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Monday, October 7
 

9:00am

Opening Keynote
The opening keynote will feature:

  • Rae Johnson
  • The Hon. Martin Foley, Minister for Mental Health, Minister for Equality, and Minister for Creative Industries.
  • Melissa Lancuba
  • Ann Lemay

Monday October 7, 2019 9:00am - 10:50am

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
avatar for Pritika Sachdev

Pritika Sachdev

Pritika is a community manager who has a passion for all forms of narrative. She loves storytelling andbelieves that extends to how developers engage with their players. Pritika has worked in all sorts of areas of games, from 3D artist to producer, and is currently the community manager... Read More →


Monday October 7, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
Room 106

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
avatar for Dean Finnigan

Dean Finnigan

Lead Artist at Wargaming Sydney Multi award winning animator and artist working in game development for over 20 years. Worked on pretty much every console, various handheld as well as PC platforms as well as film and game cinematics across both large and small scale teams. Arrived... Read More →


Monday October 7, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
Room 104

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
Room 103

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
avatar for Cheryl Vance

Cheryl Vance

Cheryl Vance is a co-founder and director at Prideful Sloth. Maker of games, herder of sloths, generally amazing human, and can be bribed with coffee!


Monday October 7, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
Room 109

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
Room 105

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
avatar for Emily D'Elia

Emily D'Elia

Emily is a content marketing and communications professional obsessed with finding new ways tocreate, build and deliver value. She has experienced the games industry from an intern to studiomanager, and has worked on communications and project management for some of Australia's largestgaming... Read More →


Monday October 7, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
Room 112

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
avatar for Cherie Davidson

Cherie Davidson

After a 2 year stint at Media Molecule in the UK, Cherie "Games Midwife" Davidson, has been busy applying production know-how to the local Melbourne independent game scene. Since moving back to Australia in 2017, she's worked on Paperbark, Intergalactic Space Princess, Necrobarista... Read More →


Monday October 7, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
Room 110

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
avatar for Josh Caratelli

Josh Caratelli

Josh Caratelli is a Software Engineer at Sledgehammer Games (Activision) working alongside the Melbourne based core engineering team on the Call of Duty franchise. He grew up in Melbourne’s game development industry. His first game credit came as a teenager working on Rugby League... Read More →


Monday October 7, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
Room 111

12:00pm

Indigenous Culture in Video Games
The sensitive presentation of culture in video games is a relatively new concept to the medium. It has continually been able to reach wider audiences over the years. With this ability to create and share stories and experiences, we can make a seriously positive impact.  


In this talk, Phoebe will speak to her experiences working with the Indigenous community in videogames and the processes that were taken to involve them in the production of Chaos Tavern by DragonBear Studios. Following, she will express her opinion on the importance of including Indigenous culture into videogames; Highlighting how it can preserve one of the oldest living cultures on the planet and aid in closing the gap between non-Indigenous and Indigenous people. 


Speakers
avatar for Phoebe Watson

Phoebe Watson

I am a proud Indigenous Woman from the Yarrer Gunditj clan of the Maar Nation.  I am currently completing my second year my Bachelor of Design (Games) at RMIT. Whilst studying I also work as a cultural mentor to young Indigenous kids, teaching them language, dance, songs, and providing... Read More →


Monday October 7, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
Room 106

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
avatar for Ngoc Vu

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
Room 105

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
Room 104

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
avatar for Christina Chen

Christina Chen

Christina Chen is an expert and entrepreneur in the field of data-driven player optimization and monetisation design for game development.   With a background in software engineering, Christina played a significant role on the payment services that now underpin the majority of... Read More →


Monday October 7, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
Room 103

12:00pm

Subverting 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 ‘Best Friend Forever’ 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
avatar for Lucy Morris

Lucy Morris

Lucy is an internationally acclaimed game & UI/UX designer, previously having worked for studios such as Duesseldorf’s Ubisoft Bluebyte and Wellington’s PikPok. Now taking up the helm of directing Starcolt, her specialties include radial menus, romance game mechanics and selecting... Read More →


Monday October 7, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
Room 110

12:00pm

What to Expect when you’re expecting (a producer)
When considering bringing on a producer or if you're in the throes of onboarding ones, what are the considerations and questions you should be asking yourself and the team to ensure they are the given the best opportunity to level up your studio?

Lead Producer from League of Geeks, Lisy Kane is going to talk through what production looks like at LoG as well as exploring what types of production roles are out there and how they can fit (or not!) for your team.

Speakers
avatar for Lisy Kane

Lisy Kane

League of Geeks
Lisy Kane is a videogames producer currently making waves in the industry. In 2017, Lisy was recognised by Forbes in its prestigious top 30 list Forbes 30 Under 30 2017 Games. Ranked alongside the world’s best game makers, Lisy was the only Australian to make the who’s who of... Read More →


Monday October 7, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
Room 109

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
avatar for Neil Forbes-Richardson

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
Room 112

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
Room 112

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
avatar for Izzy Gramp

Izzy Gramp

Izzy Gramp is a game developer and photographer from Melbourne. She's currently working on a small upcoming mobile adventure game Intergalactic Space Princess. She is currently working on a as the creative director; responsible for the art and aesthetics for the game.Once solo developer... Read More →


Monday October 7, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Room 104

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
avatar for Alexander Aniel

Alexander Aniel

Alexander Aniel is the co-founder of Japanese music label Brave Wave Productions. Originallyfrom San Francisco, he moved to Tokyo in 2007 partly out of a passion for games and travel. AtBrave Wave, he assists artists such as Manami Matsumae and Takahiro Izutani in gettingconnected... Read More →
avatar for Manami Matsumae

Manami Matsumae

Manami Matsumae was born in Kyoto, Japan. After graduating from music school, she joined Osaka-based Capcom in 1987, where she composed for various NES and arcade titles. She is most well-known for her catchy soundtrack for the original Mega Man, as well as other early Capcom hits... Read More →


Monday October 7, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Room 106

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.

Speakers
avatar for Maize Wallin

Maize Wallin

Maize is a sound designer, audio programmer and composer. They have worked with companiesacross VR (VRTOV, Deakin Motion Lab), mobile (Draknek, Square Rose Games, Glitchnap,LoveShack) and is currently working with Ghost Pattern on Wayward Strand, and their own VR musicalinstrument... Read More →
avatar for Jason Bakker

Jason Bakker

Jason is a writer, producer and designer on Wayward Strand. He previously worked at League of Geeks, where he lead development on Armello through to release on Steam and PlayStation 4, and at Wicked Witch Software where he worked on several games, most notably as lead programmer/designer... Read More →


Monday October 7, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Room 103

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
Room 110

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
avatar for Katie Stegs

Katie Stegs

Katie Stegs is the Marketing Director and co-founder of Lumi Interactive. Katie has worked with some of independent developments most critically acclaimed studios including, Funomena, Stoic, Hipster Whale and many others. Katie manages User Acquisition at Lumi Interactive for their... Read More →


Monday October 7, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Room 111

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.

Speakers
avatar for Callum Harrington

Callum Harrington

Callum is a full-time Quality Assurance Analyst at KIXEYE, as part of their Melbourne office. After pursuing the performing arts for many years, he changed gears to join the games industry, doing contract work for a number of different indies (Harmonious Productions, Ultimerse and... Read More →


Monday October 7, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Room 105

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
avatar for Theresa Duringer

Theresa Duringer

Theresa Duringer is a co-founder and developer at Temples Gates Games, a San Francisco based studio creating award-winning boardgames for Android and iOS. Her team is known for digitizing Ascension, Race for the Galaxy, and Roll for the Galaxy and integrating machine learning AI to... Read More →


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

3:00pm

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
avatar for Osama Dorias

Osama Dorias

Osama Dorias is a Senior Game Designer at Warner Brothers Montreal. In the past, he has worked as a Game designer at Gameloft, GEE Media, Ubisoft, and Minority Media. Osama loves to empower people in expressing themselves through game making. He especially loves to give a voice to... Read More →


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

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
avatar for Hannah Crosby

Hannah Crosby

Hannah is an accomplished 3d artist, who has worked in the games industry for over 10 years, and more recently moved into film to create practical props on feature films like Thor: Ragnarok and Aquaman. Hannah started her career in games with an academic scholarship for the QANTM... Read More →


Monday October 7, 2019 3:00pm - 3:50pm
Room 103

3:00pm

[NOT RUNNING] Defining The Audio Direction For Dead Static Drive.
[NOT RUNNING]

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
avatar for Trevor Dikes

Trevor Dikes

Trevor is a game audio designer based in Melbourne, Australia. With over seven years experience he has designed and implemented game audio and designed audio systems for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC and mobile platforms. Having worked on worked on games such as The... Read More →


Monday October 7, 2019 3:00pm - 3:50pm
Room 109

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
avatar for Ellen Jurik

Ellen Jurik

Ellen Jurik is a professional Game Director, Designer, Writer, and Producer with ten years of experience spread across those disciplines. She currently fills all of those roles on different projects at Blowfish Studios in Sydney, before which, she was Producer for Ice Age Adventures... Read More →


Monday October 7, 2019 3:00pm - 3:50pm
Room 104

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
avatar for Richard Deveraux

Richard Deveraux

Richard has worked as a professional web developer for over 7 years while building tools and resources in his spare time for games like a Destiny, Borderlands and Battleborn. He is an advocate for seeing more games with public APIs and was recently contracted by Gearbox Software to... Read More →


Monday October 7, 2019 3:00pm - 3:50pm
Room 105

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
Room 106

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
Room 110

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
avatar for Shane Trewartha

Shane Trewartha

Shane has been working professionally in the Australian games industry since late 2006, wearing many hats in that time (design, level design, QA, art, tech art… he gets around), and was participant in various mod scenes for at least a decade prior to that. He has also been involved... Read More →


Monday October 7, 2019 4:30pm - 5:20pm
Room 103

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
avatar for Edward Blanch

Edward Blanch

Edward Blanch has been a member of the Melbourne games community for a number of years workingon a variety of titles on Mobile, PC and Console. With a background in Architecture he brings a blend ofart, shader knowledge and code to help bring fantasy environments to life.Known for... Read More →


Monday October 7, 2019 4:30pm - 5:20pm
Room 106

4:30pm

Claude De-goosey: On turning classical piano into videogame serendipity
How do you take two sets of piano preludes from the early twentieth century by composer Claude Debussy, and turn them into a videogame soundtrack? How does that music then act like an invisible silent film pianist, accompanying the game state, and providing moments of serendipity and humour for the player? In this talk, composer Dr. Dan Golding will explore the creative decisions and process behind creating the soundtrack for House House’s upcoming Untitled Goose Game.

Speakers
avatar for Dan Golding

Dan Golding

Dr. Dan Golding is a Senior Lecturer in Media and Communication at Swinburne University and the host of Screen Sounds on ABC Classic. Dan worked with House House to create the soundtracks for Untitled Goose Game (2019), Push Me Pull You (2016), and as part of Worm Club to compose... Read More →


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

4:30pm

Make Money With Your Game Like A Champ
Learning how to make great money from your mobile game is a challenge, but it is most certainly not impossible. With seven-plus years of experience and expertise from various backgrounds, Yodo1 has formed countless long-lasting partnerships and helped hundreds of developers from all over the world achieve commercial success.

Join in as Marina, Business Development Manager for monetisation experts Yodo1, goes through strategies to help you make your title a product that not only climbs to the top of the charts and makes money at launch, but stays seen and profitable in the years to come.



Speakers
avatar for Marina Espin

Marina Espin

Business Development Manager, Yodo1
Originally from Barcelona, Marina is the Business Development Team Manager for Yodo1, a leading expert in game monetization and an industry renowned company whose strong and steadfast partnership portfolio is steadily soaring past 300 developers world-wide. Marina’s fluency in... Read More →


Monday October 7, 2019 4:30pm - 5:20pm
Room 105

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
avatar for Wren Brier

Wren Brier

Art Director, Witch Beam
Wren Brier has been working as a game artist and designer in Brisbane for over seven years. Notable titles Wren has contributed to include Jetpack Joyride and Fruit Ninja. She is now an independent developer working on her first indie title, Unpacking, which was part of the Stugan... Read More →


Monday October 7, 2019 4:30pm - 5:20pm
Room 110

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.

Speakers
avatar for Gabriella Lowgren

Gabriella Lowgren

Gabriella Lowgren is a Communications Manager working in game development (Infinity + 2) by day and an indie game developer by night. When not cultivating healthy communities or communicating with coworkers, publishers, players and the media, she can be found creating games that explore... Read More →


Monday October 7, 2019 4:30pm - 5:20pm
Room 112

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
avatar for Emilie Poissenot

Emilie Poissenot

League of Geeks
Emilie is the Lead Game Designer at League of Geeks, supporting Armello’s ongoing success andworking on the studio’s new project. Her career spans 12 years, 3 continents, a few shades of blueand a wide variety of games, more recently leading the design team on The Sims FreePlay... Read More →


Monday October 7, 2019 4:30pm - 5:20pm
Room 109

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
TA

Tony Albrecht

Tony Albrecht is a Senior Engineer at Riot Games, where he is currently working deep within the bowels of the League of Legends code base. His almost 20 years of professional game development experience has seen him working with studios large and small across the globe on platforms... Read More →


Monday October 7, 2019 4:30pm - 5:20pm
Room 104
 
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
avatar for Drew Taylor

Drew Taylor

The founder of Melbourne-based accessible game development studio, Blind Sparrow Interactive, Drew Taylor believes in a world where “everyone can play”. With a professional career that spans writing, PR, marketing, consultancy and game development, Drew has worked for companies... Read More →


Tuesday October 8, 2019 10:00am - 10:50am
Room 106

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
avatar for Lisa Evans

Lisa Evans

Lisa Evans is a researcher and practitioner in science communication with a focus on using games and other digital technologies to engage the public. She originally studied astrophysics, then worked in game development and animation as a technical artist for many years. She is currently... Read More →


Tuesday October 8, 2019 10:00am - 10:50am
Room 104

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
avatar for Jessica Da Silva

Jessica Da Silva

Hi I'm Jess, I work at Blowfish Studios in Sydney as a 3D artist and was Assistant Game Director andArt Lead for Storm Boy the Game. I'm a The Working Lunch mentor for 2019.


Tuesday October 8, 2019 10:00am - 10:50am
Room 105

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
avatar for Philip Mayes

Philip Mayes

Philip is the Founder and CEO of Mighty Kingdom, a games developer based in Adelaide, South Australia. Founded in 2011, Mighty Kingdom now employs over 65 people and creates games for all major platforms. Philip is an Australian games industry survivor. Having worked at Ratbag Games... Read More →


Tuesday October 8, 2019 10:00am - 10:50am
Room 110

10:00am

The Forest Paths Method of Narrative Design
Some paths are found. Some paths are forged. Some travellers want to be led. Others just want to
explore. The Forest Paths Method is about recognising how concepts of drama can be applied as a
theoretical framework, and then wielded as a method to develop narrative design at any part of the
design process, on any scale.

This session will be an overview of the method, cover its strengths and weaknesses and then help writers and narrative designers at all levels understand how it may help them. We’ll also cover how this method can be used to recognise narrative design patterns common across genres and game types, and how this might provide a shorthand for development in the future.

Speakers
avatar for Alexander Swords

Alexander Swords

A narrative designer with a background in audience development and arts management. He’s worked for indies in Berlin, AAA in Sweden, and is now based in Australia helping forward-thinking developers forge strong relationships with their audiences through stories, narrative systems... Read More →


Tuesday October 8, 2019 10:00am - 10:50am
Room 109

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
Room 112

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
avatar for Amy Dallas

Amy Dallas

Amy Dallas is the one of the four founding partners of ClutchPlay Games, a small but scrappy game studio in Portland, Oregon. Founded in 2012, the ClutchPlay team has worked on several indie and work-for-hire titles for larger companies such as ILMxLAB, Endless Entertainment, KIXEYE... Read More →


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

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
avatar for Sav Emmett Wolfe

Sav Emmett Wolfe

Sav Emmett Wolfe is a triple award winning games writer and producer. His standout game, That Boy is A Monstr has tugged on the heart strings internationally for his honest and open portrayal of the fears and misconceptions of dating while transgender. His work focuses on two key... Read More →


Tuesday October 8, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
Room 104

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
SW

Sjoerd Wennekes

After his graduation at Art School in 2008, Sjoerd started, together with four co-founders, the award-winning game development company Monobanda. Monobanda was specialised in projects thatcombine virtual and tangible elements. Sjoerd was the CEO of the company and responsible foracquiring... Read More →


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

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
avatar for Luke Henry

Luke Henry

Luke is a partner at LDB Accountants and Advisors, who have a long association with the Game Development scene. Over twenty years ago LDB started working with a small group of university students when they founded Blue Tongue Entertainment. Now LDB represents over forty studios across... Read More →


Tuesday October 8, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
Room 110

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
avatar for Mel Taylor

Mel Taylor

Narrative Designer, Mellow Games
Mel is an indie game developer and narrative designer in Brisbane who recently founded Mellow Games. Mellow Games creates accessible, quirky and imaginative narrative games.  After co-founding German indie game studio Osmotic Studios in 2014, Mel co-created the award-winning and... Read More →


Tuesday October 8, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
Room 109

11:00am

The clothes that words wear: A typographic journey via Rihanna, Abba, KISS, Lady GaGa, George Michael and lots, lots more.
Ever wondered why you hear an English voice when you read Gill Sans? Ever wondered why the film industry loves Trajan?

This presentation will take you on a journey, via pop culture, to understand the meanings and potentials of typography in creating just the right tone and voice (yes, even for games).

And yes, we will be mentioning Comic Sans.



Speakers
avatar for Stephen Banham

Stephen Banham

Known internationally as the ‘typographic evangelist', Stephen Banham is founder of Letterbox, a type studio based in Melbourne, Australia. His typographic explorations centre on the social and cultural aspects of letterforms, culminating in over18 publications he has written and... Read More →


Tuesday October 8, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
Room 112

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
avatar for Ally McLean

Ally McLean

Ally is a writer, producer and advocate based in Sydney, Australia. Currently, Ally is the CEO of the Working Lunch Collective, a social enterprise that runs a mentorship program for women and non binary people in games, and a Product Manager at Wargaming Sydney.Ally was the Gamerunner... Read More →


Tuesday October 8, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
Room 106

11:00am

Game dev, the enterprise, and you
Leigh Mannes and Steve Williams from Deloitte Digital show you how enterprises are using techniques and technology from the games industry in surprising ways.

Mapping out what enterprises can learn from games, how integration in larger ecosystems works, and most importantly how people experienced in game design and technology can make a big impact across industries.

Speakers
avatar for Steve Williams

Steve Williams

Specialist Lead, Deloitte Digital
Steve began his career in games programming 19 years ago on Playstation 2, Xbox and GameCube. He went on to lead development teams building games for consoles, PCs and phones before diversifying into other fields. At Deloitte Digital he uses game development technologies to help create... Read More →
avatar for Leigh Mannes

Leigh Mannes

Senior Specialist Lead, Deloitte Digital
Leigh has 15 years experience developing games and interactive experiences across mobile, online and installation projects for local and international clients. As tech lead in Deloitte Digital's Digital Reality team, he provides analysis, system architecture, data design and implementation... Read More →


Tuesday October 8, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
Room 103

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
avatar for Megan Bowra-Dean

Megan Bowra-Dean

Megan is a senior programmer at PikPok Games in Wellington, New Zealand. She specialises in optimisation and shader programming, having come from a background of high performance web development.


Tuesday October 8, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
Room 105

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
avatar for Zander Hulme

Zander Hulme

Zander Hulme is a games composer and sound designer, and founder of game audio companySupertonic. He specialises in interactive music systems and technical sound design for indie games,striving to immerse players in dynamic game worlds. Zander is an active member in the local gamedevelopment... Read More →


Tuesday October 8, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
Room 103

12:00pm

Games as a Therapeutic Tool
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
avatar for Erick Blandin

Erick Blandin

Erick joined Child’s Play in 2014 after working for UW Medicine for 10 years as an IT Analyst. Thisbackground gives him a good insight into the challenges hospitals have in adopting new technologies.Has attended over 30 PAXen as a fan, then Enforcer, staff, and now as Exhibitor... Read More →


Tuesday October 8, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
Room 106

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
avatar for Dean Walshe

Dean Walshe

Dean is the 3D Art lead for Void Bastards which was released earlier this year, a Strategy Shooter with a distinctive comic book look from the team at Blue Manchu. Dean's previous credits include Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, a multitude of cancelled projects and some Star Wars games.Dean... Read More →


Tuesday October 8, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
Room 105

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
avatar for Jo Lammert

Jo Lammert

Jo Lammert is currently the Program Manager the videogame label Private Division, with previous game experience in indie development, community organizing, and even government. Jo’s first foray in the videogame industry was when she co-founded White Whale Games, producing 2012's... Read More →


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

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
avatar for Leigh Harris

Leigh Harris

Leigh co-founded Flat Earth Games with his sister Elissa and has been its Lead Designer (Objects in Space, Metrocide, TownCraft) for the past 8 years. Recently, he has taken on a new role as the Senior Game Designer at Wargaming Sydney.His award-winning games span multiple genres... Read More →


Tuesday October 8, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
Room 109

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
avatar for Matthew Dyet

Matthew Dyet

Lovingly called “Game Dad” by his friends, Matt has been doing games production out of Western Australia for the past 6 years. In that time he’s worked on a variety of games for numerous companies, from relaxing meditative indie VR titles to serious games that teach kids the... Read More →


Tuesday October 8, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
Room 110

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.

Speakers
avatar for Ben Britten

Ben Britten

Ben Britten is a co-founder and Mighty’s Technical Director. Ben has a double degree in computingand engineering and has worked in the entertainment industry for over 25 years in areas including: livetheatre, theme park design and visual effects. Ben holds an Academy Award for Science... Read More →
avatar for Matt Ditton

Matt Ditton

In the nearly two decades Matt Ditton has worked in the games industry he’s followed an eclectic career path. Moving from artist to programmer to producer to educator to finally starting The Mighty Games group with Ben Britten in 2013.A classically trained photographer, Matt's made... Read More →


Tuesday October 8, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
Room 104

12:00pm

Technical Direction for One
Regardless of whether you’re the sole developer on an indie game, leading a small group of
programmers, or the technical director overseeing multiple engineering departments, you will face the
same problems and decision points in the choice and use of technology on your projects.

By the time your game has shipped, you will have made hundreds of decisions around coding
standards and best practices, use of testing and automation, continuous integration and deployment,
release processes, client and server technology, and middleware selections. As the technical expert
on the project you will likely have also had to make decisions around IT issues such as version control,
backups, hardware and software purchases, and security.

Besides developing a game, you will find yourself building bespoke tools for engineers, designers,
artists, producers, QA and customer support, and processes to go along with them.
If you’re a solo developer or head of a small team, ideally your decisions are setting up your studio for
growth and sustainability; whereas if you’re already leading a large team you are already well aware of
the difficulty in maintaining high productivity with so many hands on deck.

Drawing on his experience leading both large and small teams, Alex will explore these issues and
provide guiding principles for technical directors at all levels of experience, with a particular focus on
risk assessment and mitigation, and setting up processes and practices up-front that can scale as a
team grows.

Speakers
avatar for Alex Holkner

Alex Holkner

Alex worked at EA Firemonkeys as the technical director of a number of mobile titles, and eventually asthe studio technical director overseeing the engineering discipline of multiple games. He was asignificant contributor to some highly successful releases including The Sims FreePlay... Read More →


Tuesday October 8, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
Room 112

2:00pm

I can't get no (client) satisfaction
Whether you are AAA doing co-dev, a mid sized studio doing work for hire or an indie working with a publisher or investor, wouldn't it be nice to know exactly where you stand with your client and what you could do to maximise the chance for future work?

It can be hard when these people are busy and difficult to reach so we've developed a minimally intrusive way to measure their current perception and highlight what already going well and areas to improve upon. We will take you through our journey, looking at the research, current best practices, and lessons learned in implementing these findings in Wargaming Sydney.

Covering challenges, like cultural/personal differences, limited availability of clients and also effectively measuring trust, loyalty and advocacy to develop meaningful metrics for client satisfaction.

Speakers
avatar for Jo Ann Tan

Jo Ann Tan

Jo Ann Tan has spent over ten years supporting developers in Visual Effects for films and television before making the switch over to games as a Senior Project Manager at Wargaming Sydney. She brings insights from working with industry leaders in the UK, Canada and Australia. She... Read More →
avatar for Jerry van Koppen

Jerry van Koppen

Jerry van Koppen is an accomplished games producer and project manager, with industry experience in indie and AAA environments across the world and a master's degree in Strategic Management. Starting in the UK as a Producer with Donkey Crew that made 'Of Kings and Men' and the soon... Read More →


Tuesday October 8, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Room 110

2:00pm

Realtalk; Politics, games, and the inescapable maw of responsibility.
Politics in and around games has always been a contentious and much-debated subject. Whilst this
talk may not settle this discussion in its entirety, it is vitally important that designers and consumers of
games are aware of what it means to consider ‘politics’ in the context of game design. Specifically, this
talk will attempt to unpack the idea of whether or not it is possible to create an ‘apolitical’ game. It will
explore the concept at numerous levels, both in terms of what politics are – and how they are
understood by the consumer audience – and how they are represented by games. It borrows heavily
from film and literature, which has laid strong foundations in the bedrock of 'politics'.

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
Room 103

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
Room 106

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
avatar for Yasmin Naghavi

Yasmin Naghavi

Yasmin practises in creative industries law, representing world-class graphic and motion designstudios, agencies, illustrators, streaming services, game makers, visual artists, authors, managers,fashion designers, format and content creators, influencers, photographers, tv/radio talent... Read More →


Tuesday October 8, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Room 105

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
avatar for Anna Brandberg

Anna Brandberg

Anna Brandberg is a Senior UX Designer at King in Stockholm. She started her career in boardgames in Sweden, then moved to Australia and took up a UI/UX Designer role at EA Firemonkeys, working on the popular titles ‘The Sims FreePlay’ and ‘Need For Speed: No Limits’. After... Read More →


Tuesday October 8, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Room 109

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
Plenary

2:00pm

What Unionism Adds To Your Workplace
Game Workers Unite presents 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
Room 112

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
avatar for June Rhodes

June Rhodes

June Rhodes is a software engineer working at Network Next in Santa Monica, California, where she’s helping make the Internet better for games. Network Next offers a Real-Time CDN to game developers that reduces latency and packet loss for online multiplayer games. Previously she... Read More →


Tuesday October 8, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Room 104

2:00pm

A New Way To Narrative Design
As storytellers in games it is no longer enough to rely on traditional Western conventions. In this workshop you'll learn a new way of looking at drama theory and writing tools, and apply them to your own fictional new game.

You'll discover ways of creating drama without conflict and take into account other factors for ethical narrative design. By doing this you'll also understand how your personal lived experience can better inform your writing; creating deeper and stronger narratives built on the design pillars of your games.

Speakers
avatar for Alexander Swords

Alexander Swords

A narrative designer with a background in audience development and arts management. He’s worked for indies in Berlin, AAA in Sweden, and is now based in Australia helping forward-thinking developers forge strong relationships with their audiences through stories, narrative systems... Read More →


Tuesday October 8, 2019 2:00pm - 3:50pm
Room 111

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
avatar for Ben Loveridge

Ben Loveridge

Ben is the co-ordinator of immersive media (AR/VR) at the University of Melbourne and works across all areas of video, audio and spatial media production. He co-ordinates activities in the Learning Environments virtual reality lab, assisting staff with the integration of virtual reality... Read More →


Tuesday October 8, 2019 3:00pm - 3:50pm
Room 110

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.

Speakers
avatar for Paris Buttfield-Addison

Paris Buttfield-Addison

Paris Buttfield-Addison is a co-founder of Secret Lab, Tasmania's longest running game development studio. Secret Lab builds games and game development tools, and is best known for the BAFTA- and IGF-winning Night in the Woods, the multi-award-winning ABC Play School iPad games, the... Read More →


Tuesday October 8, 2019 3:00pm - 3:50pm
Room 105

3:00pm

Technical Breakdown of scenes in John Wick 3
Speakers
avatar for Glenn Melenhorst

Glenn Melenhorst

With over 30 years of experience and a background in design and traditional 2D animation, Glenn has been a key VFX Supervisor overseeing many high-profile projects, most recently,Christopher Robin, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, Men In Black International... Read More →


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

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.


Speakers
avatar for Stefano Martincigh

Stefano Martincigh

Stefano is an energetic Development Manager / Agile coach, experienced in leading cross-functionalteams and guiding organizations through the challenges of Agile continuous transformation.


Tuesday October 8, 2019 3:00pm - 3:50pm
Room 103

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

Speakers
avatar for Luis van Slageren

Luis van Slageren

Connected Play
Luis Van Slageren has been working on game back-ends for more than 3 years with a background in traditional IT web services dating back to 2012 and has been volunteering at GCAP since 2014.Luis developed the back-end systems for Spies & Soldiers, Rogue Singularity, Disney Crossy Road... Read More →


Tuesday October 8, 2019 3:00pm - 3:50pm
Room 109

4:20pm

Closing Keynote
The closing keynote will feature:
  • Terry Burdak
  • Rae Johnston
  • William Pugh

Tuesday October 8, 2019 4:20pm - 5:30pm
 
Wednesday, October 9
 

9:30am

Opening Keynote: Industry Day
The Industry Day opening Keynote will feature:
  • Rae Johnston
  • Caroline Pitcher
  • Ricky Haggett

Wednesday October 9, 2019 9:30am - 10:45am

11:00am

Lighting Your Own Way: Creating your own career pathways (in an industry that sometimes demands it)
Career progression in this industry can be confusing enough without adding in the fact that you're just starting out. Kelsey Gamble (Lead Community Manager at Bethesda Softworks) will take you through her tried and tested tricks for getting ahead, networking, and setting yourself up for a successful career, whatever the heck that means. Did you know that networking is basically community management? You will after this talk!



Speakers

Wednesday October 9, 2019 11:00am - 11:30am
Room 105

11:00am

Business Update
Please join us for an update on Nintendo Switch’s current business environment, including install base and audience and talk to us about your business related questions.

Speakers
CH

Chris Heck

Business Development Manager, Nintendo of Europe


Wednesday October 9, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
Room 112

11:00am

Steam 101: Platform overview and Marketing tools
Steam is the leading storefront for games on PC and has many tools and features to help your game find success, many of which are in your hands as developers. This talk has been put together to help those who are newer to shipping games on the platform learn more about Steam from a developers standpoint. We'll cover features of Steam that facilitate pre-launch marketing, the day of launch and post release support. While this talk is intended to primarily be an introduction to Steam, experienced developers may also learn a thing or two about features they may not have been aware of previously.

Speakers

Wednesday October 9, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
Room 103

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
avatar for Yasmin Naghavi

Yasmin Naghavi

Yasmin practises in creative industries law, representing world-class graphic and motion designstudios, agencies, illustrators, streaming services, game makers, visual artists, authors, managers,fashion designers, format and content creators, influencers, photographers, tv/radio talent... Read More →
avatar for Sebastian Wolff

Sebastian Wolff

Sebastian Wolff is the CEO and founder of Materia Collective, a leading game music publisher and rights administrator. He specializes in game music rights management, modern practices of rights management and royalty collection, and assessment of music publishing opportunities for... Read More →
avatar for Mason Lieberman

Mason Lieberman

Mason Lieberman is a senior game audio coordinator for Tencent, the largest video game company in the world. He has the honor of working with many of the best audio professionals in the industry on a daily basis in this position. Having come up in the industry as a full-time freelancer... Read More →
avatar for Niamh Houston

Niamh Houston

Niamh Houston, also known by her stage name Chipzel, is a BAFTA nominated and award winning independent composer and performer from Northern Ireland. A lover of machines, Chipzel is renown for her unlikely choice of instrument: a Nintendo Gameboy. Chipzel has toured all over the world... Read More →
avatar for Fabian Malabello

Fabian Malabello

Fabian Malabello is an agent, a BAFTA-winning music supervisor, and the director of two companies in the video game industry: The Otherworld Agency, and Boss Battle Records.Fabian, via The Otherworld Agency (founded in 2015), represents over 40 composers and sound designers across... Read More →


Wednesday October 9, 2019 11:00am - 11:50am
Room 110

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
Room 109

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
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 →


Wednesday October 9, 2019 11:00am - 12:50pm
Room 106

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
avatar for Elaine Gusella

Elaine Gusella

Elaine is the Lead Game Designer for Montreal-based indie studio Artifact 5. She has previously workedas a game design and communications consultant with multiple indie studios and communityorganizations, including MEGA 2017 and 2018, GamePlay Space, where she managed the IPDiscoverability... Read More →


Wednesday October 9, 2019 11:00am - 12:50pm
Room 104

11:00am

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
avatar for Elizabeth Blythe

Elizabeth Blythe

Elizabeth is a consultant who has been delivering large scale technology projects for over a decade. She works across multiple industries, and her past clients include IBM, National Australia Bank, and the recently announced Summerfall Studios. In her spare time, Elizabeth is an... Read More →


Wednesday October 9, 2019 11:00am - 12:50pm
Room 107

11:40am

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 11:40am - 12:10pm
Room 105

12:00pm

Hands-on: Steam Library & Events
This talk is going to take a detailed look at how the new events and announcement tools works together with the updated Steam Library to better surface your communication to players. We’ll take a close look at the spaces where your events and announcements show up in the library and throughout Steam.

Then, we’ll examine some case studies for different kinds of events and communications, highlighting some best practices for you to consider as you work on your communication plan.

Speakers
AK

Alden Kroll

Valve
Alden has been a designer at Valve for over 13 years, working on Steam as well as on games such as Team Fortress 2, Portal, and Left 4 Dead. Alden currently works as a designer on the Steam store, the Steamworks publishing tools, and various community features such as Steam Works... Read More →


Wednesday October 9, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
Room 103

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.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Zala Habib

Zala Habib

Zala is a Game Designer at the newly founded Studio Mayday. She has worked on many solo and team projects and showcased her games around the country at conventions, conferences and exhibitions. Receiving the IGDA Velocity Scholarship in 2019, she is also a strong advocate for diversity... Read More →
avatar for Cameron Hopkinson

Cameron Hopkinson

Cameron Hopkinson is a composer and programmer based in Wellington. They are an honours graduate in composition from the New Zealand School of Music and are in their last year of an honours degree in software engineering at Victoria University of Wellington. Cameron is one of the... Read More →
avatar for Meredith Hall

Meredith Hall

Meredith is a producer, marketer and business developer, aiming to help create positive change against challenges faced by ANZ indie developers. She is co-founder of Accessibility Unlocked, and focuses on diversity and understanding as pillars of support structures and production... Read More →


Wednesday October 9, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
Room 109

12:00pm

Making Great Money to Make Great Games
The Aussie game dev community is bursting with talent and skill, and the passion of our industry leaders for helping each other has given birth to many wonderful projects; some of which have become global hits. The teams that have achieved commercial success did not do so by accident, but through a combination of knack, drive, and a critical focus on commercialisation. "Making money with your game" has been a subject that often feels like the proverbial elephant in the room in the Aussie game dev community.  We all need to this to keep making great games and thrive, but no one wants to talk about it.

Join Henry Fong, CEO of Yodo1, Matt Hall, co-creator of the hit game Crossy Road and Dylan Bevis, co-founder of Featherweight Games as they share the stories of Indie teams that "made it big" and the process they went through to overcome the challenges of making money that empowers them to keep making great games.

Lastly, this session will also provide a forum for discussion on the latest and emerging developments in game monetisation, ranging from Apple Arcade to Artificial Intelligence.

Speakers
avatar for Henry Fong

Henry Fong

CEO, Yodo1
Henry is Co-founder and CEO of monetization experts Yodo1, a leading company in the industry focused on helping Indie game developers promote and monetize their games world wide. With seven-plus years of experience, they’ve formed unshakable partnerships and friendships, and amassed... Read More →


Wednesday October 9, 2019 12:00pm - 12:50pm
Room 110

12:00pm

Network Development
This workshop provides an introduction to online multiplayer and other network features on Nintendo Switch. Learn how to apply on our web tools and what is possible on the platform.

Covering network services provided by Nintendo, how to realize your own custom solutions, Nintendo Switch Online integration and relevant Guideline information.

Speakers
UR

Ulysse Richert-Botté

Developer Relations Manager & Senior Software Engineer, Nintendo of Europe


Wednesday October 9, 2019 12:00pm - 1:30pm
Room 112

12:30pm

Emotional Architecture - Understanding Audio (and Ourselves)
Embracing his somewhat pretentious business card tag-line, Andrew aims to 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, he 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, & part group therapy, Andrew will illuminate many facets of game soundtrack development and encourage developers to behave a little bit less like robots and more like actual humans.

#AdaptiveAudio #FMOD #BeatTherapy #SpeakingSim #VoiceActing #Stories #NarrativeSupport #RetroAudio #AxesToGrind #SelfHelp #DontBeYou #CreativeInvestment #StopNeglectingYourSoundtrack #MusicNotMuzak #SubscribeToMyYoutubeChannel

Speakers
avatar for Andrew Curnock

Andrew Curnock

Described by his childhood piano teacher as “the worst student” she'd ever had, Andrew has forged acareer making music and sound for a diverse range of media platforms. Having written music for film,television, and even making cheesy mobile phone ringtones, his first game soundtrack... Read More →


Wednesday October 9, 2019 12:30pm - 1:00pm
Room 105

1:50pm

Cartoon Network: Live Pitching Session
A live pitching session of different pitches from Cartoon Network representatives. 

Wednesday October 9, 2019 1:50pm - 4:00pm
Room 103

2:00pm

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
avatar for Ella Macintyre

Ella Macintyre

Ella has many years experience in the entertainment industry, having trained in  Film and Television, then later making the move to Games. At Mighty Kingdom she began her career as a Marketing Assistant, then later became a Product Manager and lead development and strategy of Mighty... Read More →


Wednesday October 9, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Room 109

2:00pm

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
LD

Liam de Valmency

Liam has been working in the games industry for five years as a programmer at Media Molecule, helpingto bring to life their next project, Dreams -- a game creation engine and sharing platform for the PS4. Inhis spare time, Liam also regularly organises and participates in game ja... Read More →


Wednesday October 9, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Room 105

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
avatar for Lisy Kane

Lisy Kane

League of Geeks
Lisy Kane is a videogames producer currently making waves in the industry. In 2017, Lisy was recognised by Forbes in its prestigious top 30 list Forbes 30 Under 30 2017 Games. Ranked alongside the world’s best game makers, Lisy was the only Australian to make the who’s who of... Read More →
avatar for Cass Gray

Cass Gray

Cass Gray is the Chairperson of the New Zealand Game Developers Association and the Assistant Event Manager in Weta Workshop’s game studio. Prior to moving into events she was Assistant Producer on Weta Workshop’s debut title ‘Dr. Grordbort’s Invaders’, released in 2018.Cass... Read More →
avatar for Jon Hayward

Jon Hayward

Jon Hayward-Crichton is a producer who has a varied history.  Starting with co-founding the now largest (running) lanning group in Australia, he’s been a IGDA scholar, helped build a fan convention over ten years and completed Founders Institute.  More closely related to games... Read More →
avatar for Giselle Rosman

Giselle Rosman

A longstanding community leader in Australia, Giselle runs the Melbourne chapter of the International Game Developers’ Association (IGDA), has been Executive Producer of Global Game Jam (GGJ) has run the Melbourne jam site since 2011. Giselle's work in the community was recognised... Read More →
avatar for Chad Toprak

Chad Toprak

Chad Toprak is an experimental game designer and independent curator. He is a first generation Turkish-Australian Muslim immigrant, and currently serves as director of Freeplay, Australia's longest-running and largest independent games festival. He is also ½ of Melbourne's Hovergarden... Read More →


Wednesday October 9, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Room 110

2:00pm

Business Update
Please join us for an update on Nintendo Switch’s current business environment, including install base and audience and talk to us about your business related questions.

[Pre-Registration Required]

Speakers
CH

Chris Heck

Business Development Manager, Nintendo of Europe


Wednesday October 9, 2019 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Room 112

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
Room 106

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
avatar for Benjamin Ee

Benjamin Ee

Ben is a Concept Artist/Illustrator/Art Director/Art Goblin with over 5 years experience in the Gamesindustry, working for Appster, Wymac, and Unity. Ben is well-known for his stunning illustrative style and vibrant, powerful colour choices, as well as occasionally getting down on... Read More →


Wednesday October 9, 2019 2:00pm - 3:50pm
Room 107

3:00pm

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
avatar for Adrian Webb

Adrian Webb

G’day, I’m the Manager of Virtual Worlds at the Australian Defence Simulation and Training Centre (ADSTC). My role is looking at how Defence can better utilise technologies and capabilities from all walks of life to create a more engaged and prepared future workforce. It can be... Read More →
TB

Timothy Bermanseder

Originally a game developer with Cardboard Keep until 2019. Timothy has transitioned his career into the Public sector now working with the Department of Defence’s Learning Branch to build eLearning and training solutions. Having released titles ranging from PC to Nintendo Switch... Read More →
avatar for Jake Spencer Goodsir

Jake Spencer Goodsir

Jake is a system designer for the Technology Innovation Centre, a small team within the Department of Human Services that trials how innovative new platforms and techniques can be used to improve government services. For the past year they have been trialling Virtual Reality as a... Read More →
avatar for Stuart Anderson

Stuart Anderson

A software engineer, Stuart has for the past 7 years worked with Data61’s Immersive Environments Lab. Purpose built for applied research into the convergence of our digital and physical worlds, the IE Lab employs research capability in computer graphics, computer vision and human-computer... Read More →


Wednesday October 9, 2019 3:00pm - 3:50pm
Room 110

3:00pm

Launching Your Game in China? Here is What We've Learnt!
China has over taken the US as world’s largest games market – with an expected 728 million gamers by 2023.
But what can you expect when launching your game in China? Hear from 3 Australian studios on their experiences launching in China.

This talk will cover topics such as: how to launch in China; partnering with a Chinese publisher – why and how; game approvals and China Joy.
This panel is for anyone with an interest in China and want to know how to approach launching into the Chinese market.

The panel is moderated by Austrade, Australia’s Trade and Investment agency, and will have Hipster Whale, Savysoda and Affable Games provide their experiences on how to approach China, with both mobile and pc developer perspectives represented.

Speakers
avatar for Jessica Paulin

Jessica Paulin

Jess is Product and Marketing Manager at Hipster Whale. She started her career in 2008 in Germany within the browser game Free-To-Play industry before joining the Australian mobile game industry in 2012.Hipster Whale's flagship title, Crossy Road, has been downloaded more than 200... Read More →
avatar for Xin Zhao

Xin Zhao

Xin is the founder and director of SavySoda. Founded in 2008, SavySoda is Australia's first studio focusing exclusively on smartphone apps and games. Today, SavySoda has over 100 million downloads and focuses on Strategy Games and Productivity Apps.
avatar for Jordan Comino

Jordan Comino

Jordan is a co-founder and Director at Affable Games. Affable is releasing its second comedy game, Speaking Simulator, onto PC early next year in hopes that they will help train AI to take over the world peacefully.
avatar for Jazna Rossi

Jazna Rossi

Jazz is the Project Manager for Toast VR, an indie VR game studio based in Brisbane. Their VR title, Richie’s Plank Experience, takes the user 80 stories above the ground where they are challenged to walk the plank. Combined with Toast VR’s world-first technology to clone a real... Read More →


Wednesday October 9, 2019 3:00pm - 3:50pm
Room 109

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
avatar for Nic Wechter

Nic Wechter

Hi my name is Nic Wechter, I've been a game/level designer since 2002. I got my start at Krome Studios in Brisbane and went on to work at both Sony (Guerrilla Games) and Microsoft (The Coalition) 1st party studios. In 2017 I started my own one person studio and become teacher of game... Read More →


Wednesday October 9, 2019 3:00pm - 3:50pm
Room 105

3:00pm

Network Development
This workshop provides an introduction to online multiplayer and other network features on Nintendo Switch. Learn how to apply on our web tools and what is possible on the platform.

Covering network services provided by Nintendo, how to realize your own custom solutions, Nintendo Switch Online integration and relevant Guideline information.

[Pre-Registration Required]

Speakers
UR

Ulysse Richert-Botté

Developer Relations Manager & Senior Software Engineer, Nintendo of Europe


Wednesday October 9, 2019 3:00pm - 5:00pm
Room 112

3:50pm

Closing Keynote: Industry Day
The Industry Day Closing Keynote will feature:
  • The GCAP Team
  • Brendan Keogh
  • Rae Johnston

Wednesday October 9, 2019 3:50pm - 5:00pm

4:00pm

What Australian gamemakers told me about making games in Australia
Since the beginning of 2018, Brendan Keogh has been funded by the Australian Research Council to
investigate the state of game development in Australia. So far Keogh has conducted 150 interviews
with gamemakers in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Tasmania; he also conducted a
nationwide survey that attracted another 280 responses. Across these interviews, Keogh identified a
wide range of identities, challenges, and ambitions driving Australian gamemakers. Some of these
were specific to different local contexts; others were felt similarly across the nation.


In this session, Keogh will report back to the community some of the preliminary findings of this
ongoing research through directly drawing from quotations and statistics from this ongoing research.
The goal of this is to help individuals in the audience to better understand their own local and national
context as game developers, ensuring that collective challenges they face are not felt as solely
individual failings. Further, by presenting this national and local snapshot of the experiences of
Australian gamemakers, it is hoped this talk’s information will help local gamemaking communities
consider collective responses and strategies to the near-ubiquitous feelings of precarity and instability
observed in this study.

Speakers
avatar for Brendan Keogh

Brendan Keogh

Dr Brendan Keogh is an Australian Research Council Fellow in the Digital Media Research Centre,QUT, where he researches videogame development skill transferability across informal, formal, andembedded sectors. He previous taught game design at SAE Brisbane.He is the author The Unity... Read More →


Wednesday October 9, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Plenary