I don’t know what I was expecting GO423 to stand for but it appears there are many mysteries behind the bespoke symposium.

Truna, the head of the Brisbane IGDA opened the conference by telling us that GO423 had originally got its name as part of a joke that the event was the foreplay to Freeplay, the numbers possibly being a pun on this, 423. I also heard it referred to as Game On 423.

Regardless, GO423 was a really excellent Symposium held in Brisbane, Australia.

As hard as it was for Lumi to leave the delightful crisp winter, peppered with rain and wind for a state rather more filled with sunshine, we managed, somehow, to get there.

The Symposium itself was really excellent. Held in The Cube at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), the first day comprised a number of panels with games devs from around Australia mostly contemplating the future of games and what we hope for and will work towards in the next 5 years.

Listening to Morgan Jaffit, Megan Summers and Nicole Stark in particular, was inspiring.

The great thing about a Symposium like this and about events held in the games industry in general, is that it’s a great forum for sharing ideas and knowledge. Few other industries have forums where we can all sit around and discuss what is important to us going forward, what our passions and dreams are and how to achieve them.

GO423 provided a great insight into the mistakes and mishaps of former AAA studios and the benefits that they can bring going forward for indies. There were dreams of bringing back larger studios and publishers, hopes for what could happen with VR and the desire to create a thriving and sustainable games economy.

The second day was filled with workshops and the indie games room where we got to see a number of current projects being showcased. There were several stand outs, Project Columbus, showcased by newly formed Brisbane Studio, Prideful Sloth, Lupinball and The Eyes of Era, a first person mystery point and click. We were also really excited to see the progress of Ninja Pizza Girl and get a first look at a fellow Arcadian’s game, Fur Brawl, by Melbourne based studio Lampshade Games.

On our last day we went and visited our friends at Defiant Development, where I was allowed to hold the coveted Defiant swords and was baffled by the sheer number of rubber chickens in the office. The Defiant team are gorgeous and as talented as everyone says they are. Defiant Artist, Nick Smith let us look through one of his sketch books and it was AMAZING.

We ended the weekend by visiting the newly acquired, top secret superbase of the Prettygreat offices. I can’t reveal its location but I can tell you I felt like a super spy visiting it. Let me tell you, they are a talented team. Not only do they make games, they also make amazingly crafted tables, laser cut signs and they  showed me a tiny arcade machine they made from scratch. Luke generously bestowed upon us a bottle opener that they hand made! Lauren was excited that they watch Food Wars as well.

Anyway. Peace out, stay rad and look out for us in your city sometime soon. 🙂

– Katie Stegs.

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