Game Connect 08, Looking For More Discussion

Game Connect 08, Looking For More Discussion
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A few days ago I asked for opinions on Game Connect Asia Pacific (GCAP) – the game developer conference to be held in Brisbane during November – and what you guys felt it should have to make it a compelling event.

I’d like to clarify something – you don’t have to be a developer or event organiser (current or former) to comment. If you have a good idea, or heard an interesting talk/been to a great session at any conference or expo, please comment – particularly if it would benefit someone already in or looking to get into the games industry.

Tell you what: I’m going to sweeten the deal. If I see a great proposition or comment that provokes serious discussion, I’ll take down the owner’s name and address and send them out a little something. It won’t be dirty, I promise.

Now hit the jump to see what’s already been covered. I’d also recommend reading last week’s post about GCAP speaker fees, as there’s quite a bit of commenting occurring there.Pandemic coder Tony Albrecht asked the following:

I’m curious as to what people find the most useful/interesting – dedicated sessions with one guy up front -‘lecturing’, or round table sessions with a group of industry people talking and taking questions from the attendees, or debates or some other form of session?

Personally, I’d like a combination of both, though I get more from the dedicated sessions. When there’s one person focused on a particular topic, it’s easier to get their perspective on it, rather than the fuzzy response you get when multiple people interject. On the other hand, round tables are good for topics that cover the entire industry – employment, costs, new platforms, etc – where various replies can prompt further discussion in areas you hadn’t realised were involved.

Yusuf Pisan, associate professor at the University of Technology, Sydney and part of this year’s Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment had this to say:

I would like to see more interaction between game developers and researchers. AGDC experimented with the idea of “academic summit”, but it was too separate, too isolated and not sufficiently rigorous in terms of a research gathering. The Interactive Entertainment conference is in Brisbane this year — who knows maybe it is an opportunity for closer interaction. [Disclaimer: I am involved with IE conference]

I think this suggestion has merit. When the Australian Bureau of Statistics released data on the Oz games industry, it was a great – and informative – read. Anything to get more studies and research underway can only be a positive thing.


  • Hm, strange; this is the first time I’ve heard of Game Connect and I read Kotaku like an obsessed freak. And it’s in Brisbane! right where I live! I gotta work out if a nobody like me can get in and look at random stuff…

  • @zero1328: Game Connect is more about the sessions than the expo (though there is one). I think talks for a more general audience could perhaps be good idea. For example something on the first steps you can take to get into the industry, or into certain fields (design, art, coding, etc). Doesn’t have to take up the entire conference – just one or two sessions at most.

  • Speaking as someone who works as a programmer in a non-games industry but would love to be working in games development, I’d definitely head along to an event like this if I could, especially if there were some first-steps sessions like others have suggested. I intended to go to the session here in Melbourne last year, but I had to head to New Zealand the same week.

    I also think that it would be good to try and advertise the conference a bit more. Unless you’re actually hooked into the industry then it tends not to really be something that you’re thinking of a lot.

    I guess that it depends on what they want the conference to be. Should it be an industry-only event pointed directly at developers? Or should it be a more general games expo designed to try and advertise the industry to a wider audience while providing a venue for those in the industry to get together.

    For me, I tend to prefer a mixture of lectures and roundtable sessions, with a stronger skew towards the lecture-style material since a lot of the point of a conference like this for me would be learning new concepts, rather than hearing people discuss concepts I’m already familiar with.

    One totally crazy thought I had, and I don’t know if this would be practical, would be a sort of semi-roundtable thing. Get a panel of industry developers or the like, and invite people to pitch game ideas or concepts at them. Maybe 5 minutes maximum, and then get the panel to give some thoughts on the idea. You’d obviously need to screen things a bit first, but I think something like that could be quite interesting and thought-provoking for any audience involved too. Alternatively you could turn it around and have a panel given random subjects and given 5 minutes to work that into a game concept.

  • There’s two things that I’d be interested in seeing a talk about, but I think it’s more of a marketing or managing thing..?

    Worldwide release dates and RRP. I’d be interested in seeing a panel discussion on why this problem still exists in some, if not many releases. Why aren’t the worldwide release dates simutaneous? And what’s with the huge difference in price? How can it be changed?

    I think most of the time, the price difference means the company is getting more profit per game in Australia than the US. Shipping costs, someone might say, but it is seriously cheaper for me to import from the US than to buy from local shelves. Bulk shipping should be even lower. It’s not enough of a reason.

    The commonly cited debacle in release date is translation or something. It’s true, but why wasn’t the translation done simutaneously? It’s not like there’s only one person who knows 7 languages translating the thing, it’s 7 people who know a second language. Why do we need the multi-language version? Why doesn’t the US? Game versions across the world should all be consistent for a fairer experience.

    Well, that’s what I think, anyway.

  • I’d love to go along and experience an Australian equivalent of the GDC – whether they include industry outsider sessions or not. Any organised gathering of the industry in Australia is a good thing, in my view.

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