Define Your Terms! How to tell an actor what Actor means

Date: Saturday 2nd September

Time: 9:25am

Effective communication is foundational for a smooth-running studio, and the cornerstone of a successful studio-client relationship. This may seem trivial, but how do we ensure that communication is clear and effective? How can we avoid the surprisingly entrenched problems that occur when words go wrong? Liquid Static Studio faced these challenges during the early stages of an interdisciplinary project developing an Unreal Engine 5 tool. The Together Platform enables the creation of extended-reality experiences that encompass dome projection, multiplayer games and live performance. Collaboration across the client’s background in interactive theatre, and Liquid Static’s technical and game development expertise revealed linguistic gaps, overlaps, and jargon-filled quagmires, with huge potential for misunderstandings. Having identified that language was the problem, it has been remarkably simple and liberating to develop tools and strategies that ensure communication between the studio and client is as clear and specific as possible, as well as bolstering effective communication (and therefore morale and productivity) within the team. Liquid Static Studio’s Project Manager (and former sociolinguist) Sara Noble and Art Director Izzie Kirkpatrick will lead a fun, insightful talk touching on linguistic philosophy and our recent work, to land some clear, practical advice on how to wrangle language within a studio, and with clients, for success in your project (and maybe life in general?!).

About the speakers

Izzie has a background in fine art and professional experience in many fields of media production (including graphic design, advertising, photography, and interactive experiences outside of the world of games). Her path in games has spanned the fields of UI and concept art, across indie games, educational games, and AAA game productions. Izzie recently co-founded her own studio aimed at creating boundary-pushing and genre-bridging digital experiences. Izzie loves thinking and talking about games through wide-ranging lenses, examining and challenging preconceptions about games from both outside and within the industry.

Sara has abandoned her academic career of 15 years to pursue her passion for retaining brain plasticity – in the form of learning not just how to play, but how to make video games. A lifelong obsession with languages, high-level conceptual thought and social equity, along with a pop-media sweet-tooth means that Sara brings a unique perspective to everything she approaches, as well as the pedagogic experience to energetically share that perspective with others. Sara’s academic career focused on the mutual production and reproduction of culture and language. She was the Dean of Research and Postgraduate studies and Co-Director of the Master of Fine Arts programme at Whitecliffe College of Arts and design, taught cultural theory in the Sociology Department of the University of Auckland. She has worked and studied in China, Singapore and New Zealand, and speaks Mandarin, NZSL and Te Reo Māori. She also currently provides digital learning materials and educational support for Te Reo Māori classes at Te Wananga O Aotearoa.