Janine Campbell from Riot Games
Photo by: Gamescom Asia

On the second day of Gamescom Asia 2023, experts shared insights on how to harness the power of community and nostalgia in games to AI in gaming. The four-day gaming event took place from 19 to 22 October in Singapore, with Trade Zone as its focus on the first two days while Entertainment Zone as the focus on the third and fourth days.

After a first day full of insightful sessions, the highlight on the second day was the opening address delivered by Singapore minister of state for culture, community and youth, and ministry of trade and industry Alvin Tan, who was the guest of honour. Day two also saw two very interesting sessions on League of Legends and Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty.

In the “League of Legends: One Global Team” session, Riot Games game producer Janine Campbell spoke about how she ensures consistent delivery of game content to players worldwide, in collaboration with Riot LAX and over 100 developers across multiple countries and timezones. Campbell, who is a producer of the popular video game League of Legends at Riot Singapore, detailed the challenges they faced in day-to-day collaboration and how producers can guide their teams to help bridge the gaps. “Trust is an important part of collaboration,” she began. She explained how teams can build this trust with communication, meeting regularly, sharing knowledge, resolving conflict and creating team habits. Through constant collaboration with teams both locally and internationally, Janine developed a strong interest and passion for bringing teams together. In her roles (previously at Ubisoft and now at Riot Games), she closely supports and collaborates with the development teams across various disciplines and countries, to build and deliver wonderful experiences to players.

Visitors trying out games in Entertainment Zone
Photo by: Gamescom Asia

Campbell emphasised on creating team structures when collaborating with other teams. To create a structure, the producer must “align teams, set expectations, clear the deliverables, encourage feedback and avoid scope creep,” she said. In project management, the term “scope creep” means an uncontrolled increase in the scope of a project, which usually happens when the scope of a project is not defined before it project begins. “Build trust, create structure and encourage feedback. All global teams need this for successful collaborations,” insisted Campbell.

In the other session “Welcome to Dogtown: A Spotlight on Dogtown’s Environment Art & World Building in Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty,” Kacper Niepokólczycki spoke on the environment art and world building of Dogtown, the new playable district of Night City in the game Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty. Niepokólczycki, who is the lead environment artist at the game developer company CD Projekt Red, explained what Dogtown is, what it looks like and why the artists decided to create it that way. He shared how the artists took inspiration from various spy movies and action-adventure novels to build the eerie-looking city of Dogtown. With over 11 years of experience in the game development industry, he has worked on titles such as Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

To create game environments, it is pertinent to “keep some elements consistent in the visuals,” Niepokólczycki said. His team kept overgrown foliage, construction sites and sand as consistent elements in Dogtown.

Niepokólczycki shared his learnings while creating game environments – “good pipelines are timeless, and teams must be given autonomy to create,” he said. A passionate gamer with a love for sci-fi, he is dedicated to creating interesting, unique, and believable worlds. While he emphasised on how the environments are built by a team and by not just one person, Niepokólczycki signed off by sharing his three key takeaways from work: “Keep art consistent, always aim higher, and being a perfectionist at times pays off.”

Visitor playing at PlayStation’s booth
Photo by: Gamescom Asia

Other speakers for the day’s sessions included Neopets, Sunsoft, Nodding Head Games, Electronic Arts, Focus Entertainment, and Spiral Up Games. The Content Creators Summit kicked off for the first time in Gamescom Asia, with content creators and industry experts sharing trends, tools, and resources on content creation.

The B2C Entertainment Zone opened on this day for a preview. Spanning across three halls, the zone had video game demos from renowned publishers like Capcom, 4Divinity, Epicsoft Asia, PlayStation, Sega and Ubisoft. Visitors tried out video and analog games across triple AAA and Indie publishers. Competitors from around the region gathered to compete in the video game Street Fighter 6 at the Capcom Pro Tour 2023 Offline Premier Singapore. The tournament spanned three days, till 22 October.

Gamescom Asia 2023 had a Board Games Zone which featured over 100 titles of curated board games from The Asian Board Game Festival board game library, the latest games from Singaporean game publisher Origame and other independent Asian board game studios. Attendees got to enjoy classic games on custom retrocades at Retrocity’s Retro Games Zone.

The evening ended with an Official Networking Reception at the food garage. Attendees also enjoyed a performance by hip hop quintet, Playertwo.

Gamescom Asia, the world’s largest computer and video games festival, took place from 19 to 22 October at Suntec Convention Centre in Singapore. For trade, the festival aims to serve as the premier platform for Southeast Asian game developers to explore partnerships and expand their audiences globally. For the public, fans and gamers, the festival offers hands-on game demos, stage activities, cosplay and more.