Fast Five – Laura Crawford

In the lead up to this year’s festival, we’ve asked some of our speakers a set of Fast Five questions about their work and their thoughts on games in Australia. Today we have Laura Crawford, who is an academic in Games and Interactivity at Swinburne University. Laura will be be a panelist on the Self-Care for Game Developers panel as part of the Online Festival. What are you working on right now? I am finishing a PhD in attraction to screen violence, beginning a study with colleagues on independent game development and developing a Psychology of Game Design subject. What do you wish you worked on? Why? In addition to the things I’m working on currently, I’d also like more time for a different kind of creativity. There is at least one game I want to make, a documentary that has been sitting with me for far too long and I also miss sculpture. Research and writing are creative in their own way but there’s a purity in art. What’s an Australian game, old or new, digital or physical, that you find interesting? There are so many and for a myriad of reasons. Framed is fascinating for the fact that it has lovingly utilised so many different items from pop culture, and made them into something completely different yet coherent and fun. Flight Control has a special place in my heart too. It was one of the first games I bought for my shiny new iPad (I was a foolish early adopter); I fell deeply in love with the music and the way it sounded on my new device. Of...

Fast Five – Meghann O’Neill

In the lead up to this year’s festival, we’ve asked some of our speakers a set of Fast Five questions about their work and their thoughts on games in Australia. Today we have games reviewer, music teacher, and composer Meghann O’Neill, who will be running a music workshop at the Freeplay Fete. What are you working on right now? Right now, I’m working on filling out this form to the best of my ability. Something I try to convey to my music students is that you don’t need to focus on your creative goals all of the time. In fact, if you have a balanced life, the time you spend working towards performance, composition or whatever it is you do, can be more fruitful. (But, when I’m not focusing on this form, I’m iterating on a system of dynamic music, finding great indie games for PC Powerplay magazine and writing, mostly, short stories. And hopefully helping Primary students to develop a love of instrumental music.) What do you wish you worked on? Why? I carefully seek work that supports my wider creative goals, where possible. So, when I interview composers for PC Powerplay magazine, I often get great ideas for my own compositions. When I compose music based on some new idea, I can often then sell a lecture to a tertiary institution. For now, I’d like to continue being a diverse musician and games reviewer because of that mutually supportive process. What’s an Australian game, old or new, digital or physical, that you find interesting? At PAX Australia last year, I saw [Chris Johnson’s] Expand, briefly, and thought it looked like a...

Ticketing F.A.Q.

Freeplay has had a huge overhaul this year in terms of what we’re offering, so in the last few weeks before the festival we thought we’d let you all know about how ticketing and access to each event works. Frequently Asked Questions Q: A lot of Freeplay is free this year, isn’t it? A: Yes! As you can see from the chart above, a huge amount of this year’s festival is free. That said, a lot of our events take place at venues with limited capacity. In the case of the GameLoading screening and the Level Up event at the Wheeler Centre, you’ll need to reserve a place in advance in order to get in. You can do that by following the links on each event’s page here on the Freeplay site. Other events with limited capacity, like the Freeplay Launch, the Multiplicity Jam Public Talks, and the very popular Hovergarden Party operate on a first-come-first-served basis. Q: I heard Freeplay was sold out! I really wanted to come, how do I get in? A: Well, we’ve sold out of full passes, but as you can see from the chart above, you can still come to the vast majority of the festival. You can still buy tickets to the Symposium—which is the 2015 event most similar to previous year’s Freeplay events, with a keynote address and panels (if you’re coming to Freeplay at all, you’ll want to be at the Symposium). You can also still buy tickets to our Awards party, which is also our end-of-Freeplay celebration event. Q: I really wanted to get into the Freeplay 10 event...

Call for volunteers

As in previous years, Freeplay is looking for a few good volunteers to assist at our events. If you’re passionate about the art and culture of games and want to help make our biggest festival yet the best it can be, we’d love to hear from you! Visit the Volunteers page to express your interest in volunteering, advising us of your availability and relevant skills, by Friday, March 27. We’ll be in touch soon after the...

Welcome to Freeplay 2015

After months and months of preparation, I’m really happy to welcome you to Freeplay for 2015. Take a look around our beautiful new website – with amazing artwork from our Visual Art Lead, Marigold Bartlett. There’s so much to tell you all about what we’ve got planned for 2015, but I’m not sure I can do a better job than letting you rummage through our new site. A keynote from the first videogame composer to be nominated for a Grammy award, a great new ten day format with a fete (a fete!), a film screening, and even a game jam. But here’s some things that I love about our new 2015 presence that you might otherwise miss: This is not only our biggest festival ever, but it’s also one of our most affordable. Tickets are only $55 for everything, and 80% of our events are free anyway. It’s also our most inclusive and wide-reaching festival ever. We’ve got an entire section of our program that’s streamed online for free. That means an audience—and a speaker roster—from all over Australia. Maybe even from all over the world. Not to mention the fact that we’re working with an amazing array of groups and organisations to bring you this festival—Film Victoria, ACMI, Arts Centre Melbourne, The Wheeler Centre, Hovergarden, and many more still to be announced. We’ve finally got a functioning Freeplay history section on the site. It’s not all there yet, but there’s already some great stuff—including our 2007 keynote Jonathan Blow hanging out with some suspiciously young-looking former Freeplay staff. Photos from all our 2014 events, and a full-length video recording of...

Dates, awards announced for Freeplay 2015

Welcome back to Freeplay for 2015! This is going to be a huge year for us. In fact, in the year of our tenth festival, it’ll be our biggest yet. We’ve got a ten-day festival for you this year in Melbourne between April 10 to April 19, culminating in an exciting weekend of events on April 18 and April 19. Throughout this period, we’ll be having a program of online panels and events (like we did with our lunch launch, with a live-stream accessible to viewers around the nation and the globe), and of course the Freeplay Awards. Freeplay will kick off on April 10, which is also when we’ll announce the finalists for our 2015 Freeplay Awards. The winners will be announced on the last night of our program, April 19, at our usual awards show in Melbourne. We’ll open our awards for entry on March 2, and we’ll announce the details of our program, our exciting international keynote, and have tickets on sale in just a few weeks on February 27. We’re also really happy to announce that for the first time ever we’ve appointed a Chair of the Freeplay Awards, to oversee and lead the judging process and our jury. For 2015, we’re delighted to say that our inaugural Chair is Cherie Davidson. Finally, while we’ve got most of the festival together, it’s also not too late to get in touch with a panel idea, or even just to let us know about yourself if you think you might be a good fit as a Freeplay speaker. To do so, just complete this form, and we’ll be in touch over the next few weeks. We’re...

Parallels wrap-up

If you missed our incredible 2014 Parallels event, the full video is available above. And, if you’re looking for a recommendation, here’s what the media said: The Age/Sydney Morning Herald: “Freeplay, Australia’s premier indie games festival, gets a shake-up.” Daily Review/Crikey: “These are the 12 reasons we should be excited about the future of the Australian video games industry.” IGN: “These are games that we think deserve some recognition for their big ideas … we still certainly hope to see more from these talented developers in future.” Kill Your Darlings: “incredible videogames-in-progress” Develop: “As the first of the new format events for Freeplay, it was a good start and a sold-out...

Approaching Parallels

We’re just under two weeks out from Parallels, our Showcase and Playday at ACMI on the 18th of October, and we’re incredibly excited. We’ve got a lot in store for you. To get a preview, head on over to our brand new Freeplay Tumblr, we’re we’ve been giving a sneak peak of some of the games we’ll be featuring in the Showcase. To buy tickets to the Showcase (the Playday is free), head to the ACMI website. If any journalists want to come along, send us an email at media [at] freeplay.net.au and we’ll organise a press pass for you. See you all on the...

Three big Freeplay events for 2014 and 2015

Today we are super excited to announce not one, not two, but three big Freeplay events for both this year and next: On August 31 we’re running ‘Play By the Book’ as part of the Melbourne Writers Festival ‘LitHop’ event. We’re at Rancho Notorious (upstairs at 1000 Pound Bend) at 2pm. We’ll be matching indie games with live readings of classic literature simultaneously. It’ll be weird, and hopefully, it’ll be delightful. On October 18, Freeplay and ACMI and presenting Parallels, a brand new day-long event of two great parts. We’ve got the Parallels Showcase at 7pm, a session in the ACMI studio where we’re curating an amazing array of local game makers demoing their games live. You can grab tickets to this right now at the ACMI site. We’re keeping this intimate, so get in quick or you’ll miss out. Earlier in the same day, we’re also running the totally free Parallels Playday, where we’ve got some great games, activities, and performances throughout the day in the ACMI Lightwell. We’ll be talking a lot about both of these events more over the coming weeks. And finally… in April 2015, we’ll be running the next big Freeplay festival. This will be our tenth festival ever, so when we say it’ll be big, it’ll be big. In fact, we’re planning ten days of Freeplay in April next year. That’s our biggest festival ever. We’re really putting the ‘festival’ part of our name upfront and centre, too, with the usual talks and panels, but also parties, our awards, performances, social events, game playing sessions, and even completely free panels using the same system you see above that...

Well, we’ve got some announcements to make…

Join us this Wednesday the 13th at 1pm AEST in our live Google Hangout for Freeplay’s Lunch Launch, where we’ll be announcing our upcoming programme of events! You can either just hit ‘play’ above on the embedded link at 1pm, or join us at the Google Plus event page. We’re looking forward to your company...