Game Hugs

Game Hugs

Australia

Game Hugs is a weekly (or there abouts) podcast that focuses on the individuals who work in the computer and video game industry. From publishers to journalists, developers to esports, artists to cosplayers, there are fascinating, entertaining, and god forbid maybe even educational stories to be told about what goes on behind the scenes. Created and hosted by Guy ‘Yug’ Blomberg.

Episodes

Eli Hodapp (Touch Arcade)  

Eli Hodapp is the editor in chief of Touch Arcade, the world's largest reviews and news site dedicated to Apple mobile devices. He's also possibly a Juggalo, though the jury is still out on that one.

Join Eli and host Jason Imms this week as they discuss working remotely, American gun culture, and the question of elitism in free-to-play vs. premium games.

Show Notes
Episode 54 with Matt Ditton of Mighty Games featured a related conversation on free-to-play ethics in games.

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Lisy Kane (League of Geeks)  

As a producer at League of Geeks, co-founder at Girl Geek Academy, and a Forbes 30 Under 30 lister, Lisy Kane doesn't seem to do anything by halves.

Join Jason Imms this week for a chat with Lisy about her incredible and densely accomplished career. Also, the pair take a look at how the Australian education system is both serving and failing the game development industry, internships, and how Armello's intriguing profit-share program works.

Show Notes
Lisy Kane
League of Geeks
Girl Geek Academy

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Matt Ditton (Mighty Games Group)  

Matt Ditton is the managing director of the Mighty Games Group (Shooty Skies, Disney Crossy Road, Charming Keep, Charming Runes) and Many Monkeys Development (Breath of Light, ANZ Future Play), both based in The Arcade in Melbourne, Victoria.

Matt is one of Australia's veteran game developers, one of the rare few that stuck around after the industry crash that began in 2010. In fact, his chat with Jason Imms in this episode goes into some depth on what the crash looked like on the ground, as Pandemic Australia and other studios shut down around the country.

Stick around to the end of the episode for a frank discussion on the ethics of free-to-play game design, player entitlement, and the practical realities of running a games studio for profit.

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Ken Wong (Mountains)  

Ken Wong is the founder and creative director of Mountains, a self-described "craft games studio," based in Melbourne. He's also well known for his work as the lead designer and artist on Ustwo's seminal mobile title, Monument Valley.

In this episode, Ken and Jason discuss his work with Ustwo, being discovered by American McGee, his work on Alice: Madness Returns, and much more.

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Katie Stegs (Lumi Consulting)  

Katie Stegs is co-founder and creative director of games PR and marketing agency Lumi Consulting. You might think this would place sufficient burden on Katie's calendar, but NO. Katie has also co-founded Blush Box, a collective of game creators that focuses on romance, love and sexuality, and a symposium and game jam called Heartbeat which hopes to give that community a chance to come together and grow.

In this episode, Jason Imms chats with Katie about her dark caravanning past, what drives her passion for games about passion, the challenges of running a consultancy for small games studios, and more.

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Guy 'Yug' Blomberg (ReedPop, PAX)  

Guy 'Yug' Blomberg is not only the creator of this fine podcast, but also the newly appointed Global PAX Content Director, ensuring that every PAX show around the world is crammed full of amazing stars, panels, expo booths, and entertainment.

No, Yug won't be interviewing himself - his new role doesn't leave enough time to concentrate on Game Hugs, so this episode will be the first for new host, and past Game Hugs guest, freelance games and tech journalist Jason Imms. You can read the full announcement with our friends over at MCV Pacific.

Listen-in to hear more about Yug's pre-PAX history, his secret porn career, the life and death of the Mana Bar, and the ill-fated TV show Game Damage.

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James Cullinane (CBS Interactive)  

James Cullinane is the Games Account Manager at CBS Interactive, including sites GameSpot, Giant Bomb, GameFAQs, ComicVine, Metacritic and CNET.

He was previously the Editor of Gameplanet, before becoming the Editorial Director accross both New Zealand and Australian Gameplanet sites.

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Paul Verhoeven (28 Plays Later)  

Paul Verhoeven is a writer, comedian, host, and storyteller. He co-hosts the popular gaming podcast 28 Plays Later with Kris Straub, is the host of the ABC3 show Steam Punks, and is currently writing the upcoming novel Loose Units.

Previously he was a host and producer of various Triple J programs including The Breakfast Show, Nerdy by Nature, and The Graveyard Shift. He is a regular guest on The Project, Studio 3, and Good Game, having also co-hosted on gaming show Save Point and geek comedy program Planet Nerd.

He has written for The Vine, Junkee, MMGN, and Film Inc, and made his stand up comedy debut in the show Tell Me Lies at the Melbourne Fringe Festival.

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Kamina Vincent (Mountains)  

Kamina Vincent is the Producer at Mountains, a new studio featuring the talents behind games such as Monument Valley and Cuphead.

She has volunteered at almost even gaming event in Australia from Freeplay, Transmedia Victoria, Global Game Jam, GDC, and GCAP - the later of which she eventually went on to organise and coordinate volunteers.

She has worked for Tin Man Games, originally as a QA Tester, then Community Manager, and eventually Producer.

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Chantal Morley (Bandai Namco)  

Chantal Morley is the Operations Manager at Bandai Namco Entertainment Australia, having previously been the Operations and Social Media Coordinator, and the Operations Coordinator at Atari Australia prior to that.

She manages the logistics, manufacture, buying and shipping of products across all the business, looks after the budges and sales reporting, and is an Authorised Assessor of Games with over 400 titles under her belt.

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Ryan Hartman (Penny Arcade)  

Ryan Hartman is the Director of Events at Penny Arcade, overseeing the PAX portfolio of gaming conventions (including the recently released PAX Unplugged) as well as being involved in the expansion of other Penny Arcade properties.

He was previously working for ReedPOP as the Program Manager across the PAX shows, managing speakers, content, travel, and logistics.

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Krister Collin (Freelance Game Developer)  

Krister Collin is an award-winning game developer, having worked for Flat Earth Games, Epiphany Games, and Well Placed Cactus.

He is the organiser of the monthly IGDA Sydney Beer & Pixel events, and is a Game Design Teacher at the Academy of Interactive Entertainment.

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Dan Graf (Indie Game Developer)  

Dan Graf is an indie game developer who most recently teamed up with Featherweight Games to make Rodeo Stampede, a game which has had over 50 million downloads and was awarded Apple's Top 10 Games of 2016, and Google Play's Most Innovative 2016.

Prior to his recent success, he was a Product Manager and Game Designer at Halfbrick Studios working on Fruit Ninja Champions, a Story Unit Artist at Dr D Studios working on films such as Happy Feet 2 and Max Max: Fury Road, 3D Artist on the Half Life 2 mod Dystopia, and was also the founder of the IGDA Sydney. He has also worked as a designer, artist, animator, writer and director for many other developers, businesses, and associations.

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Mark Serrels (Allure Media)  

Mark Serrels is the Managing Editor at Allure Media, overseeing Kotaku, Gizmodo, and Lifehacker.

He was previously the Editor of Kotaku for over six years, and was the Managing Editor of Official Xbox Magazine, Official Nintendo Magazine, Official PlayStation Magazine, and Australian 360 Magazine. He is an award winning Journalist, having won the Lizzie IT Journalism Awards for Best Journalist in 2015, and Best Games Coverage for Kotaku 5 years in a row.

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Dean Longmore (Lead Learning and Content Designer)  

Dean Longmore is the Lead Learning and Content Designer for Global English, and the Designer/Programmer of the iOS title Station Stop.

Dean was a Game Designer for Team Bondi, where he worked on the Rockstar Games published title L.A.Noire. He was the Lead Content Designer at IntoScience working across science education based games, and was also the Lead Game Designer at Saudi Arabian studio Semaphore.

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Skaidris Gunsmith (Beta Bar)  

Skaidris Gunsmith is the co-founder of Beta Bar - Next Level Gaming Events, and is also the creator of the popular card game Suddenly Drunk, through his new Gunsmith Games company. He was previously the Brand Manager for the Mana Bar Melbourne, and built custom arcade cabinets.

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Jason Imms (Freelance Journalist)  

Jason Imms is a Freelance Journalist, founder of the Tas Game Development Society, and is currently the Community Manager for Tasmania's Enterprize Hubs.

As a freelancer Jason has written for publications including IGN, GameSpot, Giant Bomb, Kill Screen, PC PowerPlay, Official PlayStation Magazine, Kotaku, HYPER, Games.on.net, and Tested.com.

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Phil Larsen (Prettygreat)  

Phil Larsen is the Managing Director at game developer Prettygreat (Land Sliders).

He was previously the Chief Marketing Officer for Halfbrick Studios, working on the launches of Fruit Ninja, Jetpack Joyride, Colossatron, Raskulls, and more. Prior to that he was a games writer for PALGN and AustralianGamer.

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Morgan Jaffit (Defiant Development)  

Morgan Jaffit is the Creative Director of Defiant Development, the creators of the Hand of Fate series.

Prior to starting his own studio, Morgan was the Assoc Creative Director at Pandemic Studios, Lead Designer at A2M, Writer at Ubisoft Montreal, Game Designer at Relic Entertainment, and Game Designer / Writer at Irrational Games.

He is a pillar of the Australian games industry, having worked both locally and abroad for over a decade on such titles as Freedom Force, Homeworld 2, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, Teen Titans, and Hand of Fate - the sequal to which will be released early next year.

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Amy Potter (Leaping Tiger)  

Amy Potter is the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of gaming location based tool Leaping Tiger.

Coming from a graphic design background working for such companies as Mitsubishi Electric and Cluster Creative, she also runs her own creative self titled company, and is the host of the kiwi gaming show 'Hot Chips Gaming'.

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