Dates, awards announced for Freeplay 2015

Welcome back to Freeplay for 2015! This is going to be a huge year for us. In fact, in the year of our tenth festival, it’ll be our biggest yet.

We’ve got a ten-day festival for you this year in Melbourne between April 10 to April 19, culminating in an exciting weekend of events on April 18 and April 19.

Throughout this period, we’ll be having a program of online panels and events (like we did with our lunch launch, with a live-stream accessible to viewers around the nation and the globe), and of course the Freeplay Awards.

Freeplay will kick off on April 10, which is also when we’ll announce the finalists for our 2015 Freeplay Awards. The winners will be announced on the last night of our program, April 19, at our usual awards show in Melbourne.

We’ll open our awards for entry on March 2, and we’ll announce the details of our program, our exciting international keynote, and have tickets on sale in just a few weeks on February 27.

We’re also really happy to announce that for the first time ever we’ve appointed a Chair of the Freeplay Awards, to oversee and lead the judging process and our jury. For 2015, we’re delighted to say that our inaugural Chair is Cherie Davidson.

Finally, while we’ve got most of the festival together, it’s also not too late to get in touch with a panel idea, or even just to let us know about yourself if you think you might be a good fit as a Freeplay speaker. To do so, just complete this form, and we’ll be in touch over the next few weeks.

We’re looking forward to tell you more about Freeplay 2015 – our biggest festival yet.


February 27 Program and keynote announced

February 27 Tickets on sale

March 2 Awards open for submissions

March 13 Awards close

April 10 Freeplay 2015 begins

April 10 Freeplay Awards finalists announced

April 19 Freeplay Award winners announced

April 19 Freeplay 2015 finishes

Think you’d make a good Freeplay 2015 speaker, or got a panel idea? Tell us!

Parallels wrap-up

If you missed our incredible 2014 Parallels event, the full video is available above. And, if you’re looking for a recommendation, here’s what the media said:

The Age/Sydney Morning Herald: “Freeplay, Australia’s premier indie games festival, gets a shake-up.”

Daily Review/Crikey: “These are the 12 reasons we should be excited about the future of the Australian video games industry.”

IGN: “These are games that we think deserve some recognition for their big ideas … we still certainly hope to see more from these talented developers in future.”

Kill Your Darlings: “incredible videogames-in-progress”

Develop: “As the first of the new format events for Freeplay, it was a good start and a sold-out event.

Approaching Parallels

We’re just under two weeks out from Parallels, our Showcase and Playday at ACMI on the 18th of October, and we’re incredibly excited. We’ve got a lot in store for you.

To get a preview, head on over to our brand new Freeplay Tumblr, we’re we’ve been giving a sneak peak of some of the games we’ll be featuring in the Showcase.

To buy tickets to the Showcase (the Playday is free), head to the ACMI website.

If any journalists want to come along, send us an email at media [at] and we’ll organise a press pass for you.

See you all on the 18th!

Three big Freeplay events for 2014 and 2015

Today we are super excited to announce not one, not two, but three big Freeplay events for both this year and next:

  • On August 31 we’re running ‘Play By the Book’ as part of the Melbourne Writers Festival ‘LitHop’ event. We’re at Rancho Notorious (upstairs at 1000 Pound Bend) at 2pm. We’ll be matching indie games with live readings of classic literature simultaneously. It’ll be weird, and hopefully, it’ll be delightful.
  • On October 18, Freeplay and ACMI and presenting Parallels, a brand new day-long event of two great parts. We’ve got the Parallels Showcase at 7pm, a session in the ACMI studio where we’re curating an amazing array of local game makers demoing their games live. You can grab tickets to this right now at the ACMI site. We’re keeping this intimate, so get in quick or you’ll miss out. Earlier in the same day, we’re also running the totally free Parallels Playday, where we’ve got some great games, activities, and performances throughout the day in the ACMI Lightwell. We’ll be talking a lot about both of these events more over the coming weeks.
  • And finally… in April 2015, we’ll be running the next big Freeplay festival. This will be our tenth festival ever, so when we say it’ll be big, it’ll be big. In fact, we’re planning ten days of Freeplay in April next year. That’s our biggest festival ever. We’re really putting the ‘festival’ part of our name upfront and centre, too, with the usual talks and panels, but also parties, our awards, performances, social events, game playing sessions, and even completely free panels using the same system you see above that anyone anywhere in the world will be able to watch. We’ll be announcing more about our April festival later in the year, including an amazing keynote, and the opening of our awards for entries.

So that’s a lot to announce. But we’re still not done, and we’ll be back with a few more events that we haven’t even told you about yet, too.


We also have some news about the Freeplay organisation itself. Hugh Davies, the Chair of Freeplay’s board, has stepped down after serving in the role ever since the formation of the board. And Gideon Hornung, our Vice Chair, has also stepped down after an equally significant period of service for our organisation. Both have had a huge impact on Freeplay – perhaps more than any one person will ever know – and we thank them deeply for their service.

We’re really excited to say that taking up the roles of Chair and Vice Chair are Trent Kusters (League of Geeks) and Jess Kilby (Pop Up Playground), who we introduced you to earlier in the year. They’ve been amazing so far and we’re sure they’ll both leave a really significant mark on the festival.

Here’s a photo of Trent and Hugh completing the handover. Hugh notes that he’s using the UN-sanctioned double-handshake in this photo, rarely witnessed outside of international press conferences. We think it’s a great photo that illustrates, apart from anything, the amazing warmth and personality that both Trent and Hugh have brought to Freeplay.

More on all of this is to come, soon. We’ll see you at our amazing array of events.


New appointments for Freeplay heading into our 2014 festival!

Image credit: Izzy Gramp. From left to right: Trent Kusters, Jess Kilby, and Dan Golding

We’re really excited to announce today that we’ve assembled a new team for our 2014 festival. We’ve got journalist and academic Dan Golding on as our new director, and two new board appointments, in the guise of artist, writer and game designer Jess Kilby (of Pop Up Playground fame), and designer Trent Kusters (of League of Geeks fame). You can follow Trent, Jess, and Dan on twitter, as well, of course as the festival.

We’ve got lots more exciting announcements about the festival to come, so keep an eye out for more news!

Our full press release follows below.

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