XDS Sessions

Thursday 25 January

Day two of the Fringe events at Gamesforum London featured an exciting partnership between Gamesforum and XDS for an afternoon of exclusive sessions from notable names at EA, Microsoft, Capital Games, and the Coalition, covering trends in the world of external development.

The XDS Sessions were open for all attendees looking for unique, indepth insight into external development, particularly relevant to senior level technical staff, including project managers and producers.

Hosted by EA Producer Chris Wren, sessions throughout the afternoon included:


Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes – Outsourcing for epic IP with epic constraintsDerek Smith, Art Director, Capital Games (EA)

Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes has become a powerhouse in the mobile CCG genre, with content spanning the entirety of this beloved and epic IP, while consistently delivering new content on an almost weekly basis. Starting from pipeline Padawans and becoming live content Masters, Derek’s talk will discuss the journey of how the EA Capital Games’ art team had to embrace fast iteration, and massively evolve their production and outsource pipelines to accommodate tight production requirements.


Key trends in art & engineering external development Jason Harris, Sr Director, EA, Lauren Freeman, Sr Manager, EA

Leveraging external development partners for game development is more integral now than ever before. Game companies need to deliver highly complex games to players quickly, maintain live services content, and create deeply immersive experiences. That said, the external development environment is constantly changing which can make it difficult to navigate. New service providers constantly enter the market, there is increased consolidation, and many companies are diversifying their offerings and/or developing their own IP. In this session, Jason Harris, Sr. Director XDI, and Lauren Freeman Sr. Manager, XDI will discuss key trends in external development that they have observed supporting EA game teams and communicating with hundreds of service providers each year. The goal of the presentation is for viewers to be better able to navigate the ecosystem and prepare a successful external development strategy.


Gears of War: external development demystifiedDilber Mann, Sr Producer, The Coalition, Carla Rylance, Outsource Manager, The Coalition

At the Coalition, home of the Gears of War Franchise, external engagements are constantly evolving with the use of a Distributed Development Strategy.  Building a Distributed Development Strategy in a multi-team development studio requires alignment within your organization, and across your external partners to bring a unified action plan through to successful execution. All for the continuing improvement of external engagements. This session is broken up into three parts and will walk through the steps from real use cases that have been leveraged in creating high performing external engagements. Discussions will involve topics from; building a Framework for Distributed Development, Successful Engagements in Distributed Development, and Engagement Tracking.


Player 2 has entered the game: everything but games will impact the future of external development Sam Carlisle, Sr Director, Microsoft

The world is waking up to the potential of the real-time engine. In this presentation we explore how everything outside games will impact the future of External Development for both vendors and developers.