Tag Archives: GCAP

Game Connect Asia Pacific

Turning Off Our Screens

Presentation – transcript & slides

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.

The Assessment Panel

Panel – video

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.

Government Round Table

Presentation – Transcript & slides

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

Game Connect Asia Pacific

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.

Game Connect Asia Pacific

Games Literacy

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.

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.

Game Connect Asia Pacific

Towards a theory of Everything: Lessons learned as a programmer, designer, writer, and teacher

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.