Game Connect 08 - The Brass Tacks of Game Design

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The Brass Tacks of Game Design: Beyond the Big Idea

David Hewitt, Tantalus Media
Jared Pearson, Pandemic Studios
Luis Gigliotti, THQ Studio Australia

A panel discussion on the practicallities of game design, what actually happens in the studio during conception to completion of a project and the designer's role in all of this. The panel will also address the problems that occur with design during the production process. Up for discussion is the future responsibilities of game designers and their role in pushing the industry forward.

Game Connect 08 - A Preview of Xbox LIVE Community Games

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Sean Jenkin, XNA game Studio

The Xbox LIVE community games gives the opportunity to share, peer review, download and play games created by the community, for the community. XNA Creators Club subscribers will be able to submit their own game creations for self publishing through to Xbox LIVE Marketplace.

A community of peers will be given a chance to download, play and review the game and its content for appropriateness and conformance to the Terms of Service. Should it pass, the game will then get added to the global games catalog on Xbox LIVE Marketplace and available to gamers connected to Xbox LIVE.

In this session, Sean Jenkin provides an overview of the process needed to develop and submit your own games to the Xbox LIVE marketplace for review.

Game Connect 08 - What Makes a Good Game - a critics perspective

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Ben 'Yahtzee' Croshaw

Ben 'Yahtzee' Croshaw is a game reviewer who shot to fame with Zero Punctuation, a weekly series of video reviews for the Escapist online gaming magazine, which became widely viewed and beloved by players and developers alike for their quickfire, no-holds-barred approach to game criticism.

He has also worked in development as a writer for several local studios and as a designer with Brisbane indie developer Aberrant Entertainment, as well as his own personal game projects.

Game Connect 08 - Bringing deBlob to Reality

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Nick Hagger, Creative Director, Blue Tongue (THQ)
Terry Lane, Art Director, Blue Tongue (THQ)

Nick has been working in the games industry for over a decade and is currently Blue Tongue's Creative Director. He's had a number of roles in game design and production and leads one of Blue Tongue's development teams. He's been a project director for a number of Blue Tongue's titles including Jurrassic Park: Operation Genesis, Barnyard, and most recently de Blob.

Terry Lane has been working as a video game artist since 1995. His first job as lead concept artist on the notorious PC smash, Carmageddon, gave him the opportunity to work as a modeller, animator, lead artist, and creative director for nine years before moving to Australia with his family. Today, Terry is the studio art director for Blue Tongue (THQ) where he's helped them create titles like Nick Toons Unite!, Barnyard, and de Blob.

Game Connect 08 - A Logical Step Towards the Convergence

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Zareh Nalbandian - Managing Director, Animal Logic

Zareh is the co-founder and Managing Director of Animal Logic, one of the world's most highly regarded animation and visual effects studios.

Animal Logic have recently announced a push into the video game space, and Zareh will share his perspectives both on the company's film pedigree (with titles such as the Academy Award winning Happy Feet), and on the rationale behind the move into games.

Game Connect 08 - Conference Welcome and Opening

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Conference Welcome - Tom Crago, President GDAA
Conference Opening - The Honourable Desley Boyle MP, Minister for Tourism, Regional Development & Industry

Game Connect: Asia Pacific (GCAP) 2008 is the premier conference, exhibition and networking event for the Asia Pacific Games Industry.

GCAP 08 was held at the Hilton Brisbane, Queensland from 19- 22 November 2008. GCAP is proudly hosted by the Game Developer’s Association of Australia (GDAA) with support from the Queensland Government.

Game Connect 07 - GDAA Awards Ceremony, Closing Address

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These are Australia and New Zealand's awards for games developed by Australian or New Zealand developers. The Award Program is managed by the Game Developers Association of Australia (GDAA), with nominations encouraged in the lead-up to the Game Connect: Asia Pacific 2007 Conference and Trade Display.

The finalists and winners of the GDAA Awards were announced at the Game Connect: Asia Pacific Conference and Awards Dinner, taking place on Saturday, 17 November, 2007 in Melbourne.

Game Connect 07 - Xbox 360 vs PS3 vs Wii debate

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Saturday 4:50 - 5:50pm: PlayStation 3 vs Wii vs Xbox 360 : Which console will deliver the great games of the future? Participants: Tony Albrecht, Cameron Dunn, David Hewitt

The PlayStation 3 vs Wii vs Xbox 360 debate was one of the highlight sessions (one of many!) at the conference, and will be remembered for many things such as David Hewitt's sidesplitting presentation, Tony and Cameron's dodgy moustaches, and the introduction of the "Tony" scale. How many Tony's does it take to render fun? 2.

The debate was helmed by The Age journalist, Jason Hill, (who also runs Screenplay), and the speakers were:

Tony Albrecht, Senior Engine Programmer, Pandemic Studios (for Playstation 3)
Cameron Dunn, Chief Technical Officer, IR Gurus (for Xbox 360)
David Hewitt, Creative Director, Tantalus (for Nintendo Wii)

It's a lighthearted and very humorous debate, and I give it 5 out of 5 Tony's.

Game Connect 07 - The Japanese Sound

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The Japanese Sound - Hitoshi Sakimoto, Composer

This sessions focuses on the music and sound effects created in the Japanese game developer scene today. The talk also discusses the pros and cons of using traditional musical instruments or synthesizers.

Hitoshi Sakimoto is a veteran video game composer with over 20 years experience to his credit. He began his career as a freelancer when companies saw potential in his sound programming and composing skills. His first major title was Magical Chase which saw the beginning of a relationship with game designer Yasumi Matsuno. In recent years, Sakimoto famously created the massive score to the most current Final Fantasy title, Final Fantasy XII as well as contributing to the Final Fantasy Tactics spin-off, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. He also produced the score to the popular Konami game, Gradius V, as well as contributing to Atlus’ Stella Deus. Sakimoto recently scored his first anime soundtrack, Romeo x Juliet.

Currently, Sakimoto is composing the scores to a number a video games, including Bandai Namco's Deltora Quest: The Seven Jewels and Mistwalker's ASH -Archaic Sealed Heat.

The Difficulty of Drawing - Masaaki Kaneko

Sound design is one of the important factors in game development. While previously sound design was greatly limited by hardware, modern advances have left game designers free to do almost anything. This session focuses on the importance of the message the designer wishes to convey to the player, especially with sound design. The session also focuses on how music lets you significantly control the impression of the user.

Masaaki Kaneko was born in Toyama, Japan. 1974. Experienced in Sound effects making, MA(multi audio), Sound Manipulation, Mixture, and Master in anything to do with sound other than composition. One of his characteristics is the delicacy of the sound to express a feeling of air. Without composing he tries day and night to achieve his motto, to bring as much of his own characteristics to his sounds.

Game Connect 07 - CEO Roundtable

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Mike Fegan hosts a table of local studio managers and owners keen to share their experiences and tips with new and existing development studios, and students interested in the industry.

In this session audience members get to pick the brains of successful CEOs.

Mike Fegan, Transmission Games
Robert Murray, Firemint
Steve Fawkner, Infinite Interactive