Game Tools for Non-Games: Unreal Engine in Untraditional Applications

Date: Friday 1st September


 Our talk discusses the approach we took to developing the Together Platform, a content-agnostic Unreal tool that gives users with little to no UE/game dev experience the ability to create XR experiences that encompass 360° dome projection, collaborative digital games, and live theatre performance. We talk about the process of creating both the tool itself and Mission Control: Mars, an experience created using Together. This talk explores the technical and design challenges of using traditional game dev tools for non-traditional games, applying digital game design principles in an experiential setting, and creating effective and user-friendly development tools for non-developers. Our goal is to share our insights and practical strategies with attendees for adapting game fundamentals to social XR performances, rethinking our own lens and approach to what constitutes “games”, and developing tools tailored to creating multi-modal, multiplayer pervasive game experiences.


About the Speakers
Izzie Kirkpatrick  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). Their work in the games industry has spanned the fields of UI and concept art, across indie projects, educational games, AAA game productions, and now as co-founder and Art Director at Liquid Static Studio. Izzie delights equally in both ultra-smooth digital experiences and abrasive aesthetics, and loves drawing on wide-ranging influences to make things for people to enjoy like visual sour candy – the perfect balance of acidic and sweet.
When not doodling at their desk (or at a cafe, or on the walls), Izzie likes to knit, bake, and wander around looking at things.

Pedro Klein is a technical artist, game designer, and cat dad. Growing up in Brazil, he came to New Zealand to pursue game development and has since contributed to and led teams in a wide range of projects, from AAA games to high-end sport simulations. He loves thinking about, making, and discussing games in all their multifaceted forms – from artfully-janky PSX-style oddities to fine-tuning hyperrealistic shaders or architecting elegant data structures, Pedro brings his personal artistic vision and technical expertise to craft unique, singular experiences.
Most recently, Pedro co-founded Liquid Static Studio with the aim of exploring and broadening the boundaries of games, art and design – as well as just making really cool things and sharing them with others. Outside of untangling complex technical problems, you can find Pedro watching horror movies and tending to the whims of his small but remarkably loud cat.