Schedule

> Game Access Conference, Day #0

16:00
18:30
VIP Mingle

A chance for all of our VIP's to gather energy and get to know each other before the big event. The VIP Mingle will take place in the elegant rooms of Brno's Old Town Hall.

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

16:00 - 18:30



19:00
01:00

Our opening party will take place in the Starobrno brewery, a staple of Brno with almost a 700 year old history. Come meet your fellow attendees over some beer and grilled goodies. Let's start this conference right!

START: 19:00
LOCATION: Pivovarská Starobrno, Mendlovo náměstí 158, 603 00 Brno


This event is open to everyone except Lite Pass holders

> Game Access Conference, Day #1


Red Stage

Blue Stage

Green Stage

08:30
Gates opening & Morning coffee
09:30
Immersive Conference Opening
After the worldwide success and critical reception of the award winning triple A game Horizon Zero Dawn, new places and stories await in the highly anticipated follow up Horizon Forbidden West. This lecture describes how new sonic territories, themes and techniques also needed to be discovered by one of the composers of the music team to accompany the protagonist Aloy on her new adventures.

SOME OF THE GAMES Joris WORKED ON

Horizon Forbidden West
Horizon Zero Dawn
Killzone
Vainglory
Scrap Metal
11:00
Start: 11:00
I will be talking about the process we used to bring 18 years old Lost Heaven city and all its locations from original Mafia game into a modern day engine and updated its visuals and gameplay metrics so it meets current quality standards. Mainly focused on Environment art point of view, but I will also discuss how we cooperated with design and other content teams to balance different requirements of each department.

SOME OF THE GAMES Jakub WORKED ON

Mafia: Definitive Edition
Mafia 3
Start: 11:00
Wren Brier - Creative Director at Witch Beam
Tim Dawson - Director at Witch Beam
Unpacking may have won players over with its simplicity, but there’s actually a lot going on under the hood! Join developers Wren Brier and Tim Dawson on a tour of the many tools and processes that brought to life a game that features 8 time periods, 35 rooms, 1000+ unique items and 14,000 foley sounds. In a game where small details count, being able to easily iterate is crucial. This behind the scenes look will cover how the game was made and many lessons learned along the way.

SOME OF THE GAMES Wren WORKED ON

Unpacking
Jetpack Joyride
Fruit Ninja
Start: 11:00
Unreal Engine users have access to its full Source Code. Although, modifying the Engine isn't the only way you can create custom tools. Most of the time you don't even have to touch C++ to make useful, and if needed - even fairly complex automations. In this talk we'll take a look at the different ways the Engine provides, and explore possibilities - from creating a simple button, to refactoring the whole map.
12:00
  Lunch Break
12:30
Start: 12:30
This talk should help you understand what I think to be the process behind creating a hit game. I will try to answer questions like: How to come up with an idea? What's the ideal team size? How do you plan around development? What goes into marketing the game both before and after it becomes a hit? And most importantly - what colour should your sports car be after release? All of these will be based on the facts derived from my experiences whilst creating Beat Saber.

SOME OF THE GAMES Ján WORKED ON

Beat Saber
Chameleon Run
Start: 12:30
In this lecture we will identify problems that we can encountered and solved in UX-flow of our new game MVP and explain how doing very little can have major effect on the player game understanding and behavior.
13:00
Start: 13:00
This is the story of how user research led to the creation of the opening hours of “DEATHLOOP” during the last months of the game’s development, and how those hours, and eventually the entire game, were reshaped a piece at a time by continued research. It is told by Arkane Lyon’s Campaign Director, a developer who stands at the nexus between level design and narrative design, who had to level up her competency in user experience design overnight to meet the challenges the game faced. In this lecture she will walk you through this harrowing process, where dramatic changes to the game were equal parts overwhelming successes, and revelations of dreadful new issues.

SOME OF THE GAMES Dana WORKED ON

Deathloop
Dishonored
Start: 13:00
With over 28 years of experience in games as a geographer and culturalization strategist, Kate Edwards has seen it all when it comes to geopolitical and cultural challenges that may be overlooked in game creation and can negatively impact a title’s release overseas. As more governments now extend their content policies beyond their borders, we’re seeing a sharp increase in content being rejected for not adhering to a single worldview. In this new talk, Kate discusses what game creators can do to be better prepared for defending your creative vision against intrusive local regulations.

SOME OF THE GAMES Kate WORKED ON

Mass Effect
Age of Empires
Halo
Dragon Age
Start: 13:00
Find out how we designed the free-to-play economy of Train Station 2 to be sustainable and keep players engaged and monetizing for years.
Train Station 2 is Pixel Federation's flagship title with over 35 million EUR revenue since 2020 and the culmination of 15 years of our free to play experience. This is a talk about economy and monetization design (both in app purchase and rewarded video) and what it takes to create a successful F2P title in today's competitive market.
You will even find out how manage to double player retention in one update.

SOME OF THE GAMES Martin WORKED ON

Train Station 2
Galactic Junk League
14:00
Start: 14:00
Mark Estdale - Managing Director at OMUK
Martin Sherman - Actor
Chris Mead - Actor
Paul Foxcroft - Actor
The actors you choose makes a big impact on how your game characters are received by fans. This is a panel masterclass in casting and recording for success. The session includes a live interactive improv performance and a round table discussion about what is important for both casting and helping the actor deliver the perfect performance.

SOME OF THE GAMES Mark WORKED ON

Horizon Zero Dawn
The Medium
Warhammer: Vermintide 2
Blair Witch
Trine
Start: 14:00
A lot of people perceive board games and video games as—more or less—two separated worlds. But is that right? How distinctive are both worlds? On the one hand, using a mobile companion or gadget application is becoming more and more common in the board game world. On the other hand, you can find a lot of digital implementations of well-known board games on Steam, GOG, Google Play, and the AppStore. Both worlds are getting closer and closer, and not just due to the pandemic. How could gamers benefit from this, and what could one industry offer to another?

SOME OF THE GAMES Petr WORKED ON

Codenames
The Lost Ruin of Arnak
Through the Ages
Galaxy Trucker
Start: 14:00
A talk about player-oriented data-driven design. Taking the "active abilities" feature from an upcoming mobile RPG as an example, we will go through the journey from idea to final impact, and discuss the benefits of gathering and reacting to player feedback as early as possible.

SOME OF THE GAMES Jan WORKED ON

Battle for Nethervein
Space Engineers
Smashing Four
15:00
Start: 15:00
The presentation will be about our whole workflow of creating cinematics for Mafia: Definitive Edition. We will go through all parts of the workflow like script breakdown, motion capture, editing, lighting, polishing the final product. I will mention the best practices we had adopted for each individual part and some caveats we had encountered during the development.

SOME OF THE GAMES Michal WORKED ON

Mafia: Definitive Edition
Start: 15:00
Establishing a new studio is a challenge on its own. We managed to pitch the studio idea during worldwide pandemic, gather the team and release the first game in a year after the studio took off. This talk aims to share the experience and help others avoid some pitfalls.

SOME OF THE GAMES Petr WORKED ON

Arma 3
Comanche
Argo
Vigor
16:00
  Coffee Break
16:00
Start: 16:00
How to build happy (and therefore successful) team?
How to achieve healthy working environment?
Very brief "people management" talk about what worked well in my team. Either you are an employee or a boss, you will learn one take away, that will help you to be in a happy team.

SOME OF THE GAMES Michal WORKED ON

Train Station 2
16:30
Start: 16:30
When you have a fast, simple and worldwide loved board game, it must be easy to convert it to a successful mobile app, right? Well, and what if it is a game that blooms best with bunch of five or more friends in a local pub, a game that is about empathy, associations and imagination AIs are not capable yet, a game that requires really hard thinking from half of the players and perfect attention from the others, a game where a single word of communication outside the game means ultimate cheating that destroys the gameplay?

Vlaada and CGE Digital are an experienced team, praised for great implementation of one of the most complex strategic board games (Through the Ages). Yet, Codenames, a simple party game, proved to be their greatest challenge. Let’s talk about that challenge.

SOME OF THE GAMES Vlaada WORKED ON

Codenames
Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization
Galaxy Trucker
Original War
Start: 16:30
We all play AAA titles, games with polished graphics and bilion dollar budgets. On the other hand, we develop mobile games with relatively low budget. And all sort of mobile games - strategy, casual, simulation, even music apps or social casinos. And we are pretty happy about it. How do we do it? How to be still passionate about building products we do not play ourselves? Or do we play them? ;)

Come and find out some tips and learn about our way of thinking. How to maintain good mood, motivate people, look for inspiration or get our dose of satisfaction.
Start: 16:30
17:30
Start: 17:30
This talk will share the process of creating Nigh City from the early design stage up to the final quality pass. Explaining what was our vision and key art direction pillars for the dystopian world of Cyberpunk 2077. I will explain how we handcrafted such unique and one of the most detailed open world cities in games. Showcase some of the key pipelines and techniques we learned to create big environments in a fast manner while maintaining consistent quality. How environment art and other teams in our company go hand in hand to achieve stunning, huge open world locations that are telling deep and compelling stories.

SOME OF THE GAMES Kacper WORKED ON

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Cyberpunk 2077
Deadfall Adventures
PainKiller HD
Start: 17:30
Emotions as the decisive factor in gaming
Millennials and generation Z and their relationship with games
How did people’s behavior change after 2020 and what is to come?
Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine and its emotional impact on the gaming industry
The experience of PowerPlay Studio in these difficult times

SOME OF THE GAMES Ivan WORKED ON

Athletics Mania
Ski Jump Mania 3
Biathlon Mania
Start: 17:30
Over 135 countries agreed to tax from global businesses worldwide heavier. The new global rules will tax giant companies of the gaming industry directly, and it will affect smaller gaming companies and regular gamers. The new rules also target tax breaks for IT companies. The talk does not address tax rules in detail but focuses on consequences. How will this change the landscape of game developers' business worldwide? When the existing tax breaks are over and how will they change? And how to prepare for these changes?




21:00
03:00

Our main party is always epic and thematic, and this year will be no exception. Get ready for the bitter sweetness of the future in our cyberpunk dystopia!

START: 21:00
LOCATION: BVV, Pavilion P, Výstaviště 405/1, Brno


This event is open to everyone except Lite Pass holders

> Game Access Conference, Day #2


Red Stage

Blue Stage

Green Stage

08:30
Gates opening & Morning coffee
10:00
Start: 10:00
Insomniac Senior Animator Lindsay Thompson discusses the process and inspiration for animating the cinematic cutscenes and gameplay animation for Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart.

SOME OF THE GAMES Lindsay WORKED ON

Sunset Overdrive
Spider-Man
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart
Start: 10:00
MILEs (Massively Interactive Live Events) are zero friction, highly accessible forms of entertainment that can be experienced on any connected, screen equipped device. They combine the best aspects of lean-in gaming, lean-back TV and the thrill of live entertainment. In this presentation, Christopher, will give an introduction into MILEs and review two case studies: Pac-Man Community and Rival Peak.
11:00
Start: 11:00
Board games and video games might have more in common than you think. Victoria Caña started out as a university student whose first step in the industry was attempting to make a game with her friends using only paper, pencils, and printer ink. Little did she know, designing within the constraints of the tabletop medium would give her the foundational game development skills to have a successful career in both the indie board game and AAA video game scenes. In this talk, Victoria shares her incredible journey transitioning from being a player, to a hobbyist board game designer, to a seasoned video game producer at Riot Games.

SOME OF THE GAMES Victoria WORKED ON

Magic: the Gathering
Gladius
Legends of Runeterra
Start: 11:00
Onat Hekimoglu - Director/Composer at SLOW BROS.
Ole Tillmann - Art Director at SLOW BROS.
SLOW BROS., the games studio we co-founded, has been working on its debut feature title Harold Halibut for almost a decade. The game consists entirely of physically made models that are 3D scanned and assembled in the Unity engine. The result is a wholly unique stop motion-like visual quality that is deeply immersive through its carefully crafted interactivity.

The lecture attempts to cover our bumpy, yet fortunate journey. Going from students working on a hobby project, over the development of a very unusual asset and development pipeline, as well as the founding of a company to the final steps of the game's launch preparation.

SOME OF THE GAMES Onat WORKED ON

Harold Halibut
Start: 11:00
Many companies were using Flash as a primary UI framework for AAA games. After Flash was discontinued everyone were forced to re-engineered their UI's and start using new libraries. We have choosen Gameface and this talk is story about our path. How we managed to slowely transition from one framewrok to another on live product. What we learned and imporved throughout the years and where we are going now.

SOME OF THE GAMES Michal WORKED ON

Kingdome Come: Deliverance
Mafia II
12:00
  Lunch Break
12:30
Start: 12:30
A talk on transforming my mindset, from "programmer mode" to "CEO mode". A change to help me become a more effective leader and help me avoid getting stuck in the "I can do it best" mindset.

SOME OF THE GAMES Marek WORKED ON

Space Engineers
Medieval Engineers
Start: 12:30
Creative Europe is the European Commission‘s programme providing support to the culture and audiovisual sectors. This lecture will introduce the Support for video games and immersive content development in the frame of Creative Europe. Which types of projects are eligible? What are the conditions? How much is a grant worth? Come to learn more!
13:00
Start: 13:00
Marek Rabas - Creative Director at MADFINGER Games
Ondrej "Spicy" Spisar - Consultant at MADFINGER Games
How far can we push realism in FPS games compared to a real combat experience? We will share our approach and problems we have encountered, the difference between an actual military firefight and its interpretation in video games, and how we want to evolve the FPS genre.
Start: 13:00
Rapid prototyping is a great tool to help your team think through and solve problems, through sketching, feedback and multiple design iterations. It's a crucial part not only of the early stages of game development, but also for developing and integrating new features into existing games. It is therefore an important skill for all kinds of teams to master — not just those in pre-production, but also those working on games in live service.

This talk will teach you tangible skills for how to break down effective UX design processes into 3 steps: Prototyping, Reviewing and Iterating — and why they're all uniquely important. It will also be a practical demonstration of how to work in Figma and develop functional prototypes for any device. After all, the quicker you create something functional that you can test with users, the quicker you can validate and iterate on your design decisions — and create better and more meaningful gaming experiences for your players.
Start: 13:00
A real living world in a tabletop manner? Realistic character building unplugged? Do the game mechanics even work similarly in the two such different environments? This is a story of difficulties, issues, revelations, and unexpected surprises we encountered during the process of transposing some of the mechanics from the original digital title Kingdom Come: Deliverance to the board game spin-off.

SOME OF THE GAMES Jan WORKED ON

Kingdom Come: Deliverance – The Board Game
Project L
Space Race
14:00
Start: 14:00
Martin Eder - Lead Level Artist at Bongfish / Wargaming
Victor Staris - Concept Artist & Illustrator at Wargaming
Damien Touttée - Level Artist at Wargaming
We will highlight details of the newest map for the Steel Hunter mode in World of Tanks.

The whole production will be explained from the depth of the artistic vision until the released version.

What are the specifics of creating larger maps? What kind of disciplines are involved and how to bring balance between art and design?

SOME OF THE GAMES Martin WORKED ON

World of Tanks
Start: 14:00
Crafting memorable characters is never easy. Even greater challenge is how to create a protagonist - player's avatar. They need to be unique, spectacular, yet familiar, connected to players. This lecture will go through the anatomy of a memorable character, with specifics on creating the Protagonist so that every player can identify with the character, own it, using the example of cyberpunk noir detective JC from the game "Let Bions be bygones" by Bohemian Pulp.
15:00
Start: 15:00
What Remains of Edith Finch is a game with 13 different stories in it, each with its own unique characters, art style and gameplay mechanic. The goal was for each story to feel distinct, but for players to still feel like the stories were part of a cohesive whole, exploring different but related themes. This talk will discuss our approach to prototyping a wide variety of gameplay mechanics while simultaneously adjusting the game's narrative to reflect what it felt like to play the game, based on a mix of playtesting and guesswork, and how we kept changing the game as we discovered more about what were making while we made it.

SOME OF THE GAMES Ian WORKED ON

What Remains of Edith Finch
The Unfinished Swan
Start: 15:00
What is "GAAS"? What does it mean to design games as a service? How does the process differ from standard AAA game development and how do we adapt to the rapidly changing environment of GAAS?

As designers, we must identify moving and movable pieces of our games, and in GAAS, everything is a moving piece, or can become movable. GAAS design challenges core gameplay loops and expands on the core experience. It's a process of iteration relying primarily on the community of gamers engaged with our product, and naturally a product empowered by team synergy.

This talk will shed light on the design of game products that have a “GAAS” component to them. I will discuss what we must consider as designers and how GAAS changes our design-thinking process, drawing from my experience on Dying Light GAAS.

SOME OF THE GAMES Agnesa WORKED ON

Dying Light
Start: 15:00
Teenagers from the favelas of Brazil present their insights and learnings from enrolling in a month of serious games development. Together with Dutch designers and Brazilian devs, these teenagers created games to improve their living conditions, learn a language or develop mathematical skills.

The results of this educational (and fun!) month will be presented by the teenagers themselves. The talk will give a unique insight into the Brazilian perspective on interactive edutainment.
16:00
  Coffee Break
16:30
Start: 16:30
Jan Kavan - CEO & developer at CBE software
Lukáš Medek - Art Director at CBE software
Our psychological horror "Someday You'll Return" caught attention of both the press and the public while being one of the most disproportional games in terms of the game vs team size. The vast majority of the game was created by mere 2 (later 3) developers and this led to many revelations and/or horror stories throughout the development of our game.

In our talk you can follow us on what went well or horribly wrong and hopefully you can get some insights about pitfalls waiting for you if you develop large size game in a tiny team.

SOME OF THE GAMES Jan WORKED ON

J.U.L.I.A.: Among the Stars
Someday You'll Return
Ghost in the Sheet
Start: 16:30
Combining some of the lessons he learned in game design, narrative design and writing over the course of a decade, the speaker will share the insights he'd wish others had told him when he was starting out. This light-hearted but sincere talk is aimed at beginning writers and designers, but hopefully other specializations might take something useful away from it, too!

SOME OF THE GAMES Krzysztof WORKED ON

Vampire: The Masquerade - Shadows of New York
Vampire: The Masquerade - Coteries of New York
Start: 16:30
In this presentation I want to share my point of view on adapting video games into board games with a lot of examples from Frostpunk: The Boardgame. What are the keys to make a good adaptation? How to respect the original work and at the same time create something that will work as a separate game, created using a different medium? What video games would I never adapt and I think other designers also shouldn’t? I will try to answer these and many others while sharing with you my thoughts about the challenges of working on adaptation.

SOME OF THE GAMES Adam WORKED ON

Nemesis
Frostpunk: The Board Game
Lords of Hellas
Dark Ages: Heritage of Charlemagne
17:30
Start: 17:30
There will be a very special panel discussion about narrative design in games featuring some of our speakers! Be sure to book your time for this one, it will be exceptional!
Start: 17:30
Nanite! Lumen! And there's so much more. Join Unreal Engine evangelist Ari Arnbjörnsson as he showcases many of Unreal Engine 5's new features.

SOME OF THE GAMES Ari WORKED ON

Returnal
Angry Birds
Rawr Messenger
Start: 17:30
Where to find a publisher and how to prepare for the pitch? What should be included in the pitch deck? Is there any difference between verbal and written pitching? Should you pitch your game differently to a publisher and to an investor? These and many more questions will be covered in the talk of Elena Lobova, co-founder and CBDO at GDBAY, an organizer of the biggest international online game pitching event Global Games Pitch.
18:30
Start: 18:30
The ceremony celebrates all of the dozens indie developers that has presented their games at Indie Showcase, rewarding the very best of them in three categories.



20:00
02:00

The farewell party will be a return to the past; a lesson in perspective to our modern times. So what better place to have it at than the magnificent Špilberk Castle – an old guardian, overlooking the entire city of Brno. More info will follow soon.

START: 20:00
LOCATION: Špilberk Castle, Špilberk 210/1, 662 24 Brno


This event is open to everyone except Lite Pass holders

> Game Access Music

14:00
19:00

The concert will be accompanied by an afternoon of Mafia content, including a quiz, behind-the-scenes documentary and various competitions.
Tickets are sold separately!

Read more >    Tickets are sold separately
START: 14:00
LOCATION: BVV, pavilion P, Výstaviště 405/1, Brno

19:00
21:00

Original music from Mafia and Mafia 2 played by Brno Philharmonic
Tickets are sold separately!

Read more >    Tickets are sold separately
START: 19:00
LOCATION: BVV, pavilion P, Výstaviště 405/1, Brno