Game Connect 07 - State Government Initiatives

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Game Connect 07 - State Government Initiatives for Startups and Existing Game Development Companies. Learn about the numerous programs, grants and funding available to game developers, new and established, in Victoria and Queensland.

Audience: Managers, Producers

Andrew Ferrington, Multimedia Victoria
Mark Fludder, Queensland Government
Amelia King, Film Victoria

Andrew Ferrington, Director, ICT Investment & Business Development in Multimedia Victoria
Multimedia Victoria is the Government"s agency to promote information and communication technology across the State. A journalist by trade, Andrew worked on "The Age" and "The (Melbourne) Herald" newspapers. Moving into technology, he worked for both large Australian corporations and multinationals in a variety of marketing, selling and strategy positions. He joined the Victorian Government in 1997. Andrew has post-graduate degrees in economics/finance, law and public policy from NSW, Melbourne and Monash universities.

Mark Fludder, Information Industries Bureau, Queensland Government
Mark has a background in Business Development, Human Resources, Marketing and Information Systems. He has been involved with a number of business start ups in the Recruitment and HR industries and has extensive experience in business planning and systems development and implementation. Mark"s four years with the Department of State Development and Trade have been spent in business advisory roles servicing predominately in the ICT sector, with a special focus on the development of the electronic games industry. Mark holds qualifications in Journalism (undergraduate), Marketing Management and Information Systems (post graduate).

Amelia King, Manager, Digital Media Fund, Film Victoria
Amelia King has 20 years experience working in the cultural industries. She started her career at Arts Victoria in the Special Projects branch where she was responsible for managing industry development programs in the performing arts including Halftix, Theatre Sports in Schools and Theatre Standby. This was followed by a brief stint acting as the Executive Officer for the Victorian Association of Performing Arts Centres and 5 years as General Manager with Experimenta Media Arts where she shifted the focus of the organisation away from exhibition of experimental film to the digital media positioning it as Australia's leading digital media arts organisation. Since 1998 Amelia has worked for Film Victoria introducing successful programs such as the Attachment Scheme and Producer Business seminars. She moved into her current role of Digital Media Fund Manager in 1999. In this period Amelia has reviewed the Fund's activities a number of times introducing new programs to ensure they reflect the changes within the creative digital media industry. She is directly responsible for the Prototype Development and Production Investment programs and oversees the implementation of the other digital media programs including Digital Scoping, Digital Media Internships and Producer Support.

Game Connect 07 - The Changing Role of the Lead Designer

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Of all the roles associated with game development, Designer is the least clearly defined and the most rapidly evolving. The responsibilities of the Lead Designer have changed dramatically over the last decade as team sizes and game complexity increases. Morgan discusses the impact of these changes and ways to deal with them.

Audience: Designers

Morgan Jaffit, Lead Designer, Pandemic Studios

Morgan has been designing games from around the time he could walk. He's shipped a wide variety of games for a wide variety of audiences, including Homeworld 2, Freedom Force, Happy Feet, and more. He's basically convinced that the game industry is the most exciting place in the world to be, at least partially because it's filled with crazy people doing amazing things. His current pet topics are design process and the relationships between virtual spaces and identity.

Game Connect 07 - Deus ex machina? or How Developers Play God in MMORPGs

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A discussion on how contracts control virtual worlds and particularly intellectual property rights in user generated content.

Audience: Managers

Adam Simpson, Managing Director, Simpsons Solicitors

Adam Simpson has recently become the Managing Director of Simpsons Solicitors, a specialist entertainment law firm established in 1986. His clients include game developers, software developers, film and music distributors, book and magazine publishers, production companies, music publishers, and a wide range of other IP based businesses. In the gaming arena, he is currently negotiating a development agreement for a MMORPG with a well known American developer. Adam is a member of the Game Developers Association Australian, convenor of the Contemporary Music Working Group and a board member of the Music Council of Australia. A long time Mac user, Adam gets his gaming fix via console.

Game Connect 07 - Standing out from the Demo Crowd

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This talk will present recent research conducted on gamers' experience with game demos and provide practical recommendations for making demos more compelling.

Audience: Producers, Designers

Keith Steury, Research Director, UsabilityOne
Keith is currently the Research Director of UsabilityOne's Playability Program which applies usability testing methodology to support game design. Before joining UsabilityOne, Keith worked at Microsoft Game Studios' User Research Group for over 5 years where he helped to pioneer the adaptation of usability testing to support video game development. During his tenure at Microsoft, he served as the user-research lead for over a dozen shipped PC and console titles - including Halo: Combat Evolved. Keith has previously presented at GDC and European GDC and has co-authored several articles on the adaptation of usability methods to support game design.

Game Connect 07 - The Pitching Process TODAY

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Brian Christian, Konami
Careen Yap, Konami

Understand the process of pitching your game concept and company to publishers today. Learn the various stages of the pitching process, which decision makers will evaluate your submission and who has the final say. Aimed at all studio managers looking to break into the international market and mature studios that may need to update their approach.

Audience: Managers, Producers

Brian Christian, Vice President of Product Development, Konami Digital Entertainment
As vice president of product development at Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc., Brian Christian oversees all aspects of product management, product planning and studio acquisition. Christian supervises the growing internal production team, as well as relationships with the external development community. His long-standing relationships with top development studios, worldwide, will allow Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. to develop quality interactive entertainment. Christian's leadership is extremely important as the company builds an internal studio network to develop its key franchises. Christian joined Konami Digital Entertainment in 2007, after more than 13 years experience in operations, product, and revenue management at leading developers and publishers of interactive entertainment software including THQ Inc., Take-Two Interactive, D3Publisher of America and Interplay Productions. Prior to entering the video games industry, Christian worked as a producer and engineer in the music industry. He has received 15 platinum and 22 gold records for his work on various albums including The Wall by Pink Floyd.

Careen Yapp, Vice President of Licensing and Business Development, Konami Digital Entertainment
As vice president of licensing and business development, Careen Yapp is responsible for Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc.'s strategic direction and pursuit of new business development activities including the acquisition of licenses and original intellectual properties. Yapp manages the process of acquiring intellectual property from some of the top interactive development teams, worldwide. Her long-standing relationships with major licensors such as Warner Bros., Cartoon Network, DreamWorks, Nickelodeon, Fox Entertainment Group, and Universal Studios will allow Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. to develop quality interactive entertainment based upon licensed franchise brands. Yapp also directs the company's licensing out strategy and initiatives. The establishment of these strategies and initiatives are extremely important as Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. continues to build upon the strength of its franchise brands. Prior to joining Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc., Yapp served as vice president for D3Publisher of America, senior manager of licensing for THQ, Inc. and THQ Wireless, Inc.

Game Connect 07 - Playing the Spread

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An exploration of value generation and economic motivations behind games based on different forms of intellectual property. Why do publishers rely heavily on licenses? Are franchises /sequels less risky? Why no love for original ideas?

Jason Della Rocca, Executive Director, International Game Developers Association
Jason is the executive director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), a professional society committed to advancing the careers and enhancing the lives of game developers. Jason and the IGDA focus on connecting developers with their peers, promoting professional development, and advocating on issues that affect the developer community such as quality of life, creative freedoms, workforce diversity and credit standards.

As the spokesperson for the IGDA, Jason has appeared in countless news outlets (e.g., Wired, Nightline, LA Times, NPR, Wall Street Journal, G4, etc) and has spoken at conferences around the world (e.g., GDC, E3, TGS, SIGGRAPH, ChinaJoy, DiGRA, etc). Jason has been a member of the game development community for over a decade, and has spent time at Matrox Graphics, Quazal and Silicon Graphics.

Game Connect 07 - 7 months, 7 people, 7 million units: Mobile production in the spotlight

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This presentation will cover 4 case studies of recent projects, measuring key differences in timelines, production cost and planning.

It will demonstrate how varied mobile production can be with regards to different projects. In summary, mobile production offers options not easily found elsewhere.

Ronald Haupt, Producer, Firemint

From a sales and technical background, I started my gaming industry experience out in Birmingham in the United Kingdom producing PS2, Xbox and PC value priced games. I worked on more than 20 titles ranging from platform-jumpers and open space exploring to car racers and even 3D puzzle games. With a background in the more traditional gamers-games, I found the transition to a more casual audience market a visionary one. Moving to Australia in early November 2005, I joined Firemint in February the following year as Senior Producer and my first assignment was EA's NFL Madden for mobile. Since then Firemint have developed several other titles as well as another installment in the Madden franchise, including the Fast and Furious and other movie tie-ins like Disney/Pixar's Ratatouille.

Game Connect 07 - Bulletproofing your build chain using Open Source Tools

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Using Scons, Schematron and CruiseControl in the art build pipeline by Andrew Bailey, Chief Technical Officer, Tantalus Media Melbourne.

Andrew has been writing games and tools for 25 years since the good 'old C64 days and credited on about 48 published titles over 18 different platforms. He started out as an independent, got enticed to Australia by Beam Software and a promise of sunshine, and then set up Tantalus in 1994.

Since then, Andrew has designed and developed Tantalus engine technology and in-house tools, such as the Mercury console engine and CRIS GBA engine. He sets and oversees the technical vision and strategy for the company.

Game Connect 07 - Next-Gen character creation

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In this presentation, Chris Wells - Senior Character Artist at Epic Games, discusses the real-world process for next-gen character creation and some of the time saving tricks they use at Epic Games. He also looks at the art asset pipeline used by Epic Games for games such as Gears of War and Unreal Tournament 3.

Audience: Artists

About Chris Wells
Chris has ten years experience as an animator in game development. He has spent the last two years at Epic Games and was one of the key artists for Gears of War and Unreal Tournament 3. Chris comes from a traditional art background and interned at Walt Disney World and the Cartoon Network before moving into games as a character artist at Red Storm Entertainment in 1999.

Game Connect 07 - Successful Game Audio

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Successful Game Audio

This session will share thoughts and experiences on how to develop a great sounding game. Both audio people and non-audio people are invited as the goal for this talk is to clear up some of the ‘grey area’ that is Game Audio. Both sides of the fence will have something to take away from this session and topics covered will include soundscape direction, working with contractors, liaising with non-audio team members and audio tools. There will also be case studies showing the difference between great audio, and ‘noises in the game’.

Mick Gordon - Game Audio Australia