NZGDC 2014

The New Zealand Game Developers Conference is a an action-packed conference for professional and indie game developers.

It will be held on Friday 19 September 2014 at AUT University in Auckland, with workshops on Thursday 18th. Registration opens at 9am with the conference running from 10am-6pm including lunch and afternoon tea.

Tickets for NZGDA members and students are only $95 (incl GST).

Video games continue to be a fast-growing export sector for New Zealand, with several Kiwi developers gaining global recognition. Kiwi game devs are at the top of their game, so come along to hear leading developers share real experiences and knowledge that have made them global successes.

Conference Sessions

Conference sessions are streamed into Tech & Infrastructure, Creative, Production & Business and include:

  • Postmortems of hit games from PikPok, Ninja Kiwi, Meltdown Games and more
  • Challenge Design in Path of Exile – Carl de Visser, Grinding Gear Games
  • Design that Delivers Customer Loyalty – Rebeccah Cox, Bexcellent Games
  • Runaway Art – Emma Johansson
  • Planning Digital IP – Edwin Lim, Hudson Gavin Martin Law
  • Jigsaw Storytelling in Path of Exile – Edwin McRae, The Fiction Engine
  • Flutter’s Free to Play Economy – Tim Nixon, Runaway Play
  • Remote Control: Lessons in Leadership on Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition – Liam Esler
  • Game Audio Production – Bart Klepka
  • How do I get people to my App Panel – Mario Wynands, Tim Nixon, Jeremy Taylor
  • The Mobile Game Design Super Panel

Click here for the full schedule for the conference

Keynote by Diablo 2 Lead Designer David Brevik

David Brevik is the Game Designer and Producer of gaming classics Diablo and Diablo 2. He was one of the co-founders of Blizzard North, one of the most successful video game companies in history. David is now President and Chief Operating Officer of Gazillion Entertainment, developers of Marvel Heroes MMO. His game design and business insights are not to be missed.

Keynote Speaker David Brevik


NZGDC 2014 Sponsors


On Thursday 18 September four workshops will be held at AUT University. They are free for NZGDC14 ticket holders and run concurrently so you can only register for one.
Note: the workshops all have a lunch break between 12:00 and 13:00 but are not catered.

Interactive Script Writing: Jigsaw Storytelling

Edwin McRae will take attendees on a guided tour of this idiosyncratic form of storytelling. He will begin by defining what video game storytelling IS and what it IS NOT by comparing game narratives such as Bioshock and DotA with an interactive animated series like The Walking Dead. He’ll then move on to an autopsy of Path of Exile, an online NZ-made Action RPG, looking at how jigsaw storytelling has been applied to create a cohesive narrative experience.

Finally, Edwin will provide practical guidance to the attendees through a series of writing exercises that will introduce them to the experience of applying ‘jigsaw storytelling’ to their own (previously prepared) game story concepts.

Edwin McRae is Lead Narrative Designer for the award-winning Action Role-playing game, Path of Exile, where he has done everything from designing civilisations and four-act interactive story arcs to writing poetic flavour text for soul-sucking swords. As well as work on several other NZ and international games, he is a former story-liner and scriptwriter for Shortland Street.

3D Art: From Concept to Completion by Autodesk

Featuring various local 3D artists and Art Directors, AutoDesk’s David Zwierzchaczewski will facilitate a day-long journey through the complete Maya pipeline for game art.

David Zwierzchaczewski has been working in the Film/ TV and games industry for almost 15 years. Trained as a traditional 2D animator David quickly transitioned over to 3D where he moved up through the production ranks to direct several projects. Some of the recent project he has been involved in are Civilisation V, Dark Siders II, Saints Row the Third, L.A. Noire He is now the resident 3D specialist at Autodesk, where he is on the BETA development teams for Maya, 3DS Max, MudBox and Motion Builder.

Gaming for Export Workshop

This half-day workshop with two leading international games business consultants is for studios serious about taking their business to the next level. Bob Wallace, CEO of Strategic Alternatives, has worked with THQ, Zygna, Ensemble Studios as well as other New Zealand studios.

David S. Rosenbaum is a leading Los Angeles-based entertainment Ip and licensing lawyer and business advisor.

Unity3D Project Workflow Techniques

Unity gives you a rich set of building blocks that can be used to construct any type of game. As a result it can sometimes be difficult to know how to set up your game project in a way that’s easy to iterate and build upon. In this hands-on workshop, Unity Evangelist Rus Scammell, will discuss basic architecture structures for your game and point out some commonly overlooked details that can have a major impact on performance. The talk is geared towards designers and programmers with some Unity scripting skills but will be most useful for developers with broad roles in small development teams.