Game Connect Asia Pacific

Early bird tickets are available for GCAP 2012 Inspire now

Tickets are available for this year's Game Connect Asia Pacific (GCAP) conference and can be booked online now. Secure your tickets through at this link, and be sure to book as soon as possible to take advantage of the huge savings at the early bird rate. The list of ticket types are as follows:

Full Conference Pass
Admittance to all conference sessions on the 22 and 23 October

Early Bird Rate – 290
Standard Rate – 377

Game Connect Asia Pacific 2012: Inspire announced

Mon, 10/22/2012 (All day) to Tue, 10/23/2012 (All day)

When: Monday, 22 October to Tuesday, 23 October 2012
Where: Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre

The 2012 Game Connect Asia Pacific (GCAP) conference has been officially announced today by the Game Developers’ Association of Australia and will be held again in Melbourne in October, late next month. It might have been announced a little later than usual, but that can be forgiven given the GDAA's incredible role in bringing PAX to Australia.

Game Connect Asia Pacific 2011 wrap up

Well, I hope you've all enjoyed our video coverage of this year's phenomenal GCAP conference. We captured 50 gigs of raw data, compressed it down and uploaded all 12+ hours of footage on to youtube. Thankfully, Google had upgraded our youtube account for hour long videos so we didn't need to chop each session into pieces and manage them into playlist's like we had to previously.

Game Connect 2011: The Building of Bastion (and Game Connect closing thanks)


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Amir Rao -- Supergiant Games

Amir grew up in the very place in which Supergiant Games was headquartered for its first two years -- the same home in which he took up hosting pen-and-paper role-playing sessions at the age of 10. After majoring in English at Columbia University, he joined Electronic Arts to work on the Command & Conquer franchise, where he was responsible for design on Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars and Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3. He left EA in 2009 to co-found Supergiant Games in his ongoing quest to give back to gaming what gaming's given him. At Supergiant, Amir designs content for the studio's games and manages day-to-day operations.

In this session Amir discusses how Supergiant Games created the award-winning, self-funded downloadable game Bastion.
After the studio cofounders quit their jobs at Electronic Arts, they set out to build a team, a technology base, and an original intellectual property from the living room of a house in suburban California. The session covers the company story, displays the early prototypes and outlines the strategies used to develop, market, and publish an original game from conception to certification.

Game Connect 2011: Who Says the Australian Video Game Market is Dead?


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Who Says the Australian Video Game Market is Dead? It Doesn't Even Smell Funny

Tom Crago
CEO, Tantalus

Tom Crago is the CEO of internationally renowned video game developer Tantalus, a studio with more than thirty-five highly acclaimed titles to its credit. Tom is also the CEO and Founder of Straight Right, a sister company to Tantalus focusing primarily on digitally distributed content. Straight Right recently released Need for Speed Shift 2: Unleashed on iOS, in partnership with EA Mobile. Recent Tantalus titles include Cars: Race o Rama, Drift Street International and MX vs ATV. Tom has degrees in Arts, Law and International Business, is a past President of the Game Developers' Association of Australia, and is presently serving on the Federal Innovation Minister's IT Industry Innovation Council, as well as the Book Industry Strategy Group.

Vice President of Business Development, Epic Games

Jay Wilbur is a 22-year veteran in the computer gaming industry. Currently, Wilbur holds the position of Vice President of Business Development to Epic Games where he works as part of the Epic management team. Jay's responsibilities include managing Epic's Business Development, Finance, Legal and Engine Licensing teams. Under Jay's management Epic's success in these key areas remains dramatic most recently expanding Epic's reach with engine license and/or support teams in Asia and Europe. Previously, Wilbur was the co-owner and business manager of id Software, a highly successful computer game development company. At id, Wilbur managed all of the company's business activities including developing, implementing and maintaining id's highly successful direct and retail distribution and marketing strategies for such blockbuster titles as Wolfenstein 3D, Spear of Destiny, DOOM, DOOM II, Final DOOM, QUAKE and all related ancillary software/non-software products. Wilbur's responsibilities at id also included managing publishing and third party developer relationships; public relations; overseeing legal affairs, including all contract negotiating/closing activities; and managing financial related activities. Prior to id Software, Wilbur managed Apple II and IBM-compatible software development at Softdisk Publishing in Shreveport, LA. Before that, Wilbur spent three years managing Apple II software development for UpTime, a software development company in Newport, RI.

Senior Developer Account Manager, Worldwide Games Publishing, Microsoft Corporation

For the past 21+ years, Rod Fung has led top-tier game development studios, created AAA award-winning games, and led major games publishing divisions. In addition Rod is a founding member of the the Xbox 360, Kinect, and Xbox LIVE launch teams. He is currently a senior manager within Microsoft's Worldwide Publishing team, Rod manages developer relations with top tier game studios throughout the world helping them to create 'best in class' titles for all Microsoft gaming platforms including Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, Games for Windows Live, and Windows Phone 7 gaming.

Konami Digital Entertainment

As the Head of Sales and Marketing, Americas for Mobile at Konami Digital Entertainment, Jim Willson is responsible for defining the business and product strategy for mobile and driving revenue for the division. Prior to Konami, Jim held various roles in sales, operations and business development with JAMDAT Mobile, EA Mobile and Vivendi Games Mobile.

Game Connect 2011: Position With Power!


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Phil Larsen -- Chief Marketing Officer, Halfbrick Studios

Phil Larsen is the Chief Marketing Officer at Halfbrick, the studio behind mega-hit games such as Fruit Ninja, Jetpack Joyride and Age of Zombies. A lifelong gamer and marketing professional, over the past three years he has helped to build the games and bring the brands of Halfbrick to over 80 million players worldwide, firmly securing the Brisbane studio's spot as Australia's most prominent game developer.

Many developers discussing the development of their next title agree that "Yeah! We have to do marketing!" without entirely understanding what that term as a whole actually means. This session will highlight one particular aspect of the marketing function -- positioning. It is how the image of your company, and your game, will be viewed by consumers in relation to other games, competitors, and as a product on the marketplace. What makes your three-star physics puzzler so unique? Why should you theme your XBLA game with radioactive ponies instead of Amish pirates? Is making a radioactive pony game a dumb idea given the available research? You'll find out about where you need to be making key decisions and gain some insight as to how to position your game, your company and your brands -- with sexy results!

Game Connect 2011: PR For Australian Game Developers


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PR For Australian Game Developers -- Tools to Build Your Profile and Success with the Right Audiences

Corrie McLeod -- Espresso Communications

With more than seven years at the helm of Espresso Communications, Corrie McLeod is great at working closely with clients to identify innovative PR campaigns and strategies. Corrie has an excellent grasp of the evolving communications landscape, particularly social media, and is skilled in creating PR activities that map specifically to communication and business objectives. Corrie has earned the respect of the media industry and has been nominated three years consecutively for 'Best Media Relations' by the Australian IT Journalism community. Espresso has also snagged a Highly Commended for its R18+ Classification for Video Games campaign at the 2010 PRIA NSW State Awards for Excellence and won the same award at the 2011 awards for the pro bono campaign for Espresso is a member of the Registered Consultancies Group of the PRIA and Corrie is a member of the Australian Businesswomen's Network.

PR can be an invaluable and cost effective tool for a company when done well or a waste of time and money when done poorly. This session has been designed to help attendees to ensure the former. It will provide attendees with the skills to implement PR activities that can help developers raise the profile of their company, bring new product releases to the attention of the right audiences and cut through traditional media and online noise. The session will include an overview of the media and influencer process and how to best work with it and how to develop a great media release that maps back to business messaging and strategy.

Attendees will take away practical materials that will help guide them through the process of announcing information to the media. This includes media release templates and tips, steps to develop a launch strategy and what to include in a media kit. They will also leave equipped with a framework for developing a set of key messages for their company that will help ensure clear and consistent messages throughout all communications.

Game Connect 2011: Creating a Brand From Scratch


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Neil Rennison and Ben Britten Smith -- Tin Man Games

A detailed account of how Tin Man Games brought alive Gamebook Adventures and the reasons taken as to why we decided to look at a long-term approach (the long-tail) over one-off individual game developments. How important was creating a brand in this decision?

Details as to how GA was inspired by 80s gamebook series such as Choose Your Own Adventure and Fighting Fantasy, and how GA is now mentioned alongside those brands whenever digital versions of such series are mentioned in the press.

Why did we name the series Gamebook Adventures? Keeping the title simple and memorable, as well as describing exactly what the series was within the name was very important. Designing the logo. How was this important for merchandising?
Where do we see GA moving forward? What happens when we start working on licensed IPs and how we aim to continue using the GA brand. How valuable is GA?

A quick look at the perception of made-up characters. How we used the imagery of "The Tin Man" to help us reach over 2000 twitter followers in just over a year.

Neil comes from a background in product design. He first started out as a 3D modeler and got his first games industry break working with Razorworks in the UK on a series of racing games. Working as a freelancer for a number of years, Neil then started Fraction Studios, a game art contracting outsourcing company specialising in handheld and low-end console art asset modeling and texturing, with aimed at designing robust art pipelines for developers. Neil has worked on over 20 published games including high profile titles such as the Need For Speed series, Nascar series, Sims series and the Tiger Woods series for a variety of platforms including iPhone, DS, PSP, and Wii. In 2008, Neil moved to Melbourne and started Tin Man Games, an independent game developer and has released 10 titles on the App Store including the highly acclaimed Gamebook Adventures series. Neil has spoken many times on games industry related subjects, including 18 months part-time lecturing on an animation degree in the UK as well as partaking in numerous presentations and panels for IGDA (Midlands UK and Melbourne) and Freeplay.

Ben has been developing software for over 20 years, and developing apps using Cocoa on the Mac platform for over 15 years. He was the senior programmer and architect for Spydercam Aerial Camera Rigging for 8 years and won an Academy Award for technical achievement in 1995 for his work on 3d volumetric motion control. His software was used in over 40 feature films including films such as Spiderman and IronMan. He has been developing applications on the iPhone since the SDK became available. Due to the similarities between Cocoa and CocoaTouch, Ben was able to bring his 15 years of application experience in Cocoa to bear in his iPhone projects. Ben has been the senior or sole developer for over ten applications for the iPhone. In late 2009, Ben joined Tin Man Games and has since become the Technical Director, developing the Gamebook Adventures series. Ben has given many industry based presentations over the last few years to Australian education institutions as well as Freeplay in Melbourne. He is well known for his technical talks on the subject of developing using Unity.

Game Connect 2011: Stop Building Games, Start Building Brands


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As the Vice President of EEDAR's Financial Services Division, Mr. Jesse Divnich is responsible for the business development and execution of EEDAR products for the private investment and equity sector. Prior to joining EEDAR in 2007, Jesse operated as an independent industry consultant and analyst for numerous private firms and institutions with strong financial interests in the interactive entertainment sector, in addition to his over 7 year's experience within multi-media retail.

In addition to contributing to the development of new product lines for EEDAR in the areas of due diligence, risk management and analysis of industry trends, Mr. Divnich also represents EEDAR for the majority of media and press relations activities. Mr. Divnich is most known for his appearances on CNN Money, G4TV, The Street, Reuters, Market Watch, GameSpot, and IndustryGamers. Additionally, Mr. Divnich is a regular on the speaking circuit and has presented at GDC, MIGS, DigiLond, EMA Conferences, Interactive Ontario, and many more.

"With the revolution of tablet, social and mobile games, new business models are beginning to emerge that focus on smaller teams and lower development costs. This shift, however, is temporary and as these new markets mature established games brands will increasingly receive a bigger slice of the growing pie. Divnich's presentation will provide an in-depth look at the power of brands, the role the brand equity plays in the purchasing decision process, and how independent developers can capitalize on these emerging technologies to create the powerhouse brands of tomorrow."