• Friday 24 April 2020
  • Saturday 25 April 2020

Friday 24 April 2020

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 William Chyr, Manifold Garden

William Chyr is an independent game developer and visual artist based in Chicago. He is the designer of Manifold Garden. His work spans a variety of media, including print and installation.

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

My Players Won't Stop Romancing the Bartender [NARRATIVE]

by Andy Astruc, Writer - Debug Mode

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.

11:15 am - 11:45 am
Soundings Theatre

Unleash the Toddler – The Power of Why [PRODUCTION & DESIGN]

by Emilie Poissenot, Lead Game Designer - League of Geeks

“Why” is about as short as words can be, but it packs a mighty punch. It promotes innovation, strengthens designs, checks bias, empowers team members… I stan “Why.” Let me show you how effectively unleashing your inner two-year-old can make you a better game dev.

11:45 am - 12:00 pm
Soundings Theatre

Soundscope [AUDIO]

by Matt Schenkel, Sound Designer - Sub-Zero Sound

The role that dynamic audio plays in games is bigger than you may realise, and making a game sound great will likely take longer than you anticipate. If you are an audio person, or if you are thinking of working with a dedicated sound team, consider this when budgeting for time.

LUNCH
01:30 pm - 02:15 pm
Soundings Theatre

Oh, The Places You'll Go (And People You'll Change) [DESIGN & COMMUNITY]

by Gabriella Lowgren, Narrative Designer & Comms Manager - Infinity +2

What we create can change and affect more people than we could ever imagine. When I made Shrinking Pains at a Global Game Jam, I didn’t think much of it. It was a little game with a hard theme, and while I appreciated it I didn’t expect others too. That couldn’t have been further from the truth. Since releasing Shrinking Pains I have listened to people’s stories, learnt more about their journeys with eating disorders, and realised that the art and games we make can impact people in unforeseen and wonderful ways. I want to share some of these stories with you, and show how Shrinking Pains changed the direction of my own life. (Content warning, this talk will contain mentions of eating disorders, risk taking behaviour, and mental health issues.)

02:15 pm - 02:30 pm
Soundings Theatre

Navigating Networking for Neurodiverse Folks [ACCESSIBILITY]

by Cameron Hopkinson, Accessibility Unlocked

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!

02:30 pm - 03:00 pm
Soundings Theatre

Much Bigger Than We Thought: The Emotional Labour of Managing Teams [BIZ DEV]

by Emre Deniz, Studio/Art Director - Studio Mayday

If you are managing the work of others, you are a leader in our industry – and that leadership will come at a great cost to you and your team. We can plan and budget for this cost together, and arm you on your journeys ahead in managing the chaos of game development.

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

My Magical Learning Document [PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT]

by Tessa Monash, Lead Animator - Beethoven & Dinosaur

Learning effectively – and enjoying the process! – can dramatically change the way you work. In this talk, Tess will take an in-depth look into how she has developed personal learning strategies while on the job. Against a background of 3D rigging and animation, she’ll show you how she has implemented these methods to increase her efficiency at work, grow her skill-base, and hone in on a new career path.

04:00 pm - 04:30 pm
Soundings Theatre

Show me your passions! [CULTURE]

by Juan Rodriguez Morais, Game Analytics Developer - PikPok

Whether games, VFX, audio, zines or baking, passions play an important role in your life. In fact, they say more about who you are than anything else! In this talk, I will show you how and why I find, improve, and share my passions, with an approach you can use and get started with! Trust me: when you start doing this, the outcome will be bigger than you—or we—know.

End of Conference Day One
06:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Prefab Hall

Treat & Greet

by Play by Play, A Different Kind of Games Conference

With the assistance of Dinosaur Polo Club & PikPok, Play by Play is thrilled to be bringing back Treat ‘n’ Greet! A non-alcoholic 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 waffles here” then Treat ‘n’ Greet might just be your kind of night.

Get Some Rest

Saturday 25 April 2020

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

From 0 to 100 – Scaling your marketing when your budget is tiny [MARKETING & ART]

by Grace Bruxner, Creative Director - Worm Club

Grace Bruxner is going to let you in on a secret— marketing your game isn’t something to be ashamed of, and it can be really fun, actually. Drawing on experience from marketing the Frog Detective series, Grace will be walking you through the weirdest ways to get your game seen.

10:15 am - 10:30 am
Soundings Theatre

Swiss Army Producer [PRODUCTION]

by Calliope Ryder, Game Runner - 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.

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

The Power of Content Creators and their Communities [COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT]

by Lorien Gugich, Community Manager - A44

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, Technical Lead - 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

Designing Immersive Experiences Using Tiny Lives! [DESIGN & ART]

by Katie Stegs, Creative Director - Lumi Interactive

Did you know that The Sims 4 is secretly a powerhouse gamedev tool for designing, planning, practicing, and executing mega games? Prepare to be hypnotised as Katie teaches you the benefits of Super Porp, plays The Sims 4, and walks you through how it was used to design immersive installation and sci-fi mega game Saturnalia! From replicating venues, modelling spaces, creating budgets, to staging dress rehearsals – you'll discover how to use The Sims in ways you never knew were possible.

01:45 pm - 02:15 pm
Soundings Theatre

Bad(die) Management [CULTURE]

by Kamina Vincent , Producer - Mountains

Bigger! Badder! Better! Badder AND Better?! Learn from the mistakes of baddies in movies, from empire building to team management and NOT killing people (the wrong way). Join Kamina as she explores her dark side and how she would run the empire/criminal organisation/evil lair.

02:15 pm - 02:45 pm
Soundings Theatre

Beyond D&D: RPGs as Skills and Growth [PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT]

by Rick Stemm & Josh Kamau, Game Designer & Community Manager, respectively - 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 favorite activities.

02:45 pm - 03:00 pm
Soundings Theatre

Good Goods For Your Good Game [MARKETING & MERCH]

by Steven Thompson, Business Dev - Fangamer

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.

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

Love Never Grows Old [ART]

by Emma Johansson, Creative Director - Runaway Play

Puppies are SUPER cute, but what about elderly dogs?! Emma will share how adding a goal beyond making a fun, profitable game can have an even bigger influence on the creative process (and also explain why senior dogs make wonderful game characters!)

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
Courtenay Creative

The Pavs: NZ Game Awards 2020

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