2018 Conference Schedule

Expand All +
  • Play by Play Conference 2018

    April 21, 2018

  • 09:00 - 09:30
    The Play by Play Conference Keynote

  • 9:30 - 9:45
    The cliche goes that a picture speaks a thousand words – but what is type but a series of teeny weeny pictures? Let's have a chat about the words your fonts are saying about your game, and how to make sure it's speaking the same language as you are.

  • 09:45 - 10:15
    In an industry dominated by combat and violence as the norm for game mechanics, how do we change the status quo and learn to apply friendship, love and respect instead? This talk will discuss meaningful interactions through a linear design and focus around a post mortem of how we designed the friendship progression with “CapyBarbara” the Capybara in Flutter VR. With particular focus on, but not limited to, techniques for VR, Lisa will discuss the initial design pillars, researching relationship mechanics in existing games and the ultimate execution for how we designed a progression of friendship. There will also be a lot of Capybaras in this talk, Capybaras everywhere.

  • 10:30 - 11:00
    It’s not uncommon to improve skills by cherry picking from other fields. Sometimes we can journey even further and develop entirely new techniques like neural networks, a combination of computer science with basic concepts from neuroscience. Often we look far abroad when finding new ways to approach or solve problems but when we travel just outside the range of game development there are some amazing solutions much closer to home. In this talk we’ll turn the spotlight to technologies that are popular in software development that could be incredible tools in game development in the future, or even right now! We’ll explore how techniques like computer vision or voice dictation can be used to create new mechanics, improve workflow or just stop office disputes over who ate the yogurt.

  • 11:00 - 11:15
    Remember when games came with manuals? Ryan is a bit of a retro enthusiast, and has a hobby of art archiving for classic video game artwork. Ryan will show how he goes about archiving classic game artwork throughout the years, and some of the most interesting finds he's found while going through them.

  • 11:15 - 11:45
    Setting a game in a real place, particularly one that you have a personal connection to, can instill meaning in your game far beneath the surface. The benefits of placing your narrative in a real space and at a specific time are not immediately obvious, but cover a wide range - from giving you a treasure trove of fascinating material to draw from, to having your work contribute to a particular cultural tradition. In this talk, developers making Wayward Strand, an interactive story set in rural ‘70s Australia, will discuss their motives in choosing their setting, the in-depth research processes they’ve followed, and the benefits they’ve gained.

  • 11:45 - 12:00
    Agile methodologies are said to be relevant to all sorts of industries. Now Polly looks at ways you can use Agile skills to improve your life outside work! A light-hearted look at some wider uses for the Agile toolset.

  • 13:15 - 13:30
    We have sailed from Vancouver to New Zealand while making games and tools. I'll talk about the techniques we've developed working remotely as we sailed down the Mexican coast, and off-the-grid across the remote islands of the South Pacific.

  • 13:30 - 14:00
    Nostalgia is a powerful force in so much of the media we experience. By examining why we love it and what it can teach us about the past, the present and the future, we can use nostalgia in our games in innovative and impactful ways. Applying academic theories on nostalgic film, stories, and objects to video games opens up a whole host of interesting design and aesthetic possibilities. Learn how to evoke nostalgia for specific purposes, how to weave it into a narrative and mould it into a design. With examples from existing games and Victoria’s own in-development title, learn to look into the past in a more meaningful and richer way that will resonate with players. Retreating into nostalgia gives us a different view into the present, and a whole world of fantasies to play with.

  • 14:00 - 14:30
    Consent is an ongoing conversation, as is most of what we experience when playing games. What we play has been preparing us to negotiate consent in our day to day lives, perhaps without us even realizing it. Games offer the opportunity for interactive education beyond any other medium and more and more developers are using this to improve images of sex and relationships in their games. Active decision making and consequences make for brilliant gameplay - and contribute to society at the same time. Learn about some of the ways consent can be included in your games and walk away with a few more on your 'To Play' list.

  • 15:00 - 15:30
    By far the most important, yet least understood, aspect of a game is its audio. Audio is powerful and immersive, capable of changing our emotions and guiding us through the game. Jody is an electronic music producer who will take you on a journey of sound through game worlds so that people will gain insight to the power of audio and develop an understanding of a games sonic palette.

  • 15:30 - 15:45
    Year of Indies was a self-imposed challenge to play and review an indie game every day of 2017. It's difficult to go through a challenge like that without learning a few things. From how people choose what they play to what makes one game more memorable than another, this talk aims to explore the lessons you learn from a sample size of 365.

  • 15:45 - 16:15
    Creating a game is the work of research and experimentation. Making a product from that research and experimentation is the result of experience and time. Research, experimentation, experience, and time are costly cogs in the production machine. As game designers, the decisions we make during the production of our game guide us through numerous twists and turns. When we take a wrong turn, we need to know how to navigate our way back, bypassing or jumping over the situation to continue on our journey. Going off the beaten track can cost us a lot, and may regrettably create ongoing debt that will never be cleared. Can we reduce the cost of wrong turns by making decisions that create value sooner? “Games are Often Made While We Make Them"" offers a series of philosophical razors that we can use to inform our decisions to allow us to focus on what's important. Each razor can be used to ascertain whether a decision is adding the correct value to our game, so we make better decisions that build more opportunity and accrue less technical, design, and production debt, which makes for happy developers and customers.

  • 16:30 - 17:00
    There's a lot of excitement for emergent narrative as the future of game storytelling, but what kinds of stories are being pushed to the side for its sake? When we place player control of a narrative over that of minority voices telling a story, how much are we prioritizing wish fulfilment over empathic storytelling? Power and Control is a discussion of storytelling structures, technology, and how narrative design can change or maintain the status quo.

  • 17:00 - 17:30
    You probably have some idea what you want out of a relationship, right? Hand holding, pina coladas, getting caught in the rain... (did you know that song is about cheating? He cheats on his wife, with his wife. It's a whole thing.) But what about your studio culture? Suddenly not so sure? Maybe you're a manager, producer, or team leader and you're unsure where to start building (or restoring) your culture. Maybe you're a member of a team that feels less like friends and more like foes. What if instead of having to think about this nebulous, nefarious studio culture, you could think of your studio as... a person? A person that you take a journey with, perhaps for a year, or ten? Welcome to Your Studio Boo & You! The dating show where we break down the concept of """"studio culture"""" and instead examine the relationship between individual, team and studio. This talk will help individuals recognise the helpful and harmful behaviours studios can find themselves engaging in, how to create and foster positive culture, and warning signs that maybe that particular boo is not the one boo, for you. "