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Prey and Mafia 3 join Total War and more at this week's Rezzed developer sessions

Levine! Hall! Digital Foundry! Careers! Etc! Full schedule inside.

EGX Rezzed is rapidly approaching - to be precise, it's on in London from Thursday to Saturday this week - and with it comes a personal favourite pair of events: the Rezzed Sessions and Developer Sessions.

For the uninitiated, the smaller-scale Rezzed Sessions are where our friends and colleagues in the Gamer Network Events team host deep dives into game development and the video game industry in the form of talks, interviews and discussions. This year, Rezzed will play host to talks on everything from the creation of games like Overcooked and The Banner Saga, to a Digital Foundry Retro debate, a sit down with Eurogamer's Oli Welsh and Chris Bratt on getting into games journalism, and plenty of other sessions on the various stages of game development, marketing, and design.

The Developer Sessions, meanwhile, are the place to be for talks with some of the biggest names in game development itself. Amongst the long list of talks, we can now confirm that Prey's creative director and Arkane head honcho Raphael Colantonio will be there discussing the game and showcasing new gameplay - as will Bill Harms, narrative director at Hangar 13 and lead writer on Mafia 3, who will discuss narrative and the challenges of making a game set in 1968. Plus, BioShock creator Ken Levine will sit down for a chat with Oli, and renowned strategy game developers Creative Assembly will reveal more about the future of the Total War: Warhammer series.

The sessions will be taking place across all three days of the show - Thursday 30th March to Saturday 1st April - and I've barely scratched the surface of what's going on with my little blurb above, so before you worry about where you can buy tickets (you can buy tickets here!), below is a full list and schedule of what you can expect:

EGX Rezzed Sessions and Developer Sessions schedule

Developer Sessions

Thursday 30thSessionWhat to expect
12:00 Ken Levine - A ConversationBioShock creator, Ken Levine, speaks with Eurogamer's Oli Welsh about his love for games, his time as a game designer and about Ghost Story games, the studio he co-founded with 12 former Irrational Games staffers.
13:00 Prey and the Arkane Factor.Prey is the highly-anticipated first-person sci-fi action game from Arkane Studios - creators of the award-winning Dishonored series. Join Creative Director, Raphael Colantonio, as he showcases new gameplay and discusses what makes the immersive sim such a unique and exciting genre.
14:00 Divinity: Original Sin 2.Origin stories are a new feature in Divinity: Original Sin 2 that enrich the co-op and single-player experience by giving characters compelling - and sometimes competing - motivations to fulfil their own destiny. Swen Vincke's (Larian Studios founder) panel will address the challenges of building fully-fledged narratives that play nice inside the main story when the characters themselves don't, all while leaving room for players to create their own experiences from scratch.
15:00 Knights and Bikes with Rock, Paper, Shotgun:Foam Sword - developers behind the charming and energetic eighties-inspired Knights and Bikes - join RPS on stage. We'll be talking about knights, bikes and the process of turning childhood memories into inspiration for a new game.
16:00 William Pugh.William Pugh (Crows Crows Crows / The Stanley Parable) tells stories from navigating the games industry and avoiding death at the hand of publishers. He has seen horrifying things and will reveal ALL!!
Friday 31stSessionWhat to expect
12:00 Cities Skylines with Rock, Paper, ShotgunKaroliina Korppoo, Lead Designer at Colossal Order, talks about the continuous development of Cities: Skylines, and working along side a community.
13:00 The Future of Gaming TechJoin the Digital Foundry team as they discuss 4K and the future of PC and console technology.
14:00 Stellaris with Rock, Paper, ShotgunWhere is Stellaris a year (and a bit!) from launch, and where are we headed, beyond Utopia.
15:00 Taking to the Sunless SkiesFailbetter Games discuss the sequel to Sunless Sea, which was 377% funded on Kickstarter! New stories, regions as yet unexplored in the Fallen London universe, gameplay updates and more details from early production. Producer Lottie Bevan, Writer Cash DeCuir and Game Director Liam Welton in conversation with Eurogamer.
16:00 The future of Total War: WARHAMMERJoin developers from Creative Assembly for an exclusive look at what's next for the Total War: WARHAMMER series. Fans won't want to miss this!
Saturday 1stSessionWhat to expect
12:00 Dean Hall from RocketWerkzDean Hall, the original creator of DayZ and founder of RocketWerkz, goes in-depth on the studio's new game and takes questions from the audience.
13:00 Battalion 1944The team behind Battalion put an emphasis on their community, being a small studio creating a big game isn't easy the only way it can be done is by listening to the community. Senior Producer and Designer on Battalion Joe Brammer will be discussing what "old school" really is when it comes to shooters and he'll be looking to audience for ideas, features and requests. Are the modern FPS games missing something that you'd like to see? Now is your chance to have your voice as a gamer heard. Join the devs of Battalion 1944 and help design the next 'old school shooter' in a live Q and A.
14:00 Xenonauts-2Chris England from Goldhawk Interactive joins Eurogamer's Chris "Strategy King" Bratt to chat about the latest Xenonauts-2 developments.
15:00 Yooka-LayleeJoin developers from Playtonic as they play through the opening stages of this wonderfully colourful 3D platformer before taking your questions. This is a worldwide exclusive session and the only chance you'll have to see the final version of Yooka-Laylee before it's released.
16:00 Halo Wars 2: How we made a game for everyoneCassie Morgan and Dan Brewer from Creative Assembly will talk about the challenges involved in designing for both hardcore RTS fans but also for players new to RTS games. They will cover topics including an introduction to Halo franchise, designing for both Console and PC, Halo Wars 2 leaders and playstyles and finishing by talking about the different game modes.
17:00 How 1968 Shaped the Characters and World of Mafia IIIBill Harms, Narrative Director at Hangar 13 and Lead Writer of Mafia III, discusses the challenges involved in creating a video game set in New Bordeaux, a fictional version of New Orleans, during the tumultuous time-period of 1968. Bill will delve in to the research and development process that informed the game's characters and overarching narrative, and the decisions that drove the inclusion of sensitive issues such as the era's racial tensions.

Rezzed Sessions

Thursday 30thSessionWhat to expect
12:30 Getting Your Game Funded Through Tax ReliefThe BFI on how you can get a funding boost through tax relief - and you don't need to include red phone boxes, the Royal Family or Brexit.
14:30 Augmented Empire - Storytelling in Virtual RealityCoatsink Games discuss the newly-announced Augmented Empire and the challenges of storytelling in the all-new frontier of VR.
15:30 Rocky Road: Recovering from War for the Overworld's troubled launchBright Rock on how it fluffed its launch and spent two years recovering, with help from their own community.
Friday 31stSessionWhat to expect
11:30 How to get into games journalismEurogamer's Oli Welsh and Chris Bratt take your questions on breaking into covering video games as a career - more on this on the site tomorrow!
12:30 How Early Access is changing games: lessons from two releases in four yearsThe creators of Day of Infamy and Insurgency discuss the pros and cons of releasing an Early Access game and how the system has evolved since launch.
14:30 Audience Expectation vs. Developer Goals: When To Tell and How To ShowIn a conversation led by the creators of Independent By Design: Art and Stories of Indie Game Creation, Dean Hall (RocketWerkz - Out of Ammo), Paul Kilduff-Taylor (Mode 7 - Frozen Synapse) and Lorenzo Conticelli (LKA - Town of Light) discuss the highs and lows of pre-release buzz and weigh in on when it's best to tell an audience what to expect and when it works best to stand back and let the game do the talking. Hosted by Stace Harman, co-author of Independent By Design: Art and Stories of Indie Game Creation.
15:30 Growing pains: how a stupid joke became a full-scale gameWhere do indie games come from, Dad? Dad Quest developer Eric Winebrenner recounts the arduous quest of transforming one silly joke into a fully-fledged Dad themed adventure game.
16:30 The Crate and Crowbar LiveJoin in the recording of the internationally-respected PC gaming podcast, hosted by Philippa Warr, Graham Smith and Chris Thursten.
Saturday 1stSessionWhat to expect
11:30 Digital Foundry Retro: Playstation vs SaturnJohn Linneman and Rich Leadbetter sit down to discuss the great Saturn vs PlayStation battle from the viewpoint of the gamer and the journalist.
12:30 The Saga of The Banner SagaStoic's John Watson on how the company went from Bioware and Star Wars to Kickstarter and Vikings, creating a much-loved RPG.
12:30 Secrets of Game Design with William PughGet some unique insights into game design from William Pugh, co-creator of the acclaimed The Stanley Parable and the top-rated Accounting VR. A hosted interview by Phillippa Warr of Rock, Paper Shotgun.
14:30 The Second Coming: The Return of WW2 ShootersIt's been ten years since Call of Duty switched to Modern Warfare, now WW2 is coming back. The creators of Batallion 1944 and Day of Infamy on why that is and what it offers.
15:30 The Making Of... OvercookedDiscover all the best (repeatable) stories behind the creation of the co-op culinary hit.
16:30 Outside Xbox LiveMeet the hosts of Outside Xbox and Outside Xtra, who'll be taking questions and signing T-shirts.

Away from the Rezzed and Developer sessions, there's still plenty going on at Rezzed, including a Careers Fair, Careers Bar, after parties, and a huge amount of playable games ranging from the Leftfield Collection's indies to the biggest of the big stuff. If we didn't catch you the first time with our cheeky plug, remember you can get tickets here, and we'll see you later this week!

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