Game Masters – The Forum taking place on March 4–5th at Te Papa in Wellington, brings together game developers, artists, educators, researchers, and filmmakers. The goal of the forum is to share knowledge and expand awareness of game development opportunities – both in New Zealand and abroad.
‘Attendees will shatter the stereotypes of games and discover the cultural, educational, and social impact they are having,’ said Stephen Knightly, Chair of the NZ Game Developers Association. ‘They’ll also have the chance to network with others in the fastest growing sector of New Zealand’s screen industry.’
International speakers confirmed for the event include Masaya Matsuura, of NanaOn-Sha (Japan), and Luke Muscat from Halfbrick (Australia.)
Matsuura-san’s work includes the seminal PaRappa the Rapper and the innovative Vib Ribbon – a game which generated its platforming levels from the music CDs gamers placed in their PlayStations. He is a true pioneer of the videogame industry, whose games have inspired a generation of game designers, and continue to create fun and imaginative ways for people to immerse themselves in music.
Luke Muscat and his team of just six people at Halfbrick are behind some of the hottest, most well–known, and best-selling mobile games of all time, including Fruit Ninja, Jetpack Joyride, and Monster Dash. In the last two years alone, Luke’s games have been downloaded more than 300 million times.
The New Zealand industry is also well represented, starting with Mario Wynands – the Director of Sidhe/PikPok, New Zealand’s most successful and prolific developer and publisher of games across a wide range of platforms. In the last fifteen years, the company has released numerous successful and critically acclaimed titles, including Shatter, Speed Racer, Flick Kick Football, and Monsters Ate My Condo.
‘Game Masters – The Forum is really an opportunity to take a look under the hood of videogame development,’ suggested Helen Stuckey – a curator, researcher, and member of the Game Masters Industry Advisory Board. ‘It’s a chance to hear strong local and international speakers, to reflect on other ways to do business/make games, and an opportunity to consider the future of games themselves.’
Game Masters – The Forum will cover a wide range of topics, including those relevant to the game development industry and discussion of videogames as a cultural phenomenon. Subjects include Transmedia, Community Engagement, Games as Art, Serious Games, and Game History.
Attendees from industry, education, government, and the general public are all welcome, however tickets are strictly limited and there is no scope to expand the venue, so early booking is advised. Ticket prices start at $130 for both days, and numerous options are available, including student discounts, single day passes, and an expanded industry-specific option through which attendees will have opportunities to network with The Forum’s special guests.