy of Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO at UKIE. She said, “The games industry all over the UK is of vital importance to the creative industries and tech economies in the UK, but also globally. Northern Exposure is a great opportunity to discuss how we can continue to grow by helping local studios and developers access the opportunities the global digital economy offers, as well as inspire new ideas that will shape the industry in the years to come.”

The Northern regions of the UK have a long and proud history of excellence in the games industry and Northern Exposure is a celebration of regional success, as well as an opportunity for local studios and developers to hear from national and international industry experts.

“It’s wonderful to see the local games community come together for Northern Exposure; this is our third instalment and the talks are always super inspiring and informative”, said Katy Reilly, Project Manager at Secret Sauce. “Northern Exposure emulates the region’s famous GameHorizon Conference by bringing together local speakers as well as guests from the wider games sector. It’s a pleasure to produce an event like this and put focus on creating something which is valuable to the community and shines a light on what’s happening in the region.”

This one-day event features talks from business owners, industry leaders, professionals and experts, sharing personal stories of success, failure and lessons learned. Hear expert tips and nuggets of knowledge to inspire your own business and games. There are plenty of opportunities to network throughout the day, followed by a drinks party in the evening.

Bob Makin, Managing Director at SockMonkey, will be making a return in February to host the event and guide attendees through a full day of exciting talks and discussions. “It’s great to be asked back to host Northern Exposure again” said Bob, “we’ve got such a fantastic gaming and interactive scene up here in the North East. It’s wonderful to have an event where we can shout about what we do up here and all the great games that are developed by ridiculously talented people. I can’t wait!”.

Secret Sauce is also delighted to welcome Escape Technology on board as Networking Sponsor for Northern Exposure; Neil Parmar, Account Director at Escape Technology said, “events like Northern Exposure are vital for the continued development of the games industry. We’re thrilled to be a part of the community and look forward to sharing our insights into creative CG technologies”.

Early bird tickets are available now at £25.00 which is a whopping 50% discount on the general admission tickets. Be quick though, as the early-bird offer ends on January 27th.

Tickets can be purchased through the eventbrite page: https://northexpo2019.eventbrite.co.uk

Keep up to date with future announcements on the website: www.north-expo.co.uk

Train2Game News VRTGO Laboratories

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Virtual reality (VR) is set to become a mainstream technology next year as Oculus and Sony release their consumer VR headsets in Q1 2016. The North East is well placed to cash in on its strength in this exciting immersive technology.

At the heart of VR innovation is a rapidly expanding cluster of tech companies in the North East, working on everything from virtual showrooms for world renowned car makers to awe inspiring documentary content, immersive games and sub-sea training.

VRTGO Laboratories in Gateshead, is a dedicated virtual reality business cluster, created to bring together a growing number of researchers, entrepreneurs and businesses working in the sector. Backed by Gateshead Council, the VRTGO Laboratories cluster has set itself the goal of ensuring that Gateshead remains at the centre of the VR revolution. Working with leading games and serious VR technologists as well as buyers the centre aims to be a central focal point for VR.

This cluster was born as a result of Britain’s first VR conference and expo, VRTGO, held locally and delivered by specialist digital consultancy Secret Sauce, in September 2014. This international VR event is set to return on 12th November.  (www.vrtgo.co.uk )
VRTGO conference director, Carri Cunliffe, said: “There is no better place to locate if you are a VR company. The region is home to innovators working in both entertainment and serious applications for big brands. VRTGO Laboratories and the VRTGO conference will attract leading buyers to the region and encourage university research. We are also hosting a free VR demo day on 10th September for anyone who is interested in seeing how VR solutions can improve their business – sign up today https://vrtgodemoday.eventbrite.co.uk.”

Global leaders Oculus and digital studios like Atomhawk Design, CCP, ZeroLight, Vector76 and HammerheadVR all delivered presentations at the VRTGO conference and it rapidly became clear that companies in Gateshead and the North East were playing an increasing role in exploring the exciting opportunities of VR.

Cutting edge technology and visualisation firm ZeroLight is among them. Jason Collins from ZeroLight said: “There is a key role for VR to play in creating commercial consumer experiences as well as in fields such as training and design. We’re looking forward to sharing some of our learning about design and building compelling VR experiences with other companies and being part of this growing community.”

Other important sectors in the North East such as the automotive and offshore industries show great potential for commercial VR uses, as well as huge consumer potential, and Gateshead Council is confident that the cluster will lead to extra highly skilled jobs in the region.

The future of everything from video games to sub-sea exploration could be set to change during 2015 as virtual reality technology takes hold. VR is moving ahead at a lightning pace.

Gateshead Council’s technology sector specialist, Marissa Brindley said: “The potential of VR technology is phenomenal. VRTGO Laboratories is ensuring that the North East is in the right place at the right time to take advantage of the revolution that looks set to take place.

“The facilities, expertise and support that are available here are second to none in the sector; businesses are already really feeling the benefit of being a part of VRTGO Laboratories. It’s impossible to predict the future but it’s clear to see just how exciting and important the developments we’re seeing in Gateshead could be.”

Train2Game News VRTGO 2015 Conference

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This November will see the return of the popular future gazing VR conference and expo -VRTGO in Gateshead. 

Following last year’s sell-out event the organisers will be introducing new features and encouraging more buyers to attend the break-out sessions to meet technologists and developers.

ZeroLight, headline sponsor of VRTGO 2014 believes attending the event this year is valuable for any company exploring the potential of virtual reality, “VRTGO helps those inside and outside of the technology industry to explore the opportunities that virtual reality brings.  As well as being a showcase of VR applications, it provides real value to anyone thinking of using VR in their business”, said Jason Collins Marketing Director.

The conference and expo will feature companies such as nDreams, CCP, Coatsink, Crossrail, Microsoft, Atomhawk, Hammerhead Interactive and the list goes on….

Patrick O’Luanaigh, CEO of nDreams said, “We spoke at the inaugural event last year, and were hugely impressed by the professionalism, speaker quality and general feeling of excitement. This year’s event should be bigger and better, and we’re looking forward to sharing the lessons that we have learnt releasing titles on the Gear VR and developing launch games for the Morpheus, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.”

Carri Cunliffe, Secret Sauce MD and VRTGO producer said, “It was a great event to work on last year; so many exciting new questions about how VR will impact not just the entertainment industries but how we live and work. We will see more diversity of attendees as buyers look to see how VR can improve their business.  We are thrilled to be working on this exciting event again this year.”

To register today and take advantage of the early bird price https://vrtgo2015.eventbrite.co.uk