David Gaider is a game designer, writer, and narrative designer, with a long and storied history at RPG powerhouse Bioware. Today, David is the creative director at Beamdog, helping to bring enhanced editions of some of the games he worked on back in his Bioware days to modern hardware and audiences.
David recently sat with our host Jason Imms at the Game Connect Asia Pacific conference in Melbourne to talk about his work on Baldur's Gate, Dragon Age, and Knights of the Old Republic, being a reluctant spokesperson for gay representation in games, and what it's actually like to write for a living.
We have a very special episode for you this week, friends: The inaugural Game Hugs Live, recorded on-stage at PAX Australia 2017!
Joining our host Jason Imms on the stage was Square Enix Montreal creative director Teddy Dief(pronounced “deef,” despite Jason’s horrendous mispronunciations), discussing life as an indie, Glitch City LA, the anxieties of success, and moving away from a lifelong goal of working at Naughty Dog to take a risk on the Kickstarter-funded Hyper Light Drifter.
As a producer at League of Geeks, co-founder at Girl Geek Academy, and a Forbes 30 Under 30 lister, Lisy Kane doesn't seem to do anything by halves.
Join Jason Imms this week for a chat with Lisy about her incredible and densely accomplished career. Also, the pair take a look at how the Australian education system is both serving and failing the game development industry, internships, and how Armello's intriguing profit-share program works.
Matt Ditton is the managing director of the Mighty Games Group (Shooty Skies, Disney Crossy Road, Charming Keep, Charming Runes) and Many Monkeys Development (Breath of Light, ANZ Future Play), both based in The Arcade in Melbourne, Victoria.
Matt is one of Australia's veteran game developers, one of the rare few that stuck around after the industry crash that began in 2010. In fact, his chat with Jason Imms in this episode goes into some depth on what the crash looked like on the ground, as Pandemic Australia and other studios shut down around the country.
Stick around to the end of the episode for a frank discussion on the ethics of free-to-play game design, player entitlement, and the practical realities of running a games studio for profit.
Kamina Vincent is the Producer at Mountains, a new studio featuring the talents behind games such as Monument Valley and Cuphead.
She has volunteered at almost even gaming event in Australia from Freeplay, Transmedia Victoria, Global Game Jam, GDC, and GCAP - the later of which she eventually went on to organise and coordinate volunteers.
She has worked for Tin Man Games, originally as a QA Tester, then Community Manager, and eventually Producer.
Dan Graf is an indie game developer who most recently teamed up with Featherweight Games to make Rodeo Stampede, a game which has had over 50 million downloads and was awarded Apple's Top 10 Games of 2016, and Google Play's Most Innovative 2016.
Prior to his recent success, he was a Product Manager and Game Designer at Halfbrick Studios working on Fruit Ninja Champions, a Story Unit Artist at Dr D Studios working on films such as Happy Feet 2 and Max Max: Fury Road, 3D Artist on the Half Life 2 mod Dystopia, and was also the founder of the IGDA Sydney. He has also worked as a designer, artist, animator, writer and director for many other developers, businesses, and associations.
Dean was a Game Designer for Team Bondi, where he worked on the Rockstar Games published title L.A.Noire. He was the Lead Content Designer at IntoScience working across science education based games, and was also the Lead Game Designer at Saudi Arabian studio Semaphore.
He was previously the Chief Marketing Officer for Halfbrick Studios, working on the launches of Fruit Ninja, Jetpack Joyride, Colossatron, Raskulls, and more. Prior to that he was a games writer for PALGN and AustralianGamer.
Prior to starting his own studio, Morgan was the Assoc Creative Director at Pandemic Studios, Lead Designer at A2M, Writer at Ubisoft Montreal, Game Designer at Relic Entertainment, and Game Designer / Writer at Irrational Games.
He is a pillar of the Australian games industry, having worked both locally and abroad for over a decade on such titles as Freedom Force, Homeworld 2, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, Teen Titans, and Hand of Fate - the sequal to which will be released early next year.
Sally Kellaway is the Senior Audio Designer at Zero Latency, Co Chair for the IGDA Virtual Augmented and Mixed Reality Special Interest Group, Technical Evangelist for Firelight Technologies (FMOD), and Sound Designer / Educator for her self named consultancy company.
One of the stars in the digital audio industry, she initially started as a QA Tester for the Creative Assembly, before moving on to become their Junior Audio Designer and Motion Capture Technician. She went on to be an Audio Assistant at SEGA Studios Australia, working on the London 2012 Olympic Games video game.
Nic Watt is the Founder and Chief Design Officer at Sydney based developer and publisher Nnooo.
Originally developing games in the UK, he worked as an Artist/Designer for Supersonic Software, World Lead at Asylum Entertainment, Lead Designer at Visual Science, and Lead Designer at Electronic Arts.
Christopher Yabsley is a Composer and Developer, currently the working on the soon to be released Dungeon League - a competitive dungeon crawler party game.
He's worked with a wide range of games such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Total War, Harry Potter, Rugby, Destroy All Humans, Happy Feet 2, and through to the unreleased Whore of the Orient.
Programming since the age of 14, Izzy has been involved in numerous industry incubator and support programs, having been an IGDA scholar and Microsoft game changer, which led to attending E3 and GDC.
Izzy has a history of serious game development, including 'Faceless' - an empathy game about asylum seekers, and 'All Your Fault' - a game about victim blaming.
Additionally Izzy is an accredited photographer, having taken professional photos of almost every Aussie game developer so far!
Joshua Boggs is one of the founding members of Loveshack Entertainment, the indie developer behind the award winning game Framed. He is a skilled business manager, designer, programmer, and game director.
Tony Albrecht is a Senior Software Engineer at RIOT Games, and is an Aussie game development veteran. He's worked as Engine Lead at Ratbag Games (followed by Midway Studios Australia), Senior Programmer at Pandemic Studios, and as a Technical Consultant at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.
Over his 15 year career in the games industry he has worked for Take Two Interactive, was the ANZ Public Relations Manager for Rockstar Games, was the Editor for MCV Pacific and Develop Online, and spent time as a Freelance Journalist.