2015 Program

Day 1: May 15th, 2015
10:00 AM Investment Trends 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: Daniel Bernstein, Corum Group

11:00 AM Errors, Experience & Evolution: An Indie Survival Guide

They say that those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. But as indies, we can’t afford to make the same mistakes twice. Amy Dallas of ClutchPlay Games will talk about how difficult lessons learned during production of their first game Little Chomp, lead to the success of their second game “Skullduggery!”

Presented by Amy Dallas


Click here for a link to Amy’s Presentation

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!
12:00 PM Women in Games Forum – Invitation Only

This is an invite-only discussion and luncheon hosted by the Entertainment Software Association and will be moderated by Kate Edwards, Executive Director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) with key speakers Dona Fraser, Kiki Wolfkill, Penka Kouneva and Kathie Flood.   The intent of this discussion is not to have yet another session that only talks about the problems around diversity in the game industry, but rather strategize together on specific solutions that can affect positive change for the acquisition and retention of women in our industry. In the wake of recent events in our industry involving rampant harassment of women developers, a new effort has emerged to enact tangible changes in our industry.

01:30 PM Unitizing Twitch Functionality for Gaming and Growth

Director of Live Programing at Twitch, Jon “Carnage” , will discuss what developers can do  looking for media channels to create and manage their community. Carnage will also cover Twitch Commands. We saw a taste of what can be done with Twitch Plays Pokemon. What happens when a developer nails the next level of engaging interactive entertainment with Twitch commands.

02:00 PM Indie Guide to Game Showcasing

tinyBuild Games’ Yulia Vakhrusheva will cover various approaches to showcasing your game at industry events. Learn how to demo your game at a consumer show, attract potential publishers and investors and get maximum benefits from participating in game conventions.


Click here for a link to Yulia’s presentation

03:00 PM Are You Ready to Launch?

So you have a great product and now want the world to know about it and even better – buy it. Right?  If you’re a small company or even a mid or large company knowing how and when to market your product is essential. Whether you hire outside skill or build it in house, basic fundamentals should be in place. Shockingly, many companies miss them and pay the price.  We will share a few of these critical steps, and along with seasoned insights, you’ll learn what to do and how to do it well. Or you may find you aren’t ready but will now have a path to launch when it’s time.

Presented by Perrin Kaplan of Zebra Partners

04:00 PM The Terminator Gene

Presented by Casey Muratori

Modern game business discourse focuses exclusively on short-term profit. While people write volumes on “growth hacking” and “monetization strategizes”, precious little is said about the long-term viability of the market and how our current behavior as an industry might affect the future of gaming. In this talk, Casey Muratori compares the past, present, and future of game development with its historical counterparts in other industries to highlight emerging threats and the ways progressive developers might hope to mitigate them.


04:30 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…


Click here for a link to Chris and Tyler’s presentation and accompanying video.

05:00 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.

06:00 PM Industry Reception

Network with industry vets and developers alike!  Have fun!

Day 2: May 16th, 2015
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 Building a Competitive Game Program

ArenaNet’s head of marketing, Steve Fowler and competitive events manager, Joshua Davis give us an overview of Guild Wars 2’s competitive game program — how it began, how it has grown, what it has meant to their bottom line, how their participation funnel shapes up, and what events are being played — from Go4 cups all the way to WTS.


Click here for a link to Steve and Josh’s presentation and accompanying video.

11:30 AM Scoring A Game: The Art and Science of Music and Audio

Video game scores and audio design must not only be appealing to their audience in their own right, but they must also engage the player, set the pace of play, and aid interactivity to the game. Industry legend, Brian Schmidt sits down with sound designer, Jay Weinland and composer Penka Kouneva and talks about the complexities of composing and orchestrating music and sound for games.

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 sponsored by Intel 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 May 16th!

SIGC Judges:
Chris Charla, Microsoft
Robin Walker, Valve
Peter Heinrich, Amazon
Mike McCain, Harebrained Schemes
Jacob McMurray, EMP Museum

01:30 PM Emotions in Raw Mechanics

What emotions to players feel when executing raw game mechanics? Often we think of emotion has something derived from narrative or evocative elements like music or visuals. This talk covers both theory and practice for understanding and utilizing the vast spectrum of emotions derived from resources, mastery loops and social interactions.

Presented by Daniel Cook


Click here for a link to Daniel’s presentation

02:00 PM The Past, Present & Future of Episodic Gaming

Speaking on the four-year journey of developing République, designer Ryan Payton reflects on his decision to go “episodic,” the pros and cons it has had on development and distribution, and what the future of episodic may entail.

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
Forest Gibson, Pluto VR

03:30 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.

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

06:00 PM Seattle Independent Game Competition Winners Announced!

The top five submissions in the Main Division and the top two from the Youth Division presented their games to our panel of judges earlier in the day.  After deliberating behind closed doors, they are ready to announce the winner in each category of the 2015 Seattle Indie Game Competition and the prizes will be awarded.

SIGC Judges:
Chris Charla, Microsoft
Robin Walker, Valve
Peter Heinrich, Amazon
Mike McCain, Harebrained Schemes
Jacob McMurray, EMP Museum