Proud to be part of

When?

Friday 23rd & Saturday 24th April 2021, 9am – 4.30pm

Where?

Soundings Theatre, Te Papa, Cable St, Wellington, New Zealand

Help!

info@playbyplay.co.nz

What is Play by Play?

Play by Play is an open-to-the-public industry conference for game developers, hobbyists and those interested in the sector.

Tickets on sale now!

Featured Speakers

Amber Taylor: Keynote Speaker

Auckland, New Zealand

Lisa Blakie: Speaker of Note

Dunedin, New Zealand

Timothy Russell: Speaker of Note

Auckland, New Zealand

Robert Yang

Auckland, New Zealand

Heide Lukosch

Christchurch, New Zealand

Conference Schedule

Friday 23 April 2021

09:00 am - 09:30 am
Soundings Theatre

Registration

by Play by Play, A Different Kind of Games Conference

Registration opens at 9 am! Come on down to Te Papa and get yourself sorted with your conference badge, ready for a 9.30 am start.

09:30 am - 09:45 am
Soundings Theatre

Welcome & Housekeeping

by Play by Play, A Different Kind of Games Conference

We'll run through some basic housekeeping, tell you where the bathrooms are, all that useful stuff. 😉

09:45 am - 10:30 am
Soundings Theatre

Opening Keynote – Bigger Than We Know

by Amber Taylor, ARA Journeys

Amber is the CEO of ARA Journeys, a company she co-founded in 2018. ARA designs and creates environmental-based, mobile games that connect people to cultural stories of the land, preserve mātauranga Māori and normalise the use of te Reo Māori.

MORNING TEA
11:00 am - 11:15 am
Soundings Theatre

Good Goods For Your Good Game [Business]

by Steven Thompson, Fangamer JP

If your game gets played by people who end up enjoying it, there’s a high chance someone will make and sell merch of it—ideally, that’s you (and/or someone paying you)! What the ever-growing indie market has shown is that, for even the smallest games, both the demand for physical goods and the potential work and energy that go into them, can indeed be much bigger than we know. In this talk, we’ll briefly go over how and why to make merch that makes people happy while also supporting you instead of a rando with a Redbubble store.

11:15 am - 11:45 am
Soundings Theatre

The Long Life-cycle of a Game [Business]

by Philip Buchanan, It's Anecdotal

Releasing a game is only the halfway point! Drawing on his work at Square Enix and using his indie game as a case study, Philip dissects the life cycle of a game and dives into the often unseen work that takes a title from finished to financially successful.

11:45 am - 12:00 pm
Soundings Theatre

My Players Won’t Stop Romancing the Bartender: An NPC Design Primer [Narrative]

by Andy Astruc, Freelance

You never really know if a character has made an impression until one of your players tries to date them. Learn some tips and tricks for creating memorable, useful and smoochable NPCs in your tabletop or video games, and how to inject even the most generic shop owner with a little magic as you craft your adventures. It’s a complex, infinite world out there, and NPCs are one big reason to explore! Or to stay in town and flirt, while everything burns.

LUNCH
01:30 pm - 01:45 pm
Soundings Theatre

Swiss Army Producer [Production]

by Calliope Ryder, Starcolt

As the old adage goes, producers need knives. Ok, only one person has said that, but if it were true Calliope Ryder would favour a trusty Swiss Army — a handy pocket one with all the weird extensions. This talk is about becoming a human Swiss Army knife for your tiny team.

01:45 pm - 02:15 pm
Soundings Theatre

Applied Immersive Games are Bigger than you think! [Design]

by Heide Lukosch, HIT Lab NZ

Applied Immersive Games (AIG) immerse players in realistic, playful experiences to support learning, training, or decision-making processes in an engaging way. They’re also a fountain of untapped potential in the NZ gamedev industry! Join us as we explore international use cases for AIG, and the future of the AIG market in NZ.

02:15 pm - 02:30 pm
Soundings Theatre

Navigating Networking for Neurodiverse Folks [Culture]

by Cameron Hopkinson, Accessibility Consultant

Networking is a crucial skill to develop in the games industry, but it’s a skill that some of us struggle with. Join Cameron Hopkinson as they take you on a quest to discover new ways for neurodiverse folks to network and some tips and tricks neurotypical folks can use to support their friends! Content warning: This talk briefly references social anxiety, drink spiking, and assault, in the context of advice for neurodivergent people on how to keep themselves safe in unfamiliar social settings.

02:30 pm - 03:00 pm
Soundings Theatre

Beyond D&D: RPGs as Skills and Growth [Culture]

by Josh Kamau + Rick Stemm, PikPok

More than being some of the most complex, rewarding, and social games available, tabletop roleplaying games have value outside of entertainment. From soft skills and math to group dynamics and even therapy, RPGs have human learning and bonding potential. Veteran GMs and games industry professionals Rick Stemm and Josh Kamau lead a discussion and Q&A on this fascinating expansion of these favourite activities. This talk includes a discussion and Q&A, so come with questions and ideas!

Afternoon Tea
03:30 pm - 04:00 pm
Soundings Theatre

Be your best you by critiquing everything your workmates do [Art]

by Hannah Mackintosh, Cerebral Fix

Hannah will be sharing her experience on how she has seen her art team grow over the past 2 years and how giving feedback for every asset has not only improved the quality bar of the project but sped up the process!

04:00 pm - 04:30 pm
Soundings Theatre

Show me your passions! [Culture]

by Juan Alejandro Morais, Sharesies

Whether games, music, zines, birding or baking, passions play an important role in your life. In fact, they say more about who you are than anything else! Let Juan show you how and why he is interested in, and loves sharing passions, with an approach you can use! When you start doing this, the outcome will be bigger than you (or anyone) will know.

End of Conference Day One
06:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Courtenay Creative

Treat & Greet

by Play by Play, A Different Kind of Games Conference

Play by Play is thrilled to be bringing back Treat ‘n’ Greet! An alcohol-free networking event with a delicious twist, the goal of Treat ‘n’ Greet is to provide Play by Play attendees with a fun, safe, and delicious environment to make new friends and catch up with old ones. If you’ve ever been at a networking event and thought “this is great but there really aren't enough delicious snacks here” then Treat ‘n’ Greet might just be your kind of night.

Get Some Rest

Saturday 24 April 2021

09:00 am - 09:30 am
Soundings Theatre

Registration

by Play by Play, A Different Kind of Games Conference

Registration opens at 9 am! Come on down to Te Papa and get yourself sorted with your conference badge, ready for a 9.30 am start.

09:30 am - 09:45 am
Soundings Theatre

Welcome Back & Housekeeping

by Play by Play, A Different Kind of Games Conference

For those who missed it on day one, we'll run through some basic housekeeping, tell you where the bathrooms are, all that useful stuff. 😉

09:45 am - 10:15 am
Soundings Theatre

Putting the Noble Savage to Bed [Culture]

by Timothy Russell, Tattoo Artist/Content Creator

Even tiny games can add to a much larger cultural conversation. Subtle differences in the way you portray people can have an enormous effect on the way they are received by your audience, especially when you’re portraying marginalized communities. Join Timothy to explore the intersection of tropes and stereotypes, the perceptions they generate – and how to subvert them to represent cultures respectfully.

10:15 am - 10:30 am
Soundings Theatre

Burnout and me [Culture]

by Gabriela Roque Lopez, Benteveo

Do you want to know why burnout happens and how to avoid it? So does three-times-burned-out Tech Lead, Gabriela! Join her in a journey to understanding this problem (her problem), so that she can maybe help you navigate your problem too.

Morning Tea
11:00 am - 11:15 am
Soundings Theatre

The Power of Content Creators and their Communities [Community Management]

by Lorien Gugich, RocketWerkz / Chromatic Pie

What is all the commotion about watching other people play video games? In what ways do these content creators benefit the gaming industry, and how can we harness their power? In her talk, Lorien will uncover these questions, and discover new ways that your Studio and Brand can profit via the influence of online communities.

11:15 am - 12:00 pm
Soundings Theatre

A Programmer’s Swansong to Designers in UE4 [Tech] [Design]

by Ben Carnall, RocketWerkz

Good technical development and design go hand in hand. UE4 provides us with one of the best houses for creativity but can also bog down very quickly without warning. Join Ben as he spills the beans on how his team has tried to avoid this problem at RocketWerkz and what they’ve done to help their designers live happy lives!

Lunch
01:30 pm - 01:45 pm
Soundings Theatre

A Short Introduction to Video Game Sex [Design]

by Robert Yang, Independent Developer

Why is video game culture so bad at thinking about sex? In this talk, we’ll start with a short overview of various sex games and common sex game mechanics, then explore advice for “doing sex” in video games – as player performance, as well as design practice. Please note that this talk contains non-explicit R-rated content and is unsuitable for young attendees. This talk has been scheduled so that attendees who would prefer not to attend it can instead enjoy a longer lunch and return after this talk has ended.

01:45 pm - 02:15 pm
Soundings Theatre

Rolling the Dice: The Game of Life as a Gamedev [Business]

by Ben Tuhoe-Kenobi + Rich Durham, ARA Journeys

This is a procedurally generated interactive talk about life as a game developer. Through the lens of real-world examples, Ben and Rich will guide you through the uncertainties of making that big game pitch – and the tools you’ll need to navigate them.

02:15 pm - 02:30 pm
Soundings Theatre

Life in Three Dimensions [Design]

by Tana Tanoi, Dinosaur Polo Club

We often find spaces that have life and make us feel things; from a century old stone wall to a valley of native trees – all spaces have a degree of life. In this talk Tana will talk about how games elicit these feelings, but also how they suppress them with various mechanics.

02:30 pm - 03:00 pm
Soundings Theatre

Art for Small Teams with Big Ideas [Art]

by Brianna Fromont, Starcolt

Are you the sole artist in your team? Want to know the 2D art pipeline? Or do you just not ~get~ how the artists do their thing? Well come to this talk! Best Friend Forever artist Brianna will be explaining it all from start to finish!

Afternoon Tea
03:30 pm - 04:15 pm
Soundings Theatre

The Real Secret of Mana: Māori Representation in Video Games [Culture]

by Lisa Blakie, Runaway Play

In this talk Lisa will dive into the history of Māori representation in video games. She will explain the importance of understanding whakapapa as a key concept within tikanga Māori and using it to inform the use of Māori culture or characters in your own games. REHEKO!

04:15 pm - 04:30 pm
Soundings Theatre

Closing Notes

by Play by Play, A Different Kind of Games Conference

Final thank yous and reflection on the days that were.

End of Conference Day Two
07:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Foxglove Ballroom (upstairs from Foxglove Bar & Kitchen)

The Pavs: NZ Game Awards 2021

by The Pavs, NZ Games Festival

NZ Games Festival and Play by Play culminate in our much-anticipated awards night, The Pavs! Running through the final evening of the conference, the Pavs ceremony brings together accomplished game developers from Australia, New Zealand and beyond to celebrate our industry’s talent. Complimentary platters, a tipple or two and incredible networking opportunities are just the start of what the Pavs awards night has to offer. After two days of wisdom at Play by Play, let loose and enjoy a night of laughter, celebration and good spirits with like minds at this cocktail evening to be remembered.

Get Some Rest

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