Ballarat GIG: Get Into Games

For Immediate Release                                                      4 th July, 2011

What : Ballarat GiG: Get Into Games

Where: Mining Exchange, Ballarat, Victoria. Australia

When: 22 nd and 23 rd July

Shining a light on real opportunities in computer games

Melbourne, July 4, 2011— Australia’s largest regional computer games career expo, Ballarat GiG: Get into Games, returns on the 22 nd and 23 rd of July, and will showcase the industry with two days of demonstrations, the latest games to play, competitions and talks from local industry leaders.

Ballarat GiG is free and open to the public and offers rare access to working professionals from leading Australian studios.

Friday is targeted at students and focuses on talks about entering the industries and the opportunities it offers; while Saturday offers unstructured time with the developers, a hands-on approach to games with new Wii, PS3, Xbox 360 and PC titles available for the public to play, and a variety of competitions offering big prizes to test visitors sense of fun and skills. The Ballarat GiG Guitar Hero Idol guarantees laughs with success based on how hard you rock and not how well you score, whereas the more serious events offer more serious competition and prize money running into the thousands.

The local studios and presenters have been carefully chosen to represent various aspects of the Australian industry. Firemint stamped its name on the competitive world of iPhone development with Flight Control and Real Racing, Big Ant launched one of Australia’s best selling titles, this year, with AFL Live and Blue Tongue made an international splash with its colourful title De Blob. GiG offers time with these professional game developers to answer questions about their work, their path into the industry and their games. The Big Ant guys might even give lucky gamers tips on how to take their virtual AFL team to the premiership!

Other speakers include Game Developer Association of Australia CEO Tony Reed and representatives from Ballarat University and TAFE to deliver an overview of the industry and the academic courses on offer.

Ballarat GiG: Get Into Games was established in 2006 and is an initiative of the City of Ballarat as part of the Ballarat Innovation Festival, with the support of Multi Media Victoria, University of Ballarat and the Game Developers Association of Australia. It will be hosted by Addictive Agency’s Martin Wilkes, veteran who has more than fifteen years in the industry

working with game developers, publishers, websites, magazines, and who has hosted a games TV segment on Foxtel many years before the likes of Good Game.

The expo is designed to highlight careers in areas including computer science, sound engineering, music, arts, management and business studies using the eye-catching and entertaining games industry as a backdrop and focus.

Ballarat GiG is taking place at the Mining Exchange, Lydiard Street Ballarat, on July 22 nd&23 rd 2011 and the expo offers buses and free lunches for secondary school groups wishing to attend.


For more information contact:

Martin Wilkes

Project Manager

Addictive Agency

M: +61 (0) 421 568 434

Why Ballarat?

Ballarat is ideally located to service a large portion of the Victorian Regional population. With the investment in educational facilities, from the University to supporting TAFE, and specialised institutes, the City has focused on the development of gaming and multimedia pathways for its youth. There is a current shortage of

talent within the Australian Game Developers sector. Local Government and education are committed to supporting the industry via investment in skills and training and potential business and career opportunities


Why Addictive Agency?

Addictive Agency is a specialist PR, networking and business development company with a laser focus on games and technology. Its members have been involved in the games business since before the days of the 486 and have hands-on experience spanning games distribution, development and journalism, as well as business consulting and public relations.

Fact Sheet

A part of National ICT Careers Week

Program Schedule:

Friday July 22nd

09.30         Mining Exchange Venue Opens

10.00         Opening Presentations

10.15 GDAA, Game Developer Association of Australia presentation

Tony Reed, CEO and Martin Wilkes, GDAA Board member, will talk about the video game industry in Australia and Overseas.

Note: The video game industry is now the largest form of entertainment, bigger than both film and DVD.

10.30 Big Ant present AFL 2011, made in Melbourne by Australia’s largest indie developer

Big Ant is the largest independent video game developer in Australia and has just released one of the highest selling titles on PlayStation 3 in Australia: AFL Live. Big Ant developers will talk about making the game and how they got into games.

11.00 Ballarat TAFE Presentation

11.30 Ballarat Uni presentation, supporting courses

Both Ballarat University and TAFE will present course options for the students. Both will support teaching students what they will require to learn to join the video game industry.

Note: This is an industry that is not restricted to programmers and artists. There are opportunities in PR, marketing, sales and business, and we would encourage teachers to also invite students with these interests.

12.15 Lunch/Play During lunch, members of the game industry will talk to teachers

Ballarat GiG will host lunch for both the students and teachers.

Ballarat GiG will also host specific presentations for the teachers over lunch with members of the GDAA (Game Developer Association of Australia ) and local video game companies. This is to explain the growht of this sector and the career pathways that are available.

1.15     Firemint, one of the leading iPhone developers in the world and based in Melbourne

This is a big one for Ballarat and the students. One of the most successful companies on the iPhone and based in Melbourne. Great opportunity to listen to a big success story.

2.0        Blue Tongue talk about de Blob 2, made in Melbourne and an International hit

Blue Tongue are one of the bigger video game developers and the makers of De Blob which has been a big hit. Great local company, that is now part of the THQ International Group.

3.0        How to get into games, from school to business

This session will extend past the departure time of many schools and is there to support or answer any questions from teachers, students or other persons that have an interest in the video game industry as a career. This session will be open to public.

The Friday event programming will be based on the development and career options that the video game industry presents. The scheduling will include keynote presentations from the Game Developers Association and key developers in the Australian market. Local educational facilities will also present and introduce course and career options for video gaming.

While the keynotes are running, the venue will be open for visitors to play and test games.

All the booths will be manned. There will also be security in the room to assist teachers as required.

Ballarat GiG will also provide teacher specific workshops including:

Industry Overview


TOPIC: Industry overview, including scope of the games business, upcoming opportunities and insight into the careers that will drive the local scene forward.

Unreal Engine Development for Students

PRESENTER: Sam Altmeier

TOPIC: Game authoring with the Unreal Development Kit (UDK). Unreal is one of the world's leading game engines which provides a pre-made framework for games development.

Academic Game Courses Overview

PRESENTERS: Staff from the Ballarat Department of Information Technology

TOPIC: The academic streams into the games industry. The courses on hand and the possibilities for students looking to follow this career path.

Free Tools Spotlight: GIMP image manipulation software

PRESENTER: Marijke Groothuis, lecturer SITE(previously the GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ITMS)

TOPIC: Use and benefits of the free image manipulation application called GIMP. Being a well-featured and powerful free application makes GIMP an excellent choice for for schools to use and distribute.

These classes will run onsite during the day at the Mining Exchange in the side room. 

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