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Design and Narrative

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What makes morally challenging games engaging?
What skills are involved in making moral choices in games? And what exactly is the point of "moral meters"?
In this talk, We will present the findings of a 10-year multi-disciplinary research project investigating moral decision-making in videogames and the lessons they can provide for designing morally engaging gameplay.

Presented by: Dr Malcolm Ryan, Paul Formosa & Dr Dan Staines

Speakers
Dr Malcolm Ryan
Paul Formosa
Dr Dan Staines
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Do developers want players to look for clues and feel smart before that all-important-thing happens in the game? Do they want to reward players for figuring something out before the game reveals it to them? Do they want players talking about the game online and theorizing about that super secret mystery?

Getting players engaged with finding and figuring out hints is more than just having them hear an ambient noise over there or finding a lore book dropped here. The more invested players are in the game and the more engaged their imaginations, the more likely they are to search for the clues—or revelatory trail of breadcrumbs—the team leaves for them.

Attendees will discover tools for building player engagement, which includes designing more believable characters players will get invested in (whether they love or hate those characters) and using the game’s narrative design to drop hints about those characters’ circumstances. In effect, the relationship between the investment in the characters and these hints become a language narrative designers devise to help players hunt and piece together “What happens next?” before the game reveals the answers.

This talk focuses on why players identify or empathize with characters and how that makes them more invested, and gives techniques for creating “messy,” more authentic characters and designing multi-faceted storytelling in-game that will encourage players to find answers to the game’s mysteries.

Speakers
Toiya Kristen Finley
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Screenwriters are used to writing dialogue for actors. Comic writers will just see their words on the page. And the game writer? The game writer can do both...

This talk is a gentle reminder that written and spoken languages are different. That you'll have to change your perspective when you switch from one way of writing to the other. That different words have different meanings. And that language will be understood differently when read vs when spoken.

Multiple examples from games and other media show will inspire the audience to think about the function and effect of their in-game dialogue. Did you realise that some grammar constructions work better on paper than spoken? And that some jokes work in audio, but not as written words? Start thinking about dialogue writing in a different way, and learn to make your choice on whether to use voiced or non-voiced dialogue early in the process.

Speakers
Jedidjah Julia Noomen
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In 64 Ways of Being, Melbourne is transformed into a playable city via a free-to-play app launching in 2020. People and place are connected at multiple locations across the city through augmented reality encounters that capture different ways of being. These experiences re-imagine Melbourne's identity as expressed through its creative, linguistic, cultural, social and urban diversity.

The game is made by a collective developing urban play encounters that reconnect people with the city as a lived experience. Blending public art, live art and game design our collaboration brings together artist gamemaker Dr Troy Innocent, live arts group one step at a time like this, and game developer Millipede working with the Watershed Pervasive Media Studio to realise Playable City Melbourne.

This talk provides practical advice on the challenges and opportunities presented during the production of an ambitious AR game that engages with creative cultures, project partners and audiences outside the traditional mobile gaming space.

Topics covered range from technical tips on situating AR in diverse urban environments, working with theatre and performance artists, engaging in meaningful cultural consultation with First Peoples, wrangling divergent stakeholders, and marketing strategies for an experience people haven't had yet.

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Troy Innocent
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Mini Motorways is a relaxing game about building roads to support a growing city. The game is a follow up to Mini Metro, and after 9 months of prototyping and 9 months of production, was a launch title on Apple Arcade. These three things: creating a successor to an indie hit, being a new platform’s launch title, and a very short production timeline, meant that the road to success was a bumpy one. In this talk, Tana Tanoi from Dinosaur Polo Club will go through the challenges faced during the development of Mini Motorways, covering topics like how Apple Arcade’s requirements shaped the game’s development, how quick tools were developed for a small team on a time budget, and the process of defining a brand through prototyping and iterating.

Speakers
Tana Tanoi
Dinosaur Polo Club
Games
Mini Motorways
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Creating an engaging experience for your players is hard, and not knowing who your players are makes this even harder. A model will be presented for Designers and Producers to simplify and clarify player behaviour, removing ambiguity to create concrete features with players' personas in mind.

This will give you the ability to cognitively organise the players' minds, allowing you to provide mechanics and interaction methods to enrich the players' experience. We will look at what player personas are and they role they play in existing games, how they have been applied in the past, and how you can craft personas for your own game experience.

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Ashley van Wyngaard
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Talk: Being A Game Design Tradie
Speaker: Nic Wechter

The study of "Game Theory" has developed massively as the industry has grown giving a huge well of knowledge to draw from as they slave away at trying to create the next breakout hit.

Over the years making games I've developed a unique approach to distilling ideas, mechanics and environments into gameplay that has more in common with artisan tradespeople such as carpenters and metal fabricators than it does with the more academic approach usually associated with game theory. This talk will explore these concepts.

Game Connect Asia Pacific 2019: Lighting The Way

Game Connect Asia Pacific is Australia's premier games development conference and a part of Melbourne International Games Week.

Situated in Melbourne, Australia during October, GCAP is world-renowned for its talks, collaboration, expression, networking and inclusive environment.

Video courtesy of GCAP and the Game Developers' Association of Australia.

www.gcap.com.au

Speakers
Nic Wechter
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Talk: Divergent thinking and iteration process: a hands-on creativity workshop
Speaker: Elaine Gusella

Since grade school we are encouraged to proceed through a very narrow set of ways to achieve an expected result. By contrast, the iteration process - highly praised in game development - occurs in a non-linear, emergent process. This workshop will help you unlock your creativity by giving you tools for problem-solving, rapid prototyping, efficient collaboration and idea-generation.

Come play through this hands-on creativity workshop to learn different brainstorm strategies and renew with your productive creativity.

Game Connect Asia Pacific 2019: Lighting The Way

Game Connect Asia Pacific is Australia's premier games development conference and a part of Melbourne International Games Week.

Situated in Melbourne, Australia during October, GCAP is world-renowned for its talks, collaboration, expression, networking and inclusive environment.

Video courtesy of GCAP and the Game Developers' Association of Australia.

www.gcap.com.au

Speakers
Elaine Gusella
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Talk: Rapid Prototyping 101: Crucial UX Design skills for every team
Speaker: Anna Brandberg

Rapid Prototyping is a great tool to help your team think through and solve problems. Solutions come to you through sketching, feedback and multiple design iterations. By training ourselves to think fast, seek validation for our decisions through testing, and refining our UX Design processes, we can create better and more meaningful gaming experiences for our players.

By learning the process of Rapid Prototyping, you create something functional that you can test with users, and that you can then iterate on more accurately. It is a crucial part not only of the early stages of game development, but also for developing and integrating new features into existing games. It is therefore an important skill for all kinds of teams to master, not just those in pre-production, but also those working on games in live service.

Come learn how to break down effective UX Design processes into 3 stages: Prototyping, Reviewing and Refining. Find out how Rapid Prototyping helps you solve big, complex problems, quickly test the utility of your design, and thus make relevant modifications.

This talk will teach you tangible skills for how to draw useful Sketches, how to translate them into Wireframes and Clickable Prototypes - and why these are all uniquely important steps. This will be a practical demonstration of how to work in Adobe XD, and develop functional prototypes for any device (mobile, console, web, etc).

Game Connect Asia Pacific 2019: Lighting The Way

Game Connect Asia Pacific is Australia's premier games development conference and a part of Melbourne International Games Week.

Situated in Melbourne, Australia during October, GCAP is world-renowned for its talks, collaboration, expression, networking and inclusive environment.

Video courtesy of GCAP and the Game Developers' Association of Australia.

www.gcap.com.au

Speakers
Anna Brandberg
Firemonkeys
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Talk: The Architecture of Designing story-focused Games - Lighting the Way through the Narrative
Speaker: Mel Taylor

It is widely believed that games should first and foremost be driven by their mechanics and only after this (if at all) focus on narrative design.

This talk offers a different approach and is about designing a solid and engaging story first and then designing the mechanics around it.

Designing the narrative of a game is a bit like planning a prank: You are not going to know how your “victim” will react, but you should plan for the most likely outcomes. Lighting the way through the story and guiding the player is essential for them to get the most coherent and engaging experience out of it.

This talk will give attendees tools for this design approach as well as an understanding of how to “grow” mechanics from theme, how to pace your level design to fit storytelling and using symbolism in mechanics and environmental design in order to support the game’s themes.

Game Connect Asia Pacific 2019: Lighting The Way

Game Connect Asia Pacific is Australia's premier games development conference and a part of Melbourne International Games Week.

Situated in Melbourne, Australia during October, GCAP is world-renowned for its talks, collaboration, expression, networking and inclusive environment.

Video courtesy of GCAP and the Game Developers' Association of Australia.

www.gcap.com.au

Speakers
Mel Taylor
Mellow Games
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