vii

Schedule

Each day is a new experience

Sunday 2 June

20:00


Percival: Wild Hunt Live

The co-authors of The Witcher 3 soundtrack, the great Polish band Percival, are coming to Brno, Czech Republic once again to deliver their incredible Wild Hunt Live show.

The band will perform music well known by all fans of The Witcher series, playing songs that were part of the Witcher 3 soundtrack in their original form. In addition to the music itself, you can look forward to video projections created specifically for this show.

Concert tickets are separately from Game Access Passes. You can find more information here.

20:00 - 22:00
22:00

Thursday 30 May

17:00
VIP Mingle

Take advantage of this opportunity to relax, recharge your batteries and meet your fellow VIPs before the main event. The venue we've prepared for you is one of the most elegant and exquisite ones in Brno. Plus, it's also where the Welcome party will be held, so there's no need to hurry after the Mingle ends. Just make yourself comfortable and enjoy the show.

This event is reserved for Speakers, Guests and Premium Pass holders

17:00 - 19:00
19:00



19:00
Welcome Party

Let us take you to a place where beauty and art mix with decadence. Where the warm tones of jazz and blues tantalize the mind, and remind it of strange, distant, yet somehow so familiar times.

Put on your best dress, travelers. Game Access 2024 is launching in style.

This event is open to everyone except Lite Pass holders

19:00 - 00:00
00:00

Friday 31 May

Cathedral

Cabaret

Stage #03

Stage #04

Stage #05

08:30
Gates opening & Morning coffee
09:30
Start: 9:30

Game Access Intros are a staple of the Conference, setting us all in the mood and energy for the days ahead. Get ready for an opening cinematic, a music performance and an introduction by a very dear moderator.

In this talk, Warren will discuss why games can and should be more than just a way to pass some time, make money, or escape from the reality of the day-to-day. He will attempt to answer the question of whether games are "art" and what that means for developers and the medium itself. Though offering some practical advice, this is mostly a talk about how developers can think differently in the hope that the medium can be pushed forward in ways that transcend mere commercialism.
11:00
Start: 11:00
A fast-paced talk introducing best-practices, tips and tricks for successfully adapting IP from other mediums to games-- or from existing games to more games.

SOME OF THE GAMES Jill WORKED ON

Subnautica: Below Zero
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
Invincible Presents: Atom Eve
Start: 11:00
In this talk, Vojtech will delve into the process of creating a 42 km² world in Gray Zone Warfare in less than three years. He'll explore the core pillars of environment creation, development stages, custom-made Skalla technology, and some optimization techniques.
Start: 11:00
Prediction is a widely used technique for lag compensation. It works well for entities like a character or vehicle moving on the static surface. Imagine a mothership, which contains a hangar with smaller ships, which contain characters moving inside. Jan will present improvements to this technique as implemented in the Space Engineer’s multiplayer solution using a hierarchical approach with dynamic parenting and hybrid static / dynamic physics setup. Jan will share a range of issues faced during the development process and their solutions.

SOME OF THE GAMES Jan WORKED ON

Memento Mori
Space Engineers
Start: 11:00
If you’ve ever wondered whether playing a first-person shooter feels anything like training for a military operation, this talk is for you.
We will talk about the history of military games, their purpose, their specifics, and why we categorise games into ‘entertainment’ and ‘serious’.
Start: 11:00
Sometimes it’s hard to convey a musical vision and give feedback to the composer without the knowledge of musical lingo. This talk intends to equip developers who are not supported by the audio department - be it smaller studios or solo devs - with tools and knowledge about how to hire, communicate, and work with a composer on a game production. The intended audience are developers with no audio department or prior experience with working with composers as well as aspiring game composers.

SOME OF THE GAMES Zofia WORKED ON

Timberborn
Moonshine INC.
12:00
  Lunch Break
12:30
Start: 12:30
Many developers often ask "How does one become a creative director?". While that question has countless answers, in this presentation Harry will share his own journey in the industry: how over his 15-year tenure he grew from being a Gameplay Programmer in smaller games, to directing the critically acclaimed AAA title Returnal, and how these learnings have paved the way for his future endeavors. The talk will cover key topics such as the nature of leadership, finding and championing one's own creative voice, identifying and seizing opportunities, and all the learnings and challenges one must endure along their path to creative success.

SOME OF THE GAMES Harry WORKED ON

Returnal
Nex Machina
Outland
Resogun
Start: 12:30
The only commonality among all successful games is a strong team. This talk will dive into the lessons I have learned as I worked my way from localization specialist to development director and, most importantly, team leader. I will share some of the mistakes we have made in the past when trying to build successful teams at Geewa, as well as the principles of teamwork and leadership that we now follow and have led us to build the best team each one of us has ever worked in. If you work in a team, this talk is for you.
Start: 12:30
In this talk, I'd like to show you my latest point-and-click game "Pepa's Adventure" (available on Steam), which is an interactive picture book. This game is based on my paper-cutting artworks and I am mainly a paper-cutting artist, not a game creator. So I'd like to talk about not only the game itself but also why I have created the game using my paper-cutting artworks. In addition, I'd like to show you what I have created with my paper-cutting artworks combined with AR (Augmented Reality) technologies.
Start: 12:30
Creative Europe MEDIA - Support for Video games and Immersive Content Development Creative Europe is the European Union programme providing support to the culture and audiovisual sectors. The MEDIA strand supports the development of films and video games, TV productions and online formats, distribution, film festivals and markets, training programmes for audiovisual professionals, cinemas and VOD platforms. What are the funding opportunities available to developers and professionals from gaming industry? What projects are eligible to receive support and under which conditions?
13:00
Start: 13:00
Unlocking the potential of Large Language Models for game development— Marek Rosa's presentation shows how GoodAI's AI Game leverages AI for NPC depth, dynamic interactions, and unpredictable gameplay.
Start: 13:00
Interested in starting a career in games? Or improving your chances for your next job search? Come learn from a technical hiring manager on what they look for when evaluating candidates. We’ll cover topics such as making your application stand out, networking, resume tips, behavior interviews, technical interviews, and more!

SOME OF THE GAMES Anran WORKED ON

Halo Infinite
Halo 5
Halo Wars 2
Start: 13:00
This talk will focus on Nanobit’s journey through technical and organizational innovations over the last ten years. We’ll explore our original approaches to development, pointing out where they fell short, and compare them to the improvements we’ve made and the advantages we’ve gained. These improvements were a collective effort from our passionate team, and we will share the valuable “lessons learned” throughout our company’s growth, which could benefit anyone in the game development field.
Start: 13:00
TBA
Start: 13:00
In this talk, Jaruška will walk you through Redhill's internship story. She will discuss why they brought interns on board from the beginning, the pros and cons of growing future talents internally, and the benefits of being a mentor or mentee. You'll also learn about the challenges they faced along the way and outcomes of their most recent program.
14:00
Start: 14:00
So you draw! Amazing! But you're not a fancy concept artist or a 3D expert, right? Do you know how you can contribute to the game industry with just your drawing skills? Let's delve into the importance of illustration in the process of game development.
Start: 14:00
Start: 14:00
How we're creating new different experience for World of Tanks players. Design goals, challenges and lessons learned.
Start: 14:00
In this talk we'll look into what exactly is the role of an Audio Programmer, that rare breed often overlooked. We'll show how a dedicated Audio Programmer contributes greatly to game development and how to become one or at least integrate part of its role to adjacent roles like Gameplay Programmer or Technical Sound Designer.

SOME OF THE GAMES Pablo WORKED ON

Outcast 2
Jagged Alliance 3
Gangs of Sherwood
Start: 14:00
2023 was a first such a year in our industry where significant layoffs happened. How this situation impact on the labour market. How devs should addopt to it.
15:00
Start: 15:00
Join us for a panel discussion, where industry leaders will unveil strategies for guiding teams towards peak performance, innovation, and collective success. And what, in contrast, hasn't worked for them at all.

Abby LeMaster (Riot Games)
Harry Krueger (Housemarque)
Marek Rabas (Madfinger Games)
Marek Rosa (Keen Software House)
Hosted by: Miloš Jeřábek (Redhill Games)
Start: 15:00
Last Train Home takes inspiration from the Czechoslovak legions' history in Russia post-World War I. Throughout the development, we worked closely with the Czechoslovak Legionnaire Community to guarantee historical accuracy. Delve into our collaborative journey, exploring how their valuable input shaped our design, art, and effective marketing.
Start: 15:00
Top Spin is back. But it had also been very much gone since 2011! How can you give a long dormant (or new!) series entry the best chance it can when players first get their hands on it? How can you do it with science?
At Hangar 13, we had to answer this question when we brought the beloved tennis simulation series in 2024. We combined qualitative user testing, critical analysis, and quantitative methods to pinpoint what was wrong with our early game experience, and recommended effective actions to fix these problems. This comes with one key challenge. How do you fix the first time user experience, often one of the most complex aspects of your game, during the closing stages of development when game production becomes focussed on risk averse solutions, closing down problems rather than opening up new issues? As game scientists, the key to navigating this challenging environment is to accept that it is non-negotiable. We must assume that there is no more time or headcount to be found, and that we must work within these extreme constraints instead of trying to fight them. The question then becomes “But How!?”. In this talk I will show how science and production came together during the frenetic closing months of Top Spin 2K25’s development cycle to ensure that your first hour of play was the best hour that it could be, and leaving you wanting more!
Start: 15:00
Talk about design processes that I've been using over the course of my 8 years long career. Main topic will be how to think about game experience, define experiential goals for your game and project them in individual feature designs. Will touch on anatomy of the game experience, how to train your game design intuition over time and how to properly communicate design ideas in a design debate.
Start: 15:00
In this talk for Music Composers and Sound Designers, Aleix Ramon will share how to price your work and negotiate with game developers to achieve the magical ""double thank you"": an agreement so good both sides thank each other for their generosity.
Forget about pricing per hour or track/sfx—you'll learn a more empathetic way to price your work that focuses on the client's real needs instead of a pre-made mathematical formula. You'll also learn how to present it and negotiate objections while creating a world-class first impression on new clients.
Please note that this talk will not teach you how to find new clients. Instead, it will teach you how to make the most of every gig, increasing your chances of getting hired, your earnings, and your client's satisfaction.
Aleix Ramon is a Music Composer and Sound Designer from Spain. He has worked on various shipped titles, including the Czech-made Fixfox and Důkaz 111.
16:00
  Coffee Break
16:30
Start: 16:30
Q&A/Fireside talk: Achieving the music aesthetics Alan Wake 2 carried through the drama arch. Instrumentation choices, custom-built sound library, an in-depth dive into what could best be described as "a psychological approach to decorating the pathway into madness". How the two different worlds collided inside Alan Wake
Questions are welcome!
Start: 16:30
For the audience who are interested about Games User Experiences in general and to learn more about this topic.

Joshua Flitcroft (IO Interactive)
Jak Marshall (Hangar 13)
Francis Leo Tabios (Hangar 13)
Emma Varjo (Redhill Games)
Günter Wallner (Johannes Kepler University Linz)
Hosted by: Simone Kriglstein (Masaryk University)
Start: 16:30
An introduction to understanding the primary agreements needed for the development and distribution of a game from employment to publishing. What are the essential terms of agreements and how can a developer protect their interests and reduce their risks?
Start: 16:30
AI is used to create parts of our games. It provides intelligent enemy behavior, implements techniques such as pathfinding, or generates in-game content procedurally. AI can also play our games. The idea to train computers to beat humans in game-like environments such as Jeopardy!, Chess, or soccer is not a new one. But can AI also design our games? Especiall with the current rise of generative AI concepts, the role of Artificial Intelligence in the game development process is constantly expanding. In this talk, Dr. Pirker will talk about the importance of AI in the past, the present, and especially the future of game development - the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Start: 16:30
Cognitive sciences are deep, wide and convoluted field, but even basic knowledge may help you design better games. In this talk I want to present you SRK Framework, something created and studied for aviation and human-operated systems security, but applicable to game design as well! I will provide you with ways to analyze cognitive load in your games, defining problems with it and how to manage your game's cognitive difficulty.
17:30
Start: 17:30
Unity has established a problematic practice of using lots of #ifdef pre-processsor directives. The approach usually confuses the tooling. I want to provide examples of typical problems and solutions. Also might add some Godot.NET examples. I am developer of Unity and Godot plugins for JetBrains Rider IDE, so I often see feedback about the described problem.
Start: 17:30
Becoming a lead is just a first step of your journey. Now comes the hard part.
Which areas of the team should you focus on first? How do you gain trust of your team? How to provide useful feedback? How to maintain high quality of the work but not micromanage everything? And mainly, how not to get overwhelmed from all of these questions and still stay productive?!
I will try to inspire you by describing my own journey from a game programmer who knew nothing about leadership to a lead of a big team on an AAA project.
20:00
Main Party

Rise of the Fallen who? Heroes, legends, villains, hopes or ideas? How about all of them?

The eternal return is not an matter to mourn, but celebrate. We get lost and fall, then emerge from the darkness ever stronger, taking on the world once again. The only thing that changes are our forms, not our substance. Yet it's true that forms can be very deceiving. Will you see who's the villain now?

Get ready for the best atmosphere of any Game Access party yet. 2 indoor stages, 1 outdoor stage. 10 performances. Interactive games of all kinds. Delicious drinks. Delicious catering. Delicious people.

This event is open to everyone except Lite Pass holders

20:00 - 02:00
02:00

Saturday 1 June

Cathedral

Cabaret

Stage #03

Stage #04

Stage #05

08:30
Gates opening & Morning coffee
10:00
Start: 10:00
Emnet Mulugeta - Director at Goodbye Kansas
Gustaf Holmsten - Creative Director Cinematics at Goodbye Kansas
Emnet Mulugeta (Director) and Gustaf Holmsten (Art Director), delve into the creative processes behind Goodbye Kansas' crafting of two highly successful Cinematics: Skull & Bones and HellDivers 2.
11:00
Start: 11:00
Your game has a global community! Congratulations...but what does this mean? Preferences, habits and culture are different across the world, and even neighboring countries can be completely different.
In this talk, I want to highlight some examples of dos and don'ts when addressing players all around the world, present projects that can help you reach a broader audience and achieve overall satisfaction in your communities. I will draw from practical experience from our work across the The Witcher and Cyberpunk 2077 franchises to illustrate how your company can benefit from this approach.
If you have never thought about this aspect before, the talk also aims at showing you why this will benefit your company and game overall.

SOME OF THE GAMES Carolin WORKED ON

Cyberpunk 2077
GWENT: The Witcher Card Game
Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales
The Witcher 3
Start: 11:00
***.
Start: 11:00
Even though today all platforms may seem similar, there are significant differences that need to be taken into account in order to play nice on all your target platforms. As we work with many projects, including our internal ones, we often target a wide variety of platforms from console to mobile to computer. What is important - these differences and their solutions often require deep changes in the original code or changes in the architecture - and doing this late in the development cycle could be very time consuming.
Start: 11:00
In this talk, I share my unexpected journey towards blind accessibility in gaming, focusing on how an RPG/adventure game initially aimed at sighted players evolved mid-development to fully embrace the visually impaired community. During the development of the indie game 1428: Shadows over Silesia, with no grand ambitions or extensive experience, I coincidentally signed up to navigate the complexities of making the game fully accessible to blind players. And it became the first accessible adventure game of this scale on PC, and the second on any platform after The Last of Us Part II. Join me to uncover the trials, triumphs, and valuable lessons learned from this endeavor. Together, we'll explore whether your indie or AAA game can be—and if it's worth making—accessible to the blind.
12:00
  Lunch Break
12:30
Start: 12:30
Accessibility in games has taken leaps forward in recent years. This talk aims to aid developers by passing on knowledge such as: what accessibility is and why its important; how to prioritise and fit accessibility into the production pipeline; approaches to making games more accessible.

SOME OF THE GAMES Joshua WORKED ON

Forza Street
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege
Start: 12:30
Let’s see how AI can streamline your workflows, making your team up to 10 times more effective. Dive into a magical journey where AI wizards craft games, make marketing materials pop, and numbers dance an Irish jig, while AI tells tales so good that even grandma's bedtime stories can't compete.
We’ll discover how AI turns simple ideas into gold and whisks viewers into the heart of the gaming realm quicker than you can say "Abracadabra!" So, come along on this adventure as we discover how AI isn't just changing the game; it's redefining what's possible. With AI, we're creating a whole new world of digital magic, accessible to everyone.
Start: 12:30
Working in Game development comes with its own challenges resulting in mental problems which many of us might feel overwhelmed with or insecure about. With the background of psychology this talk is intended to serve as a guide to shed light on some of the most common mental challenges and tips on how to deal with for example lack of motivation, concentration, work-life-balance, sleep, insecurities or failure.
Start: 12:30
Innovative technologies enabling gaze interaction, such as the Apple Vision Pro, have captured public interest. Using gaze to naturally influence or alter elements in interactive experiences opens up a myriad of application possibilities, especially in the gaming domain. This presentation will delve into how gaze can be integrated into games to enhance player experiences, offering a unique value proposition. The talk will showcase examples where gaze has been successfully incorporated across different genres and with various objectives in mind. While highlighting numerous benefits, the talk will also address potential pitfalls related to game and interaction design.
13:00
Start: 13:00
Join us for a panel discussion as industry veterans come together to unravel the complexities of imposter syndrome in game development. This collaborative exploration will feature stories, shared experiences, and unconventional strategies for overcoming self-doubt. In this engaging and lighthearted conversation, expect to find camaraderie, laughter, and practical advice as we collectively debug imposter syndrome.

Merve Meszaros (Virtuos)
Brad Auty (Flying Wild Hog)
Gabriela Pešková (CD PROJEKT RED)
Adinda Van Oosten (Acreates and Deltion College)
Hosted by: Alžběta Trojanová
Start: 13:00
As game programmers, we are often tempted (or forced) to make progress rapidly. This can lead to “quick and dirty” solutions that come back to haunt us in the form of bugs, performance issues, bad workflows for our colleagues, and code that’s difficult (or even impossible) to understand or work with.
In this session, I’ll talk about thinking in terms of systems rather than individual features, and how that can help us to avoid these problems.
We’ll look at some real-world examples of problems caused by short-term thinking and learn how systems could have helped. Afterwards I’ll demonstrate a tool that I’ve made following the principles of good system design: the Rev Rooms Character Audio Framework.
The goal of the session is to inspire programmers to raise the bar by learning how and when to build systems, as opposed to rushing to ‘ship it’ for every feature.
Start: 13:00
Data gathered in games user research and analytics is constantly growing in volume and diversity. Effective data visualizations are an important part of the user research toolbox to analyze, contextualize, and draw actionable insights from it as well as to communicate the gathered data to different stakeholders. However, visualizations may also introduce bias and perceptual fallacies which have to be kept in mind. This talk will cover several visualization techniques for player-related data, ranging from spatial visualizations such as the well-known heatmaps to hexbin maps, cluster maps, and rose diagrams to techniques for visualizing movement. Benefits and limitations of the different methods will be discussed to help choose appropriate visualizations for different analysis goals within the user research cycle and to highlight potential pitfalls.
14:00
Start: 14:00
I'm Abby LeMaster, a former IT major turned video game producer, Women in Games Ambassador, IGDA mentor, keynote speaker, and Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree. I've had the pleasure of working on some of the world's most beloved titles (The Last of Us: Part II, Ratchet & Clank, God of War: Ragnarok, et cetera) and want to share the lessons I've learned in my journey with people who want to make the lane change into game production.
Start: 14:00
Teams often want to jump from idea to development as fast as possible. As a UX designer, I’ve joined teams that have worked on a game for a while and often surprise them by asking big questions like “Who is the intended audience” and “What is the core of the game”. I do this because I approach every project through the process of design thinking.
Start: 14:00
Francis wlll share his learnings from onboarding as Lead UX Designer onto the Top Spin 2K25 project with just 6 months remaining of development.
As the first in-house UX designer working with outsourcers, required coordination across time zones, which posed a challenge but brought valuable lessons. Explore the world of UX leadership where adaptability, quick thinking, and effective communication turned challenges into opportunities and mistakes into valuable insights.
Discover strategies from a project following the footsteps of the renowned Top Spin 4. Learn about the collaborative efforts between UI art, UX design, and UI engineering and how we used Figma for seamless coordination. This talk serves as a practical guide for UX enthusiasts, offering insights into crafting outstanding experiences within tight constraints. Whether you're an experienced professional or new to UX, this presentation provides a glimpse into the real-world challenges, lessons learned, and the art of turning setbacks into triumphs in the dynamic gaming industry.
Start: 14:00
Software development is a beautiful, complex and unpredictable beast which can lead to glory, or be easily turned to hell by management missteps. In this talk We will openly discuss the challenges We are having in managing development and projects in general. We will discuss big challenges every project has to face: Trust, Responsibility and Accountability, Team Cooperation and process Clarity. We will talk about the impact those challenges are having on us if mismanaged and what we could do to overcome them.
15:00
  Coffee Break
15:30
Start: 15:30
Let's support and reward the best of our Indie teams in categories of Best Game, Best Art, and Best Gameplay. And yes, you can vote too! The ballot box at the reception will be open on Friday + Saturday morning.
Start: 15:30
Let's face it: You are tired of hearing the word "agile" from business owners, CEOs and producers, i.e. people who don't work with the product and codebase on a daily basis. But Agile has been created by developers for developers, and that means you!
Becoming an agile, product-oriented engineer will help you create games that people will love to play. Join me as I walk you through our journey to becoming agile developers. It's no easy path, but it's one worth taking!
Start: 15:30
Jarosław Andrzejczak - Lodz University of Technology / ZTGK at UX Researcher / Assistant Professor
Rafał Szrajber - Associate Professor at Lodz University of Technology / ZTGK Challenge
If you have ever thought about sharing your knowledge and experience with young gamdev adepts then we will give you a hint. In the course of more than 15 years of experience in education at the first gamedev specialty created in Poland, we raised a generation of developers, many of whom now play an important role in the industry. And now we'd like to share with you our methods, stories of what worked and what didn't, as well as inspire you to share your knowledge.
During our more than fifteen years of work at Poland's first video game development specialty, we have already trained not dozens but hundreds of young developers for the game industry, many of whom are specialists in their field and have played an important role in the history of the Polish game industry. During this time, we have repeatedly invited guest specialists from the industry to share their knowledge, and we noticed that when we combined our didactic experience with that of industry practitioners we obtained the best results. Namely, students created more advanced solutions, were more likely to implement the content heard from the industry guests in their projects and became better themselves as a result. With our guidance and advice, industry professionals were able to better structure the knowledge they were imparting and better address it for their audiences. Now we would like to share our experience and expertise in effective knowledge transfer.

Please note that the speech is hosted by two presenters - Rafał Szrajber and Jarosław Andrzejczak.
16:00
Start: 16:00
In this talk, you will learn the role of a character artist working for games and how we approach character likenesses for our new game Top Spin 2K25 and I will be sharing some tips on how to explore more ideas and design as a character artist.
Start: 16:00
Bridging the gap between the "expectations" and the reality of management in game development. Major mistakes. Major takeaways.
20:00
Farewell party

A gang of rowdy developers took over one of our stages last year, wishing for the party to go on longer, wilder, louder. We hear you.

And you will hear us, as we've prepared the ultimate club experience to satisfy all your bacchanal needs. A lineup of bands and thematic DJs, stacked bars and a perfect, kickass goodbye to Game Access '24 with the greatest gamedev community ever. Watch out for the monsters in the basement though.

But don't worry, there'll still be a few cool quiet places to sit down and talk.

This event is open to everyone except Lite Pass holders

20:00 - 02:00
02:00
20:00


Czech Games Live Orchestra

Get ready for a stunning orchestral performance of soundtracks from legendary Czech games, accompanied by original video projections.

The event will start with the Mafia series, including the remake titled Mafia – Definitive Edition. Tracks from the equally well-known Arma series of military simulations will also appear, along with other titles from Bohemia Interactive; the shooter Vigor and the adventure game Ylands. Afterwards, the visitors will embark on a journey through civil war-torn Siberia with Czech legionnaires, accompanied by the atmospheric music of the recently released game, Last Train Home. The last piece of this medley will be the Brno-based indie game Someday You'll Return, set in the forests of South Moravia.

List of games:

  • Mafia I
  • Mafia II
  • Mafia – Definitive Edition
  • Last Train Home
  • Someday You'll Return
  • Arma – Cold War Assault
  • Arma 3
  • Arma Reforger
  • Vigor
  • Ylands

Concert tickets are separately from Game Access Passes. You can find more information here.

20:00 - 22:00
22:00