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Code & Infrastructure [clear filter]
Thursday, September 7

10:40am NZST

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.

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 vehicular... Read More →

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

10:40am NZST

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.

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-down... Read More →

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

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... Read More →

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

11:35am NZST

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.

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 gameplay... Read More →

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

2:10pm NZST

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.

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 NZST

3:30pm NZST

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!

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... Read More →

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

4:25pm NZST

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.

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 NZST
Friday, September 8

10:10am NZST

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.

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 touring... Read More →

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

10:40am NZST

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.

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, leading... Read More →

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

11:35am NZST

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. 

avatar for John Kane

John Kane

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 NZST

1:15pm NZST

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.

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 to... Read More →

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

2:10pm NZST

[ 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" ] ...

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... Read More →

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

3:30pm NZST

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.


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 involved... Read More →

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