The Nordic Game 2013 sessions are divided in to the following main areas:
Confirmed sessions this far:
Inspiration Driven Development
Presented by Tim Schafer, Double Fine Productions
Tim Schafer talks about his experiences in the games industry and the challenges and rewards of a creative career making games.
Panel lead by Jory Prum
How do you write, cast, record, direct, and ultimately give voice to an episodic game that ranges from extreme subtlety to intense action? A slice of the voice production crew for The Walking Dead: The Game will tell you how they did it! With Dave Fennoy, Eric Parsons, and Nicki Rapp.
Making a Console Game: Q&A with Julie Uhrman
Presented by Julie Uhrman, OUYA
Julie Uhrman will answer questions on making games, OUYA, and the advantages the Nordic market presents. Currently, the opportunities for console games are in many ways better than PC & Mobile. Nordic developers that understand both free to play and traditional pay-for game models are well-positioned to access / break into this evolving console market.
Life of Play, Life of the Mind: What Game Design Can Teach Us
Presented by Richard Lemarchand
In the spring of 2012, Uncharted Lead Game Designer Richard Lemarchand left Naughty Dog, and spent the summer traveling the world in a series of adventures worthy of Nathan Drake (though with far fewer gunfights and explosions). In August, he returned to California and – following his passion for games and play as art and culture – began life as a professor in the famous Interactive Media and Games program at the University of Southern California. This session tells the story of Richard’s transition from AAA console game designer to game design professor, and the challenges he faced in learning how to teach the “dark art” of game design. He will talk about the positive impact that indie games, art games and experimental games can have on the design of blockbuster games like Uncharted, and will describe the incredible opportunities for success he sees for all teachers and researchers who adopt a playful, game designerly attitude in their practice.
Playing the Part: The Unlikely Relationship Between Gamey-ness and Writing
Presented by Ditte Deenfeldt, and Meghan Watt, Massive Ubisoft
How do story-telling and characters fit in a gameplay-centric co-op experience? Game designer Ditte Deenfeldt and writer Meghan Watt discuss how characters, narrative and gameplay can come together for a fast-paced co-op game mode, from scratched character concepts and focus tests to the final product, as well as their personal experience with Far Cry 3.
A Little Big Journey: From City of Metronome To LBP
Presented by Mattias Nygren, Tarsier
How did a small Swedish game developer consisting mainly of people with no prior industry experience end up working one of SCE's biggest franchises, and delivering the #1 PlayStation®Vita game? Get the full scoop from Tarsier Studios own Mattias Nygren.
Play It Again, Sam: How To Connect With Your Audience
Presented by Susan O'Conner
How can we use stories to connect with digital audiences? In this talk, an award-winning videogame writer discusses the tricks of the trade.
In The Time It Takes Your Heart To Beat
Presented by Ste Curran, Echo Park/One Life Left
Previously: 1) A spotlit monologue about interactive narrative via karaoke at a music festival; 2) Graphs about Britney, the slow death of punk rock and your duty to try everything. This year: 3) something new about love and memory.
Presented by Matt Bock, Harmonix
Performance of identities within games is both a core game design challenge and a hot-button issue. While many games attempt to model aspects of real world norms, biases, and challenges in their fantasies, some (like Dragon Age 2 & Animal Crossing) give players the power of normalization--the ability to impose their character's slang, fashion sense, and even sexual preference upon the game world. What kind of stories does this mechanic open up? What are its limitations?
The Challenge: Turning an Unproduced Short Film Into a Game (Nordic Fast Track)
Presented by Simon Flesser, Simogo, and Jonas Tarestad, writer
This session covers the story of Year Walk and the challenges we faced in re-writing a short story script to create a fragmented narrative that stretches over two different softwares and timelines.
The Challenge: Honestly Exposing Our Weaknesses Before Our Peers (Nordic Fast Track)
Presented by David Mariner, AppSponsor
To date, I've never sat in a post mortem where a developer lays bare their very soul to the audience. Today, that changes. I'm sharing some of the biggest mistakes of my career. Just the cold, unvarnished truth.The greatest presentation of my life, or the worst. Certainly the bravest.
The Challenge: HTML5 Audio: Coming to a Browser Near You! (Nordic Fast Track)
Presented by Jory Prum, Sound Guy
Until very recently, web games required Flash for audio. Now the new Web Audio API gives developers tools to make good sounding games with event-driven audio. We'll look at what is happening in Web Audio and the exciting ways it's being used to create tools and games for a variety of devices.
The Challenge: Designing Serious Games (Nordic Fast Track)
Presented by Simon Egenfeldt-Nielsen, Serious Games
One of the fastest growing niche's within games industry is the area of serious games, where the Nordic countries have a old tradition for combining play and learning. This session sets out a list of basic serious game design principles exemplified through a number of simple case studies from the serious games space. the principles are heuristics rules based on more than 10 years practical work in the field from one of the world's leading serious games developers - Serious Games Interactive.
PlayStation & Indies – A Love Affair?
Presented by Alessandro Bovenzi, SCEE
Indie developers have been the biggest contributors to innovation in games for the last few years and their games are more and more a crucial part of any platform portfolio. This presentation will explain how Sony is approaching independent developers and the possibilities in self-publishing and support activities across all platforms, including how PlayStation®4 will enable developers to fulfil their potential. With Luke Savage, SCEE.
Fan Fiction: Free Marketing or IP Anarchy?
Carri Bugbee, award winning creator of @PeggyOlson (and other Twitter characters) from AMC’s hit drama Mad Men, and Sebastian Larsson, co-creator of Little Big Planet, discuss the bright moments and dark sides of fan fiction. They’ll reveal secrets, suggestions and warnings for entertainment brands and fan-fiction enthusiasts alike. Simon Staffans, developer of TV, interactive and transmedia content at Media City, will moderate.
Presented by Are Sundnes, Hyper Games
In 2013 Alfons Åberg is coming to devices, cinemas, tv-stations, websites, and toy stores around the world. Are from Hyper Games will talk about the benefits, challenges and the creative process of working with a with a well known IP for so many platforms - with special focus on the game for iOS/Android.
Storytelling in the VFX industry
Presented by Cameron Scott, FIDO
The presentation will focus on storytelling and narration from the point of view of animation for feature films and commercials, using a range of production examples produced from the past year. The session is done in collaboration with the Nordic MEDIA Desks.
How Do We Evolve Games Publishing?
Presented by Phil Elliott, SquareEnix
The market has changed, and businesses need to adapt too. More options for developers and gamers to see new ideas championed and released, we’ve got some ideas we’d like to throw around. And what is Square Enix Collective? Find out here!
PR for App Discovery – How It Helps and How You Can Do It
Sam Dalsimer, TriplePoint PR
This talk provides useful advice on handling PR for your mobile games including media coverage, messaging, and getting featured, whether you have a big budget or none at all. At the end of this talk you will be better equipped to run your own PR or evaluate external providers to improve app discovery.
Extreme Success with Mobile: Challenges and Solutions
Presented by David Helgason, Unity Technologies
Mobile is growing at staggering rates and small teams are making an impact they haven’t had since the 80’s, but success on these new platforms poses new challenges. David Helgason will discuss the new way developers must look at production complexity, design, marketing, production values, monetization, funding, and multiplatform strategy.
Grassroots Marketing via Building a Dedicated Fan Base
Presented by Eli Hodapp, TouchArcade
Traditional games promotion hinges around embargoes, press releases, and heavily controlled launch plans. In the mobile scene, building a fan base across multiple releases while engaging players on a one to one level increases loyalty and can cause a snowball effect between releases.
Developing Cross-Platform Mobile Games
Presented by Sean Paul Taylor, BlackBerry
In this session, we will discuss some of the challenges and solutions when developing and distributing cross-platform mobile games. Topics will include open-source options, with a focus on design and implementation details when developing your own cross-platform game or engine. GamePlay3D, BlackBerry's open-source, cross-platform game framework will be used as a case study. Platforms discussed will include BlackBerry, Android, iOS, Windows, MacOS X and Linux.
The story of The Room: The Road Less Traveled Still Leads To Rome.
Presented by Barry Meade, Fireproof Studios
Making The Room with a small team & little resources was an exercise in focus. I would like to tell the story of where Fireproof came from, how we developed the game and how our release went. And broadly, how focus gave us the freedom to execute at a high level.
Taking console IP to mobile vs. creating mobile-specific IP
Presented by Michael Shade, FISHLABS Entertainment GmbH
With top mobile games pulling in eight-digit revenues per month and 100+ million console-graphics-capable smartphones and tablets in the market, traditional publishers will bring their high-production value IPs to the mobile gaming platform as well. But is that really a safe-and-steady formula for success?
The Challenge - taking Candy Crush Saga cross-plattform (Nordic Fast Track)
Presented by Tommy Palm, King.com
Games are going to be accessible on the screen that is most convenient at any given point. The design challenge has gone from porting between different resolutions to creating a unison game experience between completely different devices. Players will demand a seamless cross-platform experience. How is King approaching this challenge?
Mobile GameArch - session 1
Gap Analysis of Mobile Game Architecture
Moderated by Malte Behrmann
MGA has identified several areas seriously needing improvement, ranging from protection of minors, over payments, to the lack of communication between hardware, OS, and ecosystem owners and the game developers. How could these problems best be fixedto the advantage of European mobile games developers? With Jani Kahrama, Secret Exit, Bogdan Tudosoiu, Mobile Heights, and Maarten Noyons.
Mobile GameArch - session 2
Europe and the World Panel
Presented by Andrei Dementjev, Fortumo
The distribution of cell phones is in emerging markets today almost as high as in the developed countries. Its importance to society sometimes even bigger, taking into consideration the absence of PC’s and classic broadband. Specifically in territirorris with low connectivity like India, Middle East and Africa the relative important of the mobile device may not be underestimated. This concerns marketing, payment, cultural issues, but also other related issues in order to become truly local and global at the same time. With Nour Khrais, Maysalward, and Christopher Kassulke, HandyGames
Mobile GameArch - session 3
Standards And Mobile Games
Presented by Annie Mullins, OBE, Gemma Paris, ARM
It can basically be taken as a given that SMEs, and especially mobile game or application developer studios, have no discernible influence on standards. In the mobile ecosystem, the leading standardizationbodies are World Wide Web consortium (W3C), European Telecommunication Standards Institute (ETSI), Open Mobile Alliance (OMA), Khronos Group, GSM Association (GSMA).Alsoisto enquire how the existing platform based systems (IOS, Android etc.) can comply to a common technical standard which unifies age rating in Europe and simplifies this important issue for the end consumer. This standardizationprocess should be made possible with the strong involvement of the European development community and not be controlled mainly by off-line overseas game publishers. With Thierry Platon, SNJV, and Patrick-René Guillemin.
Project Anarchy - A Free Mobile Game Development Engine
Presented by Elias Lozada-Benavente, Havok
Havok offers a powerful game development toolset combining the Vision Engine, Physics, AI and Animation Studio products. Having been used in successful commercial game titles such as Modern Combat 4, Halo 4, Skyrim, Orcs Must Die and Guild Wars 2 to name a few, Project Anarchy bundles these Havok technologies to offer users a complete mobile game toolkit. Project Anarchy includes a full WYSIWYG editor and content exporters fort 3dsMax and Maya. The best of all: it is completely free for both iOS and Android platforms.This session briefly presents the products included in Project Anarchy and explains how they work together. Additionally we will demonstrate Project Anarchy running on a mobile device and will give a coarse overview of the creative workflow.
Practical Clustered Shading
Prresented by Emil Persson, Avalanche Studios, and Ola Olsson, Chalmers University of Technology
Clustered Shading is a novel lighting approach offering better performance scaling than previous approaches while being compatible with both forward and deferred shading. This talk will introduce the originally published approach followed by a presentation of how the technique was adapted for a real game engine at Avalanche Studios.
PlayStation®4 Overview for Developers
Presented by Neil Brown, SCEE
Sony Computer Entertainment's latest console, the PlayStation 4 has recently been announced. This talk will cover the core information you need to start developing your own PS4 game, from both a design and development standpoint.
Double ARM Session:
Profiling and Debugging Games on Mobile Platforms
Presented by Lorenzo Dal Col, ARM
The session will show you how to deliver a far more visually appealing experience to end users by utilising API analysis to debug Open GL® ES 3.0 graphics, optimize performance of the gaming application and improve the user’s understanding of the graphics pipeline.
Optimised Effects With Mobile Graphics
Presented by Stacy Smith, ARM
Describing the implementation of several techniques used in our internal demos.
The Challenge : Feeding a physically based lighting model (Nordic Fast Track)
Presented by Niklas Hansson, Defrost Games
Physically based lighting is everywhere now it seems (Fox,CE3,UE4 and so on), but what kind of data do you practically need to use it, how do you communicate to your artists about how to utilize the system and get their buy in to make their life easier. We focused on practical tips on things like cubemap preparation, how roughness affects the fresnel term and how to make the system easy and clear for artists.
The Challenge: LODs, Draw Calls 'n' FPS (Nordic Fast Track)
Presented by Mustafa Tungekar, Simplygon
In this session we will cover how using Level-Of-Detail (LOD) techniques to optimize the number of triangles & draw calls, as well as reducing skinning & material complexity, have a huge impact on rendering performance. We will demonstrate these techniques with LODs created using Simplygon(tm).
The Challenge: Crafting HTML5 Games (Nordic Fast Track)
Presented by Mihai Gheza, NuGames
Mihai is a senior online marketer, skilled in design, UI, SEO and online sales. In 2012 he co-founded NuGames (based in Malmo) and they're now building their first social, location based game: TakeOver, using HTML5 and Open Source technologies. He also does web-related stuff for IBM and takes an MSc in Engineering Management at DTU.
Meet the Publishers - Round Table
Presented by Jeff Hilbert, DDM
During this session a few of the largest Publishers in the world that are actively funding and/or distributing 3rd party titles will outline:1) Publishing Objectives, 2) Platforms, content, genre's etc. that each Publisher is seeking, 3) What information and materials are required to present to each Publisher, and 4) Potential deal structures to expect from each Publisher. With Carsten van Husen, CEO, Gameforge, Jiwon Park, Nexon, Phil Waymouth, Microsoft, and Dohyun Shon, Neowiz
Presented by Martin von Haller Grønbæk, Bird & Bird
Gaming has traditionally been built on closed business models: Copy protection, DRM, closed console and tight control of users’ behaviour. Within any other industry, in particular software, gaming is also moving towards more openness. Platforms are made more open and accessible, use of open APIs are increasing, developers use open source software, gaming communities are built around sharing of code and content. Building upon concepts such as open source software and Creative Commons, this presentation will give an introduction to how sharing of code and content under open licensing is making headway within the gaming industry.
The Need for Speed
Presented by Paul Heydon, London Venture Partners
With massive disruption happening in the game sector and fast growth of new mobile platforms, digital game companies need to move faster than ever to execute plans, launch games and innovate faster than the competition. This presentation will share some key points on why.
Open Season: Business Gurus Under Fire
Moderated by Jason Della Rocca
Come fire off your hardest business questions to our panel of battle-hardened gurus. No question is too grand... or too awkward, to get these gurus to talk and share, and do their best to provide realistic guidance. They want you to succeed and are willing to pass
along their secrets so you can do it faster! With Ian Baverstock, Justin Stolzenberg, Mary Carty, and Doug Richard.
Presented by Fred Hasson, Games Capital.
Year 4 of the popular Nordic Live-Pitching session, where aspiring entrepreneurs test their ideas against some seasoned entrepreneurs and investors with some god prizes at stake. This year's dragon investors: Paul Heydon of Avista Partners, Doug Richard, an original investor dragon from the UK TV series, Ian Baverstock of Tenshi Ventures, Mary Carty of Spoiltchild, and Justin Stoltzenberg of European Games Group.
The Challenge: Going from B2B to B2C without funding (Nordic Fast Track)
Presented by Magnus Alm, Freelunch Design
The concept of creative freedom attracts many developers to try their wings in this industry. Yet many studios get stuck doing contract work instead of what they really want: release their own games.The downside of self-publishing can be devastating, but the upside is extremely rewarding. This talk will present a CEO’s learnings of going from contracted development to developing own titles for a multitude of platforms, with no external funding.
Awesome: We have a Shit-Storm
Presented by Nadja Bastawi and Thomas Lagemann, Two Pi Team
Turn your Shit-Storm into a Publicity-Storm! In this lecture we want to show why a Shit-Storm is not solely something bad, but can be turned into something positive if handled proper. There will be some general facts about social media and some examples and best-practices of Shit-Storms as well. Be sure to have a good Facebook-Weather guy/girl!
The Challenge: Simultaneously Releasing Lots of Versions of Hitman Absolution (Nordic Fast Track)
Presented by Luke Valentine, IO Interactive
Once we had made Hitman Absolution and were focused on bug fixing and final QA, people on the team asked more and more about when was “the submission”. In fact there were actually dozens of submissions. This talk will look at the submission complexity of simultaneously releasing multi-platform AAA games.
The Challenge: Marrying Creative and Production (Nordic Fast Track)
Presented by Samuel Ranta-Eskola, Hansoft
A common problem in many large projects is a poorly maintained backlog. This makes teams falling back on a 'reactive thinking strategy' which leads to bad predictability and possibly to a loss of quality in the end product. The session will go through how to approach using the backlog as the game design document.
From Battlefield to Angry Birds or Why I Left AAA Behind
Presented by Patrick Liu, Rovio Sweden
Why would anyone move from one of the most hardcore franchises to something undoubtedly mainstream and casual? While convergence makes our knowledge increasingly relevant, there are some exciting key differences too. I believe great game developers can excel independent of platform and business model.
The Challenge: Knowing the Mechanics of User Acquisition (Nordic Fast Track)
Presented by Caspar Strandbygaard, Multiverse
Based on real-life experience, we will dive into the formulas and ackronyms involved in measuring your success.
The Challenge: Getting (the right) Attention (Nordic Fast Track)
Presented by Natascha Roosli, RockPocket Studio
Lessons learned from trying to get attention for both our studio and our own indie games. Building up a contact network from scratch, mistakes made and how to avoid them. What worked for us and what didn't.
The Challenge: Saving a Kickstarter with an image (Nordic Fast Track)
Presented by Steffen Kabbelgaard Grønning, Betadwarf
A postmortem of a successful Kickstarter campaign for the indie game FORCED. Many different PR approaches were tried during the campaign, from crowd-fan pr and live streaming, to social viral efforts. Come and find out, which worked and which did not!
The Challenge: Get Your Game Discovered (Nordic Fast Track)
Presented by Jussi Laakkonen, Applifier
Word of mouth is the #1 way players find mobile games. Our study of 1800 mobile gamers reveals details on how users discover and recommend games. Join this session to learn how to supercharge word of mouth for your mobile game.
The Challenge - How to antifragile your game studio? (Nordic Fast Track)
Presented by Ilari Kuittinen, Housemarque
The lecture concentrates on the studio's continuous attempts to build further 'antifragility' into it's DNA, so that the company not only withstands any high-impact crisis. Important lessons can be learned how to actually improve the company because of those events in the company's history.
Arguments for Gender Equality in the Gaming Industry
Presented by Pernilla Alexandersson, Add Gender
The issue of gender equality in the gaming industry has perhaps never been more relevant than this year. Women are knocking on the seemingly locked doors of gaming and organizations are struggling to become more inclusive and inviting to both female and male gamers. This is a situation that gender equality expert Pernilla Alexandersson, CEO and founder of Add Gender, finds familiar from her experiences from other industries. Welcome to a presentation where you’ll get insights into what arguments will help you kick-start qualitative and quantitative gender equality work, and you’ll receive positive examples from other industries and specific companies.
Feedback - a Tool
Presented by Ann-Sofie Sydow, The Game Assembly
To be able to give and act on feedback is a powerful tool to have and use. But it is easier to talk about it than actually doing it. This talk gives a perspective on it and a tool for your future as a more effective lead/leader/teacher.
The Intersection Between Stress and Creativity - Leadership Training
Presented by Pernilla Alexandersson, Add Gender
Creative environments are often lined with hard to define goals and committed people with high performance requirements. This lecture will give you knowledge in areas which could prevent burnout and how to manage stress. Be inspired in how you as a leader and as a committed employee can act to create a more results-oriented team spirit, where the inevitable feeling of stress becomes a driving force to make the most of the diversity of the group, instead of a wall to crash into in. Become the best leader you can be - in the intersection between stress and creativity
Nordic Game Breaking News Wrap-up: Live On Air
With your favorite anchor, Thomas Vigild
What did we learn? What was Nordic Game Conference all about? What was the hightlights, where are my trousers and what the hell happened last night? Join us for the first edition of NGBNW: LOA - the only session you´ll ever need to attend to get the complete overview of this years conference. NGBNW: LOA is a news-program based on Nordic Game Conference wrapping up this years talks, quotes, reactions and happenings. Experience live interviews, news reports and awesome game journalist know-how unfolding live on stage and maybe live animals and dragons, if Nordic Game Program approves. Hosted by Thomas Vigild and joined by senior global correspondents from the Nordic region.
The session descriptions will be updated on a regular basis.