Free Play: NextWave Independant Game Developer Conference

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I've decided to put together all we know so far about the conference in one page until the official website is launched. I'll be updating this page as more information is received. Be sure to keep an eye out on Sumea for further developments!

21-23 May 2004 10am onwards.

Free Play will cater for independent and DIY game developers, game modders and mappers, creatively frustrated professionals, game development students and digital artists from every state in Australia. Its aim is to bring together these communities in a forum that is financially reasonable, with a programme developed by the communities themselves.

Free Play is for Independent Game Developers...
Presently there is no real world forum specifically for Australian independent game developers to share skills, showcase their work, initiate new projects, discuss and strategise. A professional developersí conference will cover things like programming for proprietary development systems and working with licensed IP. By contrast, the needs of indie developers tend towards open source game engines, distributed project models and shareware distribution.

Free Play is Freedom for Professional Game Developers...
It is a commonly held view that the industry is becoming ever more conservative and corporatised, with development teams becoming larger and creative control becoming more elusive. Game professionals need a space for exploring their pivotal roles in the broader context of the culture and artistry of game development, not just as company employees. We recognise that their needs and aspirations arenít always the same as the those of the companies they work for.

Free Play is for Modders and creative gamers
This conference is also dedicated to Australiaís vibrant community of young people (from game modders to character skinners) who donít have the desire or the resources to create a standñalone game by themselves, but who instead find a platform for their art and ideas through game modification.

Free Play is for Game Artists
Young people working in the world of fine arts have grown up with videogames and are increasingly adopting game development technologies and techniques into their art practice.

Free Play has been developed from the collaborative efforts of volunteers from the indie, professional, modding and game art communities, the Next Wave festival (Marcus Westbury, Artistic Director) and Fiona Maxwell (Conference Organiser).

The conference will be held from the Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd of May this year at a venue in inner city Melbourne as part of the Next Wave Festival. The conference is designed to cater for indy and DIY game developers, game modders and mappers, creatively frustrated professionals, game development students, animators, and new media artists from every state in Australia. The aim of the conference is to bring together these communities in a forum that is financially reasonable (prices will be cheap and subsidies and support will be available to those who cannot afford to attend), with a programme that is developed by the communities themselves.

The conference will be held over 3 days and will cover topics like:
home brew console game development; independent and online distribution methods; open source and distributed development models for games and mods; business development, publishing and licensing agreements, finance and government funding for indy development; practical skill sharing workshops - especially game art and design: mapping, level editing, character modeling; open source and low budget game engine round-up; publisher (mainstream to indy distributors) representatives will be invited to look at demos; roundtable discussions; debates on key issues facing local developers; social events; and our answer to E3: an indy game and mod expo that functions as a cross between a LAN party and trade show.

ENTRY AND SUBSIDIES

Entry to Free Play is a great deal with 3-day packages at $30 full, $20 tertiary student, and $10 for secondary students. 1-day passes are $18/$12/$7. Free entry will be given to speakers, conference volunteers, press and special circumstances.
We are also excited to announce our Travel Subsidy Scheme, whereby interstate visitors with something to contribute to the conference can receive a travel allowance. The subsidies are: ACT/NSW/SA $200, QLD/TAS$300, WA/NT $400, Regional Victoria $50. Preference will be given to people who can bring a demonstration game, game art, idea, initiative or innovation to share at the conference. Subsidies will be awarded relative to project quality and age/position. Next Wave encourages carpooling as a way to spend the subsidy, bringing four people is better than one!
To apply, please send your name, contact details, location, and a 300-word description of why you need our support and the idea/project/game you will be bringing to the conference to gamers@nextwave.org.au. Please include web links to past work rather than big attachments.
Look out for posters and the web site with full conference program – to be released soon. For more information on Free Play: The Next Wave Independent Game Developers Conference, contact Fiona Maxwell on 03 9662 1099 or gamers@nextwave.org.au. . For more information on the Next Wave Festival, contact Prue Bassett Publicity on 03 9820 5400 or prue@netspace.net.au
There are three main rooms that will be used for the conference.
-Room 1 is a large hall suitable for up to 200 people and will be used for lectures and discussion panels.
-Room 2 is a small room suitable for up to 20 people and will be used for specific skill development workshops. If you wish to attend these sessions you will have to sign up for it beforehand.
-Room 3 is a medium size hall suitable for up to 70 people and will be used for sessions that involve presentations and hands on aspects.

At any one time, 3 sessions will be running concurrently. The sessions start half an hour after each other and will be of 2 hours duration.

For example the first session of the conference starts at 10.00am Friday morning in Room 1, the second session will start at 10.30am in Room 2 and the third session will start at 11.00am in Room 3. From then on as each session finishes the next session will start in their respective rooms.

The reason for this is that there are about 12 sessions each day for three days. The goal has been schedule different streams of interest on at the same time and to allow people to move between sessions if they find the start of a particular session not relevant to them.

SCHEDULED SPEAKERS

The official conference website ( www.free-play.org) with the programme, speaker bios and logistical info etc. will be up from the 29th of April (to give our website volunteers time to do their thing). However, after a pretty intense process the programme is about 98% finalised so we thought we'd start letting Sumeans know about what kind of stuff they can expect to see. ** .**

We'd also like to announce the overseas speakers that have confirmed so far (expect more in a further announcement):
David Michael (US) - Samu Games, author of The Indie Game Developer's Survival Guide
Brody Condon (US) - c-level (Waco, The Resurrection)
Mario Wynands (NZ) - Sidhe Interactive
Ian Shanahan (UK) - The Cassandra Project

As for demoing/exhibiting your work at the conference, we'll have a couple of options for you. More on that soon, but in the meantime like Souri said, give us a yell: gamers@nextwave.org.au


The Art of Mapping

Respected mappers share their secrets to creating polished FPS levels and prime us for the new techniques mappers will need for the next generation of PC game technology. This session will be of interest to participants with at least a basic grasp of level-editing/mapping.

- WetWired
- Rahnem
- Stephen Honegger


Sex in games

Why did Australia make the BMXXX girl put her top back on? And while Lara Croft books in for breast augmentation surgery every year, why aren't there any third person shooters where female gamers get to stare at Brad Pitt's arse?
In this session we ask: is there a place for sex in games, and if so, what is that place? Come and hear the low-down on the status of game censorship in Australia, and join our panelists in pondering the issues surrounding sex, porn and downright sleaze in games.

- Sarah Van Rompaey (Atari)
- Dr Mark Finn
- Monty (BigKid.com.au)
- Linda Erceg


Homebrew PS2 Development Workshop

You thought console development was only for developers who could get on a console manufacturer's "developer programme" and lease a dev kit - Think again. You were thinking of spending your rent money on Sony's official hobbyist PS2 Linux kit? Think again, again.
Because that's right - you can develop and distribute PS2 games on your very own retail console and PC. The guys from PSDev.org will show you how.

- Oobles and Dreamtime (PS2Dev.org)


What game designers *actually* do

You may be one of those particularly annoying people who cynical game developers always seem to meet at social functions. If so, you may have already been informed that while you, and in fact many, many people have the ability to come up with an interesting game concept, the real skill of a game designer is defined by whether they can turn a game concept - often not their own, and often quite mediocre - into a playable, workable, game design.

We've roped in a couple of experienced professional game designers to take us on a step by step journey through this process.

- Ian Malcom
- Thuyen Nguyen (Atari)


Introduction to the legalities of game development

Our friendly kick-arse lawyer-come-indie game developer colleague has kindly offered our community a free crash course on the legal issues faced by independent game studios. From formalising a studio as a legal entity and understanding intellectual property, to your rights when dealing with government grants and the legalities of distribution. All this, and you won't even have to pay by the minute!

- Tim Richards (Neural Entertainment)


Business Model Make-Overs - Alternative Strategies For That New Game Development Company Look.

The way a game company runs its business has an impact on everything - company culture, project timelines, employment policies, pay checks, and product. The idea of imitating standard corporate structures of established fat cat developers can be a daunting prospect to lean new studios starting up on the smell of an oily rag. However, while most existing game developers are run along similar lines, there are many different viable business models being explored by start up studios and independent developers. Often looking for a way out of the established hierarchies and paradoxical 'you need to be successful before we'll look at you' mentality, these companies have looked at other strategies to help pull themselves up by their bootstraps.

- Mario Wynands (Sidhe Interactive)
- Ben Palmer (ThatGame)
- Michael Shamgar (Nocturnal Entertainment)
- Paul Cohen


State Support for Game Development: The Official Low-down

State representatives holding the purse strings give indies and startups advice on how to access state support through grant programmes, investment, sponsorship and other initiatives.

- Amelia King (Film Victoria, Digital Media Fund)
- Mark Bishop (Multimedia Victoria)
- TBC


Trade Secrets of Character Animation

Effectively the actors of the computer game world, character animators breathe life (and death) into every aspect of our games. They are the ones who make us laugh, cry, or just want to hit things a lot. Anything that walks, crawls, slithers or swims across our screen has been labored over by these often forgotten members of the art team.

So come along and learn the deep dark secrets of what it takes to bring a world to life from these secret puppet-masters of the games industry.

- Andrea Blundell (selectparks)
- Rod Green (Atari Melbourne House)


Game Audio Middleware for Indies

A demonstration of stuff that indie game developers and demo sceners can do for free with the popular fmod sound system; and a look at open game audio scripting systems and tools.

- Brett Paterson and Andrew Scott (Firelight Technologies)
- Lorien Dunn (La Trobe University Game Technology)


Mod and Game Project Team Recruitment Forum

Need a texture artist for your mod? Need a physics programmer for your game project? Need a tea lady for your office? Five minutes each to propandise for your project, outline your requirements and agitate for recruits. All those looking to get involved in a new project should come to this session to check out what's on offer.

MC to be announced


Women in game development

The games industry often hires female "talent" (as booth bunnies and in industry magazine ads) to attract male developers, hoping they'll buy their development tools, or apply for a job at their studios. But whatever the industry is doing to attract women developers, it doesn't seem to be working too well. Why not?

In search of answers to such mysteries, we sent out a team of anthropologists to track down some instances of that perplexing and rare breed, the female game developer.

We managed to round up some healthy specimens to give us an insider perspective on what it's like to be an exotic species in the world of game development. What are the pros and cons of working in an all-male environment, and what's their attitude towards the games they make? We've also lined up a token male panelist ready to give us a perspective from the other side of the gender divide.

- Kathryn Burt (Atari Melbourne House)
- Melinda Chapman (ThatGame)
- Eve Penford (AIE Melbourne staff)
- Matt Curtis (AIE Melbourne staff)
- Camille Scaysbrook
SCHEDULE
FRIDAY
:: 10:00
Welcome: Marcus Westbury, Next Wave Festival Artistic Director
Housekeeping: Fiona Maxwell, Conference Organiser
:: 10:15
ROOM 1
The International Indie Game Developer's Scene
Andrea Blundell
David Hewitt
ROOM 3
What Game Designers *Actually* Do
Ian Malcolm
Thuyen Nguyen
::11:00
ROOM 2
PC Game Audio Systems
Lorien Dunn
Brett Patterson & Andrew Scott
:: 11:30
ROOM 3
Managing a Mod Project
Ian Shanahan
Damian Scott
:: 12 noon
ROOM 1
Creative Game Interfaces
Thea Baumann
Nimrod Weis and Steve Mieszelewicz
Richie Allen
Jason Wilson
James McLennan
:: 12:30
ROOM 2
The Art of Mapping
Steve Honegger
Brent Waller
Peter Respondek
::1pm
ROOM 3
"Crunch Time" or Time To Get A Life?
TBC
David Hewitt
Alex McNeilly
:: 2pm
ROOM 1
Women in Game Development
Kathryn Burt
Melinda Chapman
Eve Penford-Dennis
Matt Curtis
Camille Scaysbrook
:: 2:30
ROOM 2
Vertex Shader Workshop
David Jewsbury
:: 3:00
ROOM 3
A Game Developer's Place in Society and Culture
Helen Stuckey
Troy Innocent
Ian Malcolm
Darshana Jayemanne
Mark Angeli
:: 4:00
ROOM 1
Financing Avenues and Government Support for Game Development
Amelia King
Mark Bishop
Michael Burmeister
:: 4:30
ROOM 2
Homebrew PS2 Development Workshop
David Ryan
Tony Saveski
:: 6:00
ROOM 1
Keynote Harvey Smith

:: 7-9:00
ROOM 1
AIE/Torus Games Social Event

SATURDAY :: 9:00
ROOM 1
Nocturnal Breakfast :: 10:00
ROOM 1
Modding Round-Up
Damian Scott
James Pollock
:: ROOM 3
Independent Developers and Public Funding
Kirsty Baird
Shiralee Saul
Grant Davies
Caleb Trott and Amanda Cuyler
:: 10:30
ROOM 2
Machinima Workshop
Peter Rasmussen
:: 12 noon
ROOM 1
The State of Game Journalism
Ken Williamson
Jason Hill
Cameron Davis
Daniel Wilks
ROOM 3
Game Boy Advance Developer Discussion
Michael Shamgar
Chris McCormick
Grant Davies
ROOM 2
Trade Secrets of Character Animation
Rod Green
Andrea Blundell
:: 1:30
ROOM 2
Introduction to the Legalities of Game Development
Tim Richards
ROOM 3
Politics of Games, Political Games and Political Art Mods
Kipper
TBC
Brody Condon
Rebecca Cannon
:: 2:00
ROOM 1
Case study: Street Survivor Game Design Makeover
Thuyen Nguyen
Mark Angeli
Richard Hall
Justin Halliday
Kirsty Baird
:: 3:00
ROOM 2
Open Source and Low Cost Game Engines
Ben Wooller
Kenny Sabir
Peter Budziszewski
Chris McCormick
:: 3:30
ROOM 3
Educational Games
Jai Shaw
Paul Cohen
Gareth Schott
Adrian Denyer
:: 4:00
ROOM 1
Keynote - David Michael
:: 4:30
ROOM 2
Open Source and Free Art Tools
Campbell Barton
James Crook
:: 6:00
ROOM 1
Sex and Games
Ken Williamson
Linda Erceg
Mark Finn
:: 7:30
ROOM 1
Art Mod Screening

SUNDAY

OOM 3 (Medium Lecture space)

:: 10:00
ROOM 1
Business Model Makeovers: Alternative Company Strategies for That New Look
Ben Palmer
Paul Cohen
Michael Shamgar
:: 10:30
ROOM 2
Python Game Programming Workshop
Simon Burton

:: 11:00
ROOM 3
Game Dev Grads Tell All
David Ely
Lorien Dunn
Cheryl Kiraly
David Lally
:: 12 noon
ROOM 1
Perspectives on Indie Game Distribution
Alyson West
Brett Rolfe
David Michael
ROOM 2
3D Modelling: Normal Mapping Fundamentals
Garth Midgley
:: 1:00
ROOM 3
Console Hacking Hijinx
Zak Stanborough
Chris McCormick
:: 1:30
ROOM 2
Physics Simulation for Game Engines
Dr Jon Rankin
:: 2:00
ROOM 1
Building the Independent Game Development Community
Kenny Sabir
Camille Scaysbrook
David Michael
:: 3:00
ROOM 3
Game AI Workshop
James Hudson
TBC
ROOM 2
Mod and Game Project Team Recruitment Forum
ROOM 1
E3.1b Setup
:: 4:00
ROOM 1
Keynote from Brody Condon
::4:30
Expo opens :7:30ish
Conference close

But wait - there's more!
The DEMO ROOM (ROOM 4)
Free Play's fourth conference stream, running for all three days, and dedicated to demoing. Schedule to be released at the opening of the conference. In the meantime, here's a brief selection from our Demo Room programme.
Project presentation: Faux CAVE
Adam Neykoff-Davies
How to emulate a million dollar virtual reality simulator with the Unreal engine, a consumer-level video card, the sheets off your bed and a few data projectors.
Issues: The Technology Pipedream - A Development Fallacy
The Role of Technology in Game Design & Development
Ivan Beram
Interactive entertainment is an industry that is driven for the most part by technology, with some of the most innovative and advanced uses of cutting-edge technology for commercial applications.

But is technology alone really enough? Where does technology end and the quality of an interactive experience begin? If you were to believe some in the industry, they would have you jumping upon the technology bandwagon, preaching the virtue of becoming a technology middleware provider, where lucrative millions and development fame can be found, or so they imply. Is this a truth, fallacy or perhaps a mix of both?

This talk is on the role of technology in game design and development, and how we as developers should approach technology in our titles ? highlighting one of the biggest fallacies in our industry today. From someone who has worked with some of the best current tech in the biz, and one of this year's high-profile FPS titles: Far Cry.

Project presentation: Shadowplay Cameron Owen
Shadow play is an installation that offers a tantalising glimpse of how we might interface with games in the age of the eye toy: An immersive virtual space that allows the user to interact with objects on screen by projecting their shadow onto the display surface.

Project presentation: Emissary
Emma Knoll, Clinton Evans, Mark Schieman, Brian Liddell
Emissary is a multiplayer [1-4 players] real-time espionage style game developed in Brisbane.
SPEAKERS
Free Play is delighted to announce a starring lineup of over 90 speakers - here is a sneak peek of just a few...

Harvey Smith
A team builder and game designer, Harvey Smith has been making games professionally since 1993. He worked at Ion Storm's Austin office from 1998 to 2004, acting as project director of Deus Ex: Invisible War and lead designer on the award winning Deus Ex. Prior to Ion Storm, he worked at Multitude, an Internet startup in San Mateo, CA. There he was lead designer of FireTeam, an innovative multiplayer squad game that was one of the earliest video games to feature voice-communications between players. Smith started his career at the legendary game company Origin Systems, working there for almost four years.

Over the last decade, he has held roles in various design and leadership-related roles. From a professional standpoint, his passions are communication and game design. His creative interests are related to player expression and game ecology. Over the last 5 years, he has spoken on these subjects and others at a variety of conferences and seminars in Hong Kong, London, Montreal and the United States.
Harvey Smith has lived all over the world, but was born in the industrial wastelands south of Houston. He presently lives in the psychically and environmentally healthy climes of Austin. Beyond his profession, he is an enthusiastic writer, communicator and traveler. His wife, Rebekah, teaches fifth grade, and they have two super-spoiled dogs, Loki and Star.

Projects to date: Deus Ex 2: Invisible War (Project Director), Deus Ex (Lead Designer), FireTeam (Lead Designer), Technosaur (Project Director/Designer) and CyberMage (Associate Producer). Also involved with production of Thief 3, Ultima VIII, System Shock and Super Wing Commander 3D0.

David Michael
David "RM" Michael has been a successful software developer for over 10 years, working in a variety of industries. He is co-owner of Samu Games ( www.samugames.com ), which has been making independent games since 1996. He is the author of The Indie Game Development Survival Guide , and his articles about game design and development have appeared on Gamedev.net and in the book Game Design Perspectives. He is also the owner of an independent software company DavidRM Software.
www.davidrm.com

Brody Condon
Brody Condon is an artist and educator based in Los Angeles. His current interest is the reverse engineering and exploitation of 3D game development technology. Condon attempts to locate, or fabricate, situations and visual works where computer games and game culture leak outside of the box and into our lived experience. He is most well-known for his work on the cutting edge computer game Waco Ressurections,a virtual reality game in which players take on the character of Branch Davidian David Koresh. Condon's work finds its final form in variety of media including software, video, and sculpture. He is currently working with the collaborative C-Level on a series of 3D games based on "alternative utopias and apocalyptic moments."
www.waco.c-level.org

Campbell Barton and James Crook
Campbell has been into multimedia and opensource software ever since a Nintendo wasn't enough to interest the would-be game developer.
Since then he has been side tracked by imaging, programming, making music, teaching and more recently 3D.

His role is to work on a variety of projects in the simulation industry, using Blender as a multipurpose 3D tool, extending the software as needed.

James' worked with CAD as a cartographic draftsman for several years, before deciding to follow a creative path and start his own multimedia company. He met Cam while they were doing a TAFE course in 2003, and was subsequently introduced to the power and diversity of Blender as a 3D suite. He has been working with Cam, using Blender, since August 2003, and loves every minute of what he describes as "the perfect job for geeks".

Thea Baumann
Thea Baumann aka Polymer Slut Lab is a Brisbane based new media artist. She is currently developing in her bedroom a strap-on joystick - "The Strap-On Love Pack" to enact out smutty karaoke fantasies. She is also fascinated in rummaging through the detritus of digital culture and is an obsessive collector of throwaway trends.

Ivan Beram
An experienced Game Designer, having worked on one of this year's high-profile FPS titles, Ivan started his career working for Micro Forte's Canberra studio as a Game / Level Designer on Fallout Tactics. He then went on to work for German Crytek as a Senior Designer for an action FPS title called X-Isle. He was promoted to Lead Designer of the project when it evolved into Far Cry. Two months later Crytek showcased Far Cry's first gameplay demo to press at E3 2002 to much success, with it nominated and runners up in several categories during the event. More importantly, it resulted in what was a failing project about to be cancelled, transformed into an assured hit with renewed enthusiasm from the publisher, and keen industry interest.

Ivan soon left after the success of E3 2002, to establish an independent world-class studio in Australia - something he has wanted to achieve since he first started out in the industry. After more than a year of research and planning, Intrigue Entertainment was launched recently this year via the web. He is currently looking for experienced professionals to fill key roles on the team, to work on an original high-calibre (AAA) title for worldwide release and success.
www.intrigue-entertainment.com

Mark Bishop
Mark Bishop is an ICT Investment and Business Development Manager for the Victorian Government's Information and Communication Technology (ICT) agency, Multimedia Victoria. In this role, Mark has championed the development of Victoria's computer game industry, and spearheaded the design and implementation of the Government's Game Plan policies.
Prior to joining Government, Mark enjoyed a successful career in the live theatre, film production and recorded music industries.
Mark will speak on Game Plan: Game On - the Victorian Government's latest blueprint for growing Victoria's computer game industry.
www.mmv.vic.gov.au/gameplan

Peter Budziszewski
After 5 years working on a dozen demo productions for the Amiga, Peter led the team that would eventually form HEMIWARE to develop the budget shoot shoot-em up "Ultra Violent Worlds". It was released on Amiga and PC in 1998. Peter then worked at two Australian game developers, Tantalus Interactive and Blue Tongue Entertainment.

At Tantalus Interactive, he worked on multi-platform productions such as South Park Rally, developing engine code for the PlayStation, Nintendo 64 and Dreamcast in addition to developing tools. He was also Technical Producer for "Mary-Kate and Ashley: Winner's Circle" for PlayStation. In addition, he developed new technology for Tantalus, including a physics system and car dynamics.

At Blue Tongue Entertainment, Peter worked on the PlayStation2 engine, which was subsequently used in "Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis". Finally, he decided to start HEMIWARE where he designed and developed the Serenity engine, which is now licensed to other game developers.

Simon Burton
Simon Burton is a freelance composer, programmer and interactive suit designer. He has been teaching programming for digital artists at the ANU, and is nearing completion of his first game "Axis Runner".
http://arrowtheory.com

Rebecca Cannon
Rebecca Cannon is an Australian media artist, curator and producer. She currently curates Selectparks.net, an online archive of artistic computer game modification, and in 2002 curated the exhibition Trigger: Game Art, which comprised an international selection of artworks influenced by computer games. Rebecca has written extensively on Art Modding, and presented papers on the topic at international conferences. Her machinima production "The Buff and The Brutal" will be shown in the Australian Centre for the Moving Image's "2004" a biennial survey exhibition of Australian art and media.
http:// www.neopoetry.org/rebecca

Paul Cohen
A varied background: IT, skydiving cameraman/competitor, blues musician, traveller, student (perpetual), researcher, analyst, and developer. Currently researching non-commercial and commercial applications, soundtoys, and weird widgets at the convergence of gestural, audio and visual modes of perception and interaction.

Returned to Australia in 1998 and completed a Masters in Technology Management looking at effective e-learning development and management strategies. Favouring e=experiential over e=electronic in the acronym debate, I headed into the game industry for some experience with game engine development. I recently completed a QUT Masters in Music focusing on Real Electronic Virtual instrument development, which I used to research a number of areas and develop various audio-visual instrument and game prototypes using intuitive interfaces. These have been showcased in a number of festivals and performances over the last six months, including Brisbane powerhouse REV April 02, Electrofringe02, SOOB02.
http://members.ozemail.com.au/~paulcohen/

Lorien Dunn
Lorien Dunn has graduated from The Australian Institute of Music, La Trobe University, and The Academy of Interactive Entertainment. He is currently an Associate Lecturer in Computer Science and studying for a Master of Science (Games Technology) at La Trobe University. The last game project he worked on was acmipark. Lorien has spent many years combining his musical and programming abilities with the goal of producing a new generation of music systems and software.

Dr Richard Hall
Dr. Richard Hall is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science and Computer Engineering at LaTrobe University, directing software engineering, expert systems, microprocessors and information systems courses. He has a broad range of research interests including story modelling, artificial intelligence, computational linguistics, data mining, medical decision support, medical image processing, computer graphics, advanced visualisation, computer networking, and parallel processing.

David Hewitt
Coming from an Arts/English and professional writing background, David Hewitt accidentally stumbled into the games industry in 1999, initially doing a little research and documentation for Ratbag Games in Adelaide. He seemed to enjoy the work, and quickly became the lead game designer on the company's first Playstation 2 title, as well as a handful of PC games.

In early 2002, he left Ratbag on amicable terms, to travel and take a little time out. Later in 2002, he returned to Australia and took the position of lead designer at Melbourne's Tantalus Interactive, where he has so far shipped his first handheld title, for Gameboy Advance, and is working on several other handheld and console titles that are currently in development. He has presented lectures to Screen Studies students at Flinders University and to attendees of the Game Loading forums at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. He has also spoken at the Australian Game Developers conference in both 2002 and 2003, occasionally even when he's been asked to.

Jason Hill
Jason Hill is one of Australia's most respected videogames journalists. A veteran in the industry, he has reviewed thousands of games across all popular formats for over a decade. Jason has held positions including Computer Editor of the Herald Sun newspaper, Editor of Official Australian PlayStation Magazine and Contributing Editor of Official Australian PlayStation2 Magazine. He is currently the Games Editor for The Age newspaper's Livewire section, Contributing Editor for Australian GamePro and Games Editor for Disney Adventures magazine.

Other publications he has contributed to include Australian Personal Computer Magazine, Hyper, Geare, The Sunday Herald Sun, The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph, The Sunday Tasmanian, TV Week, Speed, Motor, and Australian Table. Jason has written scripts for Channel 7's Control Freaks program and spoken at trade shows and schools. He and been interviewed on television and radio for stations like the ABC, 3AW and Triple J. For five years he also published the popular Games Guide internet site, which was a finalist in the 1996 Australian Internet Awards. Jason also serves on the committee of the Victorian Government's Digital Media fund.

James Hudson
James is a game developer at Nocturnal Entertainment Australia and a technical officer at the ACFR (Australian Centre for Field Robotics). Currently, James is working full time at ACFR on the Fish-Bird project, a new media robotics artwork. He is also helping to develop an upcoming game for Nocturnal Entertainment.

His previous work includes programming a couple of commercial games at Tantalus Interactive in Melbourne, helping to program Nocturnal's Catapult engine, and conducting research into perception and target classification at ACFR.

Amelia King
Amelia King has over 15 years experience working in the cultural industries. She worked for Arts Victoria in the mid '80s where she was a member of the Special Projects team, managing Half Tix, the half price theatre ticket initiative and the Theatre Standby program before moving into the Performing Arts unit. She has worked as the general manager for Experimenta Media Arts where she successfully took the organisation from being a small experimental film association to a major multimedia exhibition organisation, where the exhibition program and audiences grew substantially, and income more than doubled.

Since 1999 Amelia has worked for Film Victoria introducing successful programs such as the Attachment Scheme, Zoom seminar series and Producer Business seminars. She moved on to the role of Digital Media Fund Manager in late 1999. In this period Amelia has reviewed the fund's activities a number of times to ensure that programs reflect the changes within the creative digital media industry. She is directly responsible for the Game Content Development program and oversees the implementation of the fund's other programs including the Innovative Digital Content program, Animation Concept Development, Visual FX Internships, and 4 Minute Wonders.

David Lally
After high school David Lally enrolled at LaTrobe University Bundoora where he started off doing a Computer Systems Engineering Course (1999.) After his third year David was offered work experience at Tantalus Interactive after which they were impressed enough with his performance to offer him a job (2002.) David decided to change his course to a Computer Science course so he could graduate and continue working at Tantalus, where he is currently Production Assistant with 7 games under his belt so far.

Thuyen Nguyen
Thuyen Nguyen (B.AppSci, Grad.Dip) is a game designer at Melbourne House, an Atari development studio. Mr Nguyen's latest game is Transformers (PS2), contributing as writer and real-time cinema director. Previous game credits include Men in Black II Alien Escape (PS2), Looney Tunes Space Race (PS2), Le Mans 24 Hours (PS2), and two original games during his study at the Victorian College of the Arts.

Peter Rasmussen
Peter Rasmussen's sixteen years writing experience includes being on the writing team of the feature film MAD BOMBER IN LOVE. He was also technical adviser on the shoot. MAD BOMBER IN LOVE was released theatrically in Australia with overwhelming media support.

Peter wrote and directed a short film, THE PICTURE WOMAN, voted in the top ten at the Sydney film Festival. It was awarded Best Australian Short Film by the Film Critic's Circle of Australia. Peter co-wrote a screen adaptation of a Tim Winton novel In the Winter Dark which stars Academy award nominee Brenda Blethyn (Secrets and Lies). It opened the 1998 Sydney Film Festival and ran nationally in Australia. Peter has just completed a feature length animation in the exciting new machinima medium titled Killer Robot. Killer Robot is now on DVD http://www.machinima.com/

Brett Rolfe
Brett Rolfe is a freelance digital communications strategist. As Director of Strategy at Beyond Interactive, he developed online marketing campaigns for clients including Vodafone, Holden, World Vision, and Oracle. Before that, as Executive Producer at APL Digital, Brett managed website and online campaign development for clients including Nestle, Rothschild, and McWilliams Wines. In 1997, his Nescafe Gourmet Collection promotion won Best Direct Email Marketing at the inaugural Australian Internet Awwwards

Brett has been on the judging panel of both the Australian Internet Awwwards and the digital category of the Writers and Art Directors Association AWARD awards for two consecutive years. He writes regularly for B&T Weekly, spoke at the Inaugural AMI eMarketing Conference and teaches public communication at UTS. He is currently doing postgraduate research into new media at UNSW.

Camille Scaysbrook
Camille has worked in various mediums, including theatre, prose, journalism, radio, and game design. She was a student - and later a teacher - at Sydney's Roundabout Theatre, where she appeared in numerous and wrote "Am I Your Dream", which won the Sydney Theatre Company Young Playwright of the Year Award.

She has participated in interviews and panel discussions on topics ranging from literature, womens' modernist art and film theory, most recently addressing the 2002 Biennale of Sydney on the topic of massively multiplayer games. She spent several years working for computer games company MicroForte on their Massively Multiplayer Online Game project, BigWorld: Citizen Zero, and and gained media attention as Australia's only female game designer.

Her other interests include Art Deco and 1950s design, silent film, hypertext fiction, heritage architecture and Argentine tango, which she has studied in Sydney, New York, and Buenos Aires. Her most recent publication was a contribution to the anthology "Letters to J.D. Salinger", published by the University of Wisconsin Press, in 2001.

Michael Shamgar
Michael gained a keen interest in games as a child, and started programming/developing games at the age of 10. He has now been developing games professionally for 7 years, and has worked at 4 Austalian game studio's including Microforte, Tantalus & IR Gurus. Most recent projects include AFL2003, The Saddle Club game (WillowBrook stables) and Equestriad 2003.

Michael left IR Gurus in August 2002, and founded 'Nocturnal Entertainment Australia'. Nocturnal has since been developing a middleware solution for the GameBoy Advance ("Catapult"), and plans to release their first internally developed GameBoy Advance title later this year.

Zak Stanborough
An interest in video games and computers from an early age prompted Zak Stanborough to undertake a degree in Software Engineering. While completing the degree he devoted his spare time to hacking and programming video game consoles. His initial focus on the Sony Playstation landed him a job producing hacked gamesaves for the Queensland based company "Pipeline". Since then he has dabbled with the Sega Dreamcast, Microsoft Xbox and Nintendo Gamecube, paying most attention to the Sony Playstation 2. In 2003 Zak finished his degree, and was headhunted by a New York based company to do independent console development mainly on the Playstation 2.
www.internalreality.com

Alyson West
Alyson West co-founded the independent record label SPUNK Records in 1999 with a partner in Sydney. A transplant from the US, Alyson's former experience includes both independent and major record labels in Europe and the United States (Drag City, City Slang, Sony Music). She has also had extensive experience road managing for independent bands on tour in Europe and Australia. In addition she has experience in various mom-n-pop retail jobs including record stores, bookstores and even a comic book store!

Ken Williamson
Founding member of Australian games industry website BigKid, Ken Williamson has been playing computer games since discovering text adventures on the TRS-80 in 1979. He was introduced to pen and paper RPGs during University, and then CRPGs when computers caught up a few years later. His computer owning friends were relieved of their sometime all-night visitor when he bought his first PC (a DX2-66) in the early 1990's, and gaming has been his full and part-time hobby every since. With a back ground in newspaper journalism and music, Ken now works for Brisbane games company Krome Studios.

Andrea Blundell
Andrea Blundell came to computer games from a visual arts background. She has produced 3D characters and character animation for various Melbourne based independent games and visual arts projects. At selectparks Andrea was a member of the team who developed acmi{park}. Andrea produced the characters and project managed the game's development. She recently presented acmipark at the Independent Games Festival, San Jose California, where it was a finalist in the open category. Andrea has produced characters for "Escape from Woomera" in conjunction with another artist, and produced character animation for Linda Erceg's project "Punchline". Andrea's interests cover naturalistic animation, multi player gaming societies, and project management. Andrea is currently undertaking Masters in Project Management at RMIT.

Damian Scott
Damian has been an active mod developer for 7 years. He initally worked on the original Team Fortress for 2 years, where he was responsibile for creating some early machinima, most notably the cinematic introduction to Team Fortress 2.5. When Valve Software bought Team Fortress in 1998, Damian stayed in Australia and, with a group of like-minded friends, began work on Kanonball, a mod for Half-Life, where he was lead designer.

Damian is currently working on a single player mod for Jedi Academy, and has recently started work on the sequel to Kanonball using the Unreal Tournament 2004 engine. When not modding, Damian works as a lecturer of multimedia for Monash University, where he is interested in developing curriculums around game authoring based on his experiences. A keen filmmaker, academic, and game author, Damian sees modding as the perfect opportunity to acquire professional development skills, as well as a great forum for experimentation with issues of gameplay without the inherent financial risks and limitations of commercial development.

Adrian Denyer
Adrian Denyer works for the National Industry Skills Council for the Transport Industry, working on innovative training solutions for 10 years. Adrian once won an award for writing radio advertisements promoting training. Adrian recently won a Flexible Learning Leader (FLL) award to study how computer game technology can be adapted for training. Adrian will attend the Tokyo Game Show in September.

Tim Richards
Tim Richards has spent the last four years involved in the mobile Internet industry, coming to the field with a background in entertainment and technology law. Since 2002 he has edited the Game Developers Association of Australia newsletter. He has worked for the Australian Communications Authority as senior lawyer, and clients have included Ericsson, Austrade and Jumbuck Ltd. Tim has worked in the UK, Singapore, and Japan and contributed to The Age/Sydney Morning Herald, New Media Age (UK), and Exchange Telecoms newsletter. Tim is currently senior lawyer in one of Australia's largest local governments, runs www.GameNews.com.au, is a founding member of game making collective Neural Entertainment, and is currently studying his diploma of applied corporate governance.

Jason Wilson
Jason Wilson is in the final stages of his PhD project on the aesthetics of gameplay, at Griffith University's School of Arts, Media and Culture. His research develops a critical notion of gameplay and game design as a variety of solutions to the problem of attention which has perplexed modern and postmodern art: how to engender a deeper intimacy between a pictorial surface, a mediating technology, and an embodied player.
He has presented aspects of this research in a number of scholarly publications, and at a range of national and international conferences and festivals including Screen Studies (Glasgow), Console-ing Passions (Bristol), CSAA (Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne), This is Not Art (Newcastle) and straight out of brisbane. He has taught about games at Griffith and in QUT's Creative Industries Faculty. At nextwave he will talk about the sensuous objects of gameplay, from dials through handheld consoles to dancemats and trance vibrators.
He has been serially obsessed by a long line of games from Gyruss to GTA3, and is hanging out for the new Metal Gear Solid title.

Kirsty Baird and the Street Survivor team
Kirsty Baird is a freelance filmmaker working primarily on community development projects in Melbourne. Street Survivor is her first foray into the world of video game production and arose out of work she did on a national film project about homelessness soon to be screened on SBS TV.
Ed Coy worked on several music and short film projects before completing the Post Grad Animation course at VCA. Since then he has been involved in post-production and Digital/3D art. He has written/directed three projects of his own. Street Survivor is his first game project.
Damian Hills is a multimedia/game developer who works with Shockwave 3D and Java technologies. His current focus is online gaming and its accessibility to a wider
community of users, developers and artists.

Richie Allen
Richard Allen is a 33-year-old artist who believes strongly that playful artificial environments hold amazing potential for learning and communication.
Richard's work focuses particularly on evolving the physical side of the human/machine interface in order to expand the quality of feedback and extend the range of physiological and emotional communication through a technological medium.
In his work "One versus Many" exhibited at Electrofringe Newcastle and SOOB in 2003, Richard created a large scale moveable physical interface for an old Atari 2600 TV Game "tank pong" in order to create a more "playground rules" style of game. The results were very intriguing.
Richard has also experimented extensively with electronic musical instrument interfaces joining Clan Analogue Melb in the mid 90's in the live improvisational band WD40, and continuing on to create "Richie's Electric Playground" a solar powered interactive electronic musical playground touring festivals such as the 2004 sustainable living festival, the Brisbane Museum opening, and various freaky parties.
Working with Beam software in the late 90's Richard put his misspent youth to good use as a computer games tester before becoming an applications engineer for "Famous3D" developing facial animation software utilizing optical motion capture. Richard then spent time in Brisbane working as a senior 3D character animator for LightKnights Productions on the animated channel 9 series "The Shapies."

Amanda Cuyler
Amanda Cuyler is an emerging new media artist, whose work incorporates elements of video, installation and sound. Her work explores the patterns and processes of nature, the interplay between nature and culture, meditations of nature (through technology), and the mythologies pertaining to nature. Aquanaut is Amanda's first foray into the world of game production. Currently in Design Development, Aquanaut is a game that explores the parallels that exist between the processes of water treatment, filtration and delivery within our own human bodies and those similar processes occurring within urban culture (i.e. water and wastewater plants etc). This endoscopic exploration takes place on a micro and macro scale.
In Aquanaut, the boat belonging to your adventurous avatar (a synchronised swimmer, of course!) has been trapped in a tsunami of sludge. Getting a whiff of something awry, Aquavatar approaches a belching humanoid island (mountains of flesh and armpit alleyways) to investigate. Nearing two identical moss-covered caves (nostrils), the ground gives way and Aquavatar is swallowed by this metropolis-man. Aquavatar travels through sewer pipes and arteries in order to reach organ
environments of game-play. There she must complete various tasks to restore health to the island-body. For example, in the liver/sewerage treatment plant
she must combat blue green bacteria whilst in the kidneys she must concoct chemical cocktails to purify the contaminated water. Aquavatar must restore balance in all the game organs and escape the environment (via the bladder or sphincter) before her own water levels are placed in jeopardy.
Grant Davies
Age: 25 Grant has worked on 10 game titles so far in his career, for the Game Boy Color and the Game Boy Advance. He started Endgame Studios last year with the goal of fusing gameplay with quality in the handheld market, and developing an original title for next generation consoles.

Helen Stuckey
Helen Stuckey is the Screen Events Programmer at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) where she is in the process of establishing a games program that addresses games significant contribution to screen culture. She is the Project Manager of the ground breaking virtual place acmipark created by local artists and game developers selectparks. She was the inaugural Interactive Screen Arts Program Manager, for the Digital Media Fund, Cinemedia - managing a fund of one million per annum dedicated to supporting local new media artists which supported innovative game based work such as selectparks acmipark, Chris Coe's Melodie Mars, Troy Innocent's Life Signs and online interactive projects such as Nathan Jurevicius How Quest Sought the Truth. She is a member of the Bachelor of Arts (Media Arts) Course Advisory Committee at RMIT University and is on the advisory committee on the for the innovative Spatial Information Architecture Lab at RMIT. She has an Xbox and a games PC and played her first game of Dungeons and Dragons with the original 3-booklet kit in 1975.

Garth Midgley
Garth Midgley is currently employed as a 3D artist at Atari Melbourne House. Check out his website for more about Garth: www.garthmidgley.comwww.free-play.org for updates.

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  • 1. DR DAHBEH - Friday, May 13, 2005 - 9:20:05 PM
    DR DAHBEH wanting to get in contact with mapping artist STEPHEN HONEGGER
    Please send EMAIL to ambidexter75@hotmail.com

    6 years since we last communicated