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Revolution MD calls for more creativity at industry events

Revolution Software MD Charles Cecil has told <i>GamesIndustry.biz</i> that there's a growing need for industry events which focus on creativity in development rather than the economics of selling games.

Revolution Software MD Charles Cecil has told GamesIndustry.biz that there's a growing need for industry events which focus on creativity in development rather than the economics of selling games.

Cecil is a committee member for the Edinburgh Interactive Entertainment Festival, which he believes offers an ideal forum for developers to explore new ideas.

"Edinburgh fosters an environment where people will present games in a much more creative way. Instead of trying to sell them, people will talk specifically about the way they've been put together," he said.

"Culturally, it's an extraordinary medium that we all work in. I think we need to look further into the future, and that's what Edinburgh's all about. More blue sky thinking, networking with interesting people, and learning about interesting ideas."

Cecil is producing a session for the event titled More Magic Emotions, in which New York University professor Ken Perlin will discuss the idea of creating emotion in virtual characters.

"He talked about this at Edinburgh last year, and this time he's going to go further and talk about how characters can create emotion collectively through the ways they interact, and their body language," Cecil explained.

"Being from an educational background, Ken's not driven by short-term commercial pressures. That means he can think outside the box, and come up with really funky ideas. He is in the process of developing an SDK that may or may not become commercially available, but what he's talking about at the moment is blue sky thinking. This really is cutting edge."

Cecil said he believes there's room in the calendar for other events such as GDC and the London Games Festival - but that EIEF offers a very different experience.

"Edinburgh has a unique proposal, which is that it's celebrating the creativity of the art of interactive entertainment and of videogames. As such, it could potentially go to a much wider audience, because it's going to an audience from any creative medium - whereas the London Games Festival is very specific to videogames. I think they're very different proposals."

According to Cecil, European developers are becoming increasingly respected by their counterparts around the globe - and European events are set to enjoy more prominence, too, now that E3 is evolving into a smaller event.

"Europe has a terrific reputation amongst both Japanese and Americans for being very creative in the way that we come up with new concepts. Historically, Japan and America have been suspicious of how well we can deliver on those ideas - which I think has probably been a fair concern, but isn't any more.

"There are great opportunities for Leipzig and festivals like EIEF, and up until now, E3's been extraordinarily dominating of these events. It's up to all of these events to grab the opportunity while it's still there, and fill the vacuum."

The Edinburgh Interactive Entertainment Festival will take place at the Royal College of Physicians on August 21 - 22.

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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