Pathfindin.gs

A transcontinental collaboration to make and support games from the global south.

Pathfindin.gs is a celebration of and collaboration with game developers in the Global South. This conference, in partnership with MeetToMatch, aims to elevate and give a platform to otherwise marginalized voices, breaking down the barriers that currently exist, and making opportunities accessible for everyone. It is meant to explore and educate individuals on the differences and similarities that we have even though we are continents apart. This three-day online conference taking place 10 – 12 November, 2021, will touch on development practices, culture, heritage, diaspora and decolonization with developers and the community, presented by speakers from the Global South.

This event will be streamed by the IGDA on Twitch, and can be accessed on MeetToMatch. This event is FREE for game developers (registration required) and $150 USD for all publishers and third parties.

Registration

Sponsorship

Sponsors

Pathfindin.gs is generously brought to you by our main sponsors, Xbox, Focus Entertainment, Streamline Media Group, and NYU Game Center, our champion sponsors, Devolver Digital, Epic Games, and Facebook Gaming, and our bronze sponsors, Powell Group, IndieGameBusiness, and Digital Development Management.

 

Schedule

Thursday 11 November

CST (UTC -6) WAT (UTC +1) PKT (UTC+5) JST (UTC +9) Session/Speakers
7:00 AM 2:00 PM 6:00 PM 10:00 PM Opening Ceremonies
Renee Gittins, Executive Director, IGDA
8:00 AM  3:00 PM  7:00 PM 11:00 PM Empowering creators from Global South: teaching entrepreneurial skills for marginalized game devs
Pedro Zambon, Strategy Director, Game Jam Plus
This talk presents the case of Game Jam Plus, a not-for-profit international movement to create opportunities for game developers that dream of professionalizing and reach economic sustainability through their projects.  Mixing collaboration and competition in a rich network in 30 countries on five continents, we’re prospecting projects and talents worldwide, connecting publishers, investors, and recruiters with promising creators. With more than 50 venues in Latin America, Africa, Middle East and Southern Asia, we’ll expose the power of networking and collaboration to foster local ecosystem development in marginalized countries at the Global South.
9:00 AM 4:00 PM 8:00 PM 12:00 AM Missing Landscape of Games
Asriela Potgieter, Independent Game Developer
Why is it that 95% of games explore 5% of human experience. Games can no longer hide behind the niavity of nostalgia. In an era of humankind’s transition into living in the digital, we must see games for what they are, digital play. It is our responsibility that the diversity of play is upheld in the digital realm for those that come after us. In a world tearing it self apart now more than ever its important that we explore the missing landscape of games. The other 95% and beyond. I talk about how we got here and how we can stop the cycle. As well as tools I have found and are working on that allows us to see everything we are missing.
10:00 AM 5:00 PM 9:00 PM 1:00 AM Decolonizing through World Building & Cultural Play
Avinash Kumar, Director, Antariksha Studio
Our presentation will use the example of Antariksha, our ongoing video game production  examine what it might mean to decolonize video games as well to see video games as instruments for decolonization through play and imagination. We will share a cross section of our homegrown, alternative approaches to world building that circle around cultural heritage and community engagement. Our presentation will cover related topics and methodologies from Antariksha that we have been exploring in consultation with our community in India, global gaming and cultural experts, and experiential research.Although the term “decolonize” has many associations, notably the dismantling of structures, we plan to share insights and lessons from our search to construct new realities that are more representative, equitable, and interdisciplinary, while asserting the need for speculation as a harmonizing force. Some of the topics we will cover in this fast paced presentation are –
(1) ‘Fair Digital Trade’: Our plan is to connect vernacular creators to digital marketplaces, hopefully demonstrating emerging possibilities for mitigating the rapid decline of arts and crafts in India. We would explore a ‘Fair Digital Trade’ model for best practices in sourcing and revenue sharing when creating digital works with local artists and
vulnerable communities.
(2) Ethics of Digital Heritage and Photogrammetry: While we see the role of photogrammetry as critical in creating a vibrant, historical and meaningful digital environment, we have also been debating the ethics of photogrammetry use. In the context of traditional arts and crafts, made by anonymous artisans over centuries, a question we keep considering revolves around the ‘intergenerational equity’ owed to
them if revenue is earned on a commercial video game.
(3) A Case for Non-Traditional Creators in Video Games: Being in India provides unique, fascinating opportunities for video game-art collaborations that can create much needed livelihood opportunities for grassroots talent.
11:00 AM 6:00 PM 10:00 PM 2:00 AM Developing games with a local University
Eric Byron, Consultant, Byron Consulting Services
This presentation will be a case study of my experience designing and developing 2 learning games in partnership with the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
12:00 PM 7:00 PM 11:00 PM 3:00 AM Time to Power Up: Enabling the Next Generation
Alexander Fernandez, Streamline Media Group
More than 2 billion people identify as gamers around the world, and the majority come from emerging markets i.e. the Global South. Many of them likely work for your studio, or will be you future workforce. Unlocking their capabilities while embracing the unknown is how you begin to upskill your teams into a technology-first workforce that is ready to drive the industry forward and step into the Metaverse.
1:00 PM 8:00 PM 12:00 AM 4:00 AM Location-based Games (tips, ideas, analysis, game design, etc.)
Juan de Urraza, CEO, Posibillian Tech
Posibillian Tech is a specialist in location-based games. We had 2 games out and a third game in development. Location-based games are tricky, motivations from players are special, and impose lot of challenges (keep the playerbase active, prevent cheating, do a good game design interesting for the players, confront complexities on platforms and technical implementations, support, and lot more). We want to share our experience, ideas, and all the things we learnt through the past 6 years doing this.

Friday 12 November

CST (UTC -6) WAT (UTC +1) PKT (UTC+5) JST (UTC +9) Session/Speakers
7:00 AM 2:00 PM 6:00 PM 10:00 PM  Ready, Set, Africa!!!
Dominion Ero, Founder, Arutu
This session speaks to why Studios, Startups and Organizations in general should begin to turn their eyes, interests and eventual investments towards the African Continent. Greater than just a leap for inclusion, the continent is set to radicalize technological talents and innovations as we know it. Standing at this crucial point, listeners would understand what is happening in Africa, where it is happening and how we can use the power of community based leadership to harness it’s benefits to the Global Industry.
8:00 AM  3:00 PM  7:00 PM 11:00 PM Colombia’s Next Popular Export: Digital Entertainment
Pascal Clarysse, Founder & CEO, Big Karma
The Presentation will start by explaining my personal journey, moving to Colombia for private family reasons, and how being here gradually opened my eyes about the vibrant entertainment scene growing in the region. Be it the world famous reggaetón hits, the local production of Netflix series and movies, Unity offices in Pereira, Brainz from Bogota exiting to Jam City, Free Fire proving that the country can be monetized if handled well, the rise of Rappi, we will look into the positive signals of Colombia’s entertainment industry or as politicians here call it “La Economia Naranja.” We will then get into the details of how our startup Big Karma finds and collaborates with the wonderful talents of the country.
9:00 AM 4:00 PM 8:00 PM 12:00 AM Hello, Good day from Africa
Hakeem Lawal, Business Developer, Arutu
This session speaks to the issues faced by people interested in esports within Africa. At this crucial point, listeners would understand what is happening in Africa, where it is happening and how we can solve these issues thereby unleashing the untapped potential of esports in Africa.
10:00 AM 5:00 PM 9:00 PM 1:00 AM What is like to be a game developer in Mexico?
Sarah Farga, PR and Production Assistant, Ogre Pixel
There is a problem in Mexico: the video game industry is still very young. In the universities they are hardly careers related to game development, this is why locally there are no people with experience to fill more specific roles such as game producer, game designer, technical artist, etc.
In Mexico, video game companies that are working professionally have come out ahead learning self-taught and making many mistakes. We believe that this is an important issue that should be discussed more with the rest of the world.
11:00 AM 6:00 PM 10:00 PM 2:00 AM The Gaming Culture in Africa and the part we play in nurturing it
Princess Idongesit Eyo, Finance Lead, Arutu
The Gaming Culture in Africa and the part we play in nurturing it.The Gaming culture in Africa has enormous potential, this is evident in the rising population numbers; The African region is one of the regions in the world where the youth population is increasing. By 2050, Africa’s young people, i.e., those aged between 0 and 24 years, will witness an increase of around 50%. Africa is expected to have the most significant number of young people. Africa’s youth is critical to the continent’s future when it comes to gaming. The increased interest in the world of gaming has had a solid impact on revenue stream and download numbers. So what can we do collectively to nurture this culture and help it grow? How to nurture it?
A. Monetize gaming and make it attractive for young people – as developers, creatives and players
B. Inclusive Diversity and Equity when creating games, allowing creators to make games that represent the continent, culture-based games or localized games,
C. Get brands to support e-sport through endorsements and sponsorship.
D. Harness  the strength of community.
E. Increased events to cater to loopholes that exist in skill development.
12:00 PM 7:00 PM 11:00 PM 3:00 AM Communicating “Culture” Creatively
Jamaica Game Developer Society
Glen Henry, Spritewrench Studios
Graham Reid, GrahamOfLegend
Zane Francis, JusDevStudios
How much of your work is based on where you’re from?
How can we tell our stories in an authentic, yet accessible manner?
Join 4 Caribbean-bred game industry folk, in various stages of their professional journey, as they discuss the ways in which their culture and upbringing influences their day-to-day work.
1:00 PM 8:00 PM 12:00 AM 4:00 AM Closing Ceremonies
Renee Gittins, Executive Director, IGDA

Speaker Bios

Eric Byron, Consultant, Byron Consulting Services
He is an Agile and Leadership coach, trainer and consultant with over 25 year’s of leadership experience and over 15 years experience in and around the game industry. He has recently launched a new tech startup and considers himself an entrepreneur and educator.

Pascal Clarysse, CEO & Founder, Big Karma
Pascal Clarysse is the CEO and co-founder of Big Karma, a startup producing video games starring kick-ass action heroes who leverage their disability to win. 50% of Big Karma’s workforce is based in Colombia, including Pascal himself.

Pascal has been around the gaming industry for more than two decades as a marketing specialist and entrepreneur, and has served in 3 languages and across 4 continents for high profile companies such as Lik-Sang, Seriously, Ubisoft, Eden Games, Nazara, Space Ape, Linekong, Garena Free Fire and many more.

Juan de Urraza, CEO, Posibillian Tech
Juan is a software engineer, science-fiction writer, university teacher, and radio announcer. Founder and past president of IGDA Paraguay.

Currently he is the CEO of Posibillian Tech, the first professional mobile game development studio from Paraguay, specialized in location-based games, multiplayer and blockchain. With the videogame Fhacktions, they were one of the winners of the Google Indie Games Festival LATAM, winner of the Indie Prize, and accelerated by Google Indie Games Accelerator in Singapore and by Level Up Accelerator in Finland. He is part of the Paraguayan Government Innovation Strategy team.

 

 

 

Dominion Ero, Founder, Arutu
Dominion Ero is the founder of Arutu, a thriving initiative that seeks to improve the African gaming experience. Dominion also works as a Game Designer with TwinDrums, the studio behind Wagadu Chronicles, an afro-fantasy MMORPG. Over the last 3 years, he has engaged in several events and projects that increase the awareness of professional careers in the gaming industry to young and enthusiastic Africans.

 

 

Princess Idongesit Eyo, Finance Lead, Arutu
I am a financial analyst building experience in gaming and also a tech business developer. As a co-founder at Arutu, a company dedicated to changing the narrative of the African Gaming Community. I am a strong believer in the priceless contributions of women in developing the Gaming Industry, I strive to carve new trails by building the African Gaming Ecosystem and creating systems that encourage Inclusivity. My expertise in gaming revolves around growing strategic and profitable business partnerships between Game developers and Investors.

 

 

Sarah FargaPR, Ogre Pixel
Sarah Farga is a 23-year-old animator born in Jalisco, Mexico. She graduated from the Universidad Iberoamericana Puebla with a degree in animation and interaction design. She has always been passionate about video games which led her to make a gameplay channel on YouTube called “CagedBird” and join the video game company Ogre Pixel as its PR and production assistant. She has learned many things in college and working in a videogame company, like how new the videogame industry is in Mexico and how little support they get in comparison with other countries, that has forced these Mexican companies to be self-sufficient.

 

Alexander Fernandez, Co-Founder and CEO, Streamline Media Group

Alexander Fernandez is a LatinX entrepreneur whose passion is building value between the video game and traditional enterprise industries. He has used that passion to help grow Streamline from a small start-up focused on gaming, to a global business with over 200 employees in 3 continents, and multiple brands under the Streamline Media Group umbrella. He believes that technology must always be a tool that helps people move forward, and the creative economy can be a launching ground for developing markets and economies.

Alexander is a frequent speaker at industry events and conventions worldwide, addressing topics related to entrepreneurship, outsourcing, game development, technology in non-gaming industries, organizational design, business models, and financing.

Zane Francis, Jamaican Game Developer Society
Zane Francis is a Jamaican software and indie game developer with a passion for the unknown. He aims to bring Jamaican and Caribbean culture to the globe through unique stories of the cultures. Definitely not 3 raccoons in a trench coat.

 

 

 

Glen Henry, Jamaican Game Developer Society
An experienced creative professional. Whose love for visual and interactive media led him to a career as an Independent Game Developer. Establishing Spritewrench Studios, a Micro(ish) Game Development Studio based in Kingston, Jamaica. He looks to explore the ways in which Caribbean people interact with media. And uses his experience to nurture and encourage the growth of Jamaica’s Game Development sector.

 

 

Avinash Kumar, Director, Antariksha Studio
Avinash is a media artist, researcher and entrepreneur based in India. He is a co-founder of Quicksand, a pioneering innovation consultancy incepted in 2004, and regarded amongst the leading human centred practices in the Global South through its extensive work in the development sector. Avinash has experience in diverse sectors including public health, humanitarian aid, digital heritage and education. Avinash’s passion for cultural heritage and electronic arts led him to video gaming through his ongoing and acclaimed project Antariksha. As a video game entrepreneur, he has been steadily building an ambitious speculative scifi adventure since 2013, under the umbrella of Antariksha Studio. Antariksha is presently in vertical slice development and supported by Epic Megagrants.

Avinash is a co-founder of UnBox Festival – an interdisciplinary arts platform that produces global festivals and residencies. He has also explored life as a visual artist in the electronic music scene – performing and creating media arts installations across India and the globe since 2007. Avinash lives in the beach town of Goa, India with his wife and dogs, with a vision to create a rural location for NextGen gaming in India.

Hakeem Lawal, Business Developer, Arutu
Hakeem lawal is a co-founder with Arutu as a Producer and Business developer.
Hakeem is on a mission to democratize esports and gaming in Africa. He is involved in various projects in Africa. He secured prototype funding from IGDAF Diverse game developers fund. He was part of the Unicorn 2020 cohort.

Asriela Potgieter, Independent Game Developer
I have been making video games for 15 years. Spent 10 of those years trying to get out of the box of current thinking spent the next 5 doing RnD. Now I am working on Oceana a game for commercial release that attempts to bring about a new way of thinking about games. I am also starting african gaming a discord community to function as a yellow pages or central hub so that we may know what everyone is up to in the African game industry.

 

 

Graham Reid, Jamaican Game Developer Society
GrahamOfLegend is currently a one man studio formed by Graham Reid, a Jamaican game developer. Coming from an arts and design background, Graham prioritizes visuals in his work, striving to create games that visually stand out in the industry and feel like an evolution of what’s come before his time as a developer. His goal is to create stunning and memorable visual experiences for people to enjoy and immerse themselves in.

 

 

Pedro Zambon, Strategy Director, Game Jam Plus
Strategy Director of Game Jam Plus and Manager of Spcine game, the first Brazilian game-exclusive incubator. Market intelligence consultant for the games industry, providing services to policy makers and civil society institutions, such as Abragames (Brazilian Association of Digital Game Developers). PhD in Communication at FAAC / UNESP, studies the development of the industry through public and private initiatives. Mentor at the Finnish incubator Living Game Intelligence Network (LGIN). Civil society representative at the National Council for Cultural Policies 2019/2022. Chair of the Industry Track of the Brazilian Games Symposium since 2016 and researcher of the 2nd Census of the Brazilian Digital Games Industry.

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