2019
Games + Ideology
Understanding Media - Monash University

Seeing the Future Horizon
Creative Leadership Workshop - Compton School

An exploration of models for thinking about Australian and global creative industries and economies, drawing from policy, research, and real-world experience.

Local Libraries - Patrick deWitt
Melbourne Writers Festival - Eltham Library

2018
Local Libraries - Doctor Karl
Melbourne Writers Festival - Dandenong Library

Local Libraries - Amie Kaufman
Melbourne Writers Festival - Dandenong Library

A Signal Thread
Freeplay Independent Games Festival - ACMI

From festivals to museums to galleries to performance spaces, cultural infrastructure aims to create scaffolding and structure to support people and their practice. This talk explores the global influence of contemporary games infrastructure, its relationship to local scenes, and what can be learned from other creative fields.

https://youtu.be/bRbeIFsfkaI?t=6h55m9s

Internationalising Your Game
Creative Europe Desk - Scotland - CodeBase Edinburgh

Creative Europe Desk UK - Scotland presents an evening of talks covering how to internationalise your games content, release and promotion.

The games market is inherently international with standardised hardware, delivery platforms and formats but often in content, diversity, language and localisation games are missing opportunities for audiences, financing and impact.

In this evening of talks we’ll discuss a range of topics on how you can make your games more suitable and engaging for a worldwide audience through collaboration, research, experimentation and planning.

Games as Cultural Relations
PlayUK Sarajevo - Kino Meeting Point

2017
PressOver Interview
PressOver - Buenos Aires

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlAJ_RDpc9w

Panel: SCREENS & SCENES - GAMES-RELATED CULTURE, AND THE SPACES BETWEEN / AROUND / BEYOND
Arcadia - Dundee

Structure as Humans
Crafting Intangibles - Online

The support systems & cultural infrastructure we build reflects the values we hold as people, mixed with compromise, negotiation, and expressions of power. This talk explores how can we work to identify our individual values & the values of our institutions, and the ways we might begin to change them to better support us as indviduals and communities.

https://vimeo.com/220382642

People and Places: Games as Cultural Relations
Continue 2017 - The National Videogames Arcade

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations & education opportunities, and our work across the arts is a cornerstone of our mission to create a friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and the wider world. We find new ways of connecting with and understanding each other through the arts, to develop stronger creative sectors around the world that are better connected with the UK.

In this talk, newly appointed Games & Interactive Programme Manager Paul Callaghan will look at how videogames speak to this mission, the role of an explicitly cultural and international organisation in relation to the wider games sector, and the ways that it can work to support people and the ways they respond to their individual geographical, social, political, cultural, and artistic contexts.

2016
Workshop
Europeana ART//GAMES//HACKATHON - The National Videogames Arcade

The ART//GAMES//HACKATHON was an intensive weekend workshop, which allowed artists, coders and technologists to team up, collaborate and develop prototypes of game art projects. This exciting event took place at Game City in Nottingham – home of the National Videogame Arcade on 16th and 17th April 2016.

Panel: How other cultural institutions engage with games
London Games Festival Culture Summit - Museum of London

Panel with Adrian Wootton from Film London and Conrad Bodman from the BFI.

2015
Inspiration from Indie Games
London Educational Games Meetup - Ukie

The emergence of indie game development changed not only the boundaries between industry & individual makers, but also the boundaries between games & cultural institutions, education, and the public. Paul's talk will trace some of the paths through and between those boundaries, and look to how the shifting state of games might evolve in future.

Panel
Future Film Animation+ Awards - BFI

Join us for our annual Future Film Festival Animation+ Awards  screening where we’ll be showing the top six short Animation+ films submitted to the festival this year as selected by The Future Film Institute (our panel of young programmers). All the films will receive feedback from our panel of industry experts and one film in each age category (15-18 and 19-25) will receive a BFI Future Film Award. This is your chance to check out tomorrow’s talent of Future Filmmakers.

2014
Creative Entrepreneurship Salon
- Goldsmiths Institute of Creative & Cultural Entrepreneurship

Overview of my career, covering games development & the Freeplay Independent Games Festival

Panel
Raw Shorts: The Expendables? - BFI

This month Raw Shorts looks at the team you need to get your film  rolling. A panel discussion with professionals and experts from across the production industry will discuss what qualities are essential when putting a team together, and what equipment you need for that crew to handle.

This will be followed by a choice of either: a masterclass in casting from the perspectives of a casting director, a producer and a director; or, if you can’t tell a fish-eye lens from a telescopic, then join our practical workshop on filmmaking kit, including cameras, lenses, sound recording devices, plus equipment you can make yourself for next to nothing (DIY steadicams, tracks and dollies).

At the end of the day there’ll be a chance to network with other young filmmakers and industry professionals.

Games & Cultural Forms
Pecha Kucha - London Game Space

A Pecha Kucha talk on the gradual adoption of presentation and collaborative practices from other cultural forms by games, and what that might mean for the future.

Show and Tell
Coney - Camden People's Theatre

Coney, curated by Tassos Stevens, hosted by Tom Frankland

A collection of speakers from diverse backgrounds each present a short, informal show and tell on a question which inspires them. Following the success of last year’s salons on activism and systems, Coney’s Show & Tell returns to pose some interesting questions on real world systems and how we might, possibly, change them. Expect some friendly provocation and discussion over drinks.

Speakers include Mel Evans of Liberate Tate and Platform; Annette Mees, co-director of Coney; game designer Paul Callaghan and more tbc.

Playing Systems Workshop
Coney - Camden People's Theatre

Join Coney to discover how the tools of game design can be applied to the real world. We’ll see if we can recognise how everyday systems around us play as games, then how we might hack and rewire them to play better. It’s not about gamification but perhaps its very opposite.

The workshop, facilitated by Paul Callaghan and Tassos Stevens, is an exploration of practice, with the aim of creating a toolbox and guidance that can be documented and shared later. It’s open to anyone but places are limited; please send an expression of interest to [email protected]

2013
Panel: The Twine Revolution
Freeplay Independent Games Festival - State Library of Victoria

Now that it’s as easy to make a game as take a photo, new voices are coming out to play. This session will explore what happens when power is in the hands of the community, and what that community is choosing to make.

With Kircy Jong, Paul Callaghan, and Mary Hamilton

Panel: Is there an app for that?
Reading Matters - State Library of Victoria

Paul Callaghan, John Flanagan and Fiona Wood talk stories and communities in a brave new world.

I sing the body electric
Reading Matters - State Library of Victoria

Videogames create worlds, experiences, bodies, and imaginations for us in new ways of expressing ourselves - and uncovering new opportunities to directly experience the deeply personal.

Twine Workshop
Reading Matters - State Library of Victoria

DIGITAL NARRATIVES: LOVE, GAMES AND FEAR OF THE MACHINE
National Screenwriters' Conference - RACV Cape Schanck

There’s so much change in the world of digital storytelling, but just like film, theatre, radio and television, a strong script is still where these new forms begin to succeed. Chaired by Mike Cowap of Screen Australia, the session will explore the craft of writing for digital narratives: from online documentaries, to alternate reality dramas, to AAA video games.  Using examples from their own work, experienced creators in the on-line space, Sam Doust and Paul Callaghan will workshop this new craft from the writer and director perspectives.

2012
Panel: Stories & Systems
Melbourne Writers' Festival - National Gallery of Victoria

Panel discussion on games and storytelling with Dan Golding, Christy Dena, and Alison Croggon.

Game Design and Culture
Hub Melbourne

A look at games, culture, and Melbourne, through the lens of the upcoming 2012 Freeplay Independent Games Festival

Careers in game development
Games Program - Melbourne Polytechnic

Why games in education is about more than just skills – and why gamification isn’t the answer
VITTA Conference

Videogames are an attractive addition to education practice, whether through serious games, development, or the emergence of gamification. However, all of these endeavours ignore the cultural value and resonsnce of games in favour of their superficially playful and persuasive properties. In this session, Paul Callaghan, designer of the game development strand of the recent DEECD game baed learning trials and the director of the Freeplay Independent Games Festival which explores the intersection of games, art, and culture will explore why there’s more to games than what they ask you to do.

Panel: Where to from here?
Game Masters Industry Forum - ACMI

Discussing the themes of the 2 day industry forum.

Flexing the Story Muscle
Game Masters Industry Forum - ACMI

Tim Schafer (Founder and Director of Double Fine Productions) will explore the importance of story in games, providing insights into his creative process and leadership. Facilitated by Paul Callaghan (Freeplay).

In Conversation with Warren Spector
Game Masters - ACMI

Join Warren Spector, master of role playing game design, as he explores the ideas that have changed the gaming industry.

Spector is known for creating influential titles such as System Shock, Deus Ex, Ultima Underworld and Thief: The Dark Project. His most recent release, Epic Mickey, has been hailed as the embodiment of his renowned philosophy on videogame design.

Don't miss this rare opportunity to hear from an industry legend, who has irrefutably influenced videogame theory and design.

Panel: Games and Cultural Spaces
Game Masters Industry Forum - ACMI

Explore the challenges of creating a cultural framework for exhibiting and programming videogames, and the role of institutions and festivals in showcasing and defining the cannon of the gaming industry. Panel includes Conrad Bodman (ACMI), Paul Callaghan (Freeplay), Linda Pitt (State Library of QLD) and Ricardo Peach (Australia Council's Inter-Arts). Chaired by freelance games writer, Leena van Deventer.

Games in Education
Victorian Personal Learning Network - Online

Presentation on games as tools for education, as well as teaching - and the need for - greater cultural and critical literacy of games.

Human Library
Balwyn Library

Students and the vocationally-curious are invited to come along to Balwyn Library on Wednesday 23 May and borrow the time of six individuals working in different industries.

Technology. Networks. People
Cengage Learning Innovation Event - State Library of Victoria

Presentation on three strands of evolution and innovation in game development.

Industry & Independent Development
Games Course - Swinburne University

Presentation on evolutions in industry and independent development.

Books, Movies, TV, Games
Adelaide Writers' Week

We live in a world where our stories are increasingly found, not only in books, but on screens. Doctor Who and playwright Robert Shearman (UK) and games designer Paul Callaghan (UK/AUS) discuss narrative across platforms including books, movies, and games - some of the many places we see story in action

 

Panel: On and Off the Page
Adelaide Writers Week

Increasingly our most compelling stories are being told on film, on television and in video games. Genre fiction rules in the bookshops, the cinemas, and, with L.A.Noire, in gameland. This session brings together novelist Megan Abbott (Die a Little), games designer Paul Callaghan and Robert Shearman (Doctor Who) to discuss the differences between writing for the page and the screen.

2011
Writing Narrative for Games
Screen Tasmania Digital Seminar

A look at the essential skills for games writing and design for traditional narrative writers.

The Assessment Panel
Game Connect Asia Pacific - Melbourne Convention Centre

Submissions to any funding agency go through a process of assessment and evaluation that involves those administering the funds and outside experts who bring a range of experiences and lenses through which to view the applications. This panel brings together assessors who have worked for state and federal agencies, including Film Victoria, Screen Australia, and Industry and Investment NSW to share what they look for in an application, what works and doesn’t work, and how to make your submission stand out.

Turning Off Our Screens
Game Connect Asia Pacific - Melbourne Convention Centre

With so much of our development and playtime devoted to screens and technology, it’s easy to think that videogames are a screen medium with the same, or at least similar enough, strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for storytelling, or that they’re a technology industry trying to build better, faster, smarter, widgets or tools for creating widgets. Anyone working in games has, at some point, suspected if not outright known that this isn’t the case. This talk looks at other lenses through which to view games, and along the way wonders aloud what it might look like if we broke away from the reliance on screen culture and the surrounding dialogue – and also what we might need to start telling ourselves and others as part of that shift.

Government Round Table
Game Connect Asia Pacific - Melbourne Convention Centre

A look at the need for support of a diverse maker community that exists in games - just as it exists in other creative industries.

Systems as Art
PauseFest - Melbourne Central

The aim of any art form is to create and communicate experience - and games are no different. Paul Callaghan talks about the restrictions games face in creating these experience and how looking at other creative forms can inspire and inform our exploration of systems as art.

Games Sector Summary
Digital Culture Public Sphere - Online

Talk on the games development sector from the Digital Culture Public Sphere Live Event, including summary of the wiki entry on game development and an assessment of games needs as they transition into a creative industry.

Australian Development and the Freeplay Festival
Games Program - Swinburne University

A rambling history of the changing shape of Australian game development, its evolution from a technology industry to a creative industry, and the place of the Freeplay Independent Games Festival in all of those changes.

The What, Why, and How of being a Games Writer
VITTA ICT Week

Exploring a winding career path, what a games writer actually does, why I moved from a technical role into a more creative one, how I made those decisions, and the future of Australian development.

The Need for Games Literacy
TedXMelbourne - State Library of Victoria

As videogames establish themselves as a dominant artform of the 21st century and other industries begin to explore their possibility in serious games, gamification, and games for change, the need for games literacy becomes greater than ever. In a world where not everybody means you well, what does that literacy look like and how can we begin the process of cultivating it in ourselves and the next generation of players?

Past, Present, and Future
Computer Games Boot Camp - Monash University

Casting an eye back into the past of videogame development and then on to the future to try and predict how things will evolve over the next year, 3 years, and 5 years for developers and players.

Teaching Games and Games Literacy
Screen Futures - ACMI

While videogames sit firmly in the limelight, there is a whole world of games out there that are more accessible, more easily read, and which teach tangible skills that can feed into digital games and interactive development.

Drawing from a recent Department of Education and Early Childhood Development research project into teaching games and games literacy, this session will look at games and design from physical and pervasive games, board games, improvisation, experimentation, and design exercises with the aim of separating out the creative skills from the technical and providing a base to support greater games literacy in the classroom – whether or not the final outcome is a digital game or something else.

Panel: Computer Games & Storytelling
Continuum Pop Culture Convention

Which games do it well, which games do it badly and how much is it necessary (or even desireable) in a computer game anyway? Paul Callaghan, Ben McKenzie, Sam Mellor, Kirsty Sculler

Animation and Games
Melbourne International Animation Festival - ACMI

All gaming is animation but not all animation is gaming. The influences gaming has on auteur, indie animation are vast, pervasive (perhaps insidious) and fascinating. The ‘look’ of many short animated films obviously owes much to elements of gaming but perhaps less obvious are the cultural and narrative cross-pollinations such as the increasingly brittle relationship we have with words like ‘reality’ and ‘friend’. Using a collection of films from competition as examples, this talk will explore the soaring visions, the conceptual gymnastics and even the cultural toxins with which gaming irrigates the animation artform.

Big Splash Workshop
Express Media - The Wheeler Centre

In the first Big Splash event for 2011, join ABC Open’s Ann Chesterman, Freeplay Independent Games Festival Co-Director Paul Callaghan and creator of mystoryworld.com.au Matt Blackwood as they talk about innovative ways to share your story, from using new media to writing for video games.

Foreplay to Freeplay
IGDA Brisbane - QUT

Freeplay 2010 was fabulous, not a soul walked out of that glorious 2 days of indie meets industry meets art meets dreaming without knowing we needed to go home and make games! Join us to hear Paul talk about some of the big ideas behind the Freeplay concept and the Aussie game industry, bringing a little bit of the 2011 Melbourne Freeplay Festival to Brisbane.

Business of Being a Writer
Emerging Writers' Festival - The Wheeler Centre

Finding work, filing tax, managing deadlines, sending invoices… welcome to the life of a writer. We know how confusing it can be trying to navigate the business side of creativity so we’ve designed this special masterclass to give you the tools and confidence to work as a writer.

With five sessions, two inspiring keynote addresses, handouts, and plenty of time for questions, we’ll help you navigate the business of being a writer. Sessions will cover:

  • Business & legals – from getting an ABN to sorting out tax and insurance
  • Getting the money in – setting rates, how to invoice and managing tax flow
  • Process & organisation – juggling projects, time management and good work practices
  • Relationships – maintaining good relationships, finding work and support networks
  • Marketing & self-promotion – how to get your name out there and keep it out there

Writing for Games
Writing Program - Swinburne University

Presentation on emerging creative opportunities for games writers including locative and pervasive games and technology.

Videogames and the real world
eLearning Breakfast

In a very short time, videogames have become both a cultural and economic powerhouse, but the defining feature of their emergence isn't necessarily that more people are engaged in their creation & consumption, it is that more people than at any other point in our history are thinking seriously about play. Drawing from his experience as a writer, designer, and teacher on projects ranging from locative storytelling to AAA console blockbusters, Paul Callaghan will explore and highlight some of the ways to engage with videogames and play, as well as highlighting some of the challenges and issues found in the rush to adopt game mechanics into the real world.

Game Development
Bachelor of Illustration - Melbourne Polytechnic

Presented to the Bachelor of Illustration, this talk looks at the history of game development, my career, and the current state and future of Australian game development.

Are you Game? : Writing for Games
National Screenwriters' Conference

Are you an x-box? Or more of an Atari? Do you even know the difference? If you do, then this session’s for you. If you don’t, its time to update your knowledge and explore opportunities for writers' and trends with games as the genre continues to grow quicker than any other form of entertainment. Speakers will present invaluable 'how to' tips as well as case studies on films and TV shows that have benefited from games and vice-versa.

2010
Keynote: Looking beyond the Digital
VITTA Conference - Melbourne Showgrounds

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.

Career Forum
VITTA Conference - Melbourne Showgrounds

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: 'Of Myths and Metaphors'
Multiplatform Workshop

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.

Chair: The Take Home
Game Connect Asia Pacific

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.

Government Round Table
Game Connect Asia Pacific

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.

Ludo-narrative Dissonance
Games Program - RMIT

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.

Social Media & Events
Cornwall Stodart Young Business People Program

What does a writer do anyway?
Games Program - UNSW

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.

Opening Presentation & MC
Social Entrepreneurship Forum - State Library of Victoria

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.

Getting a job making games
Xperience Xpo

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.

Moment to Moment gameplay
Games Program - RMIT

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.

Deconstructing games
School Library Association of Victoria

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.

Getting a job making games
VITTA ICT Week - National Gallery of Victoria

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.

Deconstructing games
VITTA ICT Week - National Gallery of Victoria

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.

Writing & Designing
Computer Games Boot Camp - Monash University

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.

Panel: Never Surrender
Emerging Writers' Festival - Melbourne Town Hall

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.

Writing for Games Workshop
Express Media - The Wheeler Centre

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

Reading in a time of Technology
Meanland - The Wheeler Centre

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.

AFTRS

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

Non-paper publishing
Academy of Words - Format Adelaide

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?

Mining the personal
Academy of Words - Format Adelaide

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?

Games Writing
Industry Overview - CAE Melbourne

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.

2009
What does a writer do anyway?
Game Connect Asia Pacific - Melbourne Convention Centre

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.

Games Literacy
Game Connect Asia Pacific - Melbourne Convention Centre

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.

Collaborate to Innovate: A Networking Opportunity for Producers to Meet Digital Media and Gaming Experts
World Congress of Science and Factual Producers

Taking linear broadcast projects to online and gaming platforms can present new possibilities in creativity, finance and audience reach. The key to a successful transition lies in the collaboration of teams with multi-disciplinary expertise. This session gives the opportunity to a limited number of experienced filmmakers interested in convergence to meet one-on-one with Australia's leading digital media and gaming experts. The morning will provide an overview of techniques and possibilities followed by 15-minute one-on-one sessions for targeted advice and potential collaboration with any or all of the digital specialists.

Trends for local indies
IGDA Melbourne

An overview of local industry trends since 2000 and options for independent development.  More detail on the numbers can be found in the blog posts The State of Things and Collated data.

Take me by the hand
iDef - State Library of Victoria

Join game developers Craig Duturbure and Paul Callaghan as they walk you through their favourite games and reveal the highlights and hiccups of game development.

Do you have a game plan?
iDef - State Library of Victoria

The state of the industry worldwide by Tony Reed from Reed Interactive followed by an overview of the roles and career paths in development.

Independent Development
Academy of Interactive Entertainment

The shape of the local industry and opportunities for indie developers, including what to focus on, experimental gameplay models, and options for funding and distribution.

Innovation Session
Screen Australia

An overview of games as an industry and medium, their relationship to film, and their relative strengths and weaknesses.

Mechanics and Narrative
Games Program - RMIT

Lecture on symbolism and grammar and how that can be applied to traditional media and games.

Panel: Gaming & Learning
SYN Media Learning Week

Games Industry and IT experts will help you learn and experience the educational potential of video games and gaming culture. Starting with a panel discussion on how games help students learn useful skills and ending with a chance to get your hands on some gaming consoles and play!

With Vincent Trundle and Michael Woods

Where to from here?
Freeplay - State Library of Victoria

At the first Freeplay in 2004, there was no steam, no App store, no XNA, no Xbox Live Arcade, no PSN, and no WiiWare.

This panel looks at where we might be in another 5 years.

How I got a job playing games for a living
VITTA ICT Career Expo

An updated version of my talk from 2008

Video games don't just appear from nowhere.  Somewhere, right now, there are people writing code, making art, designing levels and putting the finishing touches on games that will eventually find their way into PCs and consoles all over the world.  In Australia, there are around 2500 people doing just that and this number is expected to grow dramatically over the next 5 years.  In this presentation, Paul Callaghan, who has worked as a programmer, a game designer, and now a games teacher, will talk about how he found his way into the industry, how things have changed since then, how it's possible to earn a living from it, and how it's not all just sitting around playing games all day.

I can say yes now but in the end it will be no
Emerging Writers' Festival - Melbourne Town Hall

You spend hours deliberating over your punctuation, only to have actors, artists, directors and all and sundry throw out semi colons with barely a thought! This panel looks at maintaining ownership over your own words.

With Liz Argall, Angela Bentzien, Paul Callaghan and Luke Devenish

Hosted by Andrew Horabain

Computer Game Storylining
Emerging Writers' Festival - Melbourne Town Hall

In late 2005 Paul Callaghan found himself unsuccessfully pitching to the BBC for the new Doctor Who computer game. Eventually, he worked with them on developing the game – and what followed was a writer’s dream in aligning with the revamped TV show, and a nightmare of restrictions due to the differing viewpoints of the BBC.

In conversation with Daniel Ducrou

Writing for Games
Industry Overview - CAE Melbourne

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

Writing – It's More Than A Game
National Screenwriters' Conference

The differentiation between games and films is blurring rapidly. As game graphics and other technical innovations reach a highpoint, games are depending more and more on character, story and plot… and traditional screenwriters are becoming a valuable resource for the games industry.

The major global film market (15-30yo) is spending more time and money on games than cinema – and the trend isn’t slowing. So is there a place for you in game writing? Do you have to be a user to appreciate the form? How do your skills translate to this exciting field? And is the sky really the limit? Find out how you can tap into this exciting writing opportunity from three internationally respected games writers.

2008
From designer to teacher and back again
VITTA Conference

Today's students have never seen a world without video games.  According to ABS statistics: 12.5m games were sold in 2006; 6.1m video game consoles have been sold since 2000; 3.6m Australian households have a video game console; and 4.8million Australian households have an internet enabled PC which is capable of playing games.

In this session, Paul Callaghan, a veteran game developer now teaching programming & game design in the VET sector, will discuss his experiences transitioning from industry to teaching and how playing games and learning are inextricably linked.

Critical thinking about video games
VITTA Conference

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 now teaching programming & game design in the VET sector, will discuss the theory of how video games work and how that knowledge can be used in the classroom.

Towards a theory of Everything: Lessons learned as a programmer, designer, writer, and teacher
Game Connect Asia Pacific

One of our first instincts is to play. As children, we use it to explore our environment, to test roles, to establish our position in the world. We test the rules imposed by our psychology, our biology, our social structure. We form our own individual goals as we go, trying to build a model of how the world works, trying to work out who we are and why we're here. We skip and stumble and run and tell stories as we move further and further away from our comfort zone towards the extreme limits of our abilities, where we fall, hopefully not too far, then pull out our pencils and scribble down that we found the edge of the map.

Video games tap deeply into our need for play, but now the goals are constructed, the rules are more rigid, and how we interact with the world has been carefully designed as an experience. But that experience is still an act of exploration. The player is wandering through a game space finding the edges, charting the terrain, failing and trying again.

The process of creation is the same. We begin with a vague sense of where we are, and where we want to go, and then we write experimental programs and sketch thick lines in photoshop and build prototypes from paper. We tentatively map the programming and art and design space, finding new things, stumbling, falling, mapping the edges, still following that same urge we have as children - to play.

This instinct is central to how we learn, how we create, and how we live. Drawing on experience as a programmer, a designer, a writer, and a teacher, this presentation will discuss how that knowledge can inform our approach to the development process and the eventual player experience.

Panel: Industry and Education working together
iDef

Panel with Kurt Busch & Damon Raynor from Krome Melbourne

How I got a job playing games for a living
VITTA ICT Career Expo

Video games don't just appear from nowhere.  Somewhere, right now, there are people writing code, making art, designing levels and putting the finishing touches on games that will eventually find their way into PCs and consoles all over the world.  In Australia, there are around 2500 people doing just that and this number is expected to grow dramatically over the next 5 years.  In this presentation, Paul Callaghan, who has worked as a programmer, a game designer, and now a games teacher, will talk about how he found his way into the industry, how things have changed since then, how it's possible to earn a living from it, and how it's not all just sitting around playing games all day.

Design Workshop
Game Girls - ACMI

Game developer and educator Paul Callaghan and games designer Moran Paldi will host a workshop where groups will get hands-on with the design process by conceiving a game around your favourite TV franchise.

2007
Panel: Independents Day
Freeplay Independent Games Festival - ACMI

Panel presentation with Jonathan Blow and Robert J. Spencer

How can independents come up with earth-shattering ideas that change the face of gaming? What are the parameters of independent game making and who are the innovators outside of the big-publisher system? This session investigates innovation in independent gaming to date, and discusses where it might come from in the future.

Chair: Why I still really love you
Freeplay Independent Games Festival - ACMI

Chair of panel with David Hewitt, Eve Penford-Dennis, and Andrei Nadin

Newbie game developers are everywhere, but their love of game development is often short lived; like puppy love it goes away real quick when the going gets rough. So how do great developers maintain the love through the tough times and, perhaps more importantly, why do they stick it out? Veteran insiders express the real reasons why they still love games development.

2005
Panel: What happens when you become a designer?
Freeplay Independent Games Festival - ACMI

Panel discussion with Clint Reid and Kirsty Baird

Everyone has an idea for the best game ever, the most awesome combination of favourite game x plus sensational game y, but what is it really like to be a game designer?  These panellists talk about the experience of designing a game for the first time.

 

Chair: Burning down the Shed.
Freeplay Independent Games Festival - ACMI

Chair of panel with Greg Costikyan, Mark Angeli, and Katharine Neil

This is our Australian Indie Answer to the GDC's 'Burning down the house' session.  Angry game developers vent their spleen.

Panel: Game Stories: How to make yours much, much better.
Freeplay Independent Games Festival - ACMI

There are many ways to tell an interactive narrative - scripted sequences, cut scenes, emergent storylines to name a few - our panel of experts will argue about when to use what to improve your story and whether you need one at all.