Continued strength of NZ Game Industry on display at Wireframe Conference

If you managed to join Mighty Eyes’ inaugural event, you would have seen how Media Design School's campus was buzzing. Game developers and enthusiasts alike gathered for Wireframe Gaming Conference, a seminar-style event celebrating the vibrant world of game development.

Hosted at Media Design School by Mighty Eyes, a New Zealand gaming company behind the boundary-pushing Wanderer VR game, Wireframe Conference provided a platform for industry experts to share their knowledge and insights, while attendees had the opportunity to try out the many games on offer from New Zealand game studios, with a large percentage having happened to have been created by talented MDS alumni.

The event kicked off with a series of captivating talks covering topics ranging from the toolkits and foundations of game development to navigating the industry as a whole. Attendees gained valuable insights into the creative process behind some of the games coming out of the gaming industry, to allow room to build on and improve the workflow of up-and-coming talent.

The speakers included such names as, Shrikkanth Sreedharan of Astronaut Diaries, developer of upcoming game Denari - a narrative action game about a boy with telekinetic powers who must fight to save his people from the invasion of an empire.

There were also guests from Weta Workshop, Grinding Gear Games, Moon Candy, Metia Interactive, MDS Alumni founded Space Rock Games, and international Torn Banner Studios, the developer behind the Chivalry games.

Events like Wireframe are really important as it gives us an opportunity to expose experience across the community to people who are newer, but also people who are very experienced in the community. There are still lots of things for us to learn that you might not be able to pick up without working in those fields for longer, which is important for my personal development and career,” says Josh Savage, Technical Lead at Space Rock Games and MDS alumni.

Of course, Mighty Eyes were there in force, overseeing the event and spreading their wisdom. Wireframe Conference organiser, MDS alumni, and Lead Engineer at Mighty Eyes, Sebastian Tengdahl, was pleased with how the event turned out.

I think the great thing about events like this and NZGDC is that it brings developers together and helps new developers learn and grow.”

Award-winning, Dunedin-based game development studio Balancing Monkey Games was also in attendance. Their mission is to create accessible, inclusive games that spark a sense of wonder and exploration, that also enable them to better support local communities through environmentalism, diversity and providing opportunities to underrepresented groups within the games industry and outside of it, too.

What we do here [in New Zealand] is amazing, our output is wonderful and we have a lot to be proud of,” says Emily Latta, Narrative Designer for Balancing Monkey Games.

Throughout the day, and between talks, attendees had the chance to explore an array of games showcased at the event, immersing themselves in the diverse worlds and gameplay experiences created by New Zealand's top game developers. With games created by MDS Alumni, such as the latest release Bronzebeard’s Tavern, along with another recent platformer, Fool’s Gold, there were also many industry games on show. From beat-‘em ups, platformers, puzzles and shooters, there were enough games on show that would appeal to everyone.

One of the highlights of the event was the opportunity for students to connect with industry professionals and alumni, gaining valuable advice and networking opportunities to help kickstart their own careers in game development. As they tried out games and engaged in discussions with developers, attendees were inspired by the passion and innovation driving the industry forward.

Wireframe Conference was, by all accounts, a roaring success and highlights the astounding steps that have been taken, and continued to be undertaken by our community in New Zealand. It underpins the creativity, innovation, and collaboration that has been fostered amongst the gaming industry and shows how the bar is being continually raised. As Media Design School continues to foster the next generation of game developers, events like Wireframe Conference play a crucial role in showcasing the talent and potential of New Zealand's game industry on the global stage.

Rourke Gray-Mason speaks at Mighty Eyes' Wireframe Conference
Mighty Eyes' held their inaugural Wireframe Conference at Media Design School
Mighty Eyes' held their inaugural Wireframe Conference at Media Design School
Mighty Eyes' held their inaugural Wireframe Conference at Media Design School