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Whether you’re a seasoned developer, an aspiring game creator, a passionate gamer, curious in learning more about games, or anywhere in between, our SAGE Advice program of panels and talks has something for you.

See a title that interests you? Click to learn more about the topic and speakers that were included in SAGE 2024.

Friday 16 February

2.30pm SA Great: South Australian Games getting national support – presented by Screen Australia

This panel discussion will highlight SA game developers and studios that have received support from Screen Australia, detailing their game-making journeys, challenges and successes through their game-making practice, and outlining the support Screen Australia provides the games sector.

Hosted by Chad Toprak, Screen Australia Games Investment Manager


Heidi Borge (CinnaDev)

Heidi Borge is an indie game developer and has been working solo on her game project Delphinium for three years. She prioritizes emotional impact and storytelling in video games, and hopes to make games that connect with and motivate a wide range of people on a personal level.

Leo Cheung (Paper Cactus Games)

As the founder of Paper Cactus Games, Leo’s vision and passion drives the team to create unique and compelling experiences. Having formerly created Parselings, an award-winning Deck Building Tabletop RPG, Leo brings a wealth of experience and artistic energy to his team. He and his team are now hard at work on their project Fox and Shadow, a dual deckbuilding roguelike.

Edee Korhonen-Bannister (My Colourful Mind)

Edee began his game development journey working at Off-Peak games during 2017, before completing formal training through AIE and founding Mini Mammoth Games in 2020.

After working on multiple projects since then, he teamed up with My Colourful Mind at the end of 2022, to help bring Taming Yore Dragon to life. Edee mainly works as a Game Designer, but has cross-disciplinary experience in programming, management and production.

Chantal Ryan (We Have Always Lived In The Forest)

Chantal Ryan is an anthropologist, lead developer of darkwebSTREAMER and founder of the studio We Have Always Lived In The Forest. She holds a BA(Advanced) in Anthropology and English from University of Adelaide, is one of The Game Awards Future Class, an SA 40 Under 40, recipient of the Humble Games Creator of Color award and more. But mostly she’s a deranged creative, has an affection for horror and exploring the darker sides of the human psyche, and likes to get very, very lost.

4.00pm Choose Your Own Adventure: Pathways into a games sector career

There are many pathways to a successful career in the Australian games industry – including some you might not expect. Learn from expert industry and education leaders about some of the variety of jobs that make up and support the games sector, from coding and programming to animation, art and design, bug testing, and even specialist legal services, and hear about some of the education and training options that can get you started on your journey.

Hosted by Petra Starke, SAFC Head of Communications and Marketing


Lauren Woolbright (Flinders University)

Lauren Woolbright specializes in interactive media design, games, and environmental communication. Raised in the Carolinas, she started out working in state and national parks including Cape Hatteras National Seashore, New River State Park, and Table Rock State Park. She returned to school, completing her Masters and PhD at Clemson University in South Carolina.

Having studied literature for her BA and MA, she pivoted to games – one of the newest storytelling media – and seeks to produce meaningful mediated experiences through playable interactive media design. Her research focuses on inclusive game design practices and environmental communication through digital media. She is a founding editor of OneShot: a Journal of Critical Games and Play, which publishes serious games and essays framing them. She teaches topics in VEED including Interaction Design and game design.

Lucie Migne (Mighty Games)

Lucie is a French-Australian former hydrographic surveyor turned Quality Assurance analyst at the dawn of the pandemic. In her current role within the Mighty Build and Test leadership team, she bolsters a team that teaches bots to play in-development games for testing purposes. In her spare time, you’ll often find her playing Pokémon Go, board games or cross-stitching with a cat on her lap.

Cam Rogers (CRL)

Cam Rogers is an experienced screen industries and digital entertainment lawyer, with over 15 years’ experience. Cam is the Founder and Principal of CRL, a digital entertainment law firm which acts for numerous video game developers, software developers and Film/TV producers across Australia & NZ. Cam has worked on dozens of Film & TV projects, and over 100 shipped video game titles on various platforms, including Playstation (4 & 5), Xbox, Steam, Nintendo Switch, Apple Arcade and Meta. In addition, Cam has acted for some of the world’s largest gaming influencers and content creators, in relation to their brand and podcast partnerships.

Aiden Gyory (Catalyst Games)

Aiden Gyory is the Founder and Creative Director of Catalyst Games, an Indie Studio based in Adelaide South Australia. He has a strong background in sales and marketing and has taken the leap into video games after completing the Advanced and Graduate Diploma programs at AIE.

Aiden is also a head-strong champion for diversity in the games industry, playing an integral part of initiatives like the GPS Diversity Program during his time as Community Manager for Game Plus, a local co-working space for games, and facilitating events like The Games Ice Cream Social Networking events and Game Development workshops for kids through local council libraries as part of their school holiday programs

5.15pm Destination Unknown: Where will gaming go next?

The Australian video game industry is going from strength to strength and was valued at $4.21 billion in 2022. Hear from SA game creators and industry leaders about how they see the future of the industry, what’s on their radar, what do they think is on its way out, and where can we expect to see gaming go. This session was first presented at SXSW Sydney 2023.

Hosted by Patrick Webb, SAFC Game Development Strategy Executive


Ron Curry (IGEA)

Since joining IGEA in 2008, Ron has played an instrumental role in tackling the emerging issues surrounding interactive entertainment and demonstrating the positive influence of computer and video games in the broader community particularly within the education and health sector. He has sat on many working groups and boards including as an Advisory Committee Member on the ALRC’s Classification Review and on the government’s Consultative Working Group on Cyber Safety.

More recently, Ron led the merger between the GDAA and IGEA in 2020 which saw the two associations coming together, ensuring that there was a single unified voice representing the video games industry.

Arthur Ah Chee (Cerulean Creative Studios)

Arthur Ah Chee is a First Nations Game Developer and Digital Content creator. He has worked in the industry for a little over half a decade, working in all the disciplines of interactive digital media. Arthur focuses on engaging content with the goals of making memorable experiences and telling worthwhile stories wherever he can. Arthur is happy to meet anyone who is up for a chat, and he would love to hear from you too.

Chantal Ryan (We Have Always Lived In The Forest)

Chantal Ryan is an anthropologist, lead developer of darkwebSTREAMER and founder of the studio We Have Always Lived In The Forest. She holds a BA(Advanced) in Anthropology and English from University of Adelaide, is one of The Game Awards Future Class, an SA 40 Under 40, recipient of the Humble Games Creator of Color award and more. But mostly she’s a deranged creative, has an affection for horror and exploring the darker sides of the human psyche, and likes to get very, very lost.

Jeremy Kelly-Bakker and Tom Phillips (We Made A Thing Studios)

We Made A Thing Studios (WeMat) is a digital content house specialising in creative development, production, virtual production and multi-platform storytelling.

With Hollywood experience in a boutique commercial package, WeMat produce work across feature film, television, web series, games, and digital. Their game Box Knight is scheduled for release in 2024.

Saturday 17 February

11.30am Power Up: Getting a job in the games sector – Presented by Big Ant Studios

Get a head start on your games sector career journey with practical insights and advice from this panel of expert industry and education leaders. Learn about what sorts of jobs are available in the sector, what games industry employers are looking for in new recruits, and what credentials you need to succeed, and hear about education and training pathways to get you into a games industry career.

Hosted by Petra Starke, SAFC Head of Communications and Marketing


Mark Bracken (Big Ant Studios)

Mark Bracken is a video games veteran with 34 years in the industry. In the 1990s he founded and managed the highly successful Impact Interactive and Impact Interactive Publishing businesses. His companies lead the way for local content, including distribution of DogDay, one of the first PlayStation games to be developed in Australia.

He became Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Ratbag Pty Ltd, South Australia’s first independent video games developer and publisher. Mark brought a great deal of success to Ratbag, closing deals with some of the world’s largest video game publishers, including, Sony, Activision, Ubisoft, Konami, and Atari.

Mark is currently COO of Big Ant Studios, one of Australia’s largest most iconic sports developers with a proud history in delivering fan-favourite experiences across premium global sports franchises. A passionate long-term thinker that can craft a vision and execute global strategy, Mark has demonstrated repeat success, a testament to his pioneering spirit and his dedication to the entertainment software industry.

Shane Bevin (Flinders University)

As Lecturer in Digital Media, Shane combines many years of teaching and production experience to bring an industry focus to the delivery of curriculum.

Co-founder of Adelaide animation studio Monkeystack, Shane has spent over two decades working in all areas of digital media production. Shane is a flexible digital artist and producer with clients as varied as Nickelodeon, the ABC, Schneider Electric and others. He is a multi-award winning practitioner with recognition of his work as director, art director and technical director.

Shane has experience in animation project management, render wrangling, 3d production, Virtual Reality production and software management. As the primary technical director at Monkeystack he completed animation pilots, digital games and numerous short films.

Kirsty Parkin (Supaglu)

Supaglu founder and director Kirsty Parkin has been finding careers for screen creatives for more years than she likes to count. She’s seen tens of (maybe even hundreds of?) thousands of showreels, and found jobs for thousands of animators, designers, VFX artists, game developers, modellers, matte painters, layout artists, engineers, producers, art directors, compositors – the list goes on.

Kirsty loves seeing great work. She loves working with people to power their careers, and businesses to power their productivity.

Euan Wynne-Jones (Hell Byte Studios)

Euan is a junior developer at We Made a Thing Studios (WeMAT) and a graduate of the AIE 2023 cohort. His journey into the world of game development began in 2020 when he found a passion for Tabletop RPGs, where he could create worlds, challenge friends, and tell stories he had always imagined. Since then, he’s been lucky enough to work with the talented folks at WeMAT and Golden Age Studios, while also pursuing an independent release with his team Hell Byte Studios.

1.00pm Supporting Game Makers: Funding an other support for game developers, and how to access it

Australia is a global leader in the digital games industry, strongly supported by both State and Federal Governments. Learn about the various forms of support on offer for South Australian game developers from across Government and elsewhere including grants, incentives and rebates, subsidy programs, workspaces and more, and how to access them.

Hosted by Patrick Webb, SAFC Game Development Strategy Executive


Chad Toprak (Screen Australia)

Chad Toprak is an award-winning experimental game designer and independent curator based in Naarm (Melbourne). He makes playful installations, public art, and experimental games while advocating for game-making as arts practice. Currently, Chad serves as Games Investment Manager at Screen Australia, funding and supporting Australian independent games through federal grants and initiatives. Chad was recognised as one of Develop Pacific’s 30 Under Thirty in 2018,’s 100 Game Changers list for 2020, and received a 2021 Australian Game Developer Award for his advocacy in games. His works have been exhibited at festivals and galleries across Australia and around the world.

Claudia Watson (Department for Trade and Investment)

Claudia Watson is the Business Development Manager for Creative Industries at DTI, with a specific focus on Digital Creative. She has a background in film and TV as a costume dyer and textile artist working on projects ranging from large feature films to smaller indie shows. Her introduction to games was through sharing a SEGA Master System with two older sisters. She learned much more about the games industry from the community in her role with DTI, identifying ways the department can further support industry growth in South Australia.

Onnie Chan (Game Plus)

Onnie Chan is a creative powerhouse with a passion for immersive media technology such as AR and VR. She is the founder of the Women in Creative Technologies, demonstrating her commitment to empowering women in the field. With her exceptional creativity, effective communication skills, and deep understanding of storytelling techniques, she is dedicated to pushing the boundaries in the creative tech and game industry. Onnie’s commitment extends to her current role as the Community Manager at Game Plus, a vibrant co-working space fostering collaboration and innovation among game developers and tech start-ups.

2.30pm Level Up: How to perfect your pitch, stand out and make your game hot property

So you’ve made an awesome game, and now you want the whole world to know about it. How can you entice a publisher on board? How do you get media coverage? And how do you get your game noticed by players? Take a look behind the curtain of games publishing and marketing with tips on how to create the perfect pitch to publishers and media, grab the public’s attention, and develop a compelling hook that makes your game stand out from the competition.

Hosted by Petra Starke, SAFC Head of Communications and Marketing


Jon Cartwright (Game Consulting)

Jon Cartwright started making games back in the UK in the 80s, getting titles published while still at school. Over his 25-year career he has worked in coding and production for companies like Big Red Software, Eidos plc, Blitz Games, THQ Studio Australia, KIXEYE Australia, and more recently Commercial Director at Prideful Sloth. Since 2019 he has been an independent game consultant, supporting indie developers and providing training to screen agencies.

David Smith (Kotaku)

David Smith is the managing editor of Kotaku Australia. A games journalist and industry observer for nine years, he has previously written for The AU Review and PC World Australia. He has appeared on ABC Radio, covered live events around the world, and is a regular guest on industry panels and podcasts. David specialises in predicting industry trends, emerging technologies how they affect the games we play, the intersection of video games and business.

Leah J. Williams (Games Hub)

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who’s spent years writing about the games industry across various publications including GamesHub, Kotaku Australia, Gizmodo Australia, IGN, and The AU Review. She’s been a judge for SXSW Sydney and PAX Australia, and her work has contributed to award wins at the annual IT Journalism Awards.

David Smith (Half Giant)

Before co-founding Half Giant, David’s 13-year animation career traversed through advertising, visual effects, and games. As a studio specializing in game trailers and cinematics, Half Giant ensures that each production reflects the unique essence of the game, leveraging their expertise to craft compelling narratives that resonate with both publishers and players alike, offering invaluable insights into the intricate art of capturing attention in the competitive gaming industry.