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Monday, October 7
 

11:00am

Championing Others Starts With Championing Yourself — Creating a Mentally Healthy Work Environment
When we’re given the task of managing others, often our own wellbeing falls by the wayside. Suddenly we’re in charge of humans, and that can be really daunting! So how can we make sure that we’re creating the absolute best workspace for everyone including ourselves? Pritika has been the community manager at CheckPoint for over 2 years now, and in that time has gone from managing an online community, to a team of passionate volunteers and now her coworkers. She’s the first to admit that she’s made some bad decisions regarding her own self care and implores you not to make the same mistakes. This talk will explore the benefits of self care, and how looking after yourself can help you light the way for others.

Speakers

Monday October 7, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
TBA

11:00am

Prototyping into Production - Technical and Creative Convergence
Prototyping is a critical part of the development of ideas and gameplay and requires a highly functioning team of cross disciplines to work together in an arena that can be hugely different from the pace of normal development.

This session will look at my experience of working within a fast paced team and how the role of an artist/technical artist is constantly evolving especially with tools such as unreal allowing the artist creative and technical freedom.

This session will cover ideas of best practices, common pitfalls and observations both from specific skillset point of view but also contributing to the team. The dynamic creation of something that has the potential to emerge that can be more than the sum of it’s parts.

Rather than be a definitive approach to a process, this session should hopefully raise questions and add value to any prototyping process and allow me to share my experiences of identifying where prototypes have been successful, how the team has performed and responded to diverse ideas, and anticipating the clients expectations.

Speakers

Monday October 7, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
TBA

11:00am

Finding The Right Voice Actors for Your Game
Australian attendees don't necessarily know where to find character voice over talent, especially with consideration to indie budgets. In this talk, Amy will help clarify exactly where to find voiceover talent based on that specific budget within a tiered system layout (Free product, small commercial revenue, console releases). As a full-time voice actress within the Australian industry, with a well-rounded video game CV, Amy will use her expertise to help light the way in this area. 

Speakers
avatar for Aimee Smith

Aimee Smith

Aimee Smith is a voice actress based in Sydney, Australia. She started voiceover in 2011, and sincethen has been in a range awesome video game roles including Milla from “Freedom Planet” and Ktarafrom “Siegecraft Commander” on the Nintendo Switch. She’s the voice of Alysia... Read More →


Monday October 7, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
TBA

11:00am

Pitching Games to Publishers
Cheryl Vance, Co-Founder of Prideful Sloth, walks through the not-so-subtle art of pitching to publishers. This talk is aimed at answering the question: what exactly does it take to get publishers to (happily) part with their cash?


This session will help guide developers through the less trodden path of publisher funded development, giving an understanding of the steps, resources, and general preparation required in pitching to publishers.


This includes putting together pitch decks, budgets, and schedules; answering what it means to enter into a partner-relationship; navigating the ancillary resources you may need; and hopefully busting a few myths along the way!

Speakers

Monday October 7, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
TBA

11:00am

Puzzles to be explored but not solved: Designing ambiguous navigable worlds
How can we create worlds to be explored but not fully understood? This talk discusses how to design game levels for experiences of exploration and curiosity by introducing spatial ambiguity. Focusing on the design of award-winning WORLD4, a multi-view exploration game where players chart out a layered abstract world, I will describe an alternative approach level design by reframing game levels as something to be scrutinised and understood. By presenting multiple design strategies designers can learn how to heighten player perception and vary navigation, seed uncertainty and encourage investigation, and subvert expectations to create surprise and foster interpretive readings. Through these insights attendees may build an understanding in how to enrich their own designs for exploratory and narrative player experiences.

Speakers
avatar for Alexander Muscat

Alexander Muscat

Alexander Muscat is a designer, researcher, and lecturer in the School of Design at RMIT University.He develops experimental games and holds a PhD in design research that investigates spatialexploration in videogame and level design. His work has been published at conferences includingDiGRA... Read More →


Monday October 7, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
TBA

11:00am

Strategies for Quality ContentTM
Market competition is brutal. We face a saturated digital landscape, falling engagement rates, sceptical consumers and the dreaded a l g o r  i t h m.  A good game can fail if it is not a competitive game.  So, how can we add value to our core product offering in order to help it reach the heights we want? When it comes to marketing your game in 2019, “content is king”.  This talk will explore how developers can leverage their unique IP for kick-ass content that creates added value and a competitive edge. Using an example of a game she just made up, Emily will take the audience through the key pillars of creating a competitive content marketing strategy.  The talk will ask developers to consider a more targeted approach to their content and suggest ways in which they can employ SEO principles and empathetic storytelling to reach niche audiences. It will cover different types of marketing content and match them to appropriate channels and purposes. There will also be a discussion on the management of visual assets and include examples of free software tools developers can use to get started. Remember: games are for everyone, but yours doesn’t have to be.


Speakers

Monday October 7, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
TBA

11:00am

Can I have that in a spreadsheet please?
Collecting, tracking and communicating complex relational data is the everyday work of producers and leads in teams. “What's the status of our game? How does our workload track against our timeline? Are my team members working effectively towards a shared goal? Is another play test cycle feasible before release?”
What tools and processes can we use to make the answers to critical questions like these tracked, visible, and easily digestible?

In this talk, Cherie will leverage her production experience from Media Molecule and as a Melbourne-based freelancer to propose various tried and tested methods of collating and viewing this interconnected data.

Speakers

Monday October 7, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
TBA

11:00am

Engineering Live Ops on Call of Duty: WWII
Post-launch support can bring a host of tough engineering challenges to a development team; some of which can be foreseen and others which can’t. However, with the appropriate planning and best practice engineering principles in place, the issues which arise can be mitigated or outright avoided.

This presentation covers a variety of engineering practices used at Sledgehammer Games both pre and post-launch for Call of Duty: WWII to ensure the best possible experience for both the players and the development team.

Speakers

Monday October 7, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
TBA

12:00pm

Indigenous Culture in Video Games
My session firstly goes over my background as an Indigenous person and my experiences, how lucky I was to have been taught culture and how I grew up with it.  I also talk about what advice I have been given when approaching Indigenous community about culture. I start to go into detail about the processes I have been using, with the example of working in my first studio DragonBear Studios and how I have navigated getting consultations with other key Indigenous community members.  After covering some of my working examples I then give the audience an almost step by step on how to approach and go about performing consultations from my perspective as an Indigenous person. Next I move onto why I think it is so important to have Indigenous culture represented in video games and the kind of impact that can have on both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.  I also quickly touch on a game that has been a major inspiration for me as an example how it can impact people in a positive way.  Towards the end of my talk I discuss the positive impact that including Indigenous culture in video games can have.  

Speakers

Monday October 7, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
TBA

12:00pm

Anime and the illusion of visual simplicity
Anime despite it's minimalist appearance, can be a difficult style to work with. What defines it from western animation? What can we do when the elements and design seem so established?
For any artists hoping to adopt an anime artstyle into their concept art and games, this talk will go through the specific visual tools, methods, and thought processes that were considered when establishing Ngoc's artstyle for her anime inspired work and how practical they were in a game studio environment.

Speakers
NV

Ngoc Vu

Ngoc is a multidisciplinary artist currently based in Melbourne, Australia. With 5 years experience ingame development, her work is greatly influenced and driven by her experiences navigating throughher bi-cultural upbringing. Ngoc’s interests lie in creating narratives that rouse... Read More →


Monday October 7, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
TBA

12:00pm

Composing the music for Florence and Necrobarista
Kevin will present on two recent game projects he's written music for, Florence and Necrobarista, to compare and contrast the vastly different aesthetic, stylistic and interactive approaches to both soundtracks.

He will then deep dive into how he worked with the development teams, music supervisor and other musicians to create the distinct sound worlds of both games.

Speakers
avatar for Kevin Penkin

Kevin Penkin

Kevin Penkin is a composer for Anime and Video Games, working on projects such as the BAFTAaward winning mobile sensation "Florence", and the upcoming game "Necrobarista". He has alsocomposed music for anime out of Japan, namely the cult hit "Made in Abyss", the upcoming Netflixanime... Read More →


Monday October 7, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
TBA

12:00pm

Mobile pre-launch optimisation: What we did right, and what we learned from the fails
Critter Clash, the debut mobile title for Lumi Interactive shipped in less than a year to over 600K pre-registrations and over 400K downloads in the first two months. This talk will be a postmortem from Game Operations Lead, Christina Chen, covering the evolution from Soft Launch to Live Operations. Learn how Lumi Interactive improved Critter Clash's monetisation 80x and leveraged Google Play's Start on Android program to run traffic experiments before launch. This will be a pre-launch optimisation deep dive exploring what we did right and what mistakes we've learnt from.


- Key KPIs to measure and how to optimise for them pre-launch
- Our experience with soft launch vs. Google Play Early Access
- Monetisation experiments and results
- Easy and free data pipeline - utilising Firebase and BigQuery

Speakers

Monday October 7, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
TBA

12:00pm

Suberting Genres: I Think I Rogue-Like You
Roguelike, dating sim, RPG - every genre definition evokes certain expectations from a player of mechanic, function and content. When we dig in to a genre, examine these expectations and subvert elements of how they function, we can explore interesting mechanic innovations within sometimes tired (and unsuitable) labels for games. Using Starcolt's first title as an example*, we'll take a look at the upsides and downsides of using genre definitions, and how we can twist and explore these to work in our advantage as game designers to create fresh, interesting experiences.

Speakers

Monday October 7, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
TBA

12:00pm

Balancing the Needs of Community and Business
In free-to-play mobile gaming, the needs of your players and the goals of your organization are often at odds with one another. Players want to play more often, earn more currency or even change the balance of the game to their benefit. For a product team, this can lead to lost revenue or decreased retention and engagement over long enough periods of time. This talk will review ways you can work with your community and internal teams to provide the best experience for both parties.

Speakers

Monday October 7, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
TBA

12:00pm

What to Expect when you’re expecting (a producer)
TBA

Speakers
avatar for Lisy Kane

Lisy Kane

League of Geeks


Monday October 7, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
TBA

12:00pm

Shipping, Ports, and Other Naval-based Parts of Game Development
Developing games is difficult work, before even thinking about what platforms the game is intended to be played on. Shipping you may encounter problems with various hardware differences, input devices, fullscreen & windowing, different OS versions, and even other applications interfering with your game! This talk will go over some of the technical problems we've encountered, how we've solved (or worked around) them, and what trade-offs sometimes have to be made to get game out.

Speakers
NF

Neil Forbes-Richardson

Neil is a software engineer at Wargaming Sydney, and has spent over 6 years working on several ofthe games, including World of Tanks, and World of Warships Legends, mostly focused on low levelrendering, implementing new backends, and porting to different platforms.Prior to joining... Read More →


Monday October 7, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
TBA

2:00pm

Designing from the Heart: Putting yourselves in your games.
Working in the games industry can be hard enough as is. Add to that our daily life struggles and it can sometimes feel like an impossible feat. So how can we use game development as a way to explore our identities and struggles? And how can we turn these struggles into a strength?

This presentation will draw from the experiences of the speaker as a Muslim and a person of color working in the games industry for over a decade. The speaker will explain how his personal life journey has inspired his creative works and he will share the stories and experiences of other notable video game professionals who have done the same.

Speakers

Monday October 7, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
TBA

2:00pm

On Your Left: Survival, Support and Growth of our Industry
The geeks among us may recognise the title of this session and its significance in coming together to overcome adversity. Creative work often leaves us vulnerable, that vulnerability is not a weakness, it is a core aspect of reaching within ourselves to create art, and it also allows us to communicate with our peers.
I have been surprised on many occasions at how being prepared to be publicly vulnerable can be hugely beneficial to others in my industry. By sharing, we allow others to understand that their struggles are not unique.

This session will explore how there are many challenges that we unknowingly share and that we do not diminish ourselves be speaking about our issues, instead we often raise up our colleagues by letting them know, they are not alone.

Mental and emotional stress are key issues that drive many from our industry and prevents others from achieving their desired goals

Those of us with experience and established careers can provide incredible support for others around us simply be being prepared to share honestly.

This session is designed to support all levels of industry practitioner. Those of us with established careers can support both our peers as well as newcomers, and those new to the industry are a constant reminder of the dreams we may have lost sight of.

We all need heroes to lift us up and to show us the way, many of us do not realise that our heroes are already among us.

Speakers
avatar for Stephan Schutze

Stephan Schutze

Stephan Schutze has worked in audio production for 20 years.He has created sound and music for all game platforms in that time as well as for VR and AR. Hehelped design the audio for the Magic Leap device, composed the first live orchestral score for anAustralian produced game and... Read More →


Monday October 7, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
TBA

2:00pm

Colour AntiTheory
Do you find yourself confused by colour theory?  Have you been overwhelmed by sliders?  Ever Wondered what things like agnostic or triptic colour schemes so you try googling them only to find out that they’re actually spelt Analogous and Triadic and it’s too late to take back that message you’ve already sent to your colleague?!? Well! Then this talk is for you! This talk doesn’t really tell you what any of those fancy words mean, but it will tell you how to make your colours look nice and consistent using data, research, colour matching, rulesets and other colour grading techniques. This talk will first focus on getting enhancing the colours you’ve already got and how to grade things using the various tools that engines like Unreal and Unity provide (as well as how to generate a look up table in photoshop so you can use all of photoshop’s tools!). We’ll then look at ways to coming up with a cohesive colour scheme for games as well as easy way to generate colour palettes for items, shaders and textures. Finally this talk will finish up on with a case study on creating thousands of colours, research and inclusivity of skin tones, colour ux, and share some data and analytics on colour schemes. This talk isn’t so much about reinventing the colour wheel, but destroying it (and maybe setting it on fire.)


Speakers

Monday October 7, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
TBA

2:00pm

The Life Of a Japanese Composer, with Manami Matsumae (ft Alex Aniel as translator)
Manami Matsumae, the legendary Japanese composer best known for her work on Mega Man (1987), Mega Man 10 (2010), and Mighty No 9 (2016), will be visiting Australia for the first time to attend MIGW 2019. In this talk we’ll learn about how the Japanese video game landscape has changed from the 1980s to now, and what the life of a Japanese video game composer entails in 2019. This session will feature an extended Q&A component, so bring your best questions, your best spirits, and get ready to chat with one of the industry’s most iconic composers.

Speakers

Monday October 7, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
TBA

2:00pm

Co-operative Game Development
When making games in a team, you need to decide on how to legally structure your group; how IP is held, how liability is shared, how decisions are legally made, etc. The path that most teams take at the moment is to set up a private company, but this hierarchical structure may not gel with how your team works together in the longer term.

Co-operatives are an alternative to companies, and are founded on the concepts of democracy and equality. In this talk we will discuss how their unique democratic structure affects the many facets of running a business, including ownership of shares, how profit share is handled, team member obligations and recompensation, private investment in its many forms, team decision-making, and how new members joining or current members leaving the team is handled.

At Ghost Pattern, we are converting to a co-operative, and have done a significant amount of research into both the nature of co-ops in Australia, and various games co-ops around the world. In this session we’ll share with you what we’ve learnt about the pros, cons, and gotchas of incorporating as a co-operative. Overall this should give you a solid grounding in what co-ops are, how they differ from companies, and the basis of what you need to understand and prepare in order to decide which direction to go in for your own team.


Monday October 7, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
TBA

2:00pm

Visual Game Design: keeping teams aligned through minimal documentation
Keeping large teams aligned with the vision of a game is always challenging. Having spent many years creating design documents and battling to keep teams up to date with the latest direction of the game, I developed alternative methods that were faster to update and iterate and more effectively allowed team members to consume the information that they needed to make the best game they could.

I will talk about learnings from projects like LA Noire, the benefits of visual communication and creating environments that encourage teams to view and talk about the game they are creating, improving overall collaboration and alignment.

Speakers
avatar for Alex Carlyle

Alex Carlyle

Alex Carlyle is an award-winning Designer and a 20 year veteran of the games industry.He fosters collaborative environments that challenge convention and uses open and inclusivecommunication to foster strong cross-disciplinary teams, having led teams all across the world.Alex sees... Read More →


Monday October 7, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
TBA

2:00pm

Wild Life: Critter Clash Paid User Acquisition Postmortem
As the competition in the mobile market increases, how do unknown or independent games grab a slice of the market? Is it possible, and how do you do it? Big players with unfathomable budgets hold their positions for years at a time, and every chart position and keyword has a price. Join Katie Stegs as she discusses how a small team with limited resources was able to put their first title in front of millions of potential players.

Lumi Interactive’s debut title, Critter Clash released in 2019 on Android and iOS. This talk will detail the platforms, partners and pitfalls of paid user acquisition for Critter Clash.

Katie will outline platform relationships, partnerships and budgets, and will do a detailed breakdown of two different UA analysis methodologies. She will share her UA set- up, pipeline and internal tools in order to highlight effective and ineffective uses of UA. This talk will be accompanied by all the real data, from the CPIs and CPAs achieved to the pre-launch and post-launch, featuring Lifetime Value (LTV) and Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) of real players.

Speakers

Monday October 7, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
TBA

2:00pm

Ensuring the Quality of your Quality Assurance: the studio guide on getting the most out of your QA team
Whether you’ve just started your own studio, about to launch your first game or you’re a big name company with multiple projects under your belt, there’s one thing that will never change: your game needs testing. Probably more than you thought you would. But who should be testing?
And when?
And how?
And why?

In this talk, we’ll be covering what are the best practices when it comes to hiring QA roles and what steps studios can take to better support their QA teams. Whether your considering contractors or employing a new member to your team, it’s best to have a firm understanding on the different QA roles and what preparation will be required when bringing them onto your project.
To light the way, we’ll dive into the day-to-day tasks, the month-to-month plans, and the year-to-year goals of QA, to ensure your studio can facilitate a high quality QA team.


Monday October 7, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
TBA

2:00pm

Machine Learning for Boardgame AI in Race for the Galaxy
Race for the Galaxy uses a temporal difference neural network to power its AI.  This knowledge-free system does not require human input to generate training data, which makes it extremely efficient for a small team with limited resources.  Even though our AI has trained on just over 30,000 games, because of this reinforcement learning model which uses predictive data to hone itself at the turn level, it has effectively benefited from over a million turn events.  The neural network we use actually has twelve bifurcations, each to support a specialized configuration of players, expansion content, and game preferences.  For each of these twelve, we support two flavors of neural network function, one to predict an opponent’s next move, and one to evaluate the board state, which is used when the AI simulates forward to choose its next move.  This talk will speak to how the Race for the Galaxy neural networks are architected, and how and when developers should use similar models.  

Speakers

Monday October 7, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
TBA

3:00pm

Being a multi-disciplinary artist: games, film and beyond
The presentation will cover insights gained through the presenter’s experiences working within multiple creative industries as an artist.  Specifically, looking at the fundamental principles that underlie the creation of good art, regardless of medium, and which skills allowed the presenter to move between the video games and feature film industries by applying concepts relevant to both.  Creating believable art is strengthened through understanding real fabrication methods which will allow the artist to elevate their art with a real understanding of how physical objects are built and weathered. The talk will explore the importance of traditional art training for games artists, not just the study of specific digital software or games-specific art ideas, and why this creates better artists who are more resilient and creative. 

Speakers

Monday October 7, 2019 3:00pm - 3:50pm
TBA

3:00pm

Defining The Audio Direction For Dead Static Drive.
Defining The Audio Direction For Dead Static Drive takes an in depth look into the steps taken in creating the audio identity for Dead Static Drive. In a session using in-project examples from Unreal Engine and FMOD, the conceptualisation, prototyping and design of Dead Static Drive's audio assets and audio systems will be presented in an open and honest format.

Speakers

Monday October 7, 2019 3:00pm - 3:50pm
TBA

3:00pm

Storm Boy: The Game Game Director Postmortem
From the first meeting with IP Holders to the multi-platform simultaneous release, “Storm Boy: The Game” had a nine-month full development cycle. To hit this goal, the team had to control scope, iterate, and make decisions fast. In this talk, Game Director Ellen Jurik will cover her approach to defining a game’s vision and how this vision is carried across to all aspects of the game. She will also discuss the process of adapting an existing IP of another media to a game, and the production and design challenges for releasing a game across eight platforms in a limited timeframe. 

Speakers

Monday October 7, 2019 3:00pm - 3:50pm
TBA

3:00pm

Making Games More Interactive on Twitch
Streaming has become a big part of how people engage with games from tuning in to watch their favourite streamers, to cooperatively playing a game through text chat via Twitch Plays. With Extensions, Twitch has made it even easier for developers to add viewer interactivity to streams with games like Borderlands 3 now offering in-game loot for viewers that participate in live-streaming events.

Speakers

Monday October 7, 2019 3:00pm - 3:50pm
TBA

3:00pm

Production Process, Publishing & Platforms: A Simultaneous Release Crash Course
Shipping games is hard, it gets harder when managing a simultaneous release across multiple different platforms. So what happens when you discover a week before launch that you're missing localisation on two platforms? Or you've announced your release date with one platform having still not passed certification?

This talk is designed to offer some best practices on how to manage different platform releases and mitigate some of the risks involved, using personal experience as to where things have been less than ideal before launch of past projects.  

Speakers
avatar for Samuel McCully

Samuel McCully

Sam is a Producer at Blowfish Studios, based out of Sydney he's been working in the Australianindustry for the past 3 years. Starting at Blowfish as part of the QA team, he currently works onBlowfish's range of publishing titles, liaising with other developers and ensuring a successful... Read More →


Monday October 7, 2019 3:00pm - 3:50pm
TBA

3:00pm

Prototype Speedrun - Building a UE4 Prototype in Under an Hour
"Yeah, Unreal is just difficult for knocking something together”. Or is it? Chris and Alex knock out a prototype live in one hour with narration explaining the systems and concepts that drive development in Unreal Engine. It’s a lot easier than you may have heard. Audience participation encouraged!

Speakers
avatar for Alex Stevens

Alex Stevens

Epic Games / Unreal Engine
Alex, a Mechatronic engineer turned game developer, is an Unreal Engine Evangelist that has been working with Unreal Engine since 2012. He has a taste for leading edge tech, and as such has a soft spot for Virtual Reality and the new technical challenges it provides. Primarily working... Read More →
avatar for Chris Murphy

Chris Murphy

Epic Games / Unreal Engine
Chris Murphy is a Tech Artist and Evangelist for Epic Games with game development credits across PC, Vive, Oculus, PS4, iOS and Android. Chris has over 15 years of experience with Unreal Engine, a Bachelor of Computer Science and a Bachelor of Multimedia, culminating in a broad skillset... Read More →


Monday October 7, 2019 3:00pm - 3:50pm
TBA

4:30pm

Who are you helping and how?
Over all the years I’ve worked in games, especially since also working in games education, the one universal truth that I have noticed that seems to plague our industry, even through all our ups and downs, is that it is “hard to get into”, often opaque, and sometimes outright hostile to newcomers.

What if we changed the way we thought about growing the industry? What if we realised that creating art/entertainment/media/all of the other great things games can be is not a zero sum game? What if we realised that anyone can do it, most people just need to be pointed in the right direction?

So I started a studio with these exact goals in mind, Mana Tea. I had seen year after year, dozens and dozens of talented, enthusiastic, versatile and valuable graduates bounce off our industry because there “wasn’t enough room” for all of them. The thing is, they had everything they needed right there between them. With the right guidance, they could have been making their own games rather than someone else’s.

As well as telling my own story, this talk is going to be a thought provoking call to action to everyone in the audience to get out there and help the newbies. Our industry has the potential to be so much broader, richer and more diverse, but for a little bit of effort on our part to stop accidentally keeping people out.

Speakers

Monday October 7, 2019 4:30pm - 5:20pm
TBA

4:30pm

Shining a Light on Graphics Performance
A big bumper session that will be looking at 3D graphics performance.

This will be a crash course that i valuable for all skill levels with information for coders and artists. We will be going through best practices, common mistakes, and some of the persistent myths.

This talk will go through the rendering pipeline and explain each step and how your workflows and assets are interacting with your hardware. With experience on console, mobile and PC this talk will talk about why these systems are different and for more experience developers how these problems were faced using real word project examples and solutions.

The projects will primarily be from Unity but the principles apply to almost all modern 3D rendering.

Speakers

Monday October 7, 2019 4:30pm - 5:20pm
TBA

4:30pm

4:30pm

Unpacking Game Design: Creating a game without fail states or scores
A zen game about taking items out of boxes after a move might sound extremely niche. But Unpacking by Brisbane studio Witch Beam has garnered international attention from players to industry folk alike. It’s been invited to showcases, nominated for awards and even gone viral, all in its first year of development.

The game lacks many conventional game design components: there are no scores, no time limits, no fail states, no consequences to choices, no dialogue. What’s left when all of that is taken away? How do you tell a story through such strict limitations? And why design a game like this?

This talk will cover extracting gameplay from unexpected places, finding a balance between puzzle and player expression, and how to stuff 69 household items into an isometric kitchen.

Speakers

Monday October 7, 2019 4:30pm - 5:20pm
TBA

4:30pm

Player Hygiene: How to Mitigate Abuse and Cultivate Communities
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single studio in possession of a good game, must be in want of online harassment.”
Salty Austen

As our industry grows, and the way people behave in online spaces evolves, so must the management of our players. This talk will first look into some of the reasons we have seen shifts in player behaviour towards developers and video games, before exploring ways both in and out of game to foster positive and supportive communities.

It is important to consider the safety of a game’s developers, players and community managers. By implementing community driven game features and creating a framework within which to build strong and conscious communities, developers can decrease the amount of abuse they receive, as well as that of their staff, and other players.


Monday October 7, 2019 4:30pm - 5:20pm
TBA

4:30pm

More Cards Against People Mismanagement
With the right tools, leaders help a team navigate the tumultuous waters of game development and
stick together until they reach their destination. You can be that guiding light!

In last year’s talk, I condensed some of my favourite people management tools into cards that help
empower team members, bond with them and troubleshoot tensions. This year, I want to further
build your deck with techniques focused on communication, motivation and coaching, so you’re
better equipped to lead the way for your team.

Whether you’re currently in a leadership position, aspiring to be or needing tools to better your
relationship with your manager, this talk will give you practical tips to improve your team
interactions as soon as you’re back in the office.

Speakers

Monday October 7, 2019 4:30pm - 5:20pm
TBA

4:30pm

Monitoring performance on massive games.
Monitoring the performance of your game as you build it is relatively easy, but how do you do that with a game that has already been released? And has millions of players? On thousands of different hardware configurations? Is the average FPS enough? This talk will dig down into how we do this on League Of Legends - how we do it, why we do it and what benefits it gives us. We'll start with simple metrics and progressively refine them as we discover problems until we have something that makes intuitive sense.

Speakers

Monday October 7, 2019 4:30pm - 5:20pm
TBA
 
Tuesday, October 8
 

10:00am

Accessibility as a primary design consideration: the early journey of Blind Sparrow Interactive
By now, most of us know the importance of accessibility and its numerous benefits. But what does it really mean to the development of your game when you decide to factor in accessibility as a primary design consideration? (Especially if you’ve never done so before, or, more frighteningly, you’re new to game development.) This is exactly the situation that faced Blind Sparrow Interactive, a small indie development studio that was founded on principles of accessibility and inclusion. Through numerous practical examples, the studio will open the doors on it’s journey and the development of its current project, offering suggestions on how you can start to think about - and apply - accessibility features right from your game’s initial design stages.

Speakers

Tuesday October 8, 2019 10:00am - 10:50am
TBA

10:00am

TBA
TBA

Tuesday October 8, 2019 10:00am - 10:50am
TBA

10:00am

Using Games Design in Citizen Science
Most games are designed to be entertaining so they can drive sales or build a big community of players. For the astronomy citizen science project AstroQuest, we care about how much data we get, whether it's usable by our scientists, and whether we meet our goals for astronomy outreach and education. Lisa will talk about the design of the AstroQuest website and the process the team went through in using game design ideas to encourage citizen scientists to produce more and better data, as well as targeting their efforts where the scientists needed them the most.

Speakers

Tuesday October 8, 2019 10:00am - 10:50am
TBA

10:00am

Work in Progress: Lessons learned from experience as a 3D artist
This session is built around questions from my mentee where I highlight my experience, the lessons I've learnt and mistakes I've made, providing advice for aspiring 3D artists.

Speakers

Tuesday October 8, 2019 10:00am - 10:50am
TBA

10:00am

Where to from here? Putting the spotlight on the Australian games industry
Our industry has come so far since the lows of the post-GFC collapse. We have rebuilt an industry that is far more diverse and resilient than what came before. We have proven that world class games can be made in Australia. And the world has been paying attention.

Change is coming. Publishers are coming back. Companies are being bought. Consolidation is happening. Subscription platforms have started a gold rush for content. New consoles are just around the corner, and streaming services want to eliminate consoles altogether!

Are we prepared for this new era? Have we invested in the right areas? Are the foundations we have built strong enough to withstand another global recession?

In this talk I will attempt to answer these questions (and more), by taking stock of where the industry currently stands, and what we can do to take advantage of the opportunities that the future holds.

Speakers

Tuesday October 8, 2019 10:00am - 10:50am
TBA

10:00am

The Forest Paths Method of Narrative Design
The future is AI driven, open world, mass-marketed, socially connected… The future is hand-crafted, small and precious, light on the tongue and able to surprise… The future is fuck you and your power fantasies, it’s punk, it’s queer, it’s feminist, it’s black… The future is a tree, a river, animals migrating across great distances to find each other… The future is love, strife, life, hope…
As narrative designers all of these futures are ours and our responsibility to bring to our audiences. Let’s take a look at where we are now in practice, craft and culture, and then cast the runes to look at the journey to come and what we might need along the way. So we can ensure that as more people than ever are playing games they’re finding meaning along the way.

Speakers

Tuesday October 8, 2019 10:00am - 10:50am
TBA

10:00am

Graphic Design and Videogames
Studio at Large is a small group of people with big design ideas. The studio is founded on the belief that good design starts wit a willingness to listen and to form strong, collaborative relationships. Studio at Large specialise in design and strategy for people, places and spaces.


Speakers
SA

Studio at Large

Studio at Large


Tuesday October 8, 2019 10:00am - 10:50am
TBA

10:00am

Zen and the Art of Team Maintenance: A Producers Guide to Getting Sh!t Done
"As Producers, our jobs often revolve around expectations, whether it's setting them, managing them, or meeting them. That all sounds straightforward, until you start to factor in how the individual members of your team may respond to those expectations. Some people are going to be great at meeting deadlines on their own, while others may require more hand-holding and accountability. Some will have no problem setting effective boundaries, while others might take on too much and burn out. Some are going to be happy carry out an assignment as requested, while others may need to understand the reasoning behind the request before they can truly engage. And, of course, some need to do things their way, or not at all.

In other words, there is no ""one-size-fits-all"" solution to ensure that the people on your team are meeting deadlines, doing great work and achieving project goals as well as their own. Which means, sometimes, we as Producers have to get a little creative, when it comes to getting sh!t done.

In this session, Amy will talk about how to apply Gretchen Rubin’s “Four Tendencies” framework to working with teams. Through it, you’ll better understand how your individual team members could respond to internal and external expectations, as well as some strategies to improve their efficiency and overall happiness, while reducing stress and burnout.
"

Speakers

Tuesday October 8, 2019 10:00am - 10:50am
TBA

10:00am

Technical Direction for One
Speakers

Tuesday October 8, 2019 10:00am - 10:50am
TBA

11:00am

Typography
Speakers

Tuesday October 8, 2019 11:00am - 11:15am
TBA

11:00am

Workplace ready: Making your workplace transgender friendly
Sav will be taking audiences through a comprehensive insider look on what will make your games studio more transgender friendly.

From the more legal issues: Codes of conduct, name policies, bathroom issues, etc.

To the more personable: Language and terminology, respectful questions, issues and problems that might appear.

Aimed to be for all audience levels, Sav is happy to accept and answer to the best of his abilities, any and all questions you might have but be too worried to ask.

Speakers

Tuesday October 8, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
TBA

11:00am

Tovertafel - Games for Health
Tovertafel is a game system for elderly people with severe dementia. The games are designed in such a way that they can activate those parts of the brains, which are not damaged by Alzheimer. In his talk, Sjoerd will explain how his company makes games, why The Netherlands is one of the front runners in serious and applied games, and he will share my entrepreneurial experiences in the games industry. 



Speakers

Tuesday October 8, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
TBA

11:00am

TBA
Speakers

Tuesday October 8, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
TBA

11:00am

Forecasting success: How to be a financially sustainable studio
In this session we will walk through practical steps in building a cashflow forecast that will assist studios in understanding cost drivers to a development cycle, funding requirements and understanding revenue objectives with a view to building a financially sustainable studio. Luke & Amy will work through a live example to demonstrate how it can be prepared quickly and accurately, drawing on audience participation.

Speakers

Tuesday October 8, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
TBA

11:00am

The Architecture of Designing story-focussed Games - Lighting the Way through the Narrative
It is widely believed that games should first and foremost be driven by their mechanics and only after this (if at all) focus on narrative design.
This talk offers a different approach and is about designing a solid and engaging story first and then designing the mechanics around it.
Designing the narrative of a game is a bit like planning a prank: You are not going to know how your “victim” will react, but you should plan for the most likely outcomes. Lighting the way through the story and guiding the player is essential for them to get the most coherent and engaging experience out of it.
This talk will give attendees tools for this design approach as well as an understanding of how to “grow” mechanics from theme, how to pace your level design to fit storytelling and using symbolism in mechanics and environmental design in order to support the game’s themes.

Speakers

Tuesday October 8, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
TBA

11:00am

Thank U, Next: Embracing Change in Stormy Weather
If there's one thing that's certain in the games industry, it's that everything changes. Companies rise and fall, new technologies and business models emerge, and "the way things are done" is in a constant state of flux. What was true when many of entered the industry or started degrees is no more. This dynamic environment isn't settling any time soon, so how do we learn to embrace the chaos? In a year of particularly turbulent change in the ANZ games industry, this talk will present advice, strategies, stories and questions from people in our community impacted by change, and those making the change, to how we make games. This talk will dig into our community definitions of game development success, and reflect on what remains meaningful in an ever-changing environment. Also, there will be Ariana Grande.

Speakers

Tuesday October 8, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
TBA

11:00am

Getting the horse to drink: Optimising a high fidelity console game for mobile platforms
PikPok's Rival Stars Horse Racing was initially developed at a fidelity level suitable for current generation console platforms. However we also planned to publish a version for mobile platforms that got as close to the console experience as possible. Here's how we achieved that with Unity's recent performance advances and a lot of elbow grease.

Speakers

Tuesday October 8, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
TBA

12:00pm

Sonar Solutions For Accessible Gaming
A lot of UX design focuses on visual clarity, but what if you can’t see the video in video games? This talk will cover a few of the ways in which indie developers can use sound and music to make games more accessible to players with reduced vision, and improve player immersion overall. When games sound better, everybody wins!

Speakers

Tuesday October 8, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
TBA

12:00pm

Games as Therapy
People have been playing games as a hobby for a long time but they can also be used to help with mental, physical and emotional therapy. Fast moving games are great for ignoring pain, calming games are great for helping with anxiety and games with big repeated motions are good for exercising damaged muscles or just getting the blood flowing.

Hospitals around the world are just starting to think of games as a tool in their practice and are always looking for fun games that also happen to be useful in their therapeutic goals. There are components they look for in games depending on the therapeutic goal, and many games fit these niches without even meaning to.

Speakers

Tuesday October 8, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
TBA

12:00pm

The Art of Void Bastards
Dean will explore the process behind creating the visually distinctive game Void Bastards.
Looking at both the technical and artistic choices needed to deliver the vision of Blue Manchu’s art director Ben Lee.

Speakers

Tuesday October 8, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
TBA

12:00pm

Changing your career in games without having an existential crisis
Making the jump into a videogame career already comes with its moments of nerves, doubt, and imposter syndrome, but shifting into a new role in the same industry (or even considering shifting into a new role) can bring these feelings out all over again, sometimes even more so. As an indie, is it possible to apply for a job in AAA (or inversely, as a AAA dev, is it possible to run your own indie studio?)? After years as an artist, can you apply for a producer position? How do you apply for a job at a game publisher when you’ve only worked at a game developer? This session will explore all of these questions in a variety of ways, from preparing your CV and portfolio appropriately for a new job opportunity, to managing the emotional challenges that accompany changing your career trajectory in the games industry. Jo Lammert's career has run the gamut in experiences, from librarianship to indie game dev to community organizing to government stewardship to freelance to currently publishing, and there's a lot of things she's learned over this past decade she wishes she could bestow onto her younger self- instead, you can reap the benefits from her past self-doubt, insecurities, and quarter-life crisis! No matter how different your previous work seems, there’s always opportunity for those experiences to complement a brand-new role with new responsibilities.

Speakers

Tuesday October 8, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
TBA

12:00pm

Flow Chart - How Scope Creep Happens
Objects in Space released in March this year, three and a half years after its initial expected release date of late 2015. The game was the largest project Flat Earth Games had ever undertaken, and while the concept was likely going to blow out right from the beginning based on the concept alone, there were several key points throughout development where the team made decisions which would compound the workload and cause chaos and distress throughout development.

In this talk, Lead Designer Leigh Harris will be showing the process of scope creep through an ever-expanding flow chart.

The chart will begin with the game's core pillars, and slide by slide new elements will be added showing the decisions which were made, dependencies which were created and HUGE interconnected nature of every feature to reveal a gigantic maze of every feature needed to get this mammoth game over the line.

The end result will be a massive infographic of decisions made during development which led to a team needing to refinance four and a half times to get our dream game made.

Speakers

Tuesday October 8, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
TBA

12:00pm

Wild Play Garden
Speakers

Tuesday October 8, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
TBA

12:00pm

Don’t Get Shipwrecked - Production for Small Indies
There is a common misconception among many small independent studios that they simply are not big enough to require any sort of project management on their games. After all, why would you ever need project management when you only have a handful of people working on your small project? But this sort of thinking is a trap that result in overworked teams and the never-shipping game. Whether you are a team of 10 working with a government grant or a solo indie creating your passion project, having a plan and a process is going to be an essential tool in ensuring you don’t overwork yourself and actually deliver a product at any point in the foreseeable future. But don’t go rushing out for that Agile certification just yet! In this talk, Matthew Dyet will lay out the strategies and techniques that you can make use of in your small teams to implement some production process and maintain control of your projects, all without needing to go and hire somebody else to do it for you. It doesn’t need to be over-complicated!

Speakers

Tuesday October 8, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
TBA

12:00pm

Always be testing: A journey through Buildbots and Testbots
Buildbots and Testbots are an innovative set of tools engineered by Mighty to help developers go from build to test using ‘zero touch’ tech and automation. Technical Director, Ben Britten and Senior Programmer, Scott Beca will explain how Mighty went about building the ultimate companion to strong quality assurance procedures, that has been used in-house for over 5 years on more than 10 titles.

Made up of the Builder, Testbot and the Autotester, each provides a step towards more efficient deployment and testing on multiple capable platforms; mobile, PC/Mac, or console. Learn the secrets to get your production pipeline streamlined and set up with QA automation.

Tuesday October 8, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
TBA

2:00pm

Realtalk; Politics, games, and the inescapable maw of responsibility.
Speakers
avatar for Zhia Zariko

Zhia Zariko

My name is Zhia, an Australian-born games and research enthusiast. I love post-production analysis ofgames, both to marvel in the wonder that is deliberate and critical design, as well as to help makebigger and better games in the future. I have a Masters Degree in Design where I... Read More →


Tuesday October 8, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
TBA

2:00pm

Unreal Tips and Tricks - Epic Mega-hour
Speedrunning isn’t just for games: Chris and Alex go through every optimization and development trick conceivable in a one hour period. Game show style.

Speakers
avatar for Alex Stevens

Alex Stevens

Epic Games / Unreal Engine
Alex, a Mechatronic engineer turned game developer, is an Unreal Engine Evangelist that has been working with Unreal Engine since 2012. He has a taste for leading edge tech, and as such has a soft spot for Virtual Reality and the new technical challenges it provides. Primarily working... Read More →
avatar for Chris Murphy

Chris Murphy

Epic Games / Unreal Engine
Chris Murphy is a Tech Artist and Evangelist for Epic Games with game development credits across PC, Vive, Oculus, PS4, iOS and Android. Chris has over 15 years of experience with Unreal Engine, a Bachelor of Computer Science and a Bachelor of Multimedia, culminating in a broad skillset... Read More →


Tuesday October 8, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
TBA

2:00pm

Who owns what? How to protect your game's intellectual property
This session will provide an overview of the intellectual rights existing in video game projects. It will examine who holds the rights in each element of the project, how a developer/publisher can effectively obtain these rights and common pitfalls in the gaming industry in regards to protection of intellectual property. 

Speakers

Tuesday October 8, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
TBA

2:00pm

Rapid Prototyping 101: Crucial UX Design skills for every team
"Rapid Prototyping is a great tool to help your team think through and solve problems. Solutions come to you through sketching, feedback and multiple design iterations. By training ourselves to think fast, seek validation for our decisions through testing, and refining our UX Design processes, we can create better and more meaningful gaming experiences for our players.

By learning the process of Rapid Prototyping, you create something functional that you can test with users, and that you can then iterate on more accurately. It is a crucial part not only of the early stages of game development, but also for developing and integrating new features into existing games. It is therefore an important skill for all kinds of teams to master, not just those in pre-production, but also those working on games in live service.

Come learn how to break down effective UX Design processes into 3 stages: Prototyping, Reviewing and Refining. Find out how Rapid Prototyping helps you solve big, complex problems, quickly test the utility of your design, and thus make relevant modifications.

This talk will teach you tangible skills for how to draw useful Sketches, how to translate them into Wireframes and Clickable Prototypes - and why these are all uniquely important steps. This will be a practical demonstration of how to work in Adobe XD, and develop functional prototypes for any device (mobile, console, web, etc).

Speakers

Tuesday October 8, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
TBA

2:00pm

Why Fashion in (Most) Games Sucks, and Why You Should Care
Fashion in games is one of the most downplayed parts of the medium; just like in real life, clothing is an outward expression of one's personality. A game's choice of dress or even the ability to HAVE different outfits (and not just color swaps) is both the gamers' expression of themselves and a way to create more diverse and interesting environments. Character customization, after all, could be considered another form of dress up.Offensive or lackluster fashion can be a representation of the troubling perspective that games have no space for "feminine" interests. Some have captured fashion well (think 'Splatoon' and 'Persona 5'), but much of game development has to catch up on this, like the infamous Quiet outfit from 'Metal Gear Solid V' or the lackluster outfits from 'The Sims 3'. The benefits to paying attention to style? Just think of the success of 'Overwatch' skins, as one example! This talk from Kitfox Games' Victoria Tran explores the recent history of fashion in games and provides multiple tips for success.

Speakers

Tuesday October 8, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
TBA

2:00pm

What Unionism Adds To Your Workplace
Morgan Little & David Haidon present a look at how collective bargaining builds a better workplace for everyone. Learn about the role of unions across history, how working together creates trust, improves standards, and builds a safe place for vulnerable people. Representatives from GWU Australia and from Australia’s trade union movement will answer questions on pay standards, worker co-operative ownership, and workplace health and safety issues.


Tuesday October 8, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
TBA

2:00pm

So you want to make a multiplayer game?

Multiplayer games are huge and have great potential for long term retention of players, and that leads to ongoing revenue for a studio, but to achieve this, you need to make sure your multiplayer experience is excellent. You won’t get that just throwing whatever library you can find on the asset store and hoping for the best. This talk will teach you how to implement multiplayer from the ground up, allowing you to make sure your online player experience is the best it can be

Speakers

Tuesday October 8, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
TBA

3:00pm

Music Therapy in Virtual Reality
People with quadriplegia are disproportionately rurally and regionally located, at high risk for social isolation, and face numerous barriers to accessing music therapy. Previous research has demonstrated that face-to-face group singing therapy improves breathing, voice, mood, and social connectedness for people with quadriplegia. However, latency issues make online live group singing impossible via current videoconferencing options.

This session will provide an overview of how our team addressed accessibility factors when designing a VR application to help deliver online group singing sessions for people with limited mobility.

Speakers

Tuesday October 8, 2019 3:00pm - 3:50pm
TBA

3:00pm

Why did medieval knights fight giant snails? And what does this have to do with games?
"...vehicles for delight, disgust, and befuddlement..."

"...delightfully detailed (and occasionally rather gruesome)..."

"...silly, dramatic, and puzzling..."

Are these quotes from game reviews, or are they comments made by people looking at late-medieval marginalia? We'll find out together!

Was there a giant snail problem in the late Middle Ages? Illuminated manuscripts from the late medieval period are full of beautiful, dramatic, hilarious imagery of knights fighting giant snails (and many other seriously weird stuff™).

Scholarship on the medieval era is full of such intriguingly titled works as “The Snail in Gothic Warfare”, “What’s so funny about knights and snails?", “Snails: the central problem of high middle ages warfare”, and “Snails—rethinking our ancient foe”.

What’s going on? Was there a species of giant snail, long since extinct? Or some kind of collective hallucination?

What’s the deal? Let’s find out together. Answering this, and other bizarre questions from history, Paris explores why all game developers should learn history, and shows how medieval marginalia (the drawings in the sides of medieval manuscripts) are really just ye olde promotional art, a medieval image-based social network, if you will.

Join a game developer with a PhD in Computer Science and a degree in Medieval History and find out why everyone should learn a little history (and I’ll explain the snail thing, too.) We will look at the world of medieval art, and together we'll find out how and why today's game makers can light the way forward for a better treatment of art and artists by borrowing from the approach of medieval scribes and designers.


Tuesday October 8, 2019 3:00pm - 3:50pm
TBA

3:00pm

Lessons from Free to Play For Now and the Future
Free To Play models have become the dominant force behind the most successful developers of the mobile games industry, but it is not without its challenges. From saturated markets to huge competitors with deep pockets, Australian and New Zealand mobile developers have had to constantly develop strategies to contend with the rapidly changing mobile free to play landscape.

Featuring industry expertise from Hipster Whale, Not Doppler, Mighty Kingdom, Runaway and Panda Arcade, this panel sets out to understand how the most successful and diverse Free to Play companies in Australia and New Zealand go about ensuring the long term success of their studios.

Speakers

Tuesday October 8, 2019 3:00pm - 3:50pm
TBA

3:00pm

Being A Game Design Tradie
The study of "Game Theory" has developed massively as the industry has grown giving a huge well of knowledge to draw from as they slave away at trying to create the next breakout hit.

Over the years making games I've developed a unique approach to distilling ideas, mechanics and environments into gameplay that has more in common with artisan tradespeople such as carpenters and metal fabricators than it does with the more academic approach usually associated with game theory. This talk will explore these concepts.

Speakers

Tuesday October 8, 2019 3:00pm - 3:50pm
TBA

3:00pm

3:00pm

Evolving Together
Collaboration is the heart of our industry and as such is worth a lot of effort. Nowadays there are a number of well proven frameworks which should help us find the way; however, in the gaming industry we often struggle to find the balance between producing the next big hit and equipping ourselves for a sustainable production. In this talk I will give a number of examples of good and bad implementations of Scrum, its evolution and Lean Kanban. I will analyse how best practices were applied, or not, and I will show the consequences of our choices.



Tuesday October 8, 2019 3:00pm - 3:50pm
TBA

3:00pm

Ship it: An incomplete server-side checklist
"A pragmatic guide to shipping an online multiplayer game without lighting the server room on fire.

Join me as I walk you through my incomplete list of tasks and things to be considered when architecting your server environment, or at the very least before you push that big red button.

This talk will cover
- Continuous integration and deployment
- Load testing and automated tests
- Monitoring, alerts and Incident response plans
- Disaster recovery, and user data
- Updates, maintenance and security"


Tuesday October 8, 2019 3:00pm - 3:50pm
TBA
 
Wednesday, October 9
 

11:00am

Lessons in Unconventional Networking
Network, network, network. It’s a buzzword thrown around constantly in discussions around working in game development. Make friends with the right people, get into the right circles and you’ll be grand. But what does networking even mean? How do you do it, especially if you get shy and anxious meeting new people? And doesn’t it feel a bit inauthentic to be trying to only make friends with people who you think are beneficial to your career? In this talk, Noni will discuss these questions by delving into her own experiences and learnings - including a few mistakes along the way and what she took away from them.

Speakers
avatar for Noni Och

Noni Och

Noni Och is a Sydney-based producer, usually spotted wearing her signature flower crown. She hasexperience in design, narrative, production and QA. She started her career in games working with thecompany Girls Make Games, teaching young girls all about game development over a week... Read More →


Wednesday October 9, 2019 11:00am - 11:30am
TBA

11:00am

VMDO Presents: Games + Music; Your Perfect Soundtrack
Yasmin Naghavi ( Media Arts Lawyers), Sebastian Wolff (Materia Collective), Mason Lieberman (Tencent), CHIPZEL, Fabian Malabello (The Otherworld Agency, Boss Battle Records).

Music’s importance to video games is indelible: enhancing an immersive experience, connecting to characters, driving play on and so much more. How do you find the right piece music or the right artists to create, perform and record it and then how do you navigate the complexities of licensing, publishing and masters? This panel of international experts will demystify the global video game music industry and discuss their own experiences to help ensure you’re armed with the tools to find the perfect soundtrack.

Presented by the Victorian Music Development Office VMDO). The VMDO is focused on supporting the Victorian contemporary music industry now and into the future. An initiative of the Victorian Government, the VMDO is delivered by Music Victoria. www.vmdo.com.au

Speakers

Wednesday October 9, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
TBA

11:00am

State Agency Games Funding - What it is, why it is, and who can apply for it
Film Victoria, Screenwest, Screen Tasmania, and Screen Queensland staff sit down for an unprecedented discussion of state agency games project funding, dispelling common myths, and demystifying the process. Join panel host Jason Imms for this exclusive behind-closed-doors opportunity to learn from the experts themselves about how you can secure essential funding to get your games into the hands of your audience. This panel will not be recorded, so this is a one-time deal!

Speakers

Wednesday October 9, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
TBA

11:00am

Unreal Heavy Hitters - Shave Years off of Development
Epic Games Makes Games! Those games feed our development tools. Join Epic Games for a deep dive into the tools and systems already made (and road tested!) that can help your next project focus on what you want to make, rather than what you need to make to support it.

Speakers

Wednesday October 9, 2019 11:00am - 12:50pm
TBA

11:00am

Crafting a Narrative Overview
​​​​A "narrative overview" is the main document a narrative team creates which will provide a roadmap for the rest of the team. It outlines how the story's going to work, from beginning to end, as well as the assets that will be needed to make it. Not every team uses such a document, however, or knows what it is - even if their project contains a narrative. In this workshop, I'll walk you through the step-by-step process of creating a narrative overview (with examples from BioWare's Dragon Age series), and as a group we'll fashion a new one. You'll walk away with a better understanding of what goes into the early preparation for narrative-heavy game projects, as used in large studios (but certainly with application to smaller ones).

Speakers
avatar for David Gaider

David Gaider

David is a game design veteran, having started his career in 1999 working on BioWare's "Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn" as a narrative designer. His later credits include Neverwinter Nights (2002), Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (2003), and more recently the Dragon Age series... Read More →


Wednesday October 9, 2019 11:00am - 12:50pm
TBA

11:00am

Divergent thinking and iteration process: a hands-on creativity workshop
Since grade school we are encouraged to proceed through a very narrow set of ways to achieve an expected result. By contrast, the iteration process - highly praised in game development - occurs in a non-linear, emergent process. This workshop will help you unlock your creativity by giving you tools for problem-solving, rapid prototyping, efficient collaboration and idea-generation.

Come play through this hands-on creativity workshop to learn different brainstorm strategies and renew with your productive creativity.

Speakers

Wednesday October 9, 2019 11:00am - 12:50pm
TBA

11:40am

Emotional Architecture - Understanding Audio (and Ourselves)
Embracing his somewhat pretentious business card tag-line, Andrew aims to explore and demonstrate what he means by Emotional Architecture when it comes to game audio. By casting an analytical eye over the peaks and troughs of emotional states over time, Andrew will be discussing ways to get the most out of one’s game soundtrack and keep focus on the perennial question for all creators: “What do we want our audience to feel?”
With part post-production breakdown of the indie comedy-physics title Speaking Simulator, and part group therapy, this talk will illuminate the ups and downs of the production process and give practical advice for both game developers and audio folk to better understand each other, make better games, and be more complete human beings.

Speakers

Wednesday October 9, 2019 11:40am - 12:10pm
TBA

12:00pm

Disability & Game Development
Disabled and neurodiverse game developers face a number of difficulties working in the games industry. In this panel, a group of disabled games developers from different disciplines will discuss their experiences and issues surrounding the creation of games while disabled. Topics include how being disabled influences their work, challenges that they have encountered due to their disabilities, ways game development could be made more accessible to disabled game developers, and why they all enjoy making and playing games.

Speakers

Wednesday October 9, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
TBA

12:30pm

Drawing for Community: Livestreaming Your Content Creation
I'll be doing a live-livestream of a digital art piece, while discussing the benefits of streaming and how to foster a community through regular streaming. I'll cover why community is important to all kinds of content creators, how streaming your works-in-progress can effect your finished product, as well as explaining and justifying my streaming process as I go through it. 

Speakers

Wednesday October 9, 2019 12:30pm - 1:00pm
TBA

2:00pm

Games for Government Panel
This panel is comprised of key people within Government who are developing and utilising Games based technologies in a government setting. This panel provides an opportunity for the audience to better understand the in's and out of working with a government body, and the similarities and differences this work entails compared to normal contract work. The audience will gain a better understanding of what the government is looking for in terms of tech, and the emerging fields they are developing content for such as 360 Video, VR and AR. 

The panelists will give some examples of work they have completed for government, and some of the challenges and successes they have had in creating and delivering their products. 

Speakers

Wednesday October 9, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
TBA

2:00pm

Building Community Panel
This panel session gathers some of the community leaders from Australia and New Zealand to discuss what works, what doesn't and what's changed along the way in terms of community building in the local game development sector.  

It will address questions such as how do we create spaces and opportunities for games practitioners? What have we done right and wrong and how can we support each other in developing our development community.

Speakers

Wednesday October 9, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
TBA

2:00pm

Advanced Technical Art in Unreal Engine
It’s a bird, it’s a plane... Chris, stop playing with that vertex shader. The live session focuses on the ins and outs of technical art in Unreal Engine and how to build high end gameplay effects with minimal effort.

Speakers
avatar for Chris Murphy

Chris Murphy

Epic Games / Unreal Engine
Chris Murphy is a Tech Artist and Evangelist for Epic Games with game development credits across PC, Vive, Oculus, PS4, iOS and Android. Chris has over 15 years of experience with Unreal Engine, a Bachelor of Computer Science and a Bachelor of Multimedia, culminating in a broad skillset... Read More →


Wednesday October 9, 2019 2:00pm - 3:50pm
TBA

2:00pm

BIG MOOD Lighting: Illustrating with Illumination
In this session, Ben will explore how colour and light can be used to accentuate and improve emotional storytelling primarily in illustration, though this can be applicable to other forms of art. 

Ben will break down the basics of lighting, colours, and contrast, and explain how this knowledge can be leveraged to illicit emotional responses from the audience.

Speakers

Wednesday October 9, 2019 2:00pm - 3:50pm
TBA

2:00pm

Technical Production - Series
In this session, production master Elizabeth Blythe will cover a range of production areas including Pipeline setup and scheduling, Project Structural Breakdown, Delivery Methods and Frameworks (Scrum, Waterfall, etc), and Project Health Key and Performance Indicators. 

With an extensive background in project management outside of the game development sector, come and learn how Elizabeth has applied her knowledge to game development. 

Speakers

Wednesday October 9, 2019 2:00pm - 3:50pm
TBA

3:00pm

3:00pm

Programming: The First Few Years
Getting a job as a programmer in the games industry for the first time can be overwhelming, especially if you haven’t worked on a larger team before. This talk focuses on how to adjust and make the most of your early days in the industry; things to focus on, how to continue to grow, and why writing code is just a small part of working as a games programmer.

Speakers

Wednesday October 9, 2019 3:00pm - 3:50pm
TBA