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Tuesday, September 5
 

6:30pm

Introduction to Unreal: Auckland Workshop

Speakers
avatar for Chris Murphy

Chris Murphy

Evangelist, Epic Games
Chris Murphy is an Evangelist for Epic Games with game development credits across PC, Vive, Oculus, PS4, iOS and Android. Chris has over 10 years of experience with Unreal Engine, a Bachelor of Computer Science and a Bachelor of Multimedia, culminating in a broad skillset across a range of game development disciplines... Read More →


Tuesday September 5, 2017 6:30pm - 9:30pm
AR/VR Garage 34 Shaddock St Eden Terrace, Auckland 1021
 
Wednesday, September 6
 

9:30am

2D World Building in Unity
IMPORTANT: You must register for a ticket for this workshop at https://nzgdc17workshops.lilregie.com

It's a great time to start making 2D games in Unity. New layout tools have been released that make it a pleasure to design 2D game worlds. In this session we will explore how these tools address common concerns in 2D game development workflows.  

Target Audience
Beginner to intermediate, Artists/Designers/Programmers. The workshop will be addressing some very basic features of the new 2D features. For advanced programmers it will address how these features can be extended. Absolute beginners may find this workshop a little difficult.

Gear Requirements
Laptops with a mouse. Trackpads are not ideal for interacting with Unity.
Unity 2017.2b9 or newer. Latest beta is usually best and can be found here: https://unity3d.com/unity/beta

Speakers
avatar for Rustum Scammell

Rustum Scammell

Product Manager, 2D, Unity Technologies
Rus Scammell is the Product Manager of 2D at Unity Technologies. He is a games technology generalist who takes a holistic approach to game development.


Wednesday September 6, 2017 9:30am - 12:30pm
WG809

9:30am

Building a comms plan from the game design outwards
IMPORTANT: You must register for a ticket for this workshop at https://nzgdc17workshops.lilregie.com

Games don’t sell if no one knows about them. Once you’ve worked out why your game is exciting to the audience, you need a communications plan to inform them – and this workshop will teach you to build this for your current game, from now to launch and beyond, and expand it organically as you progress. You’ll learn about “touchpoints”, and create moments that convey your game’s key features to the right people, at the right time, using original tactics and using the most appropriate channel.
NB. There is homework before you arrive.

Target Audience
No experience required – but you will get the most from this workshop if you prepare your key messaging in advance – you will be provided a guide to create this, or you can just write out your messages from your own gut feelings.

Gear Requirements
None

Speakers
avatar for Tim Ponting

Tim Ponting

Director, Renegade PR
Tim Ponting has 30 years’ experience in media and marketing communications, initially as a multi-award winning journalist in music, technology and gaming magazines, from editing ZERO to the launch of ground-breaking PC Zone, followed by 5 years at Activision as European PR Director where he was responsible for strategy and execution of all comms campaigns across the EMEA region. Achievements include launching the Call of Duty and Guitar Hero brands. Since 2007, Tim has been a director of Renegade PR and other projects including IndieDevKit, driving communications for video games... Read More →


Wednesday September 6, 2017 9:30am - 12:30pm
WG801-802

9:30am

Getting Started in VR
IMPORTANT: You must register for a ticket for this workshop at https://nzgdc17workshops.lilregie.com

You're invited to join Epic Games for a VR starter session, a live training tutorial where participants will learn the basics of creating VR projects and VR best practices in Unreal Engine.

Target Audience
This presentation assumes participants have 3D game development expertise, but no prior experience with UE4. You will learn the basics of creating a VR project from starter content using the UE4 Blueprint visual scripting system. Blueprints are easily leveraged by all game development disciplines, so artists, designers, and programmers are welcome.

Gear Requirements
None

Speakers
avatar for Chris Murphy

Chris Murphy

Evangelist, Epic Games
Chris Murphy is an Evangelist for Epic Games with game development credits across PC, Vive, Oculus, PS4, iOS and Android. Chris has over 10 years of experience with Unreal Engine, a Bachelor of Computer Science and a Bachelor of Multimedia, culminating in a broad skillset across a range of game development disciplines... Read More →


Wednesday September 6, 2017 9:30am - 12:30pm
WG901-902

9:30am

Growing from an Individual Contributor to Leader: What You Need to Know
IMPORTANT: You must register for a ticket for this workshop at https://nzgdc17workshops.lilregie.com

Congratulations! You do amazing work, so you're being promoted (without any training or guidance on how to be a great manager)! A great manager can make a tremendous difference in the success of their project, team, and company-this workshop will provide specific techniques for great leadership, guidance on things you need to know as a new manager, ways to adjust to the changes in your responsibilities, and additional resources for ongoing help.

Target Audience
New managers, people who want to move from individual contributor to manager, managers of managers. Also for great for existing managers!

Gear Requirements
Pen or other device to take notes.

Speakers
avatar for Jen MacLean

Jen MacLean

Managing Director, IGDA Foundation
From the start of her career in 1992 at Microprose Software, through senior roles at AOL, Comcast and StoryArc Media, Jen has managed game development, strategy, marketing, business development and partnerships across multiple gaming platforms. Jen earned a BA in international r... Read More →


Wednesday September 6, 2017 9:30am - 12:30pm
WG907

9:30am

Modelling games for learning with action mapping
IMPORTANT: You must register for a ticket for this workshop at https://nzgdc17workshops.lilregie.com

This talk presents models to underpin a game with clear learning objectives that support the creation of engaging game elements. The action mapping model for e-learning design focuses on actions rather than knowledge or information. It is therefore incredibly useful as a foundation to design meaningful but engaging game activities that achieve learning. We will explain how to use the model to create a map of clear learning goals that can be a constant go-to while you design and develop your educational game.

Target Audience
Game designers looking for a new method, or educators looking to make games. Some prior game design experience suggested, but not required

Gear Requirements
None

Speakers
avatar for Richard Durham

Richard Durham

Unitec Institute of Technology
Rich has a parallel background in education and in play. He had the pleasure of teaching sciences to thousands of students, organising live games in remote wooded compounds surrounded by zombies, working as a professional learning designer at Kineo Pacific and currently with Unit... Read More →
MV

Miranda Verswijvelen

Online Learning Designer
Miranda Verswijvelen is an experienced online learning designer, focusing on using stories and game experiences in e-learning. She has created online modules for a wide range of topics and organisations, and runs workshops on solid instructional design principles that help to cre... Read More →


Wednesday September 6, 2017 9:30am - 12:30pm
WG808

9:30am

World building in Unreal Engine 4
IMPORTANT: You must register for a ticket for this workshop at https://nzgdc17workshops.lilregie.com

This workshop will go over the varied tool used to rapidly create environments in Unreal Engine 4. Using a project based approach, participants will learn new techniques while creating their own level in Engine. The workshop will balance technical skills, visual aesthetics as well as best practice for designing memorable interactive worlds.

Target Audience
No prior experience or knowledge is required for this workshop, however an understanding of navigation within Unreal is suggested.

Gear Requirements
Laptop capable of running Unreal Engine 4, with Unreal Engine 4 installed (version 4.14-4.16). Mouse recommended.

Speakers
avatar for Pat Dunal

Pat Dunal

Game Art Lecturer, Media Design School
Pat is a versatile 3D artist with over ten years’ experience working in the industry. Hailing from Toronto, Canada, Pat studied fine arts and began his career working in architectural visualisation. He then followed his dream to work in the video game industry, creating worlds wi... Read More →


Wednesday September 6, 2017 9:30am - 12:30pm
WG803

9:30am

Designing Imaginary Worlds
IMPORTANT: You must register for a ticket for this workshop at https://nzgdc17workshops.lilregie.com

With countless imaginary worlds engulfing the entertainment industry, one of the greatest challenges for designers today is to strive for a sense of authentic originality. This intensive one day workshop takes artists on a holistic design journey, exploring different approaches to creating compelling original cultures that inform environments, characters and technological design.

Target Audience
This workshop is best suited for Design School students and graduates or current Industry Designers.

Gear Requirements
Preferably a Laptop with Photoshop installed and a Wacom tablet.
Alternate: laptop/tablet device to use for references, and paper & pencils

Speakers
avatar for Paul Tobin

Paul Tobin

Art Director, Weta Workshop
Paul Tobin has been a concept artist at Weta Workshop for the last 15 years, and worked across a large variety of titles such as Avatar, Ghost in the Shell, Power Rangers, The Expanse, Shadow of Mordor, the Hobbit trilogy and the Chronicles of Narnia. He is a co-creator of Weta... Read More →


Wednesday September 6, 2017 9:30am - 4:30pm
WG908-909

1:30pm

Advanced Technical Art in Unreal Engine
IMPORTANT: You must register for a ticket for this workshop at https://nzgdc17workshops.lilregie.com

You're invited to join Epic Games for Getting Started with Technical Art in Unreal Engine 4, a live training tutorial where participants will learn a series of advanced techniques for creating environments and effects in UE4.

Target Audience
This tutorial assumes participants have basic previous experience with UE4 and will build upon fundamentals to demonstrate how to develop effects, level tools and enhance their existing projects. These effects will be developed using Blueprints which are easily leveraged by all game development disciplines, so artists, designers, and programmers are welcome.

Gear Requirements
None

Speakers
avatar for Chris Murphy

Chris Murphy

Evangelist, Epic Games
Chris Murphy is an Evangelist for Epic Games with game development credits across PC, Vive, Oculus, PS4, iOS and Android. Chris has over 10 years of experience with Unreal Engine, a Bachelor of Computer Science and a Bachelor of Multimedia, culminating in a broad skillset across a range of game development disciplines... Read More →


Wednesday September 6, 2017 1:30pm - 4:30pm
WG901-902

1:30pm

One Game Enters, Two Games Leave
IMPORTANT: You must register for a ticket for this workshop at https://nzgdc17workshops.lilregie.com

In this workshop, you’ll learn how to take a simple card game and iterate towards varied design goals. Along the way, you’ll learn how to work as a team, and respond to changing constraints and doing iterations on a project while injecting your own voice into the design. As a bonus, you’ll get to tell everyone about that sweet-as game you made. 

Target Audience
Fresh faced designers trying their hand at design to experienced ones looking to hone their craft with specific challenges.

(From no experience, to the already expert.)


Gear Requirements
None

Speakers
avatar for Richard Durham

Richard Durham

Unitec Institute of Technology
Rich has a parallel background in education and in play. He had the pleasure of teaching sciences to thousands of students, organising live games in remote wooded compounds surrounded by zombies, working as a professional learning designer at Kineo Pacific and currently with Unit... Read More →
avatar for Carl de Visser

Carl de Visser

Lead Producer, Grinding Gear Games
Carl de Visser is Lead Producer and Manager of Game Design at Grinding Gear Games, working on the online Action RPG Path of Exile (GameSpot 2013 PC Game of the Year), and its expansions. Before working in videogames, Carl made boardgames, including co-designing the eurogame Endea... Read More →


Wednesday September 6, 2017 1:30pm - 4:30pm
WG808

1:30pm

Taking your game to the next level: hot tips on how to run your business and protect your IP
IMPORTANT: You must register for a ticket for this workshop at https://nzgdc17workshops.lilregie.com

Conceiving, designing, launching and commercialising a game is an exciting but daunting project. What arrangements should you have in place between the co-founders? Should you set up a company? How do you get investors on board? Can you use that game asset? Does someone already own the rights to the name? Do you need a licence to use third party content? How do you license the game? This interactive workshop, presented by leading IP, media and technology lawyers and business advisors from Hudson Gavin Martin, will be run as part presentation, part worked example, and will tackle these issues and many more. Come armed with questions!

Target Audience
Anyone running a game business. No prior experience or knowledge required

Gear Requirements
None

Speakers
avatar for Sarah-Jane Lawson

Sarah-Jane Lawson

Senior Associate, Hudson Gavin Martin
avatar for Edwin Lim

Edwin Lim

Partner, Hudson Gavin Martin
avatar for Jason Rudkin-Binks

Jason Rudkin-Binks

Partner, Hudson Gavin Martin


Wednesday September 6, 2017 1:30pm - 4:30pm
WG801-802

1:30pm

Unity - Cinemachine, Timeline and Lighting!
IMPORTANT: You must register for a ticket for this workshop at https://nzgdc17workshops.lilregie.com

You're invited to join Unity for a workshop Cinemachine, Timeline and Lighting! You will learn how to add cinemactics and gameplay sequences to your game with Timeline and CineMachine. Timeline allows you to visually arrange audio, animation, cameras, particles and more giving power to artists and designers to create and tweak game content. CineMachine is a camera system that will choose the best shot for you. Together with Timeline, CineMachine will blend seamlessly between set shots, gameplay cameras and dolly cameras.

Target Audience
Basic Unity knowledge required.

Gear Requirements
Laptop with Unity 2017.1 installed.

Speakers
avatar for John Sietsma

John Sietsma

Product Evangelist, Unity
John Sietsma combines a long history as a games developer with a love of education to help people make the most out of Unity. He has worked on games that let people fly planes, play Rugby League, conquer kingdoms, merge the real with the virtual and compose music by waving their... Read More →


Wednesday September 6, 2017 1:30pm - 4:30pm
WG809

5:00pm

NZGDA Annual General Meeting

The NZGDA's Annual General Meeting agenda will include:

  • Chairperson’s report on the business of the Society
  • Secretary’s report on the finances of the Society, and the Statement of
    Accounts
  • Election of Committee Members
  • General business

All members are welcome to join us for the AGM.


Wednesday September 6, 2017 5:00pm - 6:00pm
WG403

6:00pm

Auckland Game Dev Meetup
This is a free event hosted by the NZGDA: https://www.meetup.com/playmaker/events/243059271/

Wednesday September 6, 2017 6:00pm - 8:30pm
WG403

8:30pm

NZ Game Dev Catch Up
This is a free event hosted by the NZGDA. Please RSVP for the event on Facebook.

Wednesday September 6, 2017 8:30pm - 11:00pm
Aotea House Bar & Restaurant 291 - 297 Queen Street, Auckland, New Zealand 1010
 
Thursday, September 7
 

8:30am

Registration
Thursday September 7, 2017 8:30am - 9:00am
Level 2 Lobby

9:00am

NZGDC17 Intro & Kiwi Game Starter Winner
Thursday September 7, 2017 9:00am - 9:30am
WG403

9:30am

Opening Keynote - Aurelie Le Chevalier
Speakers
avatar for Aurelie Le Chevalier

Aurelie Le Chevalier

Gameplay Programmer, Ubisoft Montreal
Aurelie Le Chevalier is a gameplay programmer at Ubisoft Montreal. She has worked in AI, UI, and Gameplay on the games 'Rainbow Six', 'Child of Light', 'Shape Up', and 'For Honor'. She is interested in data-driven gameplay systems as a means to increase productivity and creativi... Read More →


Thursday September 7, 2017 9:30am - 10:30am
WG403

10:40am

A ten year visual journey - from inception to act five
Enjoy behind-the-scenes and anecdotes about concept art of characters and creatures, expansive vistas of gritty environments in this all-encompassing retrospective of Path of Exile's dark fantasy world.

Speakers
avatar for Erik Olofsson

Erik Olofsson

Creative Director, Grinding Gear Games
Erik is a founder and the Creative Director at Grinding Gear Games and have developed the game Path of Exile for more than ten years.


Thursday September 7, 2017 10:40am - 11:25am
WG901-902

10:40am

How to be wrong... less
In programming we're often given a piece of golden advice designed to help us be better, and yet we still make mistakes and decisions which later prove to have consequences we failed to anticipate. This talk will examine the ways in which my peers and I have been wrong throughout my career, and will provide advice on how to think about problems to try to be wrong less.

Speakers
avatar for Jeremy Burgess

Jeremy Burgess

Technical Director, PikPok
Jeremy Burgess is Technical Director at PikPok games in Wellington. In his career of over 11 years, he's worked on a number of games across many platforms. Between two spells at Sidhe/PikPok, Jeremy spent 3 and half years at Codemasters in the UK working on games featuring vehicu... Read More →


Thursday September 7, 2017 10:40am - 11:25am
WG404

10:40am

Making Tools for Games [Panel]
Most off-the-shelf engines like Unity and Unreal are great in the general case, but your game has some very unique needs. How can you make your development more efficient? Join a team of tools nerds as they explore the rewarding world of building game-specific utilities to speed up your coding, your art, your level design, and your testing.

Moderators
avatar for Jon Manning

Jon Manning

Co-Founder, Secret Lab
Jon Manning is the co-founder of Secret Lab, an independent game development studio. He's written a whole bunch of books for O'Reilly Media about iOS development and game development, and has a doctorate about jerks on the internet. He's currently working on Button Squid, a top-d... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Paris Buttfield-Addison

Paris Buttfield-Addison

Lead Producer, Secret Lab
Paris Buttfield-Addison is the lead producer at Secret Lab, and knows when to stop going down the rabbit hole.
avatar for John Kane

John Kane

Independent
John Kane is an independent games developer, best known for the critically acclaimed Killing Time at Lightspeed.
avatar for Tim Nugent

Tim Nugent

Independent Developer, lonely.coffee
Tim Nugent pretends to be a mobile app developer, game designer, PhD holder, and has recently started pretending to be an author. (He cowrote Learning Cocoa with Objective-C, Swift Development for Cocoa, Learning Swift, and The Kerbal Space Program book for O’Reilly Media.) When he... Read More →


Thursday September 7, 2017 10:40am - 11:25am
WG308

10:40am

UX, Y?
The user experience is more important than ever when it comes to games on PC and mobile games - it doesn't take much to put the player off instantly. In this talk Ryan will discuss how he worked on Doomsday Clicker, Rival Stars College Football and Dungeon Inc to create a cohesive user experience across UI, ad implementation and more to get users having fun as fast as possible.

Speakers
avatar for Ryan Langley

Ryan Langley

Senior Game Designer, PikPok
Ryan has been working on some of the most popular games to come out of Australia and New Zealand, including Fruit Ninja, Jetpack Joyride, Doomsday Clicker and Dungeon Inc. All round fun person.


Thursday September 7, 2017 10:40am - 11:25am
WG126

10:40am

Turning a story idea into a story product
Edwin will talk about the development of The Falconers concept and the process it took to take that idea and turn it into the first Falconers game, The Falconers: Moonlight.

Speakers
avatar for Edwin McRae

Edwin McRae

Writer and Narrative Designer, Freelance
Edwin has been a professional writer in the games industry for going on seven years. He has been Lead Writer on Path of Exile for six of those years and has worked with many other game companies, both in NZ and overseas, in that time. Edwin is also the creator of The Falconers... Read More →


Thursday September 7, 2017 10:40am - 11:25am
WG908-909

10:40am

The Cost of Making a Game
This session will focus on the tangible and intangible costs of making a game, with attendees given the chance to see the 'real' cost of running a small independent team - ranging from overheads to stress management. This talk will utilize Opaque Space's journey into their VR title 'Earthlight' and cover the methods used to not only make a sustainable studio, but also discuss the failures, challenges and difficulties encountered.

Speakers
avatar for Emre Deniz

Emre Deniz

Director, Opaque Space
Emre Deniz has been working in Virtual Reality for the past four years, being one of the first developers in Australia to work on the HTC Vive as well as having worked as both lead game designer and artist on multiple projects in Virtual, Augmented and Mobile experiences. Emre ha... Read More →


Thursday September 7, 2017 10:40am - 11:25am
WG403

11:35am

Animation Swiss Army Knife
This talk is brought to you by Autodesk.

A mixed bag of tips and tricks.

Speakers
avatar for Mike Paech

Mike Paech

Senior Animator, Artrix Limited


Thursday September 7, 2017 11:35am - 11:55am
WG308

11:35am

Common Mistakes Artists Make
Ivan is 2D/3D generalist currently teaching at Media Design School on Bachelors of Creative Technology. For the past 3 years Ivan has been developing games under the banner of Pixel Barons.

Speakers
avatar for Ivan Khmel

Ivan Khmel

Lecturer, Media Design School
Ivan is 2D/3D generalist currently teaching at Media Design School on Bachelors of Creative Technology. For the past 3 years, Ivan has been developing games under the banner of Pixel Barons.


Thursday September 7, 2017 11:35am - 11:55am
WG901-902

11:35am

Taking the luck out of luck: Visual confirmation of game behavior
If you’ve ever made a random-based algorithm that seemed entirely too orderly, or had a character that ended up moving faster on the diagonals, then this talk is for you! I will be covering how to use well-crafted debug display to visually confirm algorithms, check design assumptions, and ensure proper game behavior all the way through production. By following a few straightforward principles, you’ll see that it can be easy to keep yourself in control of everything that happens in your game. I will demonstrate this by sharing visualizations of several common algorithm and behavior mistakes that frequently pop-up in published games. By the end of this talk you’ll have a few more tools at your disposal to make sure that you don’t need to be lucky to make a great game.

Speakers
avatar for Christopher Cork

Christopher Cork

Programming Team Lead, Gameplay, Ubisoft Montreal
Christopher is a gameplay programming team lead on an unannounced project at Ubisoft Montreal. With 7 years of industry experience, he has worked on several different brands including Assassin's Creed and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six. He specializes in the creation and iteration of g... Read More →


Thursday September 7, 2017 11:35am - 11:55am
WG403

11:35am

Better Balanced Economies. An Introduction to Formula Driven Design
It’s commonplace for a game economies to be balanced by starting with some gut feel numbers, then testing, adjusting, and iterating until it feels “good enough”. This can be time-consuming, and even worse, these numbers can be thrown-off by making adjustments elsewhere, resulting in having to start this inefficient process over. An alternate approach is to use formulas to reduce the number of adjustment points. This talk will use practical examples to show how to do this, and use formulas to calculate characteristics such as the cost of an item, or the damage caused by a spell. The result for your games will be quicker and more robust balancing.

Speakers
avatar for Jeff Laird

Jeff Laird

Product Owner, Runaway Play
As Senior Gameplay Engineer, Jeff has had significant involvement with the design and implementation of Runaway's portfolio since its inception. With over 11 years of experience creating Educational and Free to Play games, he is now the Product Owner for Splash, a game about nurt... Read More →


Thursday September 7, 2017 11:35am - 11:55am
WG126

11:35am

Smarter Monetisation with Google Analytics for Firebase
Learn how Google Analytics for Firebase and AdMob seamlessly work together to help you optimize and generate more revenue in your app. This session dives into how you can use Google Analytics for Firebase to understand how ads impact user experience, how different audiences interact with ads and spend on IAP, and how to think about LTV holistically, across all revenue streams.

Speakers
avatar for Clifford Cohn

Clifford Cohn

AUNZ Apps Lead, Google
Clifford leads the AdMob team for Google in Australia and New Zealand, and he recently relocated to Sydney from Tokyo, where he called home for 6 years. In Japan, he was part of a global strategy team focused on Google's publisher monetisation products. Prior to Google, he was in... Read More →


Thursday September 7, 2017 11:35am - 11:55am
WG404

11:35am

Top 10 Tricks for Community Management (with or without a dedicated CM)
New to building and managing a community? Not sure if you need a community manager? Scared that your players will be meanies? This talk is for you! Take a crash course in Community Management and learn to love communicating with your players rather than fearing them. I will be going through ten different steps discussing uses for different social media platforms and ways to talk to different audiences and demographics (including meanies) to make their contributions feel meaningful and extend the game experience beyond the game itself.

Speakers
avatar for Lisa Blakie

Lisa Blakie

Community Manager, Runaway Play
Lisa is the Community Manager for mobile free-to-play developer Runaway, based out of Dunedin, New Zealand. She is responsible for extending the experience of Runaway's portfolio of 'games inspired by nature' beyond the apps, and out into myriad social channels, while retaining a... Read More →


Thursday September 7, 2017 11:35am - 11:55am
WG908-909

1:15pm

Freshies [Panel]
Welcome to Freshies a panel to answer your questions about getting into the games industry. With panelists spanning many levels of experience you will hear stories from industry veterens to developers in the first few months of their first job. They are here to share their stories, drop advice and answer your questions about getting a job in the big bad games industry.

Moderators
avatar for Sam Batty

Sam Batty

Animator, Aurora44
Sam is an Animator at Aurora44, while new to the games industry he is not new to NZGDC talks having delivered another animation talk in 2016. His focus is on delivering practical tips and tricks with a little bit of entertainment to make sure you don't fall asleep.

Speakers
avatar for Aimee Cairns

Aimee Cairns

Concept Artist & Art Consultant
Aimee Cairns is a concept artist, illustrator, & game art generalist who is most known for her lighthearted illustrations on twitter & behance. | | Originally studying for a Fine Art Bachelors Degree, she switched to a 3D Animation Diploma in her third year to acquire a skill set for commercial art, which eventually lead into the games industry. | | She has worked with Ninjakiwi for four years, from art junior to art lead, and currently works as a concept artist... Read More →
avatar for Suhail Chada

Suhail Chada

Junior Game Designer, Aurora44
Suhail is an artist and designer who has recently joined the games industry. He is currently working as a Junior Game Designer on Ashen at Aurora44.
avatar for Zoe Hobson

Zoe Hobson

Managing Director, Runaway Play
Zoe is the Managing Director of Runaway Play, an independent game developer and publisher making beautiful games inspired by the natural world. Zoe has a strong background in the media industry. She has worked in game production, film production, digital media, print media and te... Read More →
avatar for Emma Johansson

Emma Johansson

Art Director, Runaway Play
Emma Johansson is a game artist from Sweden whose specialty and passion lies in drawing cute animals and colourful backgrounds. In 2009 she moved to New Zealand and became one of the founding members of Runaway first working as a Game Designer and Lead Artist. In 2016 Emma took o... Read More →


Thursday September 7, 2017 1:15pm - 2:00pm
WG308

1:15pm

Technical art basics - Stepping past conventional artist roles
In this introductory presentation we'll cover a range of tips and tricks for 3d assets developed by Epic Games and explain how you can integrate these techniques into your own projects.We'll show you the concepts used by AAA studios to develop high fidelity assets to advance your workflow, utilise dynamic elements and lower overhead costs.

Speakers
avatar for Chris Murphy

Chris Murphy

Evangelist, Epic Games
Chris Murphy is an Evangelist for Epic Games with game development credits across PC, Vive, Oculus, PS4, iOS and Android. Chris has over 10 years of experience with Unreal Engine, a Bachelor of Computer Science and a Bachelor of Multimedia, culminating in a broad skillset across a range of game development disciplines... Read More →


Thursday September 7, 2017 1:15pm - 2:00pm
WG901-902

1:15pm

Broken Toys and Borrowed Dreams
Toy design is the unspoken jewel of game design. Toys help define genres, they’re the interactive hook of the experience and yet they have outstandingly simple principles. So what do you do with a toy once you’ve got it, and how do you shape measurable outcomes from observed toy behaviours into great games to build audiences? Broken Toys and Borrowed Dreams aims to share simple techniques, and some contemplative thought surrounding contemporary game design.

Speakers
JB

Jimmy Baird

Lead Game Designer, Magic Leap
Jimmy loves making games to give people happiness. He has helped design and make games professionally for the past fourteen years. From humble beginnings at Krome Studios working on Ty the Tasmanian Tiger series, and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. Then moving to PikPok at the ti... Read More →


Thursday September 7, 2017 1:15pm - 2:00pm
WG126

1:15pm

Designing around the edges
Independent games need to offer unique, interesting experiences to find an audience, but doing so can make them inscrutable to potential players. Is there a way to design intentionally around this conundrum? Using his experience of Mini Metro's journey, Peter goes into one technique you can use to manage risk in small-scale game design.

Speakers
avatar for Peter Curry

Peter Curry

Co-Founder / Engineer, Dinosaur Polo Club
Peter is a co-founder of Dinosaur Polo Club, the creators of the sublime subway simulator Mini Metro. Peter has worked in the New Zealand videogames industry since 2001, as a programmer, designer, and indie all-rounder. In 2016 he worked with Lucy Morris and Robert Curry to found... Read More →


Thursday September 7, 2017 1:15pm - 2:00pm
WG404

1:15pm

In Defence of the Linear: Telling Tailored Stories
Telling Tailored Stories is a talk about linear narrative design in games, exploring what exactly linear storytelling is, and how to implement a solid tailored linear experience in games of all types.

Speakers
avatar for Saf Davidson

Saf Davidson

Narrative Designer, Freelance
Saf is a narrative designer, writer, and podcaster with an extreme passion for storytelling. Since her first Twine game, she has professionally written and designed for a variety of formats, both interactive and otherwise.


Thursday September 7, 2017 1:15pm - 2:00pm
WG908-909

1:15pm

Managing Your Career Through Turmoil
Game development is a career filled with ups and downs. Turmoil can be good and bad-but it always takes a toll on you personally and professionally. Learn how you can anticipate challenges, minimize the impact of change and disruption, and recover for maximum health, happiness, and career impact.

Speakers
avatar for Jen MacLean

Jen MacLean

Managing Director, IGDA Foundation
From the start of her career in 1992 at Microprose Software, through senior roles at AOL, Comcast and StoryArc Media, Jen has managed game development, strategy, marketing, business development and partnerships across multiple gaming platforms. Jen earned a BA in international r... Read More →


Thursday September 7, 2017 1:15pm - 2:00pm
WG403

1:15pm

Why we don't worry how people find us on the App Store
Magical Park, a geospatial AR game, has got a very unusual business concept which was born from the question "How will we be found on the App Store?" This question resulted in a very new revenue model that utilises impact networks, is free to play, follows ethical game rules for kids and make money through councils. We hope that with our unusual business model other gaming companies will get inspired and think about other ways to generate revenue.

Speakers
avatar for Melanie Langlotz

Melanie Langlotz

Co-Founder, Geo AR Games
Melanie Langlotz is the co-founder of Geo AR Games, an Auckland based gaming technology start up which is best known for its product Magical Park. Magical Park is the world's 1st digital Playground and it fills urban city parks with fairy creatures and gets kids off the couch and... Read More →
avatar for Amie Wolken

Amie Wolken

Co-Founder, Geo AR Games
Amie holds a Bachelor law degree, which often comes very handy. She also holds a BA Degree in Computer Science and BA in Animal Biology and Psychology. Amie is a programmer/developer and has held positions like Support Manager and Operations Manager. She is a Director on the Boar... Read More →


Thursday September 7, 2017 1:15pm - 2:00pm
WG907

2:10pm

Texturing with the Dark Arts: Workflows in Substance
This talk will be a primer to procedural texturing using Substance Designer, and I will present concepts and techniques that can be used to enhance any art pipeline. I will go over a complete asset creation workflow, briefly covering model prep and setup setup in Maya, right through to a fully textured asset using various procedural modelling techniques in Substance.

Speakers
RS

Reuben Smith

3D Artist, Weta Workshop
Reuben is human-like flesh lump impersonating as video game artist with the incredible folk at Weta workshop & Magic Leap. After starting with the crew in early 2015, he has since put his fingers in most of the art content, from 2D conceptual art right through to creating the fin... Read More →


Thursday September 7, 2017 2:10pm - 2:55pm
WG901-902

2:10pm

Getting started in Mobile VR with Google Daydream
Learn how simple it is to Build a Mobile VR game with Google Daydream, with tips, tricks and practical lessons learned from working a commercial project. You don’t even need a Daydream device to get started.

Speakers
avatar for Beric Holt

Beric Holt

Senior Programmer, Runaway Play
Beric Holt is a Senior Programmer at Runaway in Dunedin, currently focusing on VR games development


Thursday September 7, 2017 2:10pm - 2:55pm
WG404

2:10pm

Games for Learning
The panel will share some of the latest and greatest research on the subject of Games for Learning. Panelists will talk about developing educational games, their experiences on what works and what doesn't work in the classroom and what a local game studio is doing to weave game design and digital technologies into the New Zealand curriculum.

Moderators
avatar for Rachel Bolstad

Rachel Bolstad

Senior Researcher, NZCER
Rachel Bolstad is a senior educational researcher at the New Zealand Council for Educational Research. Her current research project "Games for Learning" investigates the actual and potential role of games to support "transformative learning opportunities" for diverse learners. Read More... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Amy Fredeen

Amy Fredeen

CFO, Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Inc.
Amy is the executive vice president and chief financial officer of Cook Tribal Inlet Council. Originally from Chugiak, Alaska, Ms. Fredeen is of shared Inupiaq and German descent. | | Amy helped form a partnership with E-line Media, an industry leader educational games, that created Never Alone, the first video game made with an indigenous community. Amy served as the lead cultural ambassador, ensuring an inclusive development process. Never Alone shares and celebrates Inupiaq culture and stories through 26 embedded mini-documentaries. | | ​Never Alone won a 2015 BAFTA for... Read More →
avatar for Yasmin Kafai

Yasmin Kafai

Professor, University of Pennsylvania
Yasmin Kafai is Professor of Learning Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a researcher and developer of tools, communities, and materials to promote computational participation, crafting, and creativity across K-16.​ | | Her recent books include “Connected Gaming: What Making Video Games Can Teach Us about Learning and... Read More →
avatar for Dan Milward

Dan Milward

CEO, Gamefroot
Dan started off making WAP games for mobile devices in the early 2000's. One thing led to another and they ended up making Gamefroot - an online platform for kids to make video games. The Gamefroot platform is used by kids around the world as a learning tool to apply and expa... Read More →


Thursday September 7, 2017 2:10pm - 2:55pm
WG308

2:10pm

Giant Killer Robots: a cinematic approach to game design
Join Paul Tobin, co-creator of Giant Killer Robots, as he discusses how a senior team of world-building concept artists at Weta Workshop, applied their collective experience in film-making to create the new action packed board game GKR: Heavy Hitters.

Speakers
avatar for Paul Tobin

Paul Tobin

Art Director, Weta Workshop
Paul Tobin has been a concept artist at Weta Workshop for the last 15 years, and worked across a large variety of titles such as Avatar, Ghost in the Shell, Power Rangers, The Expanse, Shadow of Mordor, the Hobbit trilogy and the Chronicles of Narnia. He is a co-creator of Weta... Read More →


Thursday September 7, 2017 2:10pm - 2:55pm
WG403

2:10pm

Rapid Prototyping in Unreal and the Importance of a good pipeline
This talk is brought to you by Epic Games.

John and Saxon talk about the importance of having a rock solid workflow when dealing with real time development. How it can help manage expectations, clients, managers and ultimately make a better end product. They go over things such as decoupled coding and art, the importance of source control, reusing assets and whiteboxing. 

Speakers
avatar for Saxon Dixon

Saxon Dixon

Real Time Technical Artist and UX Designer, Virtual Immersive
Saxon is a Real-Time Artist and VR UX Designer with around 10 years experience in the Games and Interactive industry. Designing good looking and well playing experiences in everything from Mobile to Triple A games, he is one of Australia’s leading experts in VR UX. Saxon’s inter... Read More →
avatar for John Doolan

John Doolan

Lead Software Engineer, Virtual Immersive
John is a rendering and interactive graphics guru based in Sydney Australia. He's been in the Australian development scene for over 20 years.  He has been lead programmer on multiple VR projects including SkyKraken and Infiniti VR. He is a co-founder of the Official UE4 Sydney Me... Read More →


Thursday September 7, 2017 2:10pm - 2:55pm
WG908-909

2:10pm

Yonder: The Startup Chronicles
Yonder: The Startup Chronicles covers the journey Prideful Sloth took from inception to releasing Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles. Cheryl covers a range of topics including the thought process and methodology that Prideful Sloth used to setup the company, how they approached funding for their project , as well as how cost and benefit trade-offs were addressed through the development process.

Speakers
avatar for Cheryl Vance

Cheryl Vance

Director, Prideful Sloth
Cheryl Vance is a Brisbane based game developer and co-founder of Prideful Sloth - a micro-AAA developer known for technical excellence in world-building and a focus on player-driven experiences. Cheryl cut her teeth in the Australian development scene, and after working on several titles set her sights on on AAA development, Cheryl left the comfort of Brisbane and leapt across international waters to pursue a career as a producer for Activision Blizzard. In her time abroad she also had the opportunity to work at Ninja Theory, Curve Studios, and Freestyle Games, gaining valuable knowledge and honing her craft. Cheryl is passionate about doing her part to revive high-quality console development in... Read More →


Thursday September 7, 2017 2:10pm - 2:55pm
WG126

3:30pm

New 2D Tools in Unity
Many new 2D tools have been released in recent versions of Unity. In this talk we will see these features in action and explore how they address common issues in 2D game development. We'll take a look at sorting, Sprite Mask, Sprite Atlas as well as upcoming features like Tilemap.

Speakers
avatar for Rustum Scammell

Rustum Scammell

Product Manager, 2D, Unity Technologies
Rus Scammell is the Product Manager of 2D at Unity Technologies. He is a games technology generalist who takes a holistic approach to game development.


Thursday September 7, 2017 3:30pm - 4:15pm
WG907

3:30pm

Trying very hard to make realtime art not look like a videogame
In this talk Lead 3D Artist Kalonica will give insight into the development of the art style of ‘A Thin Black Line’, a realtime virtual reality experience that sits at the borderline of film and games.

Rather than a traditional digital concept artist, the team at VRTOV worked closely with contemporary fine artist Vernon Ah Kee to translate his charcoal work into 3D space. It was necessary to move away from traditional videogame approaches to art as the team strived to remain true to the intent, elegance and physical qualities of Ah Kee’s work whilst also working within the limitations of realtime VR.

Taking the audience through development from the beginning, Kalonica will discuss what the team aimed for conceptually- the visual style, feeling and meaning, highlight the value of experimentation, and share technical solutions the team explored to create a realtime experience that does not look or feel like a videogame.

Speakers
avatar for Kalonica Quigley

Kalonica Quigley

Lead 3D Artist, VRTOV
Kalonica is a 3D Artist and Game Developer who has developed award-winning games with small teams and independently. She is Lead 3D Artist at VRTOV, an independent studio that crafts virtual reality experiences at the borderline of film and games. VRTOV’s past projects include the fairytale... Read More →


Thursday September 7, 2017 3:30pm - 4:15pm
WG901-902

3:30pm

Too Clever isn’t Fun – Creating Believable and Satisfying AI Adversaries
For many games, especially games that involve physics and/or probability, it can be relatively trivial to make a clever AI that can beat a human player. The real challenge is designing an AI that feels challenging but can be beaten, creating an experience for the player where they feel that their skill and adaptability has triumphed over a worthy enemy. This non-technical talk covers ways to approach the challenge of designing good AIs in both action titles and sports games – not just how to make them seem clever, but knowing when to stop making them cleverer!

Speakers
avatar for Andrew Rowse

Andrew Rowse

Senior Programmer, PikPok
After starting his career making console sports games in New Zealand and Flash advergames in Norway, Andrew worked for six years at Rocksteady Studios in London, as a Senior UI and Gameplay Programmer on the Batman Arkham trilogy. His greatest Bat-achievement was designing and programming Arkham... Read More →


Thursday September 7, 2017 3:30pm - 4:15pm
WG404

3:30pm

The Getting-Hit-By-A-Bus-Situation: Good Design Documentation matters
Especially in indie-heavy regions, game design documentation is often seen as either an overrated side-effect of what we do or it is left out whatsoever. In some circles, designers who write documentation are even belittled as unskilled. This talk aims to not only de-mystify what game design documentation is, why it is important and why you need it, it also goes over useful best-practices to help game designers produce meaningful documentation for the team, themselves and potential partners such as investors, publishers and other parties.

Speakers
avatar for Jennifer Scheurle

Jennifer Scheurle

Game Design Lead, Opaque Space
Jennifer Scheurle is a world-travelling Game Designer and public speaker who has worked on 10+ released titles since she started working in the industry 6 years ago. Born and raised in Germany and with a Bachelor of Arts (hons) in game development, she has played her role in... Read More →


Thursday September 7, 2017 3:30pm - 4:15pm
WG126

3:30pm

Story Meets Story World - Non Linear Storytelling in modern gaming
As the technological capabilities of modern gaming grow, so too is the audiences demand for increasingly complex and entertaining narratives. with a background in both literary storytelling and film, Nick presents important narrative techniques required to turn your game into a powerful experience for your players, as well as delving into Transmedia techniques to show how you can maximise your IP and distribute it across multiple forms of media.

Speakers
avatar for Nick Jones

Nick Jones

Lead Narrative Designer for Path of Exile: The Fall of Oriath / Lead Narrative Designer for Orbus VR, Grinding Gear Games
Nick is an Internationally Recognized Narrative Designer currently working for the award-winning MMORPG Path of Exile, contributing heavily to their highly anticipated six act expansion The Fall of Oriath. Nick is also the Lead Narrative Designer for an upcoming open world Virtua... Read More →


Thursday September 7, 2017 3:30pm - 4:15pm
WG908-909

3:30pm

The struggles of transitioning Depth to a service based game
There are plenty of pain points and struggles when transitioning any game to a service. This is the story of how we did that for Depth and how we did it.

Speakers
avatar for James Tan

James Tan

Director, Digital Confectioners
James Tan is one of the directors of Digital Confectioners, a 100% independent studio that developed Depth.


Thursday September 7, 2017 3:30pm - 4:15pm
WG403

3:30pm

BizDev GameDevs: Indie Businesses and Beyond [Panel]
This session will have a break from 16:15 to 16:25.

Accounting. Legal. Taxes. Overheads. Project Proposals. Fund Raising. Clients. Advertising. Come join game developers turned business owners to hear about the challenges of running studios, from 1-person outfits to large scale operations, as well as the state of the industry for ANZ developers.

Moderators
avatar for Emre Deniz

Emre Deniz

Director, Opaque Space
Emre Deniz has been working in Virtual Reality for the past four years, being one of the first developers in Australia to work on the HTC Vive as well as having worked as both lead game designer and artist on multiple projects in Virtual, Augmented and Mobile experiences. Emre ha... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Derek Bradley

Derek Bradley

CEO, Aurora44
Derek Bradley is CEO/Game Director at Aurora44, an independent games studio based in Wellington, New Zealand. Ashen, the first title from Aurora44, is being published by Annapurna Interactive and has been featured in the Xbox E3 Briefing in 2015 and 2017. | | Having worked at... Read More →
avatar for Steph Hall

Steph Hall

Producer, RocketWerkz
Steph Hall is the Producer at RocketWerkz, a Dunedin-based Game Development Studio where she is involved in production at a project-level basis, as well as company operations and growth. She assisted with the setup of the studio in 2015, since which it has grown to 45 staff.  In... Read More →
avatar for Zoe Hobson

Zoe Hobson

Managing Director, Runaway Play
Zoe is the Managing Director of Runaway Play, an independent game developer and publisher making beautiful games inspired by the natural world. Zoe has a strong background in the media industry. She has worked in game production, film production, digital media, print media and te... Read More →
avatar for Maru Nihoniho

Maru Nihoniho

Managing Director, Metia Interactive
Maru is the managing director, game producer and designer at Metia Interactive. Maru is the game designer behind the development of SPARX, an interactive game based on cognitive behavioural therapy, designed to help young people manage their depression. In 2016 Maru was awarded... Read More →
avatar for Samantha Ramlu

Samantha Ramlu

Managing Director and Co-Founder, Method, M Theory
Sam is the Managing Director and co-founder of Method – an award winning creative innovations agency, and M Theory – an AR/VR experience agency. | | Since 2003 Method has worked with clients to create unique and compelling digital experiences that engage and entertain. Method has been at the forefront of digital and interactive technology marketing in NZ since its inception. | | An excellent strategist, innovator, thought-leader, and storyteller with extensive knowledge in the digital space, Sam is passionate about creating memorable experiences and stories that connect with audiences. | | She has successfully planned, implemented and produced innovative experiences for local and international brands across a range of industries and sees technology as a driver and enabler in making these experiences engaging, fun, immersive, and results driven... Read More →


Thursday September 7, 2017 3:30pm - 4:45pm
WG308

4:25pm

Path of Exile. Story telling through concept art and design
An in depth look at how to enrich concept art with good story telling, history and shape design. Taking a stereotypical concept and making it unique.

Speakers
avatar for George Lovesy

George Lovesy

Concept Artist, Grinding Gear Games
George Lovesy is a Conceptual Artist and Illustrator working at Grinding Gear Games on Path of Exile. Graduating in 2009 with a Diploma in Character Animation, George freelanced as an illustrator and concept artist for various studio around the world until taking on a full time p... Read More →


Thursday September 7, 2017 4:25pm - 4:45pm
WG403

4:25pm

Finding the Fun in Physics
Getting controls to feel tight and responsive can be tricky when your characters are driven by forces. This talk will cover some of the challenges we encountered and lessons we learned building a physics-based game in Unity 3D.

Speakers
avatar for Steve Salmond

Steve Salmond

Co-Founder, Ninja Thumbs Ltd.
Ninja Thumbs is a two-person indie studio based in Auckland, New Zealand. We're currently hard at work on our first title - Grabity, a physics-based arena brawler. Grabity won the NZGDA 2016 Kiwi Game Starter, and was a finalist at the 2017 Chromacon and Play by Play festivals.


Thursday September 7, 2017 4:25pm - 4:45pm
WG901-902

4:25pm

"Nobody makes games for us!" - developing games for visually impaired
Talk will cover snapshot of accessible gaming market, design and development of games for visually impaired and impact and results of Audio Game Hub.

Speakers
avatar for Jarek Beksa

Jarek Beksa

CEO/Designer, Sound Engineer at Sonnar Interactive
Jarek worn many hats in his career: programmer, researcher, academic lecturer, manager, designer, producer and sound engineer. Since 2009 he has designed and created 22 applications, spanning from apps for visually impaired, through games and stories for kids to B2B applications. Jarek is passionate about sound ,games, user interfaces and interactive storytelling. | | In years 2013 and 2014, he lead the Gamification... Read More →


Thursday September 7, 2017 4:25pm - 4:45pm
WG404

4:25pm

Virtual Reality Storytelling
Virtual Reality was one of the biggest tech trends of 2016. But as with any new medium, storytellers are still experimenting with the technology and attempting to throw off the shackles of previous mediums. So what are the new rules of engagement when it comes to designing experiences for VR? And what does the future hold for those who hope to turn passive observers into active participants in a narrative?

Speakers
avatar for Alejandro Davila

Alejandro Davila

VR/AR Producer, CONICAL Interactive Studios
Alejandro Davila is a VR/AR Producer at CONICAL Interactive Studios in Auckland. In 2016, he was nominated finalist ‘Young New Zealand Innovator of the Year’ after making New Zealand’s first Virtual Reality movie, which proved to the country that it is possible to tell stories in... Read More →


Thursday September 7, 2017 4:25pm - 4:45pm
WG907

4:25pm

From nothing to Armageddon in 9 days
Discover what it took for two people to go from no game to having a working product being showcased at the NZGDA booth at Armageddon working part-time. Learn why and how we did it, and what we learned from sharing our game with hundreds of people.

Speakers
avatar for Leith Caldwell

Leith Caldwell

Technical Director, CloudFire Studios
Leith Caldwell is a senior developer with 15 years experience in programming and team leadership, multiple computer science degrees and production experience at a US game studio. Leith is the Technical Lead at CloudFire Studios, currently producing Rampage Arena, a high speed, ph... Read More →


Thursday September 7, 2017 4:25pm - 4:45pm
WG908-909

4:25pm

What are your in-app payment options and why do they matter
When starting a new app, one of the last things most developers think about is how to monetise. Come join me to find out what your different options are and why it is important to think about this when developing the user experience for your apps.

Speakers
avatar for Jason Fischer

Jason Fischer

Head of Development, Bambora
Jason Fischer is a mobile enthusiast, developer, admirer or simple, elegant design and leads the development teams at Bambora in the APAC region. He has designed and developed software for web, desktop and mobile for individuals, business and customer facing applications in diffe... Read More →


Thursday September 7, 2017 4:25pm - 4:45pm
WG126

6:30pm

Google AdMob NZGDC17 Drinks
IMPORTANT: You will need to bring your valid NZGDC17 pass to this event: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/google-admob-nzgdc-drinks-tickets-10381283699

Sponsors

Thursday September 7, 2017 6:30pm - 10:30pm
The Bluestone Room 9-11 Durham Ln, Auckland 1010
 
Friday, September 8
 

7:00am

NZGDC17 Breakfast Meetup for women and non binary

This event is supported by XBOX.

IMPORTANT: You can buy your ticket to this event here: https://breakfast-meetup-for-women-and-non-binary.lilregie.com


We would love to invite you to a special event we’re holding this year - the NZGDC17 Breakfast Meetup for women and non binary. This event is for women and non-binary in games, to meet others, network and enjoy a casual breakfast together.

Please note ticket numbers are limited to 40, so get in quick. Tickets are $20 and this covers your breakfast, tea/coffee/juice. This event is currently only available to NZGDC17 attendees, so please bring your NZGDC17 conference pass.



Sponsors

Friday September 8, 2017 7:00am - 9:00am
Chuffed Coffee 43 High St, Auckland, New Zealand

8:30am

Registration
Friday September 8, 2017 8:30am - 9:00am
Level 2 Lobby

9:00am

Welcome Back
Friday September 8, 2017 9:00am - 9:15am
WG403

9:15am

Art Leadership - How to build a happy and successful Art team from the ground up
What does it take to be a great leader? Emma Johansson (Art Director at Runaway) has gone from being the studio's sole artist to leading a team of 8 artists which continues to grow. Emma will talk about her experience transitioning from an individual Artist to an Art Lead, the challenges she has faced and what she’s learnt along the way.

Speakers
avatar for Emma Johansson

Emma Johansson

Art Director, Runaway Play
Emma Johansson is a game artist from Sweden whose specialty and passion lies in drawing cute animals and colourful backgrounds. In 2009 she moved to New Zealand and became one of the founding members of Runaway first working as a Game Designer and Lead Artist. In 2016 Emma took o... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 9:15am - 10:00am
WG901-902

9:15am

Photogrammetry Rocks!
A closer look at what this technique means in relation to modern games as well as other stuff.

Speakers
SM

Saveun Man

Artist, Grinding Gear Games
I enjoy making things with computers.


Friday September 8, 2017 9:15am - 10:00am
WG907

9:15am

Proactive and Reactive Game Balance
Game balance is a controversial art form; This talk will delve into how you should be finding and interpreting feedback, and will look at ways to improve the balance iteration process. We'll also talk about how to deal with the horrifying fallout from a slight balance miscalculation that can drive a passionate community to war.

Speakers
avatar for Rory Rackham

Rory Rackham

Senior Game Designer, Grinding Gear Games
Rory Rackham has been a game designer at Grinding Gear Games for six years, working on Gameplay Design and Balance for Path of Exile.


Friday September 8, 2017 9:15am - 10:00am
WG404

9:15am

Yarn Spinner: A Tool For Writing Interactive Dialogue
Yarn Spinner is the open source dialogue engine inspired by Twine and used in 2017’s “Night in the Woods”. Yarn Spinner is being used in a rapidly increasing number of games, and in this talk, we’ll discuss the problem that it solves, how to use in your own narrative games, and how to get the most out of it. Along the way, we’ll discuss some advanced uses of the system, and ways to improve the lives of both programmers and writers.

Speakers
avatar for Jon Manning

Jon Manning

Co-Founder, Secret Lab
Jon Manning is the co-founder of Secret Lab, an independent game development studio. He's written a whole bunch of books for O'Reilly Media about iOS development and game development, and has a doctorate about jerks on the internet. He's currently working on Button Squid, a top-d... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 9:15am - 10:00am
WG908-909

9:15am

Analytics for independent developers: How to benefit from game analytics, without the headaches
We all know there’s a goldmine of precious information about your users’ gaming habits locked inside that game analytics data of yours, but the trick is trying to get to it. Despite what you might think, you don’t need a PhD in Data Mining to extract meaningful lessons from your analytics. Join analytics and monetisation guru Christina Chen for a practical talk targeted at Independent Developers to crack open that tough nut of data and get to the tasty information inside.

Speakers
avatar for Christina Chen

Christina Chen

Managing Director, Second Sight
Christina Chen is an expert and entrepreneur in the field of data-driven player optimization and monetisation design. | | With a background in software engineering, Christina played a significant role in the formation of the SaaS approach at Microsoft. She worked on the payme... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 9:15am - 10:00am
WG403

9:15am

Great workplaces by Design [Panel]
This session will have a break from 10:00 to 10:10.

Many have been unfortunate enough to experience what it’s like toiling in a bad workplace – but it doesn’t have to be this way… This panel will explore what makes a workplace great, and how to structure teams and enable effective communications to maximize efficiency in a way which is both professionally fulfilling and as stress free as possible for everyone. During the session there will be the opportunity to share things that have gone wrong in the workplace, and more importantly, gone right!

Moderators
avatar for Liam Esler

Liam Esler

Narrative Consultant
Liam Esler is a narrative consultant, diversity advocate, producer and event manager from Melbourne, Australia. He works with the Game Developers’ Association of Australia to manage Game Connect Asia Pacific, Australia’s game development conference, and is Co-Director of GX Australia, a diversity-focused geek and gaming convention. He has worked on the Baldur's Gate series, Pillars of Eternity and many other incredible games, and is a member of the Games and Interactive Advisory Committee for the Australian... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Emre Deniz

Emre Deniz

Director, Opaque Space
Emre Deniz has been working in Virtual Reality for the past four years, being one of the first developers in Australia to work on the HTC Vive as well as having worked as both lead game designer and artist on multiple projects in Virtual, Augmented and Mobile experiences. Emre ha... Read More →
avatar for Zoe Hobson

Zoe Hobson

Managing Director, Runaway Play
Zoe is the Managing Director of Runaway Play, an independent game developer and publisher making beautiful games inspired by the natural world. Zoe has a strong background in the media industry. She has worked in game production, film production, digital media, print media and te... Read More →
avatar for Jen MacLean

Jen MacLean

Managing Director, IGDA Foundation
From the start of her career in 1992 at Microprose Software, through senior roles at AOL, Comcast and StoryArc Media, Jen has managed game development, strategy, marketing, business development and partnerships across multiple gaming platforms. Jen earned a BA in international r... Read More →
avatar for Calliope Newman Ryder

Calliope Newman Ryder

Student and Game Designer, RohoBlanco
Calliope is a game art student in her second year at Media Design School. She previously worked for a public relations consultancy, and is currently developing a physical game commercially. She is a passionate advocate of the importance of mental health, and probably reads too mu... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 9:15am - 10:30am
WG308

10:10am

Drawing with Distance Fields
Have you ever watched an effect like burning paper or a pen writing ink onto a paper and wondered how it was achieved? There is a good chance that distance fields were used. This is a simple concept that can be applied to create a wide number of visual effects.

Speakers
avatar for Andrew Amundrud

Andrew Amundrud

Art Director, Scarlet City Studios
Andrew is an artist with an interest in the space where art and math intersect. As a child of the 70's he grew up in the age before the internet and constantly complains about how easy kids have it these days with their gigabytes of memory. His first computer was 8 MHz with no ha... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 10:10am - 10:30am
WG901-902

10:10am

You're Not Lucky To Be Here: The Art Of Overlap
The greatly anticipated follow up talk to last years hugely successful presentation on "The Art of Exaggeration." Formatted in a ranting raving presentation with quick fire tips and tricks thrown in at regular intervals, the hope is that with this talk you will leave with more knowledge on Animation than when you walked in, and take with you some animation techniques to animate without actually animating anything all...

Speakers
avatar for Sam Batty

Sam Batty

Animator, Aurora44
Sam is an Animator at Aurora44, while new to the games industry he is not new to NZGDC talks having delivered another animation talk in 2016. His focus is on delivering practical tips and tricks with a little bit of entertainment to make sure you don't fall asleep.


Friday September 8, 2017 10:10am - 10:30am
WG403

10:10am

Approaches to Procedurally Generated Audio in Video Games
This talk will outline some approaches to conceptualising and programming procedurally generated audio in video games. Chris will emphasise the synthesis of techniques used in the fields of sonic arts and electronic improvised music with those used in video game audio.

Speakers
avatar for Chris Wratt

Chris Wratt

Researcher, Sonic Engineering Lab for Creative Technology
Chris Wratt has a broad background in audio, from C DSP programming, to composition and field recording. They have experience working on a variety of creative and industry projects, including developing audio plugins for film post production, creating audio for video games, and t... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 10:10am - 10:30am
WG126

10:10am

Toxic Masculinity in Games
Taking an academic perspective on games, this talk would examine the prevalence of hegemonic masculinity in video games. When discussing gender in games, people often focus on how women are shown. While this is vitally important, another perspective can be achieved by looking at how the toxic representation of masculinity as aggressive and dominant can effect young men, and the run on effects this could have on their treatment of women.

Speakers
avatar for Brittany Goodwin

Brittany Goodwin

Planner, Beca Ltd.
Brittany is a postgraduate student and tutor at the University of Auckland, majoring in Human Geography. She has a particular interest in the contextual application of social theory, especially in gendered issues relating to gender norms, expectations, and the impact these have o... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 10:10am - 10:30am
WG404

10:10am

Game Jams and community building
My experiences hosting two game jams and their results

Speakers
avatar for Juan Alejandro Rodríguez Morais

Juan Alejandro Rodríguez Morais

Student
Student at Media Design School, and Panama Game Jam co-founder.


Friday September 8, 2017 10:10am - 10:30am
WG907

10:10am

The Impacts of Immigration on People in Games
The impacts of immigration laws on people involved in the games industry - such as visas impacting access to conventions & events, the vagaries of work permits, and how immigration gets expressed in games.

Speakers
avatar for Creatrix Tiara

Creatrix Tiara

Creative Producer / Media-Maker / Writer / Artist / Activist
Creatrix Tiara works with creative arts & media, technology, games, community cultural development, and education to explore ideas around community, identity, liminality, belonging, and social justice. She is a life-long writer, a strident activist for rights to self-determination and personal choice, and has built a reputation for creating challenging, catalyzing creative... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 10:10am - 10:30am
WG908-909

10:40am

Let's get serious: the Wonderful World of Character Design
The Wonderful World of Character Design will challenge game artists on what makes a deep, effective, believable character design from an artist’s perspective. Yue’s talk will examine great character design examples, and break down what makes them effective and efficient. Tips, tricks and the artist’s own process when creative characters for Crossy Road, Framed 2, Charming Runes, Maid with Love and more will be shared. Those who attend will be invited to a Character Design Challenge available online following the talk, with examples of Yue’s own approach included and an opportunity for professional feedback.

Speakers
avatar for Leonie Yue

Leonie Yue

Artist, Mighty Games
Leonie Yue is an Australian illustrator, character designer and visual development artist, currently working at Mighty Games on titles including Crossy Road and Charming Runes, as well as freelance work for Loveshack on Framed 2, and various other local projects including Maid With Love. As well as being a MCV Pacific Women in Games 2017 nominee for Creative Impact, Yue is known for her personal comics, doodles and fanart on Twitter at... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 10:40am - 11:25am
WG901-902

10:40am

Game Engine Architectures of Tomorrow
Many modern game engines like Unity Engine, Unreal Engine and Godot are architected for the computing assumptions of yesteryear, written in languages of old, sealed away from the intrinsically parallel and distributed nature of modern computing. The tech and gaming industry has been rife with developments in distributed computing, trust based computing, data storage, GPU architecture and more which fundamentally challenge traditional thinking that go into current generation game engines. This talk embraces these new ideas and paints a picture how radically embracing these new developments will impact gaming and real-time processing.

Speakers
avatar for Robbie Litchfield

Robbie Litchfield

Lead Architect, NYRIAD
Robbie is a New Zealand-based expert on gaming and real-time technologies. Robbie has spent his career learning the art of programming and applying game industry wisdom to investigate novel solutions for existing problems. Robbie works as the Lead Architect at NYRIAD, leadi... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 10:40am - 11:25am
WG404

10:40am

From Finance to Games: What Can Game Creators Learn From the World of Investment Banking
A look into the similarities between two different industries - Game Development and Investment Banking. Exploring the lessons learned from real world (traditional) economies that can be applied to virtual economies and the benefits that game designers and companies can yield from applying financial practices and disciplines to game design and game production.

Speakers
avatar for Feras Musmar

Feras Musmar

Game Economy Designer, Artrix Limited
Feras Musmar is a Game Economy Designer with 10 years industry experience in both the gaming and the financial services industries. He has a love for numbers and a passion for creating and balancing virtual economies. His design approach aided him in shipping 5 titles including C... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 10:40am - 11:25am
WG908-909

10:40am

Is it Broken? (Or am I?): Diagnosing and Fixing In-Progress Systems
When people enter the industry or change jobs, they often find themselves coming on to a project already in production. It’s the rare few who join at the very beginning, and those who join at the end, which brings its own kind of excitement. When a game is in production, however, it’s messy and broken and not quite working right. Tasked with understanding what is not yet quite understandable, some designers new to a project might wonder, “Is it broken, or is it me?". In this talk, through her own experience and that of others, game designer Lauren Scott explores the challenges designers face when approaching a system new to them, particularly one which they are tasked with fixing, fine-tuning and delivering.

Speakers
avatar for Lauren Scott

Lauren Scott

Systems Designer
Lauren Scott is a systems designer working at Hangar 13 in Novato and living in San Francisco, CA. She most recently shipped Mafia III and its associated DLCs. Before 2K, Lauren worked as a game designer at Zynga, and before that was a student of games at UC Santa Cruz, where she... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 10:40am - 11:25am
WG126

10:40am

Interactive Storytelling
Platforms, devices and tech products are dominating conversations about storytelling in the current video content landscape. Distribution platforms such as Netflix and Snapchat, and tech like VR and Mixed Reality are dismantling traditional forms of storytelling and constructing immersive and interactive storyworlds for viewers. This session will look at case studies that use interactive storytelling in an attempt to keep the content-hungry hordes happy.

Speakers
avatar for Amie Mills

Amie Mills

Commissioner – Digital & Children, TVNZ
Amie is a Commissioner at TVNZ. Her passion is game development and interactive storytelling. She has developed multiple transmedia campaigns that utilised games, websites and apps to market TV shows. She has recently returned from London where she helped Saatchi & Saatchi deliver a multi-award-winning mobile game, Sea Hero Quest, to help scientists fight dementia with the... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 10:40am - 11:25am
WG907

10:40am

Creating Studio Culture: Dino Polo Club Year 1
Studio culture is incredibly important to studios of all sizes, but for something that can make or break a studio, it isn’t widely talked about. Navi will discuss the conscious development of studio culture at Dinosaur Polo Club as they navigate their first year of having employees. Full of useful takeaways about how to start looking at your own studio culture and where to start improving it, this talk isn't just for indie studios, promise!

Speakers
avatar for Navi Brouwer

Navi Brouwer

Producer, Dinosaur Polo Club
Navi is the producer at Dinosaur Polo Club (makers of Mini Metro) and an organiser for two of Wellington’s yearly game jams. Her first career was in the wilderness of Vancouver, Canada as a primary school teacher. She then shifted into games as a QA Tester at PikPok before picking up a polo mallet and joining team Dino. Navi also had the pleasure to help with Play by Play Games Festival in Wellington, and organised Kiwi Game Starter this year. Navi... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 10:40am - 11:25am
WG403

10:40am

eSports in NZ – assessing the opportunities
This session will have a break from 11:25 to 11:35.

This panel will be covering the following topics:

  • Current state of play of eSports in NZ, and in a global context (how advanced / retrograde as we in comparison to the rest of the world / size of market opportunity)
  • What are the specific opportunities for eSports in NZ, both domestically, in Australasia, and globally?
  • What are the opportunities to improve accessibility for both amateur and professional eSports athletes with disabilities? Are there any easy wins, and how, longer term, can we inject systemically more support for players with disabilities that will grow and improve over time? Is there an opportunity for NZ to take a leadership role in this?
  • What are the game development trends that have fed the growth of eSports, and how have the game types being played changed?
  • What are the opportunities for disruption in eSports from a game design and development perspective?

Moderators
avatar for Tim Ponting

Tim Ponting

Director, Renegade PR
Tim Ponting has 30 years’ experience in media and marketing communications, initially as a multi-award winning journalist in music, technology and gaming magazines, from editing ZERO to the launch of ground-breaking PC Zone, followed by 5 years at Activision as European PR Director where he was responsible for strategy and execution of all comms campaigns across the EMEA region. Achievements include launching the Call of Duty and Guitar Hero brands. Since 2007, Tim has been a director of Renegade PR and other projects including IndieDevKit, driving communications for video games... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Ben Lenihan

Ben Lenihan

President, NZ eSports Federation
Ben is President of the New Zealand ESports Federation as well as a NZ qualified lawyer specialising in technology and business. He has also advised commercial operators on the establishment of eSports businesses and the operation of eSports events. | Having worked as a lawyer th... Read More →
avatar for Duane Mutu

Duane Mutu

Director, Letplay.live
Duane Mutu is a director of Letplay.live (LPL), an Australian and New Zealand-based eSports media company. LPL is engaged in the business of developing and promoting esports tournaments and broadcast content. Duane is also spokesperson for the New Zealand eSports Federation. Duan... Read More →
avatar for Kim Robinson

Kim Robinson

General Manager, Techable Trust
Kim advocates for full inclusion of people with disabilities in all sectors of society including gaming. Kim is keen to see eSports become fully acessible to gamers with disabilities.
avatar for Jason Spiller

Jason Spiller

Campaign Manager, OMEN Gaming
Jason is a passionate Marketer, Product Manager and Community Architect. With experience across the game, esports and technology sectors. Over the last ten years he has built dedicated communities and overseen a high level of digital transformation within the software business. D... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 10:40am - 11:55am
WG308

11:35am

3D Art Optimization for VR Experiences
Conical's VR project The Green Fairy has gone through several iterations, with the art style and 3D models changing drastically. I will bring the audience through our process and provide some topology/3D modelling tips and tricks that I learnt along the way.

Speakers
avatar for Nathania Sum

Nathania Sum

Battlemage, CONICAL Interactive Studios
Nathania is a 3D/Technical Artist and VR/AR Developer at CONICAL Interactive Studios, based in Auckland. She is currently working on The Green Fairy and would love to talk about video games and the future of tech with you.


Friday September 8, 2017 11:35am - 11:55am
WG908-909

11:35am

Learn to be Lazy (and Other Quick-Fire Game Art Tips)
The talk will cover some useful learnings in regards to speeding up your workflow from my own experience going through multiple projects and learning how to make games over the last few years. The theme of the talk is to learn to be "lazy" and to always be on the lookout for ways of cutting down on repetitive tasks with some practical tips and tools I have come to use.

Speakers
avatar for Marc Loths

Marc Loths

Student & Technical Artist, Tinyhands
Marc is a generalist currently working on his final year production at Media Design School as the technical artist in a team of three. He spends most of his time documenting other worlds through games or making spreadsheets.


Friday September 8, 2017 11:35am - 11:55am
WG901-902

11:35am

Procedural Tools for Handcrafted Games
When we talk about procedural generation in games, we're generating things on the fly, while the game is running. But procedural generation isn't just for roguelikes and spelunkers. Both Mallow Drops and Killing Time at Lightspeed used procedural generation and in ways you might not expect. Take a quick dive into procedural generation, how you can use it in handcrafted games, and see how it can help you get production unstuck. We'll also run through a list of easy-to-use tools and frameworks to help you get started. 

Speakers
avatar for John Kane

John Kane

Independent
John Kane is an independent games developer, best known for the critically acclaimed Killing Time at Lightspeed.


Friday September 8, 2017 11:35am - 11:55am
WG404

11:35am

Sound as a Storyteller
An exploration of creative ways in which game designers can use music and audio direction to enrich their worlds and tell their tales better.

Speakers
avatar for Craig Warne

Craig Warne

Sound Designer, Scarlet City Studios
Craig loves games, audio, and most of all, game audio! He has a degree in music and a background in writing and playing music, and is currently Sound Designer at Scarlet City Studios - a role which covers the many facets of audio: music composition and production, field recording... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 11:35am - 11:55am
WG907

11:35am

Kickstarter Success! now what?
Looking at the success of our Kickstarter and Greenlight campaigns from almost one year ago, how we did it and what we would do differently now and then what has happened since.

Speakers
GS

Gustav Seymore

Founder/Creative Director, Lost Goblin
Gustav Seymore has been in the industry over 10 years now at various sized studios working on different platforms and media. He is an experienced designer and producer and has a breadth of knowledge across multiple disciplines. Lost Goblin is his second indie studio and he succes... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 11:35am - 11:55am
WG403

11:35am

Success and Envy: Understanding Luck
Luck is an often under-examined component of success in modern discourse. This talk will take a look at the role of fortune within our creative and unique industry, and why it might be important to take the successes and failures of ourselves and others less personally, and more compassionately.

Speakers
avatar for Calliope Newman Ryder

Calliope Newman Ryder

Student and Game Designer, RohoBlanco
Calliope is a game art student in her second year at Media Design School. She previously worked for a public relations consultancy, and is currently developing a physical game commercially. She is a passionate advocate of the importance of mental health, and probably reads too mu... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 11:35am - 11:55am
WG126

1:15pm

Grinding Gear Games art panel discussion and Q&A [Panel]
A talk with the art team behind New Zealand's largest video game company. 

Moderators
avatar for George Lovesy

George Lovesy

Concept Artist, Grinding Gear Games
George Lovesy is a Conceptual Artist and Illustrator working at Grinding Gear Games on Path of Exile. Graduating in 2009 with a Diploma in Character Animation, George freelanced as an illustrator and concept artist for various studio around the world until taking on a full time p... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Ashleigh Foo Chong

Ashleigh Foo Chong

3D Artist, Grinding Gear Games
Ashleigh is a 3D artist at Grinding Gear Games and super new to the gaming industry. Before games she worked in 3D advertisement for a company in Switzerland. She graduated from Media Design School with a Bachelor in Art and Design.  
avatar for Campbell Crawford

Campbell Crawford

Concept Artist, Grinding Gear Games
avatar for Ashley Eung

Ashley Eung

UI Artist, Grinding Gear Games
Recent graduate from the Media Design Schools Game Art degree. | Currently working on Path of Exile as an UI artist with heavy focus on the Xbox One version of the game.
avatar for Erik Olofsson

Erik Olofsson

Creative Director, Grinding Gear Games
Erik is a founder and the Creative Director at Grinding Gear Games and have developed the game Path of Exile for more than ten years.
avatar for Edward Tate

Edward Tate

Animator, Grinding Gear Games
Ed has been working as a full-time 3D Animator at Grinding Gear Games for the past 2 years. Studied the basics of 3D at Natcoll for 2 years but is mostly self taught. Ed is by far one of the best animators the world has ever seen and hates writing about himself in the third perso... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 1:15pm - 2:00pm
WG308

1:15pm

Tutorial Systems - The bane of game developers everywhere
Examples of different real world tutorial systems (with code samples) Gareth has seen/worked on during his career, with evaluation on each and summary points.

Speakers
avatar for Gareth Falkingham

Gareth Falkingham

Senior Game Programmer, PikPok
Gareth Falkingham is a Senior Game Programmer currently working at PikPok in Wellington. Over his 7 year career, he has worked in numerous game engines on assorted mobile games. Gareth hails from Christchurch, but spent a short stint working in Hamburg, Germany, before returning... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 1:15pm - 2:00pm
WG404

1:15pm

Hide and Seek: Good Design is invisible
Game Design is among the game development professions that suffers from a syndrome of confusion when it comes to what it entails while equally being submitted to “everybody is a designer on our team” in various projects. The truth however may be that humans have an intrinsic idea of design, because it is all around us every day of our lives. However, real good game design is invisible and only bad design takes us out of a good game experience. This talk is looking to explore several examples of those invisible designs that many people may not know existed and also aims to help other designers harness those principles.

Speakers
avatar for Jennifer Scheurle

Jennifer Scheurle

Game Design Lead, Opaque Space
Jennifer Scheurle is a world-travelling Game Designer and public speaker who has worked on 10+ released titles since she started working in the industry 6 years ago. Born and raised in Germany and with a Bachelor of Arts (hons) in game development, she has played her role in... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 1:15pm - 2:00pm
WG126

1:15pm

Excuse me, I think there’s been a mistake. Is this marketing in my narrative?
When we think about narrative in games, marketing is probably the last thing that comes to mind. Isn’t marketing for business people, for PR consultants and startup nerds? What the hell does marketing have to do with dialog, story or narrative?

A whole lot, as it turns out. 

Speakers
avatar for Liam Esler

Liam Esler

Narrative Consultant
Liam Esler is a narrative consultant, diversity advocate, producer and event manager from Melbourne, Australia. He works with the Game Developers’ Association of Australia to manage Game Connect Asia Pacific, Australia’s game development conference, and is Co-Director of GX Australia, a diversity-focused geek and gaming convention. He has worked on the Baldur's Gate series, Pillars of Eternity and many other incredible games, and is a member of the Games and Interactive Advisory Committee for the Australian... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 1:15pm - 2:00pm
WG403

1:15pm

Guardian: Taking a step backwards in order to go forward.
This talk will be about looking at an old format/technology (gamebooks) and using the format to forge ahead with Guardian as an interactive fiction piece.

Speakers
avatar for Edwin McRae

Edwin McRae

Writer and Narrative Designer, Freelance
Edwin has been a professional writer in the games industry for going on seven years. He has been Lead Writer on Path of Exile for six of those years and has worked with many other game companies, both in NZ and overseas, in that time. Edwin is also the creator of The Falconers... Read More →
avatar for Maru Nihoniho

Maru Nihoniho

Managing Director, Metia Interactive
Maru is the managing director, game producer and designer at Metia Interactive. Maru is the game designer behind the development of SPARX, an interactive game based on cognitive behavioural therapy, designed to help young people manage their depression. In 2016 Maru was awarded... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 1:15pm - 2:00pm
WG907

1:15pm

Battle Wounds of an Indie Developer
The talk will encompass what a one person or small start-up team need to consider and be careful to avoid when starting an indie game studio. The sections covered will be pre-planning both company and your game, the idea and team selection, planning and goals, meeting obligations (personal and professional), and funding options and pitfalls.

Speakers
avatar for Ian Shephard

Ian Shephard

Creative Director, Cloudfire Studios
Ian is a creative generalist who is schooled in post graduate digital video post production and has spent the last decade running various businesses including a 3D visualization company, two game studios, a web development firm and a shift management SAS business.


Friday September 8, 2017 1:15pm - 2:00pm
WG908-909

1:15pm

The value of incorporating competitive gaming into your game
A candid look at the current state of the competitive gaming landscape within New Zealand and abroad, nestled within industry observations to help you consider whether diving into competitive gaming is right for your title.

Speakers
avatar for Jason Spiller

Jason Spiller

Campaign Manager, OMEN Gaming
Jason is a passionate Marketer, Product Manager and Community Architect. With experience across the game, esports and technology sectors. Over the last ten years he has built dedicated communities and overseen a high level of digital transformation within the software business. D... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 1:15pm - 2:00pm
WG901-902

1:15pm

Studio Managers Workshop
Are you a senior manager or owner of a NZ game studio? This is your chance to share knowledge, experience and connections with your peers in a supportive, private environment. 

Facilitated by NZGDA Board members, come prepared for a group discussion rather than presentation. 

Some of the discussion topics you have suggested we discuss include:
  • Meet the new NZGDA chairperson and board
  • Recruiting and developing talent
  • Working with Immigration NZ. War stories and tips
  • GDC 2018. Would you partner with NZGDA to run a recruitment campaign Dec-Feb and a recruitment and biz-dev event at GDC 2018? 
  • Are you doing business in China? Chinese publishers like Tencent are interested in NZ.
  • Government relations update. The NZ Film Commission and some political parties are investigating support for the games industry.

This is an invite-only workshop for established games businesses. However, if you run a start-up games studio and would like to upskill email stephen@ingame.co.nz to ask.

Please RSVP to stephen@ingame.co.nz. 1 or 2 other senior business staff from your studios are welcome to attend as well.

Friday September 8, 2017 1:15pm - 2:55pm
WG903

2:10pm

Framing the Game: Art Theory to Game Development
This talk is brought to you by Epic Games.

What happens when a photographer sculptor and illustrator make a game?

Join the developers of Kept, a virtual reality adventure game, in exploring how three outsiders to the gaming industry are translating their previous skills to game development.

This talk will illustrate their creative process and bring you some conceptual techniques used in the texturing, lighting, mechanics and level design in their first VR title.

In this talk Jack and Inge delve into the art and ideas behind the creation of Kept, exploring the benefits and failures when applying quirky art theories to game development.


Speakers
avatar for Inge Berman

Inge Berman

Artist, S1T2
Inge Berman is an artist and game developer based in Sydney, working at the creative technology company S1T2. Inge applies her fine art and philosophical background to the medium of videogames and is currently working in the field of virtual reality on the S1T2 title, Kept. In 2017 Inge was awarded the IGDA Women in Games Ambassadors scholarship to attend GDC and runs the game developer meetup group... Read More →
avatar for Jack Condon

Jack Condon

Technical Director/Designer, S1T2
Jack Condon is currently leads the Real Time rendering team at S1T2. Condon aims to push the boundaries of technology whilst attempting to marry Game design and fine art. Condon has been a practising artist since 2011 where he worked with photomedia having exhibitions both nationally and internationally. Condon has also worked in the Gallery space, he undertook a residency in Guadalajara mexico, where he co-established... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 2:10pm - 2:55pm
WG901-902

2:10pm

[ Procedurally generated talk name ]
Many [ ROLE IN GAMES INDUSTRY ]'s are often [ EMOTION ] when [ TECHNIQUE ] [ EFFECT ] on [ TYPE OF GAME ] [ "takes too long" -OR- "there isn't enough content" -OR- "demands replayability" ]. Drawing inspiration from [ ADJECTIVE ] techniques in [ -CUTTING EDGE- PROCGEN METHOD ] and [ -OLD CLASSIC- PROCGEN METHOD ], we will [ VERB ] through examples that illustrate how to [ -SIMPLE- PROCGEN METHOD ] and [ VERB ] problems with [ -RANDOM- PROCGEN METHOD ].

This talk may or may not [ "be procedurally generated" -OR- "catch on fire" ] ...

Speakers
avatar for Rox Flame

Rox Flame

Entrepreneurial Maker of fun and interactive things
A strong desire to do “all the fun things” and seek opportunity in the strangest of places, has seen Rox involved in many interesting scenarios. These include; teaching web media in the Kingdom of Bahrain during the Arab spring, doing risky live website development live streamed to a conference, doing rapid agile game development to a live audience, and creating various digital/physical crossover (augmented reality) art pieces for public enjoyment. Rox loves game jams, making interactive art for festivals and parties, making pretty things, and generating content with algorithms. Rox is currently making "Dynacorp: We come in Peace" and... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 2:10pm - 2:55pm
WG404

2:10pm

Establishing talking points though Game Audio
Establishing talking points through music

Audio is not only a key part of a game’s atmosphere, it can also play a key role in its marketing, social media and virality. This talk looks at how soundtrack can be used to help create those “water cooler” conversations that can spread games to new audiences.

Speakers
avatar for Jayde Marter

Jayde Marter

Audio Designer/Composer, PikPok
Jayde is the audio designer and composer at PikPok. Alongside Broghan Paige he created the award winning soundtrack for the acclaimed Doomsday Clicker, winning the Play by Play Award for Excellence in Audio. Jayde also helps to run AwesomeSource, an international music services b... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 2:10pm - 2:55pm
WG126

2:10pm

Decolonising the Cultural Heritage in Serious Games
How to apply gamification to preservation, protection and promotion of cultural heritage and the knowledge management of First Nations arts, language and Songlines

Speakers
avatar for Brett Leavy

Brett Leavy

Creative Director, Bilbie Labs
I'm a virtual heritage Jedi and cultural heritage simulator


Friday September 8, 2017 2:10pm - 2:55pm
WG907

2:10pm

AR/VR Tools for business [Panel]
How to turn AR/VR content creation and game development into a revenue stream from big industry.

Moderators
avatar for Aliesha Staples

Aliesha Staples

Founder/VR Producer, Staples VR
Aliesha comes from a 12 year film industry and VR creation background, she is the founder of Staples VR, New Zealand and Australia’s first VR equipment rental supplier and content creation company specializing in camera movement and custom applications. | | She took a small s... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Emre Deniz

Emre Deniz

Director, Opaque Space
Emre Deniz has been working in Virtual Reality for the past four years, being one of the first developers in Australia to work on the HTC Vive as well as having worked as both lead game designer and artist on multiple projects in Virtual, Augmented and Mobile experiences. Emre ha... Read More →
avatar for Jennifer Scheurle

Jennifer Scheurle

Game Design Lead, Opaque Space
Jennifer Scheurle is a world-travelling Game Designer and public speaker who has worked on 10+ released titles since she started working in the industry 6 years ago. Born and raised in Germany and with a Bachelor of Arts (hons) in game development, she has played her role in... Read More →
avatar for Krystal Thompson

Krystal Thompson

Developer, StaplesVR
Krystal is the head of game development at Staples VR leading our game developers and interactive team through the daily challenges of working in the AR.VR industry and implementing the workflow learnings of a rapidly evolving tech sector. She is part of the Staples VR hackathon team that won the Melbourne based Hackathon and came 2nd in the global VRcore and HTC hackathon team in Shanghai in 2017. Krystal is also the project manager for VRemedies a medical VR tool creation company which has just been announced as 2nd place in demo the world. She has worked to create tools for industries such as Forensics, Health and Safety, Training... Read More →
avatar for Amie Wolken

Amie Wolken

Co-Founder, Geo AR Games
Amie holds a Bachelor law degree, which often comes very handy. She also holds a BA Degree in Computer Science and BA in Animal Biology and Psychology. Amie is a programmer/developer and has held positions like Support Manager and Operations Manager. She is a Director on the Boar... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 2:10pm - 2:55pm
WG308

2:10pm

Indie Quality Assurance: Tips and Tricks
With Quality Assurance going the way of the major studios in Australia, the skills and process have diminished as well. this talk aims to guide small to medium indie teams to integrate Quality Assurance practices and team members, As well as give an over view of Quality Assurance Processes.

Speakers
MS

Megan Summers

Founder and Product Manager (Screwtape Studios) / Lead Tester (Defiant Development), Screwtape Studios/Defiant Development
Megan Summers has been a part of the Australian Video Games Industry for 10 years. Her career began at Pandemic Australia in Quality Assurance and moved to Krome and THQ OZ over the next 4 years working to the role of Senior Quality Assurance. In 2011 Megan stepped out on her own... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 2:10pm - 2:55pm
WG908-909

2:10pm

Keystones for Scheduled Expansions
There are some key differences between making expansions and ongoing content as opposed to new games. This talk discusses production, design and communication with your team and audience when making content on a schedule.

Speakers
avatar for Carl de Visser

Carl de Visser

Lead Producer, Grinding Gear Games
Carl de Visser is Lead Producer and Manager of Game Design at Grinding Gear Games, working on the online Action RPG Path of Exile (GameSpot 2013 PC Game of the Year), and its expansions. Before working in videogames, Carl made boardgames, including co-designing the eurogame Endea... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 2:10pm - 2:55pm
WG403

3:30pm

"What sounds do Monsters make?"
A glimpse at how Monster sounds were created for Artrix Ltd’s new “Battle Claw” game, which recently had an Open Beta launch in NZ with just short of a hundred unique Monsters. This talk will look at what defined the audio direction and how the Monster sounds were constructed – including some audio tips and techniques.

Speakers
avatar for Bart Klepka

Bart Klepka

Senior Sound Designer, Artrix Ltd
Bart has been creating audio for games for 10 years. He currently heads audio at local studio Artrix Ltd., which has two beta titles on the NZ market, Animals in Teacups, and Battle Claw.


Friday September 8, 2017 3:30pm - 3:50pm
WG901-902

3:30pm

Improve Your Designs with Research!
Has your content become a cliche? Jonas is here to help! He works as a Researcher for Runaway, and is responsible for finding inspiration in the natural world. Whether you're into nature or not, research is a part of any project, and the real world has something for everyone. In this talk, Jonas uses examples from Runaway to discuss the ways that research can add depth to your designs, make them more relatable, and spark your creativity! Come along for a snappy talk with fun surprises from the field.

Speakers
avatar for Jonas Goodwin

Jonas Goodwin

Researcher, Runaway Play
Jonas Goodwin is a nature nerd and Researcher for Runaway. He divides his time between the Art, Game Design, and Community teams in order to connect with players and add depth to the ‘inspired by nature’ designs. He’s happiest when knee-deep in pond scum, and works to bring that... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 3:30pm - 3:50pm
WG126

3:30pm

Security Landscape of Games in New Zealand
New Zealands gaming industry in currently booming, with new high quality content being put out constantly. Security is often left until a later stage in development or ignored completely. This ultimately effects user experience and can lead to a lost customer base. Waikato University would like to work with your development company so we can better understand the intricacies of the New Zealand game development cycle, and help security be a consideration throughout your development process.

Speakers
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Sam Shute

PhD Candidate
Sam originally studied software engineering, before completing an honours project in security. This led to continuing into a PhD with the Cybersecurity Researchers of Waikato (CROW). He is currently a Technical Advisor for the Harmful Digital Communications Act. He has also been... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 3:30pm - 3:50pm
WG404

3:30pm

Getting Serious about Serious Games
Serious games, EdTech and gamification could make a huge contribution to NZ and our communities. Learn from case studies and research into New Zealand-made serious games on mental health, safety, fake news and financial literacy.

Speakers
avatar for Stephen Knightly

Stephen Knightly

Managing Director, InGame
Stephen is New Zealand's most experienced educational games and gamification designer. At InGame his team have applied the persuasive and immersive powers of interactive gaming to projects for ACC, WorkSafe, DairyNZ, The ICEHouse, BNZ, NZ Fire Service and more. He's also an exper... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 3:30pm - 3:50pm
WG908-909

3:30pm

Doing That Representation Thing
You've heard about this 'representation' thing. Making a game with women/queer people/people of colour in it. You want to give it a try, but you're worried about making mistakes and upsetting the people you're attempting to include.

Worry not; this talk is here to help! Giving an overview of where to find information about tropes and stereotypes, how to seek feedback on diverse characters, and what to do if you've caught a misstep too late to completely fix it, this is a beginner's guide to doing that representation thing, intended for those confused or anxious about giving it a go.

Speakers
avatar for Maddi Mackenzie

Maddi Mackenzie

Independent
Maddi is an independent narrative designer based in Auckland who's passionate about integrating interesting people, places, and cultures from real life into game worlds. To that end, they've recently completed a Masters thesis on the topic, and released a visual novel -- Invernes... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 3:30pm - 3:50pm
WG403

3:30pm

The Sonic Palette: How Audio Lifts Your Game
This talk will use the concept of a sonic palette; the sum effect of both music and sound design, to show that it can radically change a games aesthetic and tone.

Speakers
avatar for Jody Toomey

Jody Toomey

Game Audio Designer/Music Producer/Record Label Manager, Freelance
Jody Toomey is a freelance game audio developer and Director of Strange Band Audio, specialising in music, sound design and implementation. She is a proponent of the early and effective integration of audio in to games and its affect on narrative, art and UI/UX. She has been prov... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 3:30pm - 3:50pm
WG907

3:30pm

Finance and Tax Q+A
Bring along your finance or tax questions to ask a Chartered Accountant with over 20 years digital game industry experience.   

Speakers
avatar for Lance Burgess

Lance Burgess

Director, CFO, BW Miller Dean Chartered Accountants, PikPok
I am a Director of a Chartered Accountancy firm, and have worked in the digital games industry since the start-up of PikPok 20 years ago.  I currently hold the CFO position for PikPok and look after the finances of many of the other Wellington Game Studios including Dinosaur Polo... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 3:30pm - 3:50pm
WG308

4:00pm

Closing Keynote - Delaney King
Speakers
avatar for Delaney King

Delaney King

Art Director, Tantalus
In her 20 years as a video game artist she has racked up an impressive list of AAA credits. Her creatures and characters appear in Dragonage:Origins, Unreal Tournament 04, Stormreach: Dungeon & Dragons Online, Civilization IV, Lord of The Rings Online, Fury, Mythos, Warlords: Battlecry and many more. She was the asia pacific games development consultant for Autodesk, a product specialist for The Foundry, VFX tutor at The Australian Film Television... Read More →


Friday September 8, 2017 4:00pm - 5:00pm
WG403

6:30pm

NZGDC17 After Party
IMPORTANT: You must register for a ticket for this event at https://nzgdc17.lilregie.com/

Friday September 8, 2017 6:30pm - Saturday September 9, 2017 1:00am
Catch 22 210 Victoria St West, Victoria Park Village