I have been attending Develop in Brighton 2011 this week. This is the main conference in the UK for game developers. There are several tracks of session covering coding, art, audio, production, design, business. An ‘Indie’ track was also on offer for independent developers as well as GamesEdu, a track of talks involving industry and academia. For me, two strong themes came across from the sessions I attended: FREEMIUM and GAMIFICATION. Gamification is not just about taking a product and turning it into a game, its all about extracting gameplay mechanics to make a product more engaging and to influence the users behaviour, taking the key mechanics from a game and using them in another product, for example, taking the idea of a tutorial level and using it to create a user manual or a walkthrough of a product. Freemium was also a big topic on the indie track, just how exactly can you make a living from creating ‘initially free’ games? One interesting point in the Indie track was that none of the speakers ever talked about making ‘a fortune’ only about ‘making a living’, very difficult when players are exposed to so many free games.