The Adelaide Show Podcast putting South Australian passion on centre stage

188 – Game On South Australia Level One

Game On South Australia Level One. Portrait of Robin Potanin by Stewart. The Adelaide Show Podcast

Robin Potanin has spent two decades in the world of games and entertainment while being based here in Adelaide. Tonight, we start working our way through the many levels of her story and that of the industry itself as we say, Game On South Australia. This is Level One. One week later, we continued at Level Two with Robin.

The cover image for this week’s show is a portrait of Robin done by her husband, Stewart MacFarlane.

This week, the SA Drink Of The Week is Bolle Felici from Anna Fisher’s Zonte’s Footstep

Nigel will try to stump the audience with IS IT NEWS on the topic of

In 100 Weeks Ago we hear the newly-elected Lord Mayor Martin Haese compare business life to political life

And in the musical pilgrimage … Mat Vecchio brings us a computer game theme

Suggested Tweet text: Computer and online #games and #gaming promises jobs for #SouthAustralia says the @aieedu.

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Running Sheet: Game On South Australia Level One

00:00:00 Outtake
I used to do voiceovers in Hollywood
Theme and introduction. Our original theme song in full is here, Adelaidey-hoo.
00:02:46 SA Drink Of The Week
Zonte’s Footstep’s Bolle Felici McLaren Vale … tasting notes
00:08:52 Stories Without Notice

This weekend is Oz Comic-Con. We discuss which character you might dress up as. Here is The Hollow Knight, as mentioned by Robin, and Captain Adelaide with his Mighty King William, as mentioned by Steve.

Hollow Knight and Captain Adelaide on The Adelaide Show Podcast

00:14:27 Robin Potanin

A few weekends ago, I took my kids to a Daughter Superhero event in which representatives from the local gaming industry walked a couple of hundred girls through the steps of game design and gameplay. Robin Potanin from the Academy of Interactive Entertainment was the key speaker – Robin was the founding head of the Academy in Adelaide (which is where people can study to enter the field of game development) and is now the national deputy chair of industry development and government relations, she is also Chair of the South Australian chapter of the International Game Developers Association and has spent the last few years of her life on a thesis: “Hairpins and Cockpits: Personalities at play in racing game concept production. But tonight, Robin has put down her controller and paused her busyness so she can share her story of the gaming industry and hopefully uncovers a few easter eggs along the way.

Here is the link to the BrainHex Player Typology, which Robin references in the interview. There is also a paper you can download here.

Before we turn to the industry, please unpack gaming for me. What is the essence of a game?

Does a pinball machine share the same essence as any other sort of game? And what about the old parlour games like Space Invaders?

On the superhero daughter day, you had them develop board games. Do all game concepts start there?

My 8yo developed Snakes and Lizards on the weekend. A board game in which you are a snake or a lizard and must go around the board twice, once as the adult (while their egg is hatching) and once as the newly-emerged baby. In the first round, lizards cannot move when they roll a 1 or 2 (something just annoying), while snakes have to go back two places if they roll a 2 (because people hate snakes and will often get rid of them). There are four pathways down into the crocodile pit. And, most interestingly, on the second time around the board, the old penalties for rolling 1 and 2 are gone BUT if you roll two 5s in a row, you die and the other player wins, because in nature the young are more vulnerable.

Can board games become electronic games?

Can you illuminate the connection between difficulty and reward, juxtaposed against the ability to draw players in and get them addicted

What are the main types of computer game and what ones are hot right now.

Are male and female players different? Did this come up in hairpins and cockpits?

I played a first person shooter a couple weekends ago and it should have been called first person shot. I had a room of three others (younger people who played the game often) and every time I moved or breathed I got shot or knifed. And yet, if I had TRUE ability to look around and use my skills (I am a decent marksman), I would have levelled the playing field. Which games have the greatest problem with controller clumsiness getting in the way?

Can I access true 3D games yet without blowing the bank?

Back to gameplay, my frustration with games is I just want them to be real life, but inside. But typically, they are really about a unique set of console skills, aren’t they? How transferable are they?

I admit that every 18 months I get my Grand Theft Auto out and I drive the streets causing mayhem – mugging, killing, doing hit-runs, stealing fire engines, etc. I would never do it or contemplate it in the real world. What does this say about me? Are morals different online?

Robin, you are a great fighter against the obstacles that hinder women entering the industry. Are you winning?

Would a woman have developed GTO?

I first got a sense there were game developers working in Adelaide when we met Ryan Davidson and Filip Kemp at their Little Bang Brewing Company in December (episode 173) but the concept didn’t click until I heard you speak and you said you’ve been in the industry for 20 years. Can you quantify South Australia’s pedigree in interactive entertainment

Actually, RYAN had a question: What the hell happened to the Games industry in the GFC and why, and how is it coming back? And FILIP asked:Why doesn’t the AAA games industry exist in Australia any more.

RYAN: Also what is your take on the government’s attitude towards Games vs Film in Australia


What are your first memories of playing games?
Would they hold up today?
I remember using BASIC to program football scores for a season with the random number generator skewed to favour top teams as the season went on.
I’ve been struggling to develop a podcast game as a concept. I would like to take you through my stream of consciousness to get your feedback so we can all hear what things pop into your mind.
Hard interviewee or easy / short answers funny answers
Open questions or closed questions
Big names (more reach new listeners) or small names (more surprise or value for regular listeners)
More socially active guests or less
Preparation or no preparationPoint of view? Or board game? Something else???Or is it like the games where you have to make it through a course or maze and you can choose difficulty OR you can work through levelsCould it include chat bots that actually create a podcast show as output?Are there different AI bots to interview?And you can share the podcasts through social mediaConversation bots – improvised chats on random topics
RYAN: And how quickly can she name 5 characters from The Dukes of Hazard?


01:22:22 Is It News?

 Nigel challenges the panel to pick the fake story from three stories from South Australia’s past.

News August 1935
BAN ON DANCE Monte Carlos A Gamble
Monte Carlo dances are illegal lotteries!
Any dance promoter who gives a box of chocolates, or any other prize, to the couple which survives a Monte Carlo test will in future render himself liable to prosecution. Monte Carlo dances have featured on Adelaide dance programmes for more than 20 years, but the Police Department has apparently only just dis covered their allegedly sinister nature
and-has this week decided to take stern measures to end this form of dance hall “gambling.” During the last three nights, carefully planned raids have been carried out on almost every dance hall in the city and suburbs. Without warning, plainclothes police, working in pairs, have swooped on dance organizers as soon as the Monte Carlo winners have been announced, and in at least four instances the names and addresses of the organisers, as- well as of the winning couples have been taken. The organisers have been told that they were conducting illegal lotteries and the winning couples have been informed that they, too, have been committing an offence by “assisting in illegal lotteries.”

News April 1936
Charges to be Laid Police last night took possession of two “poolette” games in the “Fun Parlor” at the Centennial Exhibition. Proprietors of -these and two other games will be summoned to appear in the Adelaide Police Court. Two men and a woman who are proprietors of the “poolette” and “wheel-em-in” games, will answer allegations of breaches of section 63 of the Lottery and Gaming Act. In addition a man described as a visitor from Bondi (N.S.W.) will be charged as proprietor of a game called pop-em-on. The two “poolette” games were taken in a patrol van to the City Watchhouse and placed in the metropolitan superintendents’ office.

News March 1954
Victorian conmen reap harvest
Victorian confidence tricksters have found a new way of making a dishonest penny or shilling. They manufacture cigarette packets identical with the packets which contain a popular brand of cigarettes and fill them with low grade home-made cigarettes. Then they sell them to the local pin ball parlors up and down Hindley Street, Glenelg and Semaphore, where nervous players spend as much money on tobacco as on the game.

01:36:13 100 weeks ago
A snippet of Adelaide Lord Mayor Martin Haese from episode 88. Given that the USA now has a businessman-turned-politician in charge, this little snippet in which Steve has asked Martin how the pressures of office compare to the pressures of business, is relevant all over again.
01:39:55 Musical Pilgrimage
And our song this week is Breaking Bricks Main Theme by Mat Vecchio, selected by our musical curator Dan Drummond. You can play the older version of the game at Breaking Bricks.
01:48:27 Outtake
 The Surgeon-General’s tools … we’re all winners because we play

Here is this week’s preview video:

SFX: Throughout the podcast we use free sfx from for the harp, the visa stamp, the silent movie music, the stylus, the radio signal sfx, the wine pouring and cork pulling sfx, and the swooshes around Siri.





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