2015 Program

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Day 1: May 15th, 2015
10:00 AM Investments and Challenges in the Game Industry

Successful and innovative companies are using M&A and inorganic means to drive growth in today’s competitive, fast-paced environment. This talk presents an overview of the industry’s buying trends, investment rounds, what drives value from buyers and predictions for the gaming industry at large.

Speaker: Alina Soltys, Corum Group

10:30 AM Challenges of Bootstrapping and Building a F2P Game

Presentation by Matt Endsley

11:00 AM Press for Indies

Game Industry veteran Perrin Kaplan talks about methods and ways that can help you position your product and company to the press.

11:30 AM Using Paid and Organic User Acquisition To Get More Downloads

In the app stores, paid and organic user acquisition channels work in tandem. If you’re separating them, you’re losing out on valuable users. Learn about the unique relationship between paid and organic, and how to take advantage of the virtuous cycle they provide.

Presented by Ian Sefferman, Tune

12:00 PM Lunch

Go out and get some grub!

12:00 PM Expo Floor Opens!
01:30 PM Multi-Platform Game Development with HTML5: Challenges and Opportunities

Presentation by Craig Robinson from Absolute Hero Games

Much has changed in the HTML5 game development landscape in the last few years. While HTML5 hasn’t turned out to be the panacea that some of its proponents had hoped, it has proven to be a capable yet challenging technology for cross-platform game development.

At Absolute Hero, we’ve been building high quality casual games for web and mobile platforms using HTML5 for over two years. In this talk I will share the good, bad, and the ugly of HTML5 game development. I will discuss the tools, technologies, and tricks we used to produce our games. I will point out roadblocks and gotchas to be avoided. Finally, I will discuss the channels and market opportunities for games built using HTML5 technology.

This talk will be of interest to anyone considering HTML5 as a technology for game development or wanting to learn more about building games for non-mainstream channels.

02:00 PM Twitch and Game Design
03:00 PM How to Make Great VR (and not make your players ill)

Presented by Chandana “Eka” Ekanayake, Uber Entertainment/EnvelopVR

03:30 PM Break
04:00 PM Darkest Dungeon: Redhook Games Share Their Experiences!

Darkest Dungeon is a gothic RPG about the psychological stresses of adventuring.  It turns out, crawling through slime slicked ruins and fighting off hoards of hideous monsters is not unlike game development itself.  Creative Director Chris Bourassa and Game Designer Tyler Sigman discuss the highs and lows of indie development – from Kickstarter to Early Access, and every lurking evil along the way…

04:30 PM Platform Wars

Moderated by Jordan Weisman, Harebrained Schemes

Chris Charla, Xbox
Peter Heinrich, Amazon
Nathanial Blue, Valve

Platform decisions and relationships can make or break your game. 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.

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Day 2: May 16th, 2015
10:00 AM Analytics and Growth Hacking

Presented by Nick Berry, Facebook

Content is King, but distribution is God! If you have the greatest game in the world that nobody knows about, it’s just the greatest game in the world that nobody knows about. The key to success is visibility. This is not cheap. The cost to advertise and promote your creation is getting increasingly more expensive in a congested universe. Growth Hacking is the hottest trend in the gaming industry. It’s the term used to describe techniques exploited to promote and market products in creative, non-traditional, and efficient ways. Learn what growth hacking is, what it is not, how to think like a growth hacker, and how to promote your product on a shoe-string budget.

10:30 AM Tips for Creating, Growing and Profiting from your Social Media Channels

Are you looking to create social media channels around your titles? Are you providing great content that supports engagement and serves as energy to your social media community? Are you looking for ways to drive sales from the content that you create and share? Building and maintaining successful social media channels takes time and a commitment to the right strategy for your game. Jared Nieuwenhuis shares what type of investment in content and relationships will energize your audience to become loyal brand advocates and most importantly – customers.

11:00 AM Episodic Storytelling

Ryan Payton of Camouflaj Games talks about what developers can learn from comic books and episodic storytelling.

11:30 AM Skullduggery Postmortem – Clutch Play Games

Presented by Amy Dallas

12:00 PM Lunch

Go out and get some grub!

12:00 PM Expo Floor Opens!
12:30 PM Seattle Indie Game Competition Judging

Whether you are a new game startup or have been working on your game nights and weekends, the Seattle Indie Game Competition is for you. For those of you with innovative game ideas, this is your opportunity to present to an expert panel of judges for an opportunity to win $2,500. Those who are interested need to register and apply in advance by April 15th. The top 5 submissions will present in front of our panel of judges on January23rd!

SIGC Judges:
Chris Charla, Microsoft
Robin Walker, Valve
Peter Heinrich, Amazon

More to come!

01:30 PM Emotions in Raw Mechanics

Presented by Daniel Cook

02:00 PM Never Alone Post Mortem

In November 2014, E-Line Media and Upper One Games released the widely anticipated video game Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna), an atmospheric puzzle platformer developed in constant collaboration with members of the Alaska Native community. Grant Roberts, Lead Game Designer at E-Line Media, will describe how the tale of an Iñupiat girl and her arctic fox companion came to be told with a controller — and the highs and lows along the way.

02:30 PM VR – Where is it now, and where is it going

VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) is in the headlines as the next wave of technology destined to reshape how we interact with computers and each other. What impact will VR and AR have on the world of games and interactive entertainment, and how is Seattle positioned as this new technology evolves? These topic and more will be examined by a panel of industry leaders.

Moderated by Todd Hooper, Unity

Jonathan Mavor, EvelopVR
Nick Whiting, Epic
Joe Ludwig, Valve

03:30 PM Break
04:00 PM Building a Kick-Ass Community

Elan Lee chats about breaking kickstarter with Exploding Kittens, massively collaborative communities, and that one time he got arrested for hacking the fountains in front of the Bellagio Hotel.

04:30 PM The Legends of Game Panel

The Annual Legends of Game Panel is Here Again!

Every year, the Washington Interactive Network brings noteworthy industry executives together to talk about the new trends and innovations coming our way and what it means to the indie developer. Moderated by Ed Fries, this discussion is bound to be lively as the panel will explore the ever-changing industry of video games. What will be coming in 2016? Come and hear the insider info that you won’t find anywhere else.

The Legends of Game Speakers:

Chris Taylor, Wargaming
Brian Fleming, Suckerpunch
Lou Fasulo, Z2
Jeff Strain, Undead Labs
Moderated by Ed Fries, Industry Legend

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