GENERAL SESSION PRESENTATIONS

Keynote Address: Shannon Loftis, General Manager, Xbox **VIDEO**

The Metaverse Is Coming: Is Your Game Ready
Shannon Loftis, General Manager, Xbox

Washington Interactive Network Awards **VIDEO**

Washington Interactive Network recognized two individuals that have made significant contributions to the Washington interactive media industry:

Jesse Rapczak, Co-Founder & Co-Creative Director, Studio Wildcard was awarded Game Executive of the Year
Katy Jo Wright, Director of Gaming for Everyone at Xbox was be awarded Game Changer of the Year

Seattle Indie Game Competition (SIGC) and Intel Game Development Showcase **VIDEO**

Washington Interactive Network's Seattle Indie Game Competition and Intel's Game Developer Showcase merged competitions this year to spotlight some of the brightest and most innovative game developers at one of the most eventful evenings in the region.

This year's judges included:
Peter Heinrich, Developer Evangelist, Amazon
Jay Minn, Executive Producer, Wargaming.net
Landry Pethrus, Technical Marketing Engineer, Intel
Mark Subotnick, Business Development, Client Computing Group VR Center of Excellence, Intel
Dean Takahashi, Lead Writer, GamesBeat
Robin Walker, Game Designer, Valve

Award Presentations & Closing Remarks **VIDEO**

The winners of this year's Washington Interactive Network Seattle Indie Game Competition and Intel Game Developer Showcase included:

  • Tiny Bubbles by Pine Street Codeworks won the 2017 Seattle Indie Game Competition as well as Intel's Best Overall Game Award taking home an Intel NUC and a check from WIN for $2,500!
  • Elsinore by Golden Glitch Studios won Most Unique Game
  • Lords of New York by Lunchtime Studios won Best Artwork
  • Collidalot by Grunka Munka Games and Unearned Bounty by Extrokold Games won Audience Choice Awards
  • 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.

  • rapczak
    JESSE RAPCZAK
    Co-Founder & Co-Creative Director, Studio Wildcard

    Jesse Rapczak is Co-Founder and Co-Creative Director at Studio Wildcard (Kirkland, WA), the team behind the smash indie hit game ARK: Survival Evolved on PC, Xbox and PlayStation. An innovator-entrepreneur with the discerning eye of an artist and the logical wiring of a programmer, Jesse’s teams excel at rapid prototyping and creative development, allowing for critical path decision-making that turns emergent technology and blue-sky ideas into commercially competitive products.

    Prior to his current venture, Jesse was Technical Art Director on Microsoft HoloLens at Xbox and Lead Technical Artist at Sony Online Entertainment, after spending 3 years in India as VP of Production at Exigent, an outsourcing company he co-founded. Jesse’s first entrepreneurial venture, Artificial Studios (which he also co-founded), created Reality Engine, a next-gen game engine that was acquired by Epic Games in 2005. Jesse got his start in Hollywood Visual Effects after graduating from the University of Florida in 2003 (BS: Digital Arts and Sciences).

  • Wright
    KATY JO WRIGHT
    Director, Gaming for Everyone, Xbox

    As part of TEAM XBOX, Katy Jo is working with leaders across the organization to make Xbox a place everyone has fun. Gaming For Everyone is about driving inclusive practices into the creative and engineering processes that deliver high quality and fun experiences to all our fans.

    Katy Jo has been at Microsoft for 17 years. Prior to working in Xbox, Katy Jo spent 4 years on the Global Diversity & Inclusion team, where she partnered with Business and HR Leaders in four of Microsoft’s engineering groups to attract, retain, and develop diverse talent, as well as create an inclusive work environment where all employees can reach their potential.
    Prior to working in Global Diversity & Inclusion, Katy Jo spent 7 years in another Organizational Development role where she built and launched Microsoft’s integrated worldwide talent platform for managing and developing employees across the entire company, known as the career model.

    Katy Jo spent her first 5 years at Microsoft within the University Recruiting team, where she was committed to hiring the best and brightest students graduating college.

  • heinrich
    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.

  • smith
    JOHN SMITH
    Technical Director, Wargaming

    John has developed multiplayer game technology and platforms for over 20 years and is now working at Wargaming.net (creator of World of Tanks) in Bellevue, WA on a games platform. He has worked at Internet Gaming Zone in 1990s, which delivered casual games, retail games and eCommerce infrastructure for MMOs, then worked on Sony Online Entertainment’s MMOs and along the way a couple of startups which developed their own platforms for server and mobile games.

  • subotnick
    MARK SUBOTNICK
    Business Development, Client Computing Group VR Center of Excellence, Intel

    Mark Subotnick, known as Bot to many, has been in the video games industry since late 1993. Mark has worked in the entertainment industry for most of his life, starting as an event / club promoter and then moving into the video games industry. He started his video game career at SEGA of America, as a tester and working in various roles and on his way to producing, and managing internal development before moving on in late 2000. Some of the roles and jobs Mark held during his time at SEGA of America are lead tester, QA supervisor, Marketing, PR spokesperson, and Producer at SEGA, running internal development for the DreamCast Launch.

    Mark joined the Executive team of a small startup in Silicon Valley from 2000 to 2002 working on 3D web enabling technologies. Mark then joined Microsoft in 2002 and began to work on Xbox, Xbox Live, Games for Windows, and eventually Xbox 360 as a Developer Relations Manager. Mark worked with all developers of games for Microsoft platforms in the following territories, Northern California, Texas, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Seattle. Mark left Microsoft in 2007 to join Intel Corporation as the Executive Producer of Project Offset and the Game Engine Team. Mark then worked in the Software and Services Group at Intel Corporation focusing on Content Strategy, Business Development, Account Management and Portfolio Management for 8 years. Mark now works in Business Development for the Client Computing Group VR Center of Excellence.

    Mark is credited in over 31 games from 1993 to the Present and to date has worked on 10 platforms and 8 platform launches.

  • takahashi
    DEAN TAKAHASHI
    Lead Writer, GamesBeat

    Dean Takahashi is lead writer for GamesBeat at VentureBeat. He has been a tech journalist for more than 25 years, and he has covered games for 18 years. He has been at VentureBeat since 2008. Prior to that, he wrote for the San Jose Mercury News, the Red Herring, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and the Dallas Times-Herald. He is the author of two books, “Opening the Xbox” and “The Xbox 360 Uncloaked.” He organizes the annual GamesBeat and GamesBeat Summit conferences. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

  • walker
    ROBIN WALKER
    Valve

  • Minn
    JAY MINN
    Executive Producer, Wargaming.net

    Jay Minn serves as the Executive Producer at Wargaming.net, publisher and developer of World of Tanks, and is currently focused on developing platform and game operation technologies. Previously Jay co-founded Area 52 Games, Inc. and worked as the Chief Games Officer and Creative Director working closely with Disney Interactive on a key Star Wars project. As VP & Studio Director at Gazillion Entertainment, Jay directed and shipped Marvel Super Hero Squad Online, a major online world in cooperation with Marvel. He has over 22 years of experience in the gaming industry and is an experienced game designer, executive producer and creative director. He has expertise in mobile and online gaming and technologies with an emphasis on international development in China, Korea, and Eastern Europe. He advises developers, publishers, media companies and venture groups, and was responsible for assisting in the acquisition of his company Secret Lair Studios to Sierra Online, a division of Vivendi Games. His clients and partners have included Capcom, Disney Interactive, Lucasfilm, Marvel Entertainment, Microsoft Game Studios, and the Department of Homeland Security.

  • Pethrus
    LANDYN PETHRUS
    Technical Marketing Engineer, Intel

    Landyn Pethrus is an engineer at Intel, avid gamer, and hardware enthusiast. When Landyn is not fountain sniping with Ancient Apparition in Dota2, slaying bosses, or pursuing higher level education, he can be found on the rivers of Oregon fishing.

  • balicki
    STEPHANIE BALICKI
    Game Developer Event Marketing, Intel