Monthly Archive for February, 2014

#CTRLDEV Recap

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This past weekend saw The Game Changers sweep through the city as part of Perth Festival 2014. Thanks to Screen Australia and the Perth International Arts Festival, our distinguished guests were also able to spend some quality time with local developers and their games at the Let’s Make Games #CTRLDEV day.

To start the day off Perth games Freedom Fall, Square Off, Star Hammer 2 and 99 Problems (and blocks are all of them) were put to the test by our international guests, with much fun and constructive criticism to be had. It wasn’t long before another 50 local developers and game aficionados made their way in, eager to try their hand at the homemade titles before sitting down for some serious discussions.

The panels began with Dan Pinchbeck (Dear Esther), Steve Gaynor (Gone Home) and Guy Gadney (The Suspect) looking at the how and why of going Indie, then sharing their tips on successfully surviving as a small team. After a short cupcake break Clint Hocking (Far Cry 2) and Jill Murray (Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation) took to the stage to talk about their experience of entering into the AAA world and working for major studios. It is also worth noting that over the course of the day attendees posed some brilliant questions to the speakers, the answers to which caused both thoughtful nodding and intense note-taking.

You can check out photos from #CTRLDEV below, plus details on how you can provide Let’s Make Games with feedback on the event.

Feedback Survey

If you attended #CTRLDEV, we at LMG would love to hear about your experience of the day. Please check your emails for the Eventbrite feedback survey, and let us know what you liked (or didn’t like). Your feedback is appreciated and will help us organise bigger and better events in the future!

Special thanks goes to the Central Institute of Technology for providing us with the facilities, Justin Halliday from Screen Australia for bringing over his keen knowledge of games funding programs and also Richard Kong for the top quality Photography.

FTI’s new Director of Interactive Programs and all the details on Playup Perth #2

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The Film and Television Institute of Western Australia, the organisation behind the WA Screen Awards, have recently appointed Dr. Kate Raynes-Goldie to the role of Director of Interactive Programs. This position is the first of its kind for a non-government, Australian screen resource association, and with Kate at the helm the FTI is reaching out to embrace the local games, interactive and app communities.

kate-raynes-goldieKate brings a wealth of experience to the role, not only as a developer but as a champion for the potential of games and gaming. Kate is the co-founder of Atmosphere Industries, which specializes in experimental and pervasive games, and developed WA’s very first pervasive game, Ghost Town. She is also a Research Associate at Curtin University, and has spoken at a range of international industry and academic conferences, including SXSW Interactive and TEDxPerth.

We would like to congratulate Kate on her appointment to the role, and look forward to even more FTI and game developer interactions in the future!

And while we are on the subject of Atmosphere Industries, the studio is running an event this weekend…

 

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Playup Perth #2!

What: A playtest experience of Atmosphere Industries’ brand new game
When: 1pm – 3pm, Saturday March 1, 2014
Where: FTI lawn (92 Adelaide Street, Fremantle)
Tickets: Free!

The new top secret Atmosphere Industries game, set to debut at the Fresh Air 2014 festival in Melbourne (March 7-10, 2014). A fun game for players of all skill levels that will involve hilarity and teamwork. Plus, if you loved Star Trek: the Next Generation, you will love this game even more.

(Please bring an internet enabled smart phone, a pair of comfortable shoes and be prepared for some walking around town.)

For more information head on over to the main event page. If you would like to find out more about testing your game at the next Playup Perth, please email kate (at) fti.asn.au or tweet @oceanpark

Reminder: Game Changers and #CTRLDEV on this weekend!

At last the weekend is upon us, where we may fill our days with games and good times. If you have yet to plan your days of rest then fear not, here we have one final reminder of the top notch events on this weekend. There’s still time to grab tickets and so you could be spending your time with a bunch of big-name developers!

 

Saturday 22nd February

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This Saturday The Game Changers series will be running as part of the Perth Festival, and will four panels on narrative and storytelling in video games. International guests for this event include Steve Gaynor (Gone HomeBioShock Infinite), Clint Hocking (Splinter Cell, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, Far Cry 2), Dan Pinchbeck (Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture) and Jill Murray (Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation and IV: Black Flag), as well as the excellent Australian guests Guy Gadney (The Suspect), Dan Golding (Game On) and Bajo & Hex from ABC’s Good Game television show.

When:

10.00am–11.00am: The Writer and The Game
11.30am–12.30pm: What the Player Wants
1.00pm–2.00pm: Character and Story
2.30pm–3.30pm: What’s In Store?

Where:

Octagon Theatre, UWA

Tickets: 

(Cost per talk)
General Admission $13.50, Friends $12.50, FT Student (U30) $10.50
To get your tickets head on over to The Game Changers event page.

Sunday 23rd February

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This Sunday we also have #CTRLDEV, an opportunity for Perth developers to get some quality time with our big-name visitors.  Steve Gaynor, Clint Hocking, Dan Pinchbeck, Jill Murray, and Guy Gadney will be hosting two panel discussions that focus on the technical and career aspects of working in the games industry. This event is designed to give you some quality time to talk shop, as well as complement the narrative and storytelling discussions of Saturday’s The Game Changers series. You can also check out the Meet the #CTRLDEV page for all the details on the guest speakers (so you can prep your key game dev questions).

When:

2:30pm – 4:30pm

Where:

Central Institute of Technology (East Perth), 140 Royal St., East Perth

Tickets:

$40/$30 (discount for those attending The Game Changers events).
To get your tickets head on over to Eventbrite page.

Not a bad way to spend the weekend, if we do say so ourselves.
Hope to catch you there!

Meet the #CTRLDEVs

The day of #CTRLDEV draws near, so what better time to take a closer look at the internationally acclaimed developers who will be stopping by. #CTRLDEV will give you the opportunity to meet these fine folk and discuss game design, production and the industry in general. No doubt you will want to chat with them all, but with such a wealth of knowledge available it can’t hurt to assess which of your burning question to ask any given developer.

So on that note, let’s meet the devs…

 

CLINT HOCKING  USA (flag)

Clint Hocking Profile PictureExperience: Creative Director, Scriptwriter, (Senior) Level Designer, Game Designer

Studios: Ubisoft Montreal, Lucas Arts, Valve

Titles: Splinter Cell (Original), Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, Far Cry 2

Clint started his gaming career with Ubisoft Montreal in 2001 as a level designer for the very first Splinter Cell. Since then he’s worked in a variety of creative positions, including lead roles on Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory and Far Cry 2. Clint was the first-ever recipient of the Game Developer’s Choice Award for Excellence in Scriptwriting.

Outside of game development, Clint is a member of the Advisory Board for the Montreal IGDA Chapter, regularly speaks at the conference around the world (including GDC), and has a monthly column in EDGE Magazine. In his spare time Clint talks about game dev on his blog Click Nothing, and can also be found on twitter as @ClickNothing.

STEVE GAYNOR  USA (flag)

Steve Gaynor Profile PictureExperience: (Senior) Level Designer, Lead Designer, Writer, Tester

Studios: TimeGate Studios, 2K Marin, Irrational Games, The Fullbright Company

Titles: Perseus Mandate, Bioshock 2 inc. Minerva’s Den, Bioshock Infinite, Gone Home

Steve started out as a Temporary Certification Tester who practised make levels with F.E.A.R. editor; before long he had worked his way up to a level designer, working on the F.E.A.R. expansion pack “Perseus Mandate”. Moving on to 2K Marin Steve worked on Bioshock 2‘s “The Adonis Luxury Resort” and “Pauper’s Drop” levels, lead the design of the “Minerva’s Den” expansion, and worked on Bioshock Infinite.

Steve has since gone indie, acting as one of the founding members of The Fullbright Company and a designer/writer on the award-winning Gone Home. When not developing games, Steve talks about them on the Fullbright Design blog, industry publications and in podcasts such as Idle Thumbs. He can also be found on twitter as @GoneHomeGame.

DAN PINCHBECK  UK (flag)

Dan Pinchbeck Profile Picture

Experience: Studio Head, Creative Director, Researcher, Senior Lecturer

Studio: The Chinese Room

Titles: Dear Esther, Korsakovia, Amnesia – A Machine for Pigs, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture

Before carving his own niche in the game development field, David’s professional background was one centered on Drama and Digital Arts. Through his experience in using emergent technologies in media and technical arts, David went on to teach Creative Technology at Portsmouth University, as well as research narrative in games. It was from this research that The Chinese Room was born, a project turned award-winning studio.

Starting with Source mods, David and his team created such titles as Dear Esther and Korsakovia. The success of these titles allowed for a standalone of Dear Esther to be developed, and paved the way for future works such as A Machine For Pigs and the upcoming Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture. David can be found manning the @ChineseRoom twitter.

JILL MURRAY  CAN (flag)

Jill Murray Profile Picture

Experience: Narative Director, Script Writer, Author

Studios: Ubisoft Québec, Ubisoft Montreal

Titles: Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (inc. Freedom Cry DLC), Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012

 Jill started her design career in web development, but found that her true calling was writing. She published two YA novels, Break on Through and Rhythm and Blues, before being brought in as a writer for Assassin’s Creed: Liberation. The game went on to win a Writer’s Guild Awards, while Jill went on to write for Your Shape: Fitness Evolved, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and the AC IV “Freedom Cry” DLC.

Jill is currently the Director of Narrative Design at Ubisoft Québec, and presents at such events as Gamercamp and GDC. She can be found providing words of wisdom on twitter as @CodeJill.

GUY GADNEY  AUS (flag)

Guy Gadney Profile PictureExperience: Founder, Digital Executive Producer, Director of Content Production

Studio: The Project Factory

Titles: The Suspect, Who is Tim? (Wie is Tim?), Lost Monsters, Eclipse, Underbelly Skirmish

Guy has been in digital media production for over 20 years, having worked in a production role on mobile, online and game projects for companies across the US, UK and Australia. As a founding member of The Project Factory Guy has had a key role in producing a wide range of projects, including the award winning “Who is Tim?” Dutch transmedia project.

Outside of his production work, Guy served as President of the Board, then Board Director of the AIMIA (Digital Industry Association for Australia). He can also be found speaking at Conferences, Festivals, Award Ceremonies, and of course on twitter as @GGadney.

 


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Don’t forget that Justin Halliday, Screen Australia’s Games Investment Manager, will also be available to chat during #CTRLDEV about the various funding options available for WA game developers.

#CTRLDEV will be your last chance to catch these gaming heavyweights before they fly off into the sunset, so if you have not yet bought your ticket head over to the Eventbrite page. As an added bonus, if you’re heading to a talk for The Game Changer  you can get a discount on your tickets to this event (just bring your PWF ticket stubs or receipts as proof along with your #CTRLDEV ticket).

Hope to see you there!

 

#CTRLDEV Partners and Sponsors

With little over a week until #CTRLDEV, we’d like to take the opportunity to thank all of our partners and sponsors who are helping to make this unprecedented WA gamedev event possible.

 

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Big thanks to our Principal Partner, Screen Australia, without whom this event wouldn’t be possible. Don’t forget that Justin Halliday, Screen Australia’s Games Investment Manager, will be available to chat during #CTRLDEV about the various funding options available for WA game developers.

 

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Central Institute of Technology East Perth, who are kindly providing us with the comfortable, air-conditioned facilities to talk all about game development.

 

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And special thanks to the Perth International Arts Festival for taking the initiative to put the spotlight on game and interactive narrative as part of the Perth Writers Festival The Game Changers series.

Don’t forget that tickets to #CTRLDEV are only available through Eventbrite, and discount tickets are available for attendees of The Game Changers. All the details at Eventbrite.

Wai-Con’s GameZone looking for indie developers

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Wai-Con, Perth’s premier anime convention, are putting a call out for local indie game developers to showcase their games at this year’s convention. A special area will be set up for indie developers to show their games off to the thousands of attendees in the event’s GameZone.

Wai-Con is on the first weekend of March, Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd. Tables, chairs, power and entry will be provided to the showcasers.

If you are interested in showcasing or playtesting your games at Wai-Con, contact by the close of business this Friday for more details.

Playtest Session and Screen Australia Games Investment Manager at #CTRLDEV

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#CTRLDEV Playtest Session

As part of the #CTRLDEV festivities, we’ve organised a WA games playtest session with our industry guests. The intention for this playtesting session is for local game developers with games that are pre-release or recently released to receive feedback from industry peers who have shipped globally successful games.

We are opening this opportunity to five WA developers to showcase and play their games with the #CTRLDEV guests. If you are interested in taking part of this playtest session, please send an email to ScreenAustralia_RGB_small


One-on-one meetings with Screen Australia Investment Manager

Justin Halliday, the games investment manager from Screen Australia, will be visiting Perth and making himself available for questions and one-on-one meetings at #CTRLDEV. Justin manages of the Games fund as part of Screen Australia’s Interactive & Multi-platform department, and can answer all of your questions regarding the Games Production and Games Enterprise funding programs.

The one-on-one sessions with Justin will take place between 1:00 – 2:30pm on Sunday 23rd February (just before the #CTRLDEV sessions). Developers interested in talking with Justin should email

#CTRLDEV – Talks with industry leaders

CTRLDEV4 500Let’s Make Games, with the support of our Principal Partner Screen Australia, are proud to present #CTRLDEV, a game development chat with industry leaders.

What: #CTRLDEV – A game development chat with industry leaders.
When: Sunday 23rd February, 2:30pm – 4:30pm
Where: Central Institute of Technology (East Perth), 140 Royal St., East Perth
Tickets: $40/$30 from Eventbrite

#CTRLDEV is a professional game development chat with international industry leaders. Two panel discussions will focus on the technical and career aspects of working in the games industry, to complement the narrative and storytelling discussions of The Game Changers series at the 2014 Perth Writers Festival.

Our guests are:

Clint Hocking (Canada – Far Cry 2, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory)
Jill Murray (Canada – Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag)
Dan Pinchbeck (UK – Dear Esther, Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs)
Steve Gaynor (US – Bioshock Infinite, Gone Home)
Guy Gadney (Australia – Sherlock Holmes, The Suspect)

The panels will be divided into two sessions:

The Indie Session, all about getting an independent studio off the ground, and what it takes to make a game that can stand out with only a small number of developers.

The Studio Session, with discussions about finding jobs in a larger company, studio culture, and the production pipeline involved when working with internationally renowned and critically acclaimed franchises.

Both panel talks will have substantial time dedicated to Q&As from the audience, as well as a refreshments break in between.

Discounted #CTRLDEV tickets are available to attendees of any 2014 Perth Writers Festival The Game Changers series. For more details on ticket prices and event details, please go to the Eventbrite page.

 

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This event is possible thanks to our Principal Partner, Screen Australia, and the Perth International Arts Festival.

 

Games meet Art in new SK Games exhibition

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SK Games have teamed up with local artist Arcadian Dreams to produce an interactive art piece titled “Floating Ephemeral World”. The “half game, half painting” launches this Friday at the SK Games office, and will continue to showcase over the weekend between the hours of 10am and 6pm.

More details available at the Facebook event page.

GGJ14 Recap

The Global Game Jam has come and gone. It was an intense weekend of creativity, collaboration and rampant game development for the 76 participating jammers.

Over the course of the weekend, 21 games were made, which are all available to download and play. There’s been plenty of additional output after our GGJ14 event including this piece from a first-time jammer, as well as stories of jam games being continued, and a couple of timelapses.

Congratulations to all of the jammers, and thanks to our sponsors: ECU SCSS, CASSA, Developers at Large, and Architects & Heroes.

Videography and photography by the most excellent Benjamin Hammersley.