SQ News

Melbourne Games Week: GCAP & PAX Wrap-up

Screen Queensland was proud to have attended Melbourne International Games week 2019. Each year, the Australian and international games industry, together with game enthusiasts, converge at the Melbourne Convention Centre for the Asia Pacific’s largest games celebration.

It’s always a jam-packed week of conferences, events, panels and of course, plenty of new games to play! The SQ team was on the ground, getting the industry intel and spruiking our awesome Queensland-made games!.

GCAP (Games Connect Asia Pacific)
7-9 October

Screen Queensland Community Manager Caitlin Boucher (Pictured far right), together with representatives from Screenwest, Screen Tasmania, Film Victoria and the South Australian Film Corporation, formed the GCAP panel State Agency Games Funding – What it is, why it is, and who can apply for it.

GCAP, an initiative by the Game Developers’ Association of Australia (GDAA), is the industry and community facing component of Melbourne International Games Week, with the aim to up-skill the Australian game development industry. For the first time in its 14 year history, the conference grew from a two-day event into a full three days of panels, networking, important conversations, industry round-tables and more.

Among the expert speakers were Queenslanders Wren Brier (Art Director, Witchbeam), Mel Taylor (Narrative Designer, Mellow Games), Zander Hulme (Sound Designer and music composer, Supertonic), Andrew Curnock (Game Audio Designer and Composer, Beat Therapy), Cheryl Vance (C0-Founder, Prideful Sloth), SQ Community Manager Caitlin Boucher and closing keynote by Brendan Keogh (QUT).

Industry networking at GCAP

PAX Aus (Penny Arcade Expo)
11-13 October

PAX 2019, at the Melbourne Convention Centre

Key industry players, indie developers, media, gamers and cosplayers assembled for Australia’s largest game convention, PAX Aus.

SQ-supported games Unpacking (a zen puzzle game by Witch Beam),  Damsel (an action platformer by Screwtape Studios) and the hilarious Speaking Simulator by Affable Games, shone in the PAX Rising section, and augmented reality app Ardent Roleplay attracted much attention in the tabletop area.  

Megan Summers, Co-Founder of Screwtape studios and Production and Quality Assurance for Damsel, highlighted the importance for game creators to attend significant markets, such as PAX.

“Every year when we come to PAX, (we get) to meet people and watch their faces when they’re playing the game

“it’s invigorating to be able to be here and share those moments with people who love your game.”

In addition to presenting an opportunity to interact directly with consumers and boost game sales, Megan also mentioned that PAX also further allows the team to supplement sales with merchandise, such as t-shirts, mugs, notebooks and stickers.

“Our sales every year spike just over this weekend, I think everyone gets the gaming bug.”

The biggest advantage Summers noted, was the chance to interact with games media.

“Getting to meet with media, and actually have interviews face to face has been really wonderful.  It’s one thing to email with somebody or talk over skype, but you can’t get the passion across and over as much.

“We’ve had about five interviews already, and we’re only halfway through the first day!”

Megan commented on how Screen Queensland’s Games Finance and Market Funding support has impacted the development and release of Damsel, which has been available on Xbox One and Nintendo Switch since August this year.

“We wouldn’t be here today with a released game if it wasn’t for our funding from Screen Queensland. The support they’ve had for us and our team and the game itself has been amazing.

Megan summed up her PAX 2019 experience as “recuperating”, following months of hard work from the nine-strong team at Screwtape.

“I love making games. No matter how hard it gets sometimes. Days like this at PAX make me realise why I’m here and why I’m always gonna stay. ”

Other Queensland made games with booths at PAX Rising included Brimstone Brawlers by Ategig, and Mega Punchy Golf by Pillowhead Games.

The Screwtape Studios team and their booth for Damsel at PAX Rising.
Ardent Roleplay, repping at the tabletop games section at PAX
The Unpacking (Witch Beam) booth at Pax Rising
The Speaking Simulator (Affable Games) booth at Pax Rising