Speakers (Friday)

Heartbeat is excited to host an amazing array of speakers from a variety of different disciplines. Their work is inspired in some way by the themes of love, sex and romance.


Richard Pieterse

Richard is an adult human based in Cape Town, South Africa. He is currently working on an over scoped dick joke called Genital Jousting. He is also one third of the punk-game-band, Team Lazerbeam, who make cute/weird games about anthropomorphic snow cones and speed dating wrestlers. His parents are very proud of him. @nekropants

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Zander Hulme

 Zander Hulme is one of Brisbane’s leading game audio designers and founder Game Audio Brisbane. Specialising in dynamic music systems, mobile games, and mobile VR, he is best known for his work on Steppy Pants. His work in animated films has also won awards and screened at renowned international festivals such as Festival de Cannes and Bristol Encounters Short Film Festival.


Lucie Bee

Lucie Bee is an escort, activist, geek and erotic adventurer with a penchant for sharing her interests and talents with friends, lovers and fans. Lucie has spoken on sex and gaming at cons all over australia and been a regular in the media when is comes to sex work activism. We're excited to have Lucie at Heartbeat to share her unique perspective and insights on sex and games.

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Josh Muller

Josh Muller, a psychologist who is passionate about wellbeing, sexuality and gender. Psychologist Josh Muller navigates past defences and fears, showing how vulnerability is the key to intimacy. Strip back the plate mail and embrace your gooey centre. Get connected by letting go and stepping towards a raw honesty. Flexibly balance safety and risk to deepen your connection to yourself and loved ones.

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Christy Dena

Christy Dena is a writer-designer-director of Apps, installations, games, and events. She is Senior Lecturer at SAE, and teaches interactive storytelling at Griffith Uni. She has won numerous digital writing awards for her original projects, and worked on digital projects for Nokia and Cisco. She organised the narrative design conference Crafting Intangibles, runs the Extended Experiences Lab, and co-runs an international residential lab for creatives called Forward Slash Story.

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Elie Abraham

Elie Abraham is a composersound designer, voice actor, and unyielding game jammer who has worked on 40 jam games in 2017 alone. Elie is half of indie game studio Ian & Elie making games such as Sature and Stacks On Stacks (On Stacks). Elie is also a performer who can be caught delivering stand-up comedy and DJing at game and other events as Meduusa

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Brit Snaggel

Brit is a genderqueer bisexual rabblerouser and serious tabletop gamer. A frequent speaker on topics of diversity and inclusivity in games. Brit is the founder of Hella Gay Games, an indie dev studio that makes tabletop games that are hella queer & inclusive af. She also runs the HGG Collective, a Brisbane-based space for growing a diverse group of aspiring tabletop game designers and thinks you, yes you, should make a tabletop game.


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Pewka Zilla

Pewka is a trans woman who primarily makes art and illustration, she got into game dev with her partner shell osborne making trash games - their first game was the transzone which has been featured in several events and has her second title coming out on mobile in February called Cursedom -  she approaches games from a background in art and university research in queer and feminist theory with ambitions to teach and create in the gaming industry. But rather that trying to explain the dragon princess artist that is Pewka Zilla I think it's better you just check out her website and donate to her shrine. http://www.pewkazone.com


James and Joe Cox

Brothers James Earl Cox III and Joe are Seemingly Pointless, a two person studio expanding the videogames landscape through titles such as You Must Be 18 Or Older To Enter. They have pushed boundaries and experienced the push back of traditional videogames culture, and are happy to share lessons learned and possibilities for the future, all in the name of asking the games industry to grow up.

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Andy Connor

Andy Connor is a nonbinary writer and philosophy postgrad from Melbourne. They recently finished their masters thesis on abuse and love, and run a weekly game of Dungeons & Dragons where the magic system only works if you talk about your feelings. 


Interview with Brenda Romero (pre recorded)

Blushbox interviewed Brenda Romero with community questions about sex and romance in game design. Hosted by Blushy, Jennifer Sheurle, this is the first time anyone will see our interview with the legendary designer herself.


Workshops (Saturday)


Émilie Poissenot

Modular Narrative - Pushing boundaries of choice in visual novel and text games

During the session, we’ll cover some core storytelling theories and have a hands-on exercise with modular storytelling. Beginners are welcome and creative brains are needed! Attendees will walk away with a good understanding of core storytelling theory and a hands-on exploration of modular storytelling that puts them in the right mindset to create their own sensual and amazing content!




Jennifer Scheurle

Tying the Knot: The Art of Shibari

Jennifer Scheurle is the lead game designer on Opaque Space's project Earthlight. Now she's working with NASA but in a past life she was a shibari rope model. Jenn's workshop will be a beginners guide to the art and body confidence that shibari can deliver.

Louis Roots

Louie is the owner of eclectic small gallery Bar SK. Before this Louie worked at Kiloo as a designer on Subway Surfers and ran SK Games in Perth famous for cult classics, Cat Nips and Bush Bash (*check out this video if you haven't already seen it) Louie is pro at creating custom controllers intended for public display.  In this workshop he'll teach you how to think about and display your games in a public and social context. 

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Josh Muller

Josh is a psychologist specialising in LBGTQI issues and has a passion for mindfulness and sexuality psychology. In the heat of the summer and just as our brains are melting Josh will take us to the beach or to the forest in Byron's surrounds and teach how about self care and self-love.


Shell Osbourne

This lovely coding workshop will teach you principals of logic and animation! Badass and educator, Shell Osbourne will bring her formidable knowledge to the keyboard to help you create and make a 3D object and use code to create a basic game for it.


Brit Snaggel

This tabletop design workshop is about critical modification, which Brit calls 'the gateway drug to game design'. "As soon as you make a house rule, you're a game designer." In this workshop, tabletop designer extraordinaire, Brit Snaggel, takes you through a handful of different styles of games, walk you through an example together, then she'll turn you loose to get started on your very first tabletop game!