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GCAP and PAX AUS Prep

October 8, 2015

Hey everyone,

This post is a mix of shameless self-promotion and me reaching out to plan some drinks/networking/chats with people during Game Connect Asia Pacific (GCAP) and PAX AUS. If you’re not attending these events, this post may be of no interest to you. Hell, it may be of no interest to you even if you are attending. *laughs*

The Sessions

Though I don’t have all the scheduling details for the various sessions I’m involved in, I thought I would share the briefs so that you know what to look for if you want to hear me ramble live (as opposed to the edited ramble of my blog posts.)

For GCAP

The Anatomy of a Story: Making Meaning for Interactive Media (panel, October 27th)

How does a writer write without words? Is story important? How & why are we immersed through story?

Our panel combines the expertise of professional writers in the games industry with an academic approach to the psychology and understanding of interactive narrative in games.

We take our cues from a breadth of experienced professionals in writing, game development, marketing and psychology to bring you a comprehensive discussion of how we immerse and provoke players through story and narrative elements.

From the exploration of an intensely imagined moment to the sparsity of language in visual storytelling, we share with you the secrets, successes and challenges of delivering meaning and story through an interactive format.

Through a series of guided discussion points, our panelists will break down the craft of storytelling, from constructing narrative arcs, to exploring the psychology behind narrative persuasion.

Our talk is suitable for both games industry professionals who write or aspire to write for an interactive format, for interdisciplinary writers who are looking to learn more about writing for games or for the general public who are curious about the process and pattern of thought that goes into delivering their favourite stories.

Link to the official page

E=mc2 – A Matrix for the Emotional Aspects of Engagement (lecture, October 28th)

Like trust, credibility and love, engagement is something that takes time to build, can crumble fast and is hard to capture with numbers. It’s an emotional relationship. How do we go about analyzing and deriving action points for such a thing?

At its core, “E=mc2” is a matrix to structure discussions about the emotional triggers behind engagement. It creates a common language and mindset we can use to troubleshoot disengagement, and it’s flexible enough to apply to game design, people management and self-assessment. By helping to break down engagement in a set of key components, it supports meaningful and actionable conversations about the relationship we develop with our players, our peers and our employers.

Attendees can expect to walk away from this talk with:

  • An easy-to-remember tool to assess engagement
  • An understanding of the emotional triggers that create engagement
  • A mindset to facilitate discussions about engagement in a game, company and/or career

Link to the official page

Aussie Game Design Challenge 2015 – VS: Virtual Smell (panel, October 28th)

Australia is full of talented game designers. In this session, we’ll put some head-­to-­head and let the audience vote on who will reign supreme!

The Aussie Design Challenge Theme has been announced – VS: Virtual Smell.

Imagine a new peripheral has been designed that can create any smell in the world or at least convince a player they are smelling something. Design a game using this new peripheral.

As you read this our panel of designers are coming up with a game idea to pitch to you, the audience. Games can be intended for any platform and can be at any stage of the development cycle: from vague concept, to design doc, to a fully implemented game, or just an entertaining description of the idea.

This will be a light-­hearted panel packed full of experimental/funny/thought-­provoking game ideas. Come along to get an insight into how the game design process works. Listen to the pitches from these passionate game designers and decide for yourself who to vote for based on who fitted the theme best; came up with the most implausible game; or simply made you laugh the most.

Link to the official page

For PAX Aus

The Anatomy of a Story: Making Meaning for Interactive Media (panel)

Same general idea as the one presented for GCAP, but with different panelists and a few different discussion points. I have a pretty picture for this one!

PAX_Narrative

Doesn’t this look like an awesome bunch of people talking about cool stuff?

Who Cares About Female Protagonists? (panel)

This year, Assassin’s Creed, FIFA, and Call of Duty will let gamers opt to play as women. But does it matter, and does it signal a change to rectify an archaic gender imbalance in video game protagonists? We discuss if this seemingly minor design choice matters to the future of the industry, and how it impacts the people who make games, and those of us who engage with them, both young and old.

The Networking

I’m currently building my schedule of parties and general networking things, so if you want to hang out, contact me via the form on this site or one of my social media channels (see them all in the sidebar.)

As far as official events are concerned, I’m planning to attend the Women in Games luncheon on October 29th and the IGDA’s MEGADEV3 on November 1st. I’ll probably add more. We’ll see.

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