FRIDAY, MAY 20th

9:45 AM - 10:00 AM


Welcome to Power of Play!

Join us as we kick off this year’s Power of Play! Listen to the latest news of our ever growing industry and how we continue to be a global leader in the worldwide market.

10:00 AM - 10:30 AM


Keynote Address

Session description coming soon!

Speaker(s):

speaker_loftis

 

General Manager, XBOX

10:45 AM - 11:15 AM


Surviving the Apocalypse on Mainstream Graphics: Optimizing DayZ using Intel® GPA

DayZ is one of the most thrilling gamed released in the past few years! In 2016, Bohemia Interactive updated the game to use the new Enfusion engine, not only improving even further the stunning graphics of the game, but also significantly increasing the game's performance! In this talk, we will cover the basics of Intel® Graphics Performance Analyzers, as well as a live demo of how the tool has been used to identify performance improvement opportunities during the optimization pass. Come join the survivors of DayZ' epic optimization's journey!
Takeaway: How to use of Intel Graphics Performance Analyzers to optimize gameplay.

Speaker(s):

speaker_schneider

 

Product Owner, Intel Graphics Performance Analyzers

Community Fireside:Darkest Dungeon

Listen in as Bungie Studios' talk about the importance of community with the community manager for Darkest Dungeon. Learn what all indies want to know: how to engage, incentivize and manage your community.

Speaker(s):

speaker_lindvay

 

Community Manager, Red Hook Studios
speaker_dague

 

Communications Director, Bungie
speaker_jenkins

 

Chief Business Officer, Bungie



Human Vision and Virtual Reality

Description coming soon.

Speaker(s):

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM


Power to the Players

Wizards of the Coast makes and manages iconic games that rely on players’ creativity, self-expression and communities for them to even work, let alone be fun. Wizards President Christian Cocks will discuss what the company has learned making Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons, what to consider when making and selling games that rely on the creativity of your players, and how to engage communities at local and global scale.

Speaker(s):

speaker_cocks

 

CEO, Wizards of the Coast

The Importance of Working with Influencers to Grow Your Game's Audience

Description coming soon!

Speaker(s):

speaker_lieb

 

Founder, Innervate

How to Prepare for Making a Game in Virtual Reality

Description coming soon!

Speaker(s):

speaker_chironis

 

Game Designer, Oculus Rex

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


Lunch

Concessions at Meydenbauer outside of room 406 from 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM.

Business Track

Rooms 401 & 402
speaker_robar
Moderator:
Jason Robar
 

Trending Track

Room 406
speaker_kelly
Moderator:
Tadhg Kelly
 

Technical Track

Rooms 407 & 408
speaker_zinchak
Moderator:
Robby Zinchak
 

General Events

Various rooms

1:00 PM - 1:30 PM


Engineering Scalability: How Overwatch was Built to Make the Most of a Wide Range of Hardware

Overwatch runs on a very wide range of hardware, notably Intel Integrated. Learn some of the engine and art techniques used during development to help Overwatch perform well on various hardware specifications.
Takeaway: Learn some of the engine and art techniques used during development to help Overwatch perform well on various hardware specifications.

Speaker(s):

Ryan Greene

 

Sr. Engineer, Blizzard

Streaming for Indies/esports panel

Description coming soon!

Speaker(s):

speaker_beasley

 

Executive Producer, GrifballHub.com

Social VR: the Story of RecRoom

Description coming soon!

Speaker(s):

sm_brown

 

Chief Creative Officer, Against Gravity

1:45 PM - 2:15 PM


Building a Successful Team (30 minutes)

Learn how to recruit a team and lead them to create a game together. Balancing your own preferences and desires with theirs, you can build a strong team that respects each other and works well together towards a common goal. This talk will cover details including paying your team, communication and management tools, and what you need to transform your personal dream into a well running studio.

Speaker(s):

speaker_gittins

 

Creative Director and CEO, Stumbling Cat

Next Generation VR Games (60 minutes)

Consumer VR headsets are here, and thousands of gamers are already enjoying VR games. Join our panel of game experts as we discuss where VR games are going over the coming years, and what we can expect to see from the next generation of VR gaming and entertainment.

Speaker(s):

speaker_hooper

 

CEO, VREAL
speaker_sweet

 

Head of Developer Strategy, Oculus
speaker_odonnell

 

Owner, Highwire Games
speaker_green

 

Game Director, Carbon Games




Ark: Survival Evolved Post Mortem (30 minutes)

A 30 minute rundown on the trials and tribulations, lessons and laughs, and massive, unexpected surprises that come with developing a game about friendship, antagonism, and dinosaurs.

Speaker(s):

speaker_hendricks

 

Senior Technical and Gameplay Designer, Studio Wildcard

2:30 PM - 3:00 PM


Digital vs. Analog - Why Pen and Paper Gaming Steals the Show on Kickstarter (30 minutes)

Dennis, a veteran of many video game and pen and paper Kickstarters walks through the particulars, along with the pitfalls involved in running a successful digital or pen and paper Kickstarter campaign. In the last two years, Dennis has run, or been involved in Kickstarters that have generated 3 million plus dollars in funds raised.

Speaker(s):

speaker_detwiller

 

Game Designer

Next Generation VR Games (continued)

Next Generation VR Games (continued)

Bringing AAA to Mobile Games and More: The Animation of Republique (30 minutes)

Join Kaitlin Spangler as she takes you behind the scenes on what it was like animating the award winning indie game, Republique.

Speaker(s):

speaker_spangler

 

Lead Animator, Camouflaj
speaker_warnock

 

Animation Lead, Hidden Path Entertainment


3:15 PM - 3:45 PM


Axiom Verge: PR Postmortem (30 minutes)

Axiom Verge was a great game made by one extremely talented individual named Tom Happ. But as we all know that these days, just having a good game isn’t enough. In this session, I’ll describe some of the PR strategies we employed to get Axiom Verge on people’s radar before, during, and after launch.

Speaker(s):

speaker_adelman

 

Business Development and Marketing for Axiom Verge, Chasm, and Mages of Mystralia

How to Successfully Capitalize on the eSports MODEL (60 minutes)

The annual “State of the Industry” report, sponsored by the Game Developer’s Conference and organized by UBM Game Network, found that 88% of polled developers see a bright, sustainable future in the eSports business. However, only 15% of surveyed developers are actively working on games that they think have potential as an eSports title, and 23% are putting “significant” resources into hosting player competitions, an important step in growing a pro gaming community. Not only will the panelists introduce what makes eSports so captivating, why the characteristics of eSports games lend naturally to higher user retention levels, and how eSports games attract additional audiences and expand their consumer bases, but more importantly, they will share their thoughts on the essential components behind any successful eSports game, how to grow and encourage an organic eSports audience, and what game developers should keep in mind when designing competitive gameplay in a new game or developing an eSports mode in an existing game.

Speaker(s):

speaker_konsmo

 

Co-Founder, Professional Battle League
speaker_taylor2

 

General Manager, Wargaming
speaker_siebert

 

Microsoft Xbox
speaker_murdock

 

Community Manager, VREAL




Picking Your Platform (60 minutes)

Platform decisions and relationships can make or break your game. And with new platforms such as VR, AR, mobile VR, and perhaps even a new console from Nintendo, now more than ever.  The platform you choose and the relationships you build will dictate the audience you reach, how you monetize, and with whom you will need to partner. Come learn more about the options, opportunities and things to think about when developing and maintaining a relationship with a platform provider.

Speaker(s):

speaker_kimmich

 

CEO, Software Illuminati LLC
speaker_pobst

 

Founder and CEO, Hidden Path Entertainment
speaker_jordan

 

CEO, Codename Entertainment
speaker_heinrich

 

Developer Evangelist, Amazon
speaker_callewaert

 

Global Director of Evangelism, Unity





4:00 PM - 4:30 PM


Money from your music! Understanding Music Rights and your Game (30 minutes)

Game music has been placed in movie trailers, TV sports, TV shows and advertisements. Did you know that when your game’s music is used like this, you, the game developer/publisher can get paid for it? But only if you navigate the not-quite-so straightforward world of music rights. This talk will cover the essentials of music rights for game developers, and what you need to know in order to take advantage of various ways to produce income from the music you hired your composer to write. It will also cover some common contract issues that game developers sometimes have with their composers.

The music you commissioned for you game can add to your bottom line, potentially significantly!  Knowing how the music business and music rights can help you profit from the valuable business asset which is your game’s music.

Speaker(s):

speaker_schmidt

 

Founder and Executive Director, GameSoundCon

How to Successfully Capitalize on the eSports MODEL (continued)

How to Successfully Capitalize on the eSports MODEL (continued)

Picking Your Platform (continued)

Picking Your Platform (continued)

4:30 PM - 5:30 PM


The Player Broke My Story: Crafting Truly Immersive Game Narrative

Come hear the VP Creative of Telltale games, Leah Hoyer talk about immersive storytelling.

Speaker(s):

speaker_hoyer

 

VP, Creative Telltale Games

5:30 PM - 7:30 PM


Party!

Join the speakers and attendees for libations and fun at our legendary Power of Play Party! Plus, you’ll get a preview of the Indie Expo which will be showcasing on Saturday!

SATURDAY, MAY 21st

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM


Conference Registration Opens

Get here early, play games, have fun!

11:00 AM - 5:00 PM


eSports Tournament - Halo, Rocket League and Tumblestone

Room: 407-408

Come join us in our first ever eSports tournament hosted by Washington Interactive network and Lightning Strike gaming community. All are welcome to join and participate in the tournaments following the registration of each attendee. Game descriptions below. Saturday Registration required. Arrive at 10 am to register for the tournament. Contact events@washingtoninteractivenetwork.org for more information.

Tournament 1: Rocket League
Have you ever wanted to drive a RC car that could fly, shoot fire out the tailpipes while trying to hit a soccer ball into a goal? Well then look no further we have got you covered. LSGC, Extra Life, Phyonics, and WIN Present the “ExtraLife Rocket League Championship”. Bring yourself, and 2 of your friends to play in an Epic Battle Royal!. This will be a single elimination tournament with a prize pool cool swag and more. Don't have any friends don't worry you can still come and play we will find people for you.

Tournament 2: Halo
Do you want to shoot things, blow them up, and use a rocket launcher while power sliding the flag into the base for that crucial point? So do we! Come join us for Halo 5 tournament. This will be teams of 4 in a swiss style tournament. Our friends at Pro Battle League have graciously accepted the challenge of running this tournament for us. Presenting our First eSports Halo 5 tournament. Who knows we might throw some grifball in too.

Tournament 3: Tumblestone Indie Dev Pick
Do you like destroying the enemy? Making them quake in fear? If you're saying to yourself man that's my jam I totally love doing that. Then Tumblestone is the game for you. In epic fast paced free for all tournament you will be playing against 3 other people for domination. Don’t worry it’s friendly at least that's what we tell you till your adrenaline is pumping because that guy next to you is about to win.

Frequently Asked Questions

Seattle Retro Game Expo

Room: 401-402

The Freeplay room at Power of Play features over 1200 games, including NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast and more, All free to play!  Seattle Retro Gaming is dedicated to strengthening the local retro gaming community. We have partnered with Ninkasi Brewing and the EMP to bring retro gaming events to Seattle.

034_Estelia_SRGE_SAT_DSC_0169

Indie Game Expo

Room: 404-405

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM


Lunch

Concessions at Meydenbauer outside of room 406 from 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM.

12:30 PM - 2:30 PM


Seattle Indie Game Competition

Room: 406
SIGC entries have been submitted and are now being reviewed. The top five finalist will be listed here when selected. Stay tuned!

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM


Award Presentation

Room: 406

To finish up our fun at Power of Play Washington Interactive Network will be awarding the Halo, Rocket League, Tumblestone tournament winners and concludes with the announcement of the 2016 SIGC champion.

  • loftis
    SHANNON LOFTIS
    General Manager, Studios 1st Publishing, Xbox

    Shannon Loftis is General Manager for Studios 1st Publishing on Team Xbox. Shannon has been with Microsoft since 1993, making games for the vast majority of that time.

    Shannon studied computer science and mathematics at Duke University. She joined Microsoft in 1993 and quickly migrated to the Entertainment Product Unit. Her earliest work focused on the creation of online card-playing games, utilizing the emerging consumer potential of the internet and social game design. Shannon has been responsible for multiplayer games across all of Microsoft’s gaming platforms (console, PC and Hololens), including the Madness series (Motocross Madness, Monster Truck Madness, and Midtown Madness), Project Gotham Racing, the Fable series, the Viva Pinata series, Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts, and many others. In total, Shannon has contributed to more than 50 games.

    Shannon has created and led many global teams in the US and UK, including games publishing teams, interactive television teams, and internal game development studios (most notably Good Science, the team responsible for greenlighting and shipping the Kinect with full-motion games and core in 2010). Currently the Studios Global Publishing team is focused on such AAA franchises as Quantum Break, Ori and the Blind Forest, and the Microsoft Casual Suite.
    In her free time, Shannon enjoys playing video games, running, and traveling with her husband and two sons.

  • schneider
    SETH SCHNEIDER
    Product Owner, Intel GPA

    Seth Schneider is the Intel Graphics Performance Analyzers (Intel GPA) Product Owner.  As product owner, Seth sets the direction of Intel GPA to ensure that it is meeting customer requirements and makes optimizing games on Intel a great experience.  He has been at Intel for four years, starting in workstation graphics and moving to the graphics tools team two years ago.  Seth enjoys all things games…from playing them, to optimizing them. You can often find him on a Saturday night, drinking some great Oregon microbrews and playing games with his daughter.

  • lindvay
    JOHN LINDVAY
    Community Manager, Red Hook Studios

    John Lindvay is the community manager at Red Hook Studios working on Darkest Dungeon. He also helps organize Train Jam with Adriel Wallick and runs the Student Ambassador Program for the event. Train Jam is an annual game jam which charters a group 200+ developers on an Amtrak Train from Chicago to San Francisco on the days leading up to GDC. In 2010, John started the podcast BigSushi.fm where he has interviewed over 200 developers in the industry and shared those conversations with listeners around the world.

  • dague
    DAVID DAGUE
    Communications Director, Bungie

    David Dague became a Bungie fan in the year 2001. Throughout his campaign as a player, he invested deeply in the community experience that Bungie games are designed to inspire. As the founder of TiedtheLeader.com, he wrote a blog devoted to exploring the politics of online multiplayer and promoting the virtues of a strong friends list to support a healthy pastime. Over time, this resulted in the creation of a network of Clans devoted to defending the notions of sportsmanship and goodwill. To this day, the TTL Gunslingers can be found patrolling any shooter that brings players together. In 2011, he moved to Washington to join Bungie and lead the community that had captured his imagination. Since then, he has fostered a new community of Destiny players. As the Communications Director, his new role is to ensure that Bungie’s message to the world is focused on games where friendships are made. He also leads the official player support team that keeps the Guardians informed and connected. The Internet refers to him as “DeeJ” and so should you.

  • jenkins
    ONDRAUS JENKINS
    Chief Business Officer, Bungie

    Ondraus (sometimes referred to around the studio by his nome de guerre “OJ”) is the Chief Business Officer of Bungie. OJ has always been fascinated by the intersection of technology, event-driven pop culture, and business. After a tour of duty with a large Wall Street law firm in New York and Los Angeles, he moved to a talent-side boutique law firm in Beverly Hills. His migration to interactive business came soon after, thanks to an invitation from Electronic Arts. After only a scant few years of providing sound business development counsel on the provision of entertainment software, a fateful conversation with Bungie in 2008 set him on the path to return to the Pacific Northwest. Ondraus has been a Bungie fan since first playing Marathon on his Macintosh in 1994, but he’s all about Destiny these days. He is a graduate of Stanford University, The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, and the Columbia University School of Law.

  • Hershel
    RON HERSHEL
    President, Hershel Consulting

    Ron graduated from the Air Force Academy and went on to receive his masters in physics from the University of New Mexico, and PhD in Optical Sciences from the University of Arizona and was on the faculties of USC and the University of Arizona. In 1978, he became a consultant to the semiconductor industry and joined HP’s technical staff in 1979. As a consultant, Ron was also involved in the development of the Ultratech Stepper and new pellicles for photomasks which led to numerous patents and papers. In 1988, he received the SEMI award for his contributions to wafer fabrication. Ron is currently working on new technologies to manufacture large flexible displays, on developing new VR devices, and on continuing to investigate the requirements of human stereopsis.

  • hershel
    CHRISTIAN COCKS
    President, Wizards of the Coast

    Christian Cocks is the President of Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro offering games and entertainment under world-renowned brands such as Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons. Before joining Wizards, Christian most recently served as Vice President, OEM Technical Sales at Microsoft Corporation, where he led a global sales and technical engagement team. Prior to his eight-year tenure with Microsoft, Christian served as Vice President of Educational Games at LeapFrog, where he led a cross-discipline team to drive hardware planning, software design and development, marketing and channel management. He began his career in brand management at Procter & Gamble and served in product management and marketing leadership positions in Xbox and MSN, including work on hit franchises like Halo and Fable.

  • lieb
    ADAM LIEB
    Innervate

    Adam is an experienced entrepreneur, having founded and operated multiple companies in and around the games industry over the last 20 years. He has built both consumer and enterprise products that have scaled to millions of gamers and millions of dollars in revenue. Adam’s entire career has centered around building and growing massive communities of gamers. At Innervate he has raised millions of dollars in VC to grow and scale a suite of services catering to game developers and publishers.

    LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/adamslieb

  • chironis
    KATIE CHIRONIS
    Game Designer, Oculus Rex

    Katie is a game designer on Oculus Rex, Oculus’s internal game development team. She worked as a designer on Farlands for the Rift, and Prologue for the GearVR. She has extensive experience designing and prototyping for high-comfort VR experiences. Previously, she has worked as a game and narrative designer for companies such as Microsoft, Her Interactive, and Signal Studios.

  • robar
    JASON ROBAR
    Consultant, AuthorDigital

  • kelly
    TADHG KELLY
    Director of Developer Relations, VREAL

    Tadhg Kelly is a game designer, writer and speaker based in Seattle. Originally from Dublin via London, Tadhg’s 17 year industry career has encompassed many roles, from startup founder, consultant, creative director and now director of developer relations at VREAL. Tadhg has been frequently published at Gamasutra, TechCrunch and Edge, and is also the author of the game design blog What Games Are. He is currently working on a book, Core Game Design.

  • wilson
    ROBBY ZINCHAK
    Founder and CEO, Archive Entertainment

    Robby Zinchak is the founder & CEO of Archive Entertainment, an indie development studio in Seattle, Washington.  He developed the popular indie game 8BitMMO, which has more than 850,000 registered users and a player built world larger than the combined landmass of the United Kingdom.  Archive Entertainment has won major awards including being a Seattle Independent Game Competition winner and at Tokyo Game Show’s Sense of Wonder Night won the award for Best Technological Game. Robby recently spoke at GDC 2016 in San Francisco about how studios can develop highly scalable distribution mechanisms based on MMO autopatching technology.

    Previously a Producer at Microsoft, he has also led game creation at Capcom and Midway, producing titles such as Final Fight: Double Impact, and FLOCK!.

  • greene
    RYAN GREENE
    Blizzard

    Ryan has been helping develop game engines for Blizzard Entertainment for 11 years. In that time he has shipped Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty and Overwatch, Blizzard’s highly stylized team-based first person shooter. Ryan is a generalist within the core engine team, with a slight slant towards rendering technology. He graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a B.S. in Information and Computer Science. Ryan spends his free time with his wife and son, cooking, and home brewing his own beer.

  • beasley
    DJBLUE PDX
    Executive Producer, GrifballHub.com

    DJBlue PDX is the Executive Producer & Director Of Broadcasting with GrifballHub.com, and teaches Broadcast Streaming with the Integrated Media & Broadcast Production program at Mt Hood Community College. His past achievements include the Grifball World Championships at RTX in Austin, TX, Content Development & management for 3 Twitch Channels, managing 2 North American & 2 International Production teams, plus over a decade as club DJ. He’s also responsible for establishing the initial Broadcast Program for Lightning Strike Gaming & Pro Battle League.

  • brown
    CAM BROWN
    Co-Founder/CCO, Against Gravity

    Cameron Brown is co-founder and CCO of Against Gravity, makers of the popular social VR app Rec Room. Cam has worked in video games for over twenty years, and was also a creative director on the Microsoft HoloLens program. He believes the future of computing is social, physical, and very exciting!

  • gittins
    RENEE GITTINS
    Creative Director and CEO, Stumbling Cat

    Renee is a multi-disciplinary leader with expertise in software engineering and creative direction. She is the CEO of Stumbling Cat, creator of Potions: A Curious Tale. She led engineering and server development at Fixer Studios, and designed and developed cognitive evaluation mini-games and health management systems for X2 Biosystems.

    Renee is a passionate advocate and connector for developers and diversity in the game industry. Renee organizes game-jams, panels, job fairs and other developer events as a board member of IGDA Seattle, contributes to Broken Joysticks, and actively mentors game development students at Foundry10.

  • hooper
    TODD HOOPER
    CEO and Founder, VREAL

    Todd is an experienced entrepreneur, having founded and operated multiple companiesin the enterprise and entertainment markets. He started developing video games in assembly code as a teenager, and went on to a career in enterprise networking, serving on the management team of WatchGuard Technologies and founding Napera Networks. Todd returned to games in 2010, joining Zipline Games as CEO. Prior to VREAL, Todd was VP Online Services at Unity, leading their initiative to revolutionize the way games developers create and connect with an audience. Teams under Todd’s leadership shipped new cloud services enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of Unity developers.

    LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/toddhooper

  • sweet
    ANNA SWEET
    Head of Developer Strategy, Oculus

    As head of Oculus Developer Strategy, Anna oversees developer relationships and the ecosystem that supports and inspires developers to create and deliver the world’s best virtual reality experiences. She brings more than 10 years of noted success in the gaming industry, specializing in strategic planning, product and business development and marketing.

    Prior to Oculus, Anna led Steam software and hardware programs globally and is credited with growing the platform user base exponentially. Before that, she was the Head of Project Management for Myspace, overseeing 40 project managers globally. Prior to Myspace, she worked as a Microsoft program manager and software development engineer, where she designed and integrated user research and testing tools for Microsoft Games Studio and was known for her ability to create highly effective development processes.

    A world traveler and adventure seeker, Anna and her husband hold animal welfare close, and in 2009 founded the Sweet Farm Foundation charity to provide care and placement to homeless animals.

  • odonnell
    MARTY O’DONNELL
    Owner, Highwire Games

    Marty O’Donnell earned his Masters of Music Degree in Composition with honors from USC. He then founded the Chicago-based commercial music and sound production company, TotalAudio, which in 1997 produced sound design for Cyan’s Riven, the Sequel to Myst, and created all of the audio for Bungie’s award winning Myth series. His body of work also includes numerous original scores for television, radio, and film.

    In the spring of 2000, ten days after Marty accepted a position as Bungie’s Audio Director and Composer, Microsoft purchased the studio and moved them to Redmond so they could focus their efforts on developing Halo for the Xbox platform launch. The highly acclaimed Halo series went on to be extremely successful, with Halo 3 shattering entertainment records for both single day and first week sales, and with the total number of Halo games played now tallied in the billions.

    The audio and music for the Halo series has received numerous honors and awards, including the Game Developers Choice Award, the Edge Award, Rolling Stone Magazine’s Best Game Soundtrack, and Best Sound/Music from the AIAS, IGDA, GANG, TEC, and Spike TV. The critically acclaimed soundtracks are also best sellers.

    In July of 2007, Marty became one of the partners in the once again independent Bungie. His final project with them, Destiny, featured music in collaboration with Mike Salvatori, and Sir Paul McCartney. In addition to creating and overseeing sound design, music, and implementation, Marty also did the casting and directing of all the voice acting for Bungie’s games. The music and audio from Destiny have won several awards including Best Audio and Best Music from the AIAS. He was awarded GANG’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.

    Marty is founder and co-owner of Highwire Games in Seattle. Their first title, Golem, is an exclusive title for Playstation VR and will be released this year. He is also composing and producing Echoes of the First Dreamer, the musical prequel to Golem.

  • green
    JAMES GREEN
    Game Director, Carbon Games

    James Green is the Game Director and co-founder of Carbon Games, creators of the AirMech series of games. Carbon recently released AirMech Command as an Oculus Rift launch title to rave reviews. Carbon is hard at work adding motion control support to AMC along with a new unannounced VR project.

    In 1999 James made the leap from self-taught modder to “real” game developer when he joined Epic Games and worked on Unreal Tournament. Recruited by Ubisoft as a firefighter, he worked on high profile projects around the world including several years in China on multiple Splinter Cell games.

    Prior to Carbon he was a co-founder of Titan Studios where he created Fat Princess which would later be sold to Sony. Carbon was formed from a desire to create original games with smaller teams, with the belief that being nimble and self-directed is the best path in this ever changing industry.

    James is deeply passionate about VR and obsessive about creating the best experiences possible. Carbon uses its internally developed Heat Engine for a VR integration that cannot be done with a general purpose engine. This technology was the foundation of AirMech Command, and the next generation of Heat is being developed for future VR projects.

  • hendricks
    KAYD HENDRICKS
    Senior Technical and Gameplay Designer, Studio Wildcard

    Kayd currently acts as the Senior Technical and Gameplay Designer at Studio Wildcard, developers of the recently released ARK: Survival Evolved. With beginnings going back to remote QA for a number of projects, on a trip down to Mexico, he found he way into the good graces of a small company called Trendy Entertainment, working on another independent game: Dungeon Defenders.

    Five years ago, Kayd joined the Dungeon Defenders team while on vacation in Mexico; they brought him on as remote QA, and it was only six months later they asked him to move on site. After arriving in Gainesville, Florida he discovered an aptitude not just for finding and diagnosing problems, but predicting them, and ultimately solving them– with a strong focus on technical elements of game play and design.

    It didn’t take long before he became the go-to guy for not just QA, but for how to solve tricky design issues, or make sure that systems were staying appropriately in spec and in scope. It was only a year and a half into working with Trendy that he was hands-on in every pipeline in the studio, iterating with artists, animators, marketing, social, and everything else he could get involved in.

    After Trendy, near the end of 2014, Kayd was asked to come work on the ARK project, immediately being thrown back into the whirlwind that was fast-paced independent development. Once again being pushed into just about every aspect of development, his primary focuses remain in design, driving the overall vision of the game forwards.

  • detwiller
    DENNIS DETWILLER
    Game Designer, Monte Cook Games

    Dennis Detwiller is an author, artist and video game designer (he also makes a mean French Toast). Since 1992, his books, card games and video games have entertained over 40 million people in 11 languages, spanning such global hits like Magic: The Gathering, the PROTOTYPE series for Activision, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for Nickelodeon, NECROPOLIS for Namco/Bandai, as well as tabletop RPGs such as Delta Green, GODLIKE, and Wild Talents. His pen and paper game Delta Green has topped $470,000 on Kickstarter alone.

    He is the four-time winner of the Origins Award for gaming, and the three-time winner of the ENnie Award for RPG excellence. His game [PROTOTYPE] won the Diamond Award for surpassing 10 million views on Gametrailers.com, and Necropolis won Destructoid’s game of the show for PAX 2015.

  • spangler
    KAITLIN SPANGLER
    Lead Animator, Camouflaj

    As the animation lead at Bellevue WA based independent game developer Camouflaj, Kaitlin Spangler has produced and shipped all five chapters of the acclaimed episodic title Republique for mobile, android, PC, Mac and PS4. She was involved in all aspects of production, including game motion design, hand keyed animation, full body and full facial motion capture performance, and cinematic development and implementation.

  • warnock
    TED WARNOCK
    Animation Lead, Hidden Path Entertainment

    Ted is the lead animator at Hidden Path Entertainment and has been animating in video games since the 16 bit era. He has shipped over 17 titles working on large teams at studios like Sega, WB Games and Disney Interactive, as well as smaller independent studios.

  • adelman
    DAN ADELMAN
    Business Development and Marketing for Axiom Verge, Chasm, and Mages of Mystralia

    Dan Adelman left Nintendo of America after 9 years to work more closely with indie developers to help them maximize their chances of success across all platforms. As manager of Nintendo of America’s digital distribution business and content strategy, he was responsible for bringing great indie games like World of Goo, Cave Story, and Shovel Knight to Nintendo platforms. Prior to Nintendo, he was part of the original Xbox launch team, negotiating business deals and planning Xbox Live strategy. He is currently working on Axiom Verge, Chasm, and Mages of Mystralia.

  • konsmo
    KYLE KONSMO
    Co-Founder, Professional Battle League

    Competitive gaming has always been a passion of Kyle’s. For more than 10 years, he has been managing groups of players for competitive gaming events. Like many, Kyle’s first events were Halo LAN parties at the homes of friends and family. After planning and studying to have a “safe” career, when the opportunity came to him, he threw that all aside to pursue eSports. While his education and experience were not what would be traditionally thought of as necessary to pursue a career in the gaming industry, they were perfect for helping to create the unique regional dynamic of the Professional Battle League (PBL). With PBL, Kyle has developed and implemented a strategy to bring regionally based eSports to local fans across the United States in partnership the Microsoft Stores. He manages a team of leaders specialized in community building, event management and broadcast production that are forming regional eSports organizations from the ground up. When there is a break in the action, you can usually find him at the bar with the most Belgians on tap.

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    CHRIS TAYLOR
    General Manager, Wargaming

    A 28-year industry veteran, Chris has worked at Electronic Arts, Cavedog Entertainment, Gas Powered Games (GPG) and now Wargaming.NET. He served as the CEO and Creative Director at GPG for 15 years before selling the studio to Wargaming.NET, the makers of World of Tanks. Chris overseas the operations at Wargaming Seattle, one of the 15 or 16 offices that support the game, which is played in most major countries across the globe and services millions of online players monthly. Chris will discuss how World of Tanks developed a competitive scene that now boasts several divisions of professional play, including the WGLNA Gold League.

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    MIKE SIEBERT
    Program Manager, Xbox

    Michael started at Xbox in 2008 as an associate producer. Since then, he has worked on and helped ship games, apps, consoles and services. For the last 2 years he’s been a member of the Xbox Multiplayer team, where he is leading the engineering effort on Xbox Tournaments.

    In the real world, Michael has a huge passion for competitive gaming. He has competed in, organized and run gaming tournaments, and can often be seen with eyes glued to Twitch.

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    ALLIE MURDOCK
    Community Manager, VREAL

    Allie Murdock has been a community manager in the game industry for 5 years. She became an avid esports fan after attending a MLG event and watching Day9 & djWHEAT shoutcast Starcraft II, and has since created esports strategies for multiple game titles. Allie is currently working at VREAL (@VREALofficial) on developing the community for the first VR game streaming and discovery platform. You can follow her on Twitter (@AllieMurdock) or watch her stream (twitch.tv/allie_hugs), though she admits she’s terrible at keeping a regular stream schedule.

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    JON KIMMICH
    CEO, Software Illuminati LLC

    Jon Kimmich  started his 16+ year career in the digital entertainment industry started as Product Planner for Microsoft Games Studios during pivotal parts of the Xbox conception and launch. Jon was instrumental in the acquisition of many well franchises for Microsoft Games Studios including company acquisitions such as Bungie Studios, FASA Interactive, and Digital Anvil, and hit game acquisitions including Dungeon Siege by Gas Powered Games, Rise of Nations from Big Huge Games, and MechAssault by Day 1 Studios as well as many internally developed games such as Crimson Skies, MechWarrior 4: Vengeance, Brute Force and Halo. Also during his tenure at Microsoft he help create the first “Home of the Future” and the first Microsoft “Natural” Keyboard.

    Since 2009, as Principal of Software Illuminati Consulting, Jon has been an investor, consultant and advisor to startups, accelerators and governmental organizations as well as established multinationals in the mobile and game sectors, and during his career has led or participated in the purchase or sale of over half a dozen companies in these sectors, with an aggregate transaction value > $100m. Jon serves as an Adjunct Professor at Digipen University teaching Product Management and is also editor of the acclaimed book “The Crowdfunding Bible”.

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    JEFF POBST
    Founder and CEO, Hidden Path Entertainment

    Jeff has been heavily involved in the gaming industry for almost twenty years holding such roles as game programmer, producer, and chief operating officer. Before co-founding HPE 11 years ago, Jeff was a group leader at Microsoft for the Xbox and Xbox 360 platforms.

    Jeff has shipped over 30 different game titles on multiple PC, console, and VR platforms including Hidden Path Entertainment titles such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Age of Empires II HD, the Defense Grid franchise, and more. Prior to HPE, Jeff had the privilege of bringing games in the Half-Life, Homeworld and Lord of the Rings franchises to market.

    Before Jeff entered game development, he earned a doctorate in Aerospace Engineering. At various times, he has been a film student, a researcher, a systems engineer and a project manager.

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    ERIC JORDAN
    CEO, Codename Entertainment

    Eric is a life long gamer who also happened to co-found PureEdge Solutions. PureEdge had 5 million users when it was acquired by IBM. He was an Executive-In-Residence at UVic and the President of the Premier’s Technology Council. Eric has served on boards including Archipelago Marine Research (Chair), VIATeC (Chair), and the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness (co-chair).

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    PETER HEINRICH
    Developer Evangelist, Amazon

    Peter Heinrich is a Developer Evangelist with Amazon focused on mobile development best practices, including game design, coding, marketing, and monetization. Before Amazon, Peter created desktop and console games for fifteen years before moving to online and mobile. He co-founded indie studios Smarterville and Zero Entertainment after working as an individual contributor for several large game developers.

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    CARL CALLEWAERT
    Global Director of Evangelism, Unity

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    BRIAN SCHMIDT
    Founder and Executive Director, GameSoundCon

    Brian Schmidt is one of the early pioneers of the game audio industry. The 2008 recipient of the Game Audio Network Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Brian has been creating game music, sounds and cutting edge technology since 1987. With a credit list of over 130 games and a client list including Stern, Zynga, Microsoft, Sony, Electronic Arts, Capcom, Sega, Namco and many others, Brian has used his experience in music composition, sound design and his technical background to further the state of the art in game audio.

    Brian is the Executive Director of GameSoundCon, the industry’s leading conference on video game music and video game sound design. He continues to write music for games and design audio technology as an independent composer and sound designer.

    Brian spent ten years at Microsoft where he led the direction of game audio technologies. While there, he joined the then-fledgling Xbox organization as architect for its audio systems, and created the original Xbox startup sound. Brian was also responsible for the audio system of the Xbox 360, and worked on Xbox One. Brian left Microsoft in 2008 to return to consulting and to create GameSoundCon and EarGames.
    Brian currently sits on the advisory board of the Game Developer Conference, is President of the Game Audio Network Guild (G.A.N.G.) is a former steering committee member of the Interactive Audio Special Interest Group (ia-sig) of the MMA, and has been a featured speaker at conferences and universities around the world.

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    LEAH HOYER
    Vice President of Creative, Telltale Games

    Leah Hoyer is passionate about making story experiences. She recently joined Telltale Games as their Vice President of Creative. Prior to that, she was head of narrative at both ArenaNet (Guild Wars 2) and Xbox Studios. She recently launched ThePlayersStory.com to share insights on creating interactive story, and hopes that it will become a place where folks who love game narrative can learn and share ideas.