What is the Play by Play Festival?

Stay a while and listen.

You may have stumbled upon our little spawn point because you’re interested in games, game-adjacent fields, or you’re just a little curious what lies beyond the veil with regards to play. Good news – you’re in the right place!

Play by Play is New Zealand’s international games festival, run mid-April each year in the beating cultural heart of the country – Wellington. Since our inception in 2016, we’ve grown exponentially, proving that there’s a vibrant community of gamers, enthusiasts and curious folk in the play sphere. As a festival, our core goals are:

► Provide accessible education, outreach and learning opportunities to people & families of all walks of life about games and play.

► Support and celebrate the burgeoning games industry in New Zealand, as well as the achievement of our Australian neighbours.

Promote games and play of all types to the wider public in a diverse, inclusive atmosphere.

To that end, we do a little bit of everything – with these goals, we have as wide a demographic as you can get, so there’s something for everyone at the Play by Play festival. Curious what quests lie in store for you? Check out some of our initiatives below!

Player Class: Developer

Large or small, Unity or Hypercard, you're interested in making games come to life.
Play by Play Conference
Play by Play Awards Ceremony
Professional Development Workshops

Play by Play Conference – An annual game development conference held during the festival week that celebrates esoteric, niche and playful knowledge. Developers of all types welcome – hobbyist, professional or curious games-adjacent individual!

► Play by Play Awards – A formal awards night where the winners of the Play by Play Awards are announced. This follows the Play by Play Conference.

► Professional Development Workshops – Workshops run for adult developers of any level, usually in engines (Unity, Unreal) or design.

► Networking Events – Various networking events run during the Play by Play Festival, including a non-alcoholic hui on the evening before the Play by Play Conference.

Player Class: Gamer

From tabletop to computer desk, you enjoy the finer mechanics in life.
The Game Trivia Quiz Night
Play by Play's Interactive Games Exhibition
Various gaming events

► Game Trivia Quiz Night – A chance to test your mettle against other gamers on video game trivia! With some sweet prizes at stake, competition is fierce for the top title over categories like RPGs, FPSes, Nintendo, Retro & more.

► Play by Play’s Games Exhibition – A week-long, free-to-enter game exhibition piled high with stellar ANZ game titles. Opportunities to try out & experience new games tech are provided as well, such as AR and VR headsets.

► Various Games Events – Stay tuned for 2018 – we’re expanding for more events aimed at the gamer population!

Player Class: Family

You never need to Look For Group because you're a full party.
Play by Play's Interactive Games Exhibition
Game Development & Programming Workshops (ages 7-12, 13-18)
Careers Nights for Y9-Y13 students & families

► Play by Play’s Games Exhibition – A week-long, free-to-enter game exhibition piled high with stellar ANZ game titles. Opportunities to try out & experience new games tech are provided as well, such as AR and VR headsets.

► Game Development & Programming Workshops – The festival has run accessible game development & programming workshops for two age groups (7-12, 13-18) since it began. These involve introductions to game engines, elementary game design and basic programming lessons – and are taught by industry professionals.

► Career Nights – As part of our outreach plan, Play by Play runs an informational Careers Night where industry professionals from around New Zealand talk about their roles and paths into the games industry for students Years 9 to 13. Family very welcome!