Finding the Fun - The First Step in Game Design

An idea is hatched for a game, a mechanic, or a new type of sound. Frenetic action ensues. A prototype is released into the world. It's weird, it's different, it's ugly, it's broken, and yet there's clearly something there worth bringing to life. In this panel, we talk about the experience of releasing those first threads of controlled chaos onto the world, before the balance, before the tuning, before the grind of working a game to perfection. 

Time: 12 pm - 1 pm
Date: Friday, June 1, 2018
Place: DreamHack Austin
Location: Meeting Room 1



Sam Potasznik

CEO / PlayGood Games

Sam Potasznik creates games to help people. His company, PlayGood Games, offers game design and web development services to organizations focused on mental health and wellness in order to make hard and scary internal work a little more playful.

Sam lives with his wife in Austin, TX where he likes to climb rocks, drink smoothies, go to therapy, and do a whole host of other, less-wholesome activities, too.





Patrick Curry

CEO / FarBridge

Patrick Curry is an entrepreneur and creator of video games, software, and companies. He’s founded and mentored several startups and helped ship over 20 games. Patrick’s work at The Walt Disney Company, Midway Games, Marvel Entertainment, and Unity Technologies has been enjoyed by millions of players worldwide. Patrick is currently creating VR/AR software at FarBridge, co-organizing VR Austin, and advising startups in Austin, TX.




Michael Molinari

Developer / Studio Bean

Michael Molinari is a game developer from Austin, TX. After working at Bandai Namco as an artist, he went on to receive awards for his experimental releases Soundodger and Choice Chamber. He has also taken part in dozens of shorter game jams, creating memorable experiences through detailed visuals and dreamlike worlds.





Nathaniel Chambers

CEO / Bubble Pipe Media

Nathaniel Chambers has been involved in games for several years, working in music, sound, and mixing. Select credits include: Shardlight and Primordia by Wadjet Eye Games, Extreme Exorcism and Hermit Crab In Space by Golden Ruby Games, Rad Raygun by Trufun Entertainment, and Particle Mace by Andy Makes.

Nathaniel is influenced by many artists, musical and otherwise, from Carl Stalling to Trent Reznor, and finds artistry in puzzles, life, games, comics, books, and board games.



Emma Larkins

Tabletop Game Designer / Emma Larkins

Emma Larkins is a tabletop game designer. Her first game Heartcatchers (a light two-player game of secrets and deception) was published in 2016 by Brooklyn Indie Games/Galileo Games after a successful Kickstarter. She has an active social media and community presence, mainly focused around local tabletop playtesting groups and #gamedesigndaily - a movement that inspires game designers to develop the habit of working on games and design-related activities on a regular basis. Her latest designs include Confabula Rasa (a cooperative storytelling game using word fragment cards), Abandon All Artichokes (a fast-paced game that reduces deckbuilding to its simplest components), and a host of other prototypes.