All times, sessions, and speakers are subject to change.
Saturday, September 14
Ever want to make a visual novel? Not even sure what a visual novel is? Hear the developers behind Woodsy Studio explain the genre, its history, and their visual novel development across several engines and platforms.Featuring:
Come learn the secrets behind running a successful Kickstarter from someone on the Kickstarter Games Team! We’ll talk about tips and tricks, look at what a projects did right, but most importantly you’ll learn how to be featured on Kickstarter.Featuring:
We live in an age where many of us are told to “follow our passion.” On the surface, this is great advice. Who doesn’t want to feel charged and energized at work all day? *Especially* if we get to make games all the time.
Unfortunately, this sort of advice leaves us wondering why things are as difficult as they are. We struggle, flail, wonder if we’re “cut out” for our work, and then ultimately, quit. The truth is, things shouldn’t be easy or fun 100% of the time. In fact, they won’t be that way *most* of the time.
Join audio designer and industry veteran Akash Thakkar (Hyper Light Drifter, Destiny, Concrete Genie) as he gives practical, actionable wisdom that anyone can use to navigate the tough-but-necessary work that we must all do to find our way in this industry.Featuring:
Wondering what the deal was with Fortnite’s legal dispute with The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air actor Alfonso Ribeiro? In this session we’ll discuss the case as well as other common legal issues that arise in game development and marketing and how to avoid the legal pitfalls.Featuring:
Adam Ledoux’s Bitsy Game Maker is proof that sometimes the best things come in small packages. Join an enthusiastic panel of folks from the Bitsy community to discuss how this little tool has shaped their perspectives on games culture and art.Featuring:
Showing games can be difficult, but I’m here to help. After showing at a frankly silly amount of events, I have a collection of tips and tricks for how to show your game, internationally if you’d like.Featuring:
Diversity is now a checkbox on a lot of lists rather than being about inclusion and making sure everyone is included. Let’s get into the nitty gritty of why we need to actually be inclusive and stop checking off boxes and calling it a done deal.Featuring:
Experimentation is key to extending the limits of an artform. Join us for this rapid-fire series of microtalks exploring how game creators experiment with different aesthetic forms within their projects. From all corners of game design, we’ll explore how we can push ourselves as creators, and produce groundbreaking work that continues to inspire new creators in our wake.
Cuddle Up With Cozy Games (Ebeth Norvell)
What is coziness? How do you design for it? And why should you make cozy games? Bring a warm blanket and a cup of tea and find out!
Turning the Ocean Orange (Jason Li)
Creating new games from whole cloth is hard, so let’s look at how Splatoon took on the entire ocean of shooter games and turned it into something fresh. I dub it the “orange ocean” strategy, and I’ll show you how we can apply this strategy to make our own fresh games.
Making games makes me feel better (Katherine Brennan)
There are a lot of reasons to create games (money, education, etc) but making them simply for your own sake is completely valid. In this talk I share why making games makes me feel better, and how I approach it in order to accomplish this important goal.
An Introduction to Soft-Circuits: Exploring E-Textiles and Wearable Technology (Francesca Carletto-Leon)
When we think of technology, we usually don’t think of adjectives like “flexible”, “soft”, and “wearable”. Electronic textiles, also known as “smart garments”, are fabrics which include electronic components such as lights and sensors to create wearable technologies and alternative controllers. This talk will introduce attendees to soft circuits by presenting and discussing examples of recent work within this field, as well as how we can use these systems to develop alternative controller games.
Duckhunt Dogme 95: Designing Experimental Games Under Constraints (Jack Hart)
How do we design games and why do it the way we do? In this talk, Jack argues for a new dogmatic approach to design small experimental games to get at the core of the player experience. Lessons learned and examples of games created under these constraints will be showed.
2724 Cherokee St, St. Louis, MO 63118
Sunday, September 15
The road to working full time as a game developer is as competitive as ever, whether you are vying for a AAA role at a big studio, or working on your own indie title and trying to conquer the challenges of shipping and discoverability.
However, with today’s convergence of game technology across multiple fields including film, architecture, simulation, and product design, the opportunities for talented game developers to expand and explore their development skill set-is bigger than ever.
Christian Allen, Unreal Engine Evangelist at Epic Games and seasoned AAA and indie game developer, will discuss the new and emerging opportunities for folks to grow their talents, build resumes, and help support their goals of creating successful and exciting interactive experiences.Featuring:
Content warning: auditory hallucinations, trauma, mental health
From TTRPGs to independent games on our consoles, there is an increase of awareness around themes of mental health in the media we interact with and consume. This talk gives a snapshot on how mental health and sanity meters are depicted in games through a disability studies framework. This is a crash course on different modes of approaching mental health in character development through disability studies theory, offering insight on how game designers can rethink integration of mental health themes in their games.Featuring:
As game makers and players, we’re used to games that provide engrossing player-driven stories in virtual worlds. What happens when this sort of storytelling intersects with the real world, though? This talk will discuss Computational Flâneur, a site-specific poetry walk where a robot generates and reads you poems as you wander through San Francisco’s Fort Mason park.Featuring:
2:00 PM - 2:20 PM : The American Story: Addressing Serious Topics in “Where the Water Tastes Like Wine”
Inequality. Racism, National identity. Family. Love. War. Death. Why is a video game the best way to discuss these things? This talk looks at the award-winning narrative game Where the Water Tastes Like Wine and how it chose to tackle these subjects.Featuring:
After three years of full time development, Michael Hicks and Goncalo Antunes released The Path of Motus for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Steam. The game was covered by major publications such as IGN, nominated for awards, and headlined several promotions on Xbox Live and PSN. However, what received little attention was the team’s constant failures during development, and their struggle to overcome them. Hear the full story, and learn what it takes to ship an independent game in 2019.Featuring:
This talk focuses on an abstraction of roleplaying as the core of RPG creation, with reference to RPGs we all created that we feel break the mold of the genre.Featuring:
This is a talk about what burnout feels like if you’re a Muslim woman of colour who lives in a ghetto in South Africa. Burnout is often spoken about in video games but mostly from a white or western perspective and this is very different for people of colour, especially from the global south. I hope to educate people on how to recognise the things in their daily lives that contribute to them burning out quicker than their white counterparts and how to deal with these things or try to prevent them. My talk will also be about how white people can be better allies to the People of Colour in their lives.Featuring:
Moderated by Carol Mertz, Executive Director of PixelPop Festival
As the game industry grows, we have begun to see more experimentation and maturation of the technology, themes, and social impact of games. This panel will reflect on the ways that experimentation, accessibility, and unique approaches to play are helping games evolve as an expressive commercial medium. Together, we’ll explore our hope for games as we work together to push the industry forward.Featuring:
Pieces Board Game Bar And Restaurant
1535 S 8th St, St. Louis, MO 63104