A top indie developer and a large publisher are confirmed as keynote speakers at the sold–out New Zealand Game Developers Association Conference, taking place on May 19 in Auckland.

Tuna games CEO Alex Amsel, who had a hand in the development of indie iPad hit Eufloria and games as disparate as Family Guy and Asteroids, will open the conference with a speech titled “Living the dream and enduring the nightmare (it's tough being indie)”.

Later in the day, Adult Swim Digital Vice President and games champion Jeff Olsen will give the closing keynote, titled “How to teach your robot unicorn to attack (growing small games into multi-platform hits)”.

Kiwis presenting at the conference include Mario Wynands of Sidhe, and Carl de Visser and Thomas Middeldorp of Grinding Gear Games. Topics covered range from browser and mobile game development through to advertising and business building.

As well as experienced local developers, AutoDesk, Google AdMob and Amazon Web Services representatives will present at the event.

NZGDA President Stephen Knightly was ecstatic with the way things were shaping up.

“The lineup is awesome. Our keynotes are a top indie dev and a top publisher, so we're covering off both the artistic side and the commercial reality of making games.

“What's really rewarding is the depth of talent and experience that there is in the New Zealand industry now. In fact when it comes to online or smartphone games we have just as much experience, and hit games, as anywhere in the world,” said Knightly.

Gameplanet will be providing extensive coverage of the NZGDA Conference. Stay tuned.