GCAP Day 2 and Australian Game Developers Awards:
The day started off with the "GCAP Game Design Challenge", which had five game designers pitch a game idea based on a theme previously assigned to them. This year's theme was “CIVILISATION OVER”, so each designer pitched a game that could in time destroy civilisation. The panel was very entertaining, a lot of jokes and laughs were shared but it was a panel to ease people back into GCAP so no great lessons were learnt of discussed.
The second talk I attended for the day was the "The Art of Making Thing Not Look Terrible" by Simon Boxer and Jacob Janerka. I thoroughly enjoyed this talk and it was what I needed as a beginner/moderate artists. A lot of advice was given to help improve workflow rather than the basic introduction to art fundamentals which you can find anywhere. If given the chance I would love to see that talk again as I felt a lot of what I was told was very valuable.
The next talk I saw was "Advocating for the Story: Narrative Design and Communication Skills" by Brooke Maggs. I once had a long discussion with Brooke about the entwined nature of narrative and gameplay so I was very interested in how much of that topic would be spoken on. The talk did mainly focus on the ways narrative was depicted through the gameplay without the use of written dialogue and Brooke's journey as a narrative designer through this games development.
At this point of time, I wasn't one hundred percent sure of which talk to attend next. I ended up deciding to go to the "Searching for Significance" by Kim McAuliffe, as I found out that she was to be the keynote speaker at the Women's in Games Lunch that was occurring later in the week and I wanted to know more about her. I was glad I attended this talk as the topic she spoke reflected on how I tend to approach game development, it isn't only a career but it's having a job that contains goals I want to achieve in my life. I have been lucky enough in my life to be in a position where I am able to reflect on what careers I believe would give me the most significance. It's an important topic to discuss and understand in order to make more meaningful careers in this industry.
The last talk I went to for the day was the fireside talk between Emma Siu and Kelsey Gamble. This talk was a good way to unwind the talk. They were both happy to have a fairly light-hearted discussion about their work and their backgrounds. Once again I was amazed to hear the passion behind people's work and amount of effort people go through, it always urges me to continue pursuing my own goals and with time I may be able to achieve them.
The closing keynote was given by Innes McKendrick, and in a way contrasted against the opening keynote. Speaking of how our "Giants" are humans too and are working through the same issues that we so we all need to support each other in this industry and treat everyone as equals. I feel this talk was much more impactful to me than the opening because I do firmly believe that though it is important to have role models and influences, it's dangerous to put too much admiration into these people as they are human too and can make mistakes. So rather than idolise those around us, instead, help support each other to make a stronger industry.
Later that night I attended the Australian Game Developer Awards, which was wonderful. Saw many friends who were out celebrating the end of GCAP and was happy to see the ones who were nominated for an award or two. It was great to see people taking the time to congratulate each other on their work and to get acknowledged by the industry as well.
Women in Game's Lunch:
After the late night of the Australian Game Developer Awards, I decided to take the next day's morning to rest and then I was off to attend the Women's in Games Lunch. When I arrived I was happy to see and catch up with Katryna Starks, a games academic who I met the previous MIGW. We discussed both of what we were working on and then moved the conversion of the importance of developing games for younger girls that explores deeper themes. Whilst having lunch we sat with Stephanie Kyrin, Esther Moncrieff, Pritika Sachdev, Emma Sui, Anna Brandberg and Lexa Francis, and had lovely casual conversations of how everyone's week was going.
We then listened to Giselle Rosman interview the keynote, Kim McAuliffe, as they spoke of her career and the importance of women in the workplace. The entire talk was quite inspirational and reminded me of the importance of having a supportive group of women to encourage us to do more. Afterwards, we bid each other goodbye and I made my way home to rest up for the another full day, the first day of PAX!