Jul 152009


All video and audio below recorded at the AFTRS Theatre April 2009. LAMP pod and vodcasts are published through iTunes – click on the icon on the right if you have iTunes to subscribe now!

FIVE SEMINAR VIDEOS – Click the skip arrows to move between presentations

  1. THE ART & CRAFT OF MULTIPLATFORM STORYTELLING – 37m © Hoodlum Anthony Mullins – Creative Director Hoodlum  & Jackie Turnure, Head of Development and Production Hoodlum
  3. THE INNOVATIVE COMMUNITY – 38m © Laurel Papworth senior consultant, strategist, writer and workshop facilitator on online communities and social networks in Australia, Asia and Middle East (slideshares here)
  4. PLAYING IN A DIGITAL WORLD – 31m © Jim Shomos CEO Forget The Rules
  5. MULTIPLATFORM INNOVATIONS – 22m © Giancarlo A. Mori Senior Vice President, ANIMALLOGIC Interactive. (live Skype video intro interview with Gary Hayes)

[pro-player width=’480′ height=’252′ type=’mp4′]http://storylabs.us/lamp/podcast/lssm_innov_hoodlum.mp4,http://storylabs.us/lamp/podcast/lssm_innov_bob.mp4,http://storylabs.us/lamp/podcast/lssm_innov_laurel.mp4,http://storylabs.us/lamp/podcast/lssm_innov_jim.mp4,http://storylabs.us/lamp/podcast/lssm_innov_giancarlo.mp4[/pro-player]

Original seminar link – The way content is consumed has changed. A selection of leading innovators in multi-platform content present recent projects in the areas of social media, cross platform storytelling, extended entertainment, games and online entertainment. This will be an eye opener for those who thought cross-media meant TV show and a website!

AUDIO ONLY VERSIONS OF ABOVE – Click the skip arrows to move between presentations

[pro-player  width=’480′ height=’52’ type=’mp3′]http://storylabs.us/lamp/podcast/lsmp3_innov_hoodlum.mp3,http://storylabs.us/lamp/podcast/lsmp3_innov_bob.mp3,http://storylabs.us/lamp/podcast/lsmp3_innov_laurel.mp3,http://storylabs.us/lamp/podcast/lsmp3_innov_jim.mp3,http://storylabs.us/lamp/podcast/lsmp3_innov_giancarlo.mp3[/pro-player]


This podcast presentation by LAMP @ AFTRS.

  • Video & audio recorded by AFTRS Post-production & Digital Dept
  • Pod and vodcast editing, encoding, tagging & publishing by Gary Hayes
Jul 152009


All video and audio below recorded at the AFTRS Theatre April 2009. LAMP pod and vodcasts are published through iTunes – click on the icon on the right if you have iTunes to subscribe now!

FOUR SEMINAR VIDEOS – Click the skip arrows to move between presentations

  1. GAMES: SERIOUSLY – 35m © Gary Hayes Director LAMP @ AFTRS and CCO of MUVEDesign (slideshares here)
  2. THE REALITY OF THE SIMULATION – 38m © John Welsh Development Manager of Serious Games at Sydac
  3. SERIOUS GAMES: REACH OUT – 28m © Marianne Webb interactive manager for Reach Out!
  4. DOCO 2.0: FIRST AUSTRALIANS PANEL – 25m © AFTRS & First Australians – Peter Giles Director Digital Media talks to Rachel Perkins (Director), Darren Dale (EP) Sohail Dahdal (Online Producer)

[pro-player width=’480′ height=’252′ type=’mp4′]http://storylabs.us/lamp/podcast/lssm_serious43_gary.mp4,http://storylabs.us/lamp/podcast/lssm_serious43_john2.mp4,http://storylabs.us/lamp/podcast/lssm_serious43_marianne.mp4,http://storylabs.us/lamp/podcast/lssm_serious43_panel.mp4[/pro-player]

Original seminar link – All video and audio below recorded at the AFTRS Theatre April 2009. The intersection between documentary filmmaking and games will be explored in this half seminar and half rapid development workshop, providing deep insight into the potential of Serious Games. Both games and stories have long been recognised as powerful learning tools. Their combination in the 21st century has the potential to provide learning experiences that are collaborative and globally connected. What are the best examples of Serious Games and where are they heading? How can Serious Games be employed by educators, corporations or non-profit organizations?

AUDIO ONLY VERSIONS OF ABOVE – Click the skip arrows to move between presentations

[pro-player  width=’480′ height=’52’ type=’mp3′]http://storylabs.us/lamp/podcast/lsmp3_serious43_gary.mp3,http://storylabs.us/lamp/podcast/lsmp3_serious43_john2.mp3,http://storylabs.us/lamp/podcast/lsmp3_serious43_marianne.mp3,http://storylabs.us/lamp/podcast/lsmp3_serious43_panel.mp3[/pro-player]


This podcast presentation by LAMP @ AFTRS.

  • Video & audio recorded by AFTRS Post-production & Digital Dept
  • Pod and vodcast editing, encoding, tagging & publishing by Gary Hayes
Dec 042006

“Games don’t need a story – writers in the games industry are essentially unnecessary” Mark Laidlaw, VALVE

Jackie Turnure presented by AFTRS LAMP as part of its Friday Futures Series.

Taken out of context, this comment could be dynamite, but the point made by Mark and many of the speakers at the Writing for Games conference is that the most important question game players ask is ‘is it fun to play?’. This statement goes to the heart of the need for games writers to understand that they serve the player. Storytelling for games only works if it is immersive and interactive. Forget this and you’re not writing a game.

How story works in a game, the role of the writer, and how to technically script a game are all topics Jackie Turnure will be touching on in her 1 hour overview of the 2006 Austin Texas, Writing for Games Conference

Summary of the presentation

Jackie Turnure is one of the mentors at LAMP and lecturers at AFTRS in the area of games, online role playing, extended reality and virtual worlds (full bio below). This talk combines much of her knowledge as professional writer gained from her experience in the interactive industry along with a recent trip to the Austin Games Conference where she met and heard some of the best Games Writers in the World. She referred to presentations by four key writers who presented at the conference. The first Mark Terrano of Hidden Entertainment talked in his keynote about stories that are like home movies, meaningful to them, about not using other mediums to analyse or design games and most importantly for would be writers to actually play games to understand them. He finished on the importance of embracing user content, the personal experience, people want to personalize. Alexis Nolent a writer for Ubisoft made a key point that a writer is involved through the whole game production process not just at the beginning. Games are not remembered for the writing, gameplay is. But gamers often complain about bad story so it is critical to embed writers with the level designers to produce strong narrative at all points.

The third writer was John Sutherland from Microsoft who talked about conflict is important for drama. “Try selling the superman story without kryptonite”. Story will emerge from conflict and for MMO’s once the conflict is set up the writer has to learn to let go, as the players themselves create the story. Rules of games, do – if possible, show – if you must, tell -last resort. Rafael Chandler from Media Sunshine made a point in his talk about the production process, that gamers dont want story, they already have it. The final speaker was outside the writing stream. Raph Koster is renowned for dropping bombs in conferences and his main point here was that the ‘big’ games are finished. Console games and gigantic MMO’s are finished, ‘Age of the Dinosaurs’. His point was that games become services not products and that publishers and games creators will start to fragment with many hundreds and thousands entering the market creating small, niche services.

For this talk Jackie finished on her own ‘busted myths’ that she gleaned from the conference. They included myths such as:

  • Games = shooters
  • Games aren’t stories
  • Audience contribution is new
  • Interactivity breaks emotional engagement
  • Conflict = combat
  • Personalised content is not story
  • Story is king

and had some good news to finish on. Traditional skills do cross over in story, emotional engagement, genre, character, conflict, structure and dialogue and her final, final message was about the new skills many writers need to develop:

  • Balancing narrative with agency
  • Player is the protagonist
  • Making navigation transparent
  • Controlling rhythm and pacing
  • Incorporating personalisation
  • Encouraging real world interaction

PDF (83k) of the Powerpoint

MP3 recording time 41:15. (9.5MB) Click to listen

All LAMP podcasts are also published through the iTunes store.

Jackie TurnureWith script editing and writing experience in both traditional and new media, Jackie Turnure brings a unique perspective to the role of narrative in cross media production. For the last 15 years she has been working across film, television, games and online production, with a particular focus on animation and children’s content.

Jackie received her Bachelor of Arts (Visual Communications) from Sydney College of the Arts and her Master of Fine Arts (Film Production) from San Francisco State University. She spent nine years in the US teaching screenwriting at New York University, Hunter College and the Academy of Arts College, San Francisco. During that time, Jackie wrote and directed eight short films and videos that have won awards and screened internationally.

After returning to Sydney, Jackie produced and directed three 3D animated kids’ games for PC, “Bananas in Pyjamas ” It’s Party Time”, “Oz – The Magical Adventure” and “Oz – The Interactive Storybook”. The games have won numerous awards and been distributed in 18 countries. Jackie lectures part time at AFTRS, was an industry mentor at the NSW Film and Television Office’s Indigenous Writers Workshop, ran a Game Design Workshop in FTI in Perth and gave a workshop on Alternative Narratives for the Australian Writer’s Guild.In addition, Jackie works as a script editor and story consultant on feature films, animated television series and animated games. She recently completed story producing and writing 3 episodes on Deadly, a half hour animated TV series based on the books by Paul Jennings and Morris Gleitzman. Jackie is currently script editing and voice directing Stolen Life, an animated feature produced in Machinima, written and produced by Peter Rasmussen.

Recorded at AFTRS Sydney 1 Dec 2006

Audio edited and processed by Gary Hayes.

Sep 122006

Presented by AFTRS LAMP. How are virtual worlds developing and what are the opportunities for media creatives?

Luke Carruthers is a games developer who runs a company called Imaginary Numbers in Sydney. The company creates online games and their first title Tactica Online is a fast-moving strategy RPG set amidst conspiracy and intrigue of Da Vinci’s world.  Luke Carruthers’ first company, Magna Data, was founded in 1993, and went on to become one of Australia’s most successful early Internet service providers. Sold in 1999 for A$16 million, it was noted for its innovative services, including operating one of the country’s first DSL broadband networks. Since then he has founded three more companies, all focused on the Internet and telecommunications market, including Inter-touch, an in-hotel network operator recently acquired by NTT DoCoMo for US$70 million, and Alterna Telecom, which provided wholesale PSTN switching services and was acquired by RSLCom in 2002. Secretary of the Internet Industry Association from 1995 to 2001, and joining the board of the Game Developers Association of Australia in 2005, he has also worked with numerous government and industry bodies aiding in the development of the legislative and regulatory framework for the telecommunications, media, and entertainment industries.

Summary of the presentation

Using World of Warcraft and Second Life as examples at both ends of the spectrum of social online games Luke talks about environment design, demographics and game-play competitive structures of these services. He differentiates between role playing competitive games and sand-box environments of virtual worlds and talks in great detail about the motivations of game players and the social drivers of MMORPGs. Luke also addresses issues of self-policing and trust based social networks that spring up naturally in these environments referring to the griefers who try to upset the narrative/gameplay of other and the groups of guardians that try to reduce this irritation. In contrast he talks about the virtual world of Second Life as a game with no rules, goals or driving narrative. The economics and the fact that upto 50% of inhabitants of ‘worlds’ tend to be more socially outgoing females as opposed to the 15-30% in ‘games’ are used as part of the differentiation discussion. Luke talks about the way players communicate in worlds and how games such as Final Fantasy XI one has english and japanese speakers thrown together and how emotes and symbols are used more in those cases.

Luke then talks at length about the film/game business and production cross overs and how now films like Avatar is being created as a film and online game simultaneously. With costs of $64 mill for WoW the budgets are similar to major features with around $60mill in profit each month. He says that games took 20 years to reach a $10bill industry in the US whereas film took 90 years to get to the same level. The skills required for games creation are similar to film fx and in the US film students have a lot more game ‘education’ than in Australia. Luke sayd that this money is made mostly throught the dominant model of subscription and pays for the designers, producers, artists and programmers that form the four divisions of most games publishers. An interesting aspect of MMORPG production is the cultural differences in that Final Fantasy for example, which is predominantly and Eastern game, has around 75% passive cinematics (or linear video) and 25% actual interactive gameplay. He talks about the potential cross over in skills between traditional film and game production citing cinematographers, writers, composers, set and production designers have a role to play, whereas editors are more focused on the cinematic creation. Luke suggests it is only in the past year or so that how a scene is presented to the player is important and that is promising for traditional film creators especially lighting design which is going through enormous growth at the moment.

Luke finishes this insightful presentation by talking about the future and how AI will take a more dominant role as the next generation of SIMs type games come to the fore and emotional expression, realistic body language and character/personality will mean it becomes harder and harder to tell the difference between human or machine controlled avatars. The final element of the talk is about the ethical, control and moral dimensions of game access as well as the things Luke sees will make the difference between games and film blur to the Nth degree.

AFTRS Sydney 5 Sept 2006 – Time 57:46. Click to listen

All LAMP podcasts are also published through the iTunes store.

This presentation was highly interactive with lots of questions and has been edited to provide reasonable continuity.

Audio edited and processed by Gary Hayes.