2010

VITTA Conference - November 29, 2010

Career Forum

Representatives from University, TAFE and industry will speak about new opportunities for people to access a range of cutting-edge careers. To better inform young people about the wide range of options available to them in ICT, course information for students will be explored as well as future pathways in the study of IT where jobs are growing rapidly in the ICT sector. ICT skills now are required by the full spectrum of private and public sectors, from banking, healthcare, law, telecommunications, education, transport, manufacturing, tourism, mining, environmental management, digital media to fashion design.

Keynote Presentation: Looking beyond the Digital

The most exciting thing about the emergence of video games isn’t the advances in technology or the establishment of a new art-form, it’s the simple fact that more people than at any other time in our history are thinking about the fundamentals of play and how to apply that to the world that we live in.

Starting from traditional literacy and numeracy, this session will take a meandering tour through how games and play are influencing city-planning, household chores, exploration, community, art, culture, social change, and of course learning and teaching – with the aim of hopefully showing that rather than destroying the world, games are helping to make it a better place.

Multiplatform Workshop - November 24, 2010

Keynote Presentation: ‘Of Myths and Metaphors’

This talk explores the defining metaphors of Screen, Technology, Digital, and Storytelling, and how they apply to both game development and multiplatform projects, with a focus on the strengths and weaknesses of interactivity and how that compares to more traditional storytelling forms.

One-on-One workshops

Game Connect Asia Pacific - October 14, 2010

Government Round Table

Presentation – blog post

According to iGEA research, 68% of Australian’s play video games, but despite this number, there is still a disconnect in how they are viewed as part of the broader culture – a disconnect that in turn affects how they are viewed by governments both economically and culturally.

This presentation outlines the cultural place of video games, and attempts to reframe the thinking around their future support.

Chair: The Take Home

After two days of talks, panels, workshops, and networking it can be hard to see the forest for the trees. This final session brings together some of the key speakers from GCAP and examines the threads and trends that have dominated the discussion before taking a look towards the future of our industry, our business, and our craft.

RMIT Games Program - October 8, 2010

Ludo-narrative Dissonance

Games have always had their ludic & narrative elements in tension, but as technology has become more sophisticated and as the grammar of video games has extended beyond the constraints of the non-digital, new forms of bringing the two together have emerged.

This talk looks at the intersection of the ludic & the narrative, at where dissonance occurs, and at where the two are thematically & practically in balance.

UNSW - September 21, 2010

What does a writer do anyway?

Telling stories is an essential part of our cultural fabric, but in the face of a new medium, one in which mechanics, rules, and play are at the heart of the audience experience, we’re still learning how to work the thousands of years of accumulated knowledge in writing and storytelling to our best advantage.

An often-neglected discipline in video games, this session will look at the skills and craft that writers use when approaching storytelling, dialogue, structure, and characterisation, and how to apply those to video games without losing the particular strengths of the medium.  By dissecting the craft of writing, it will demonstrate the thought processes behind story creation, what does and doesn’t work within the medium of games, and why some of those boundaries exist.  It will also show how some of those core concepts are applicable to games without stories, informing mechanic, level, and systems design.

Looking to the future, the session will lastly speculate on the marriage of traditional narrative and mechanics, and the sorts of stories that can only be told in the medium of games by exploiting the fundamental gameplay forces of agency, choice, rules, and goals.

SLV Social Entrepreneurship Forum - September 7, 2010

Opening Presentation & MC

The Making a small world smaller forum builds on a proposal jointly developed by the State Library and RMIT University. The proposal explored how a new centre at the State Library could use elements of social enterprise, community development and social media to increase Victoria’s intellectual and social capital.

The proposal would bring together RMIT students, industry partners and staff from the Library to develop programs that focus on the socialisation of international students, facilitate entrepreneurship among young leaders in regional Victoria and engage local secondary students in innovative activities.

Xperience Xpo - August 10, 2010

Getting a job making games

This short talk takes a look at how video games have evolved in the 20 years I’ve been playing them and the current games developed in Australia.

RMIT Games Program - August 2, 2010

Moment to Moment gameplay

Designing a game is more about what the player does than what the player is. This session takes a look at some of the fundamentals in designing what the game’s verbs are, creating sequences of action and reaction, facilitating player choice, handling feedback, and providing audio-visual stimuli – all in the service of gameplay over story.

School Library Association of Victoria - July 30, 2010

Deconstructing games

Today’s students have never seen a world without video games.  They’re an integral part of life now, becoming a new cultural artifact, a new entertainment medium, and bringing with them a whole slew of new employment opportunities.

But how do they work?  And what are the parameters for having a meaningful dialog about them with our students?

In this session, Paul Callaghan, a veteran game developer, will explore the elements that contribute to games literacy and how that can be applied to traditional literacy and numeracy skills.

VITTA ICT Week - July 29, 2010

Getting a job making games

In a very short amount of time, video games have become an incredible force both culturally and economically.  This session looks at the opportunities and skills required to work in games development and the games recently developed in Australia.

Computer Games Boot Camp - July 6, 2010

Writing & Designing

While there is some overlap, the skills that a writer and a designer bring to games development are very different.  This session takes a look at a winding career and shines a light on what it takes to be a games designer and writer.

Deconstructing games

Today’s students have never seen a world without video games.  They’re an integral part of life now, becoming a new cultural artifact, a new entertainment medium, and bringing with them a whole slew of new employment opportunities.

But how do they work?  And what are the parameters for having a meaningful dialog about them with our students?

In this session, Paul Callaghan, a veteran game developer, will explore the elements that contribute to games literacy and how that can be applied to traditional literacy and numeracy skills.

Emerging Writers’ Festival - May 29, 2010

Never Surrender

Writing isn’t all about success stories! Join our writers as they speak candidly about rejection, creative risk-taking and projects that took ten years from creation to publication. Why do they stick with it, and is it all worth it in the end?

With — Paul Callaghan, Elizabeth Campbell, Sean Condon and Dee White. Hosted by Stu Hatton.

Express Media - May 22, 2010

Writing for Games Workshop

Games, like all mediums, have their own strengths and weaknesses as a storytelling medium.  This workshop takes a look at what makes games tick, what you can learn from traditional forms, and what you should know about the expressive power of mechanics.

ArtsHub review

Meanland - May 19, 2010

Reading in a time of Technology

Multimedia books and academic wikis, music and sound publishing, and the world of computer games: technological change has extended reading and writing well beyond the book.

Chris Meade, the author of an Arts Council England report on the technological possibilities of literature, discusses his own experiments with musical, graphical and digital fiction; the ANU’s Adrienne Nicotra explains how educational wikis might replace text books; novelist and programmer Paul Callaghan demonstrates the role narrative plays in today’s computer games; and the poet/composer Klare Lanson explores the intersection of music and text.

video

AFTRS - May 3, 2010

Game Writing Workshop

The gaming market continues to grow, and concepts and stories are becoming more sophisticated in structure and style.

AFTRS introductory workshop is designed to give aspiring game writers the fundamental skills, knowledge and techniques required to write successfully for the games industry. It will explore the interactive strength of the medium and outline and explain the avenues and technologies available that game writers can utilise. This course will get you started and refine your technique.

Aims and Objectives
By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Outline stories for games using traditional storytelling and structural techniques
  • Understand how games integrate mechanics, rewards, and non-linear elements
  • Write game-specific scenes, including conversations and characters
  • Deconstruct existing games to better understand their storytelling techniques, including plot, character, dialogue, and theme
  • Use available technology to write for specific game engines

Format Academy of Words - March 13, 2010

Mining the personal

They say write what you know, but how easy is it to write about yourself or draw material from your life? Do you feel exposed when people read your words, and how do you deal with the fallout? And what happens when people mistake your characters for you?

Non-paper publishing

Books are great, but what are other avenues for writers to be heard and distributed? What are the challenges of writing for digital, audio and live audiences? Is it all about the words or is it all in the delivery?

CAE Melbourne - February 3, 2010

Industry Overview

As part of the PWE Industry Overview subject, an outline of what writing for games involves, how I found myself doing it, and the storytelling strengths of the medium.