SOME of the biggest names in the gaming world are set to take part in an annual festival held in Bradford next month.

The National Science and Media Museum has announced the full programme for this year’s Yorkshire Games Festival, a week-long extravaganza running from 12 to 18 February.

The festival is returning for its sixth edition and will begin on Saturday, 12 February with the popular Let’s Play family weekend, followed by an impressive line-up of Games Talks on 17 and 18 February.

Let’s Play will allow younger visitors to experience games on the big screen, play the latest board games and analogue experiences and beta-test new projects from northern developers.

On Thursday, 17 February Game Talks will return with a programme of talks, masterclasses and Q&A events featuring high-profile industry guests.

Speakers include David Sheppherd from Ubisoft Leamington, who will be leading a talk on the role of UX in gaming. Dr James Cook will also be joined by composers Adam J. Sporka and Jan Valta for a talk on open-world game music and will demonstrate a composition from scratch.

Director and producer at Those Eyes, Trine Laier, will reveal how to develop and design an authentic game, while Acid Nerve co-director David Fenn will take visitors through the development journey of Death’s Door.

Women in Games ambassador Bex Betton will be also exploring the prospects of work experiences and unpaid opportunities in the gaming industry, and senior character artist Nele Steenput will discuss character art in VR.

Yorkshire-based developer Team17 will also be hosting its Usability Lab, where gamers can get first-hand experience in game testing.

Festival Director, Kathryn Penny, said: “We are delighted to see the return of the Yorkshire Games Festival with an impressive programme of talks, events and activities, including the return of the popular Let’s Play weekend.

“This year’s festival will not only welcome a host of inspiring speakers who are working at the forefront of the fast-growing industry, but also offer younger gamers and their families opportunities for free game play and unique experiences.

“Our Game Talks sessions will encourage gaming fans of all levels to take the leap into this exciting industry by providing attendees with invaluable insight to boost their knowledge and skills to develop a successful career in gaming.

“We are also thrilled to announce the full programme details for Let’s Play, which will give younger gamers and their families the chance to explore the latest boundary pushing video games, as well as hearing about amazing opportunities available in the industry.”

For more information and to book tickets, click here.