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November  29  2019
@ Startup Zone PEI

The 2019 edition of the VGPEI Summit is here!
Join us Friday November 29, 2019, 9am-5pm at
Startup Zone, 31 Queen Street, Charlottetown for
a day of talks and sessions with Canada's best!


Talk trends, hear from Industry Insiders, meet with fellow devs, artists, and designers


Sessions on developing a game for the changing market and publishing worldwide


We'll be discussing UX/UI for accessible design, adapting titles across platforms, & more!


New technologies promise new opportunities but come with challenges all their own

Welcome, Caffeination, and Introductions

9:00am - 9:30am• Coffee and refreshments will be served before we begin with a welcome and introduction to the day's events by Videogames PEI co-Chairs Deirdre Ayre and Max Knechtel and Emcee John Kimmel.

Jayson Hilchie on Regional Exceptionalism

9:30am - 10:00am • Jayson from the Entertainment Software Association of Canada talks about changes in the Canadian Video Game Industry in 2019, what trends mean for the industry and the workforce, and where Canada is going on the world's stage.

Kate Arthur on Skynet and our AI Overlords

10:00am - 10:30am • Today’s kids are the first generation to grow up in a world totally shaped by Artificial Intelligence. Kate from Kids Code Jeunesse will outline the current state of digital skills education - and how the #kids2030 initiative pioneered by KCJ seeks to make improvements across the board.

So You Wanna Make Games? • Kristian Roberts

10:30am - 11:00am • Kristian Roberts is recognized as one of the world's leading economists studying the video games industry. While Canada finds itself at the forefront of interactive design, development, and technology supporting the video game, software, and media industries, making a video game is more than just hard work and a good idea. From a discussion balancing video games as a business vs. video games as an art, to a frank discussion on the common pitfalls that games start-ups will encounter, Kristian will discuss the ecosystem here in Canada and how it's important to consider all aspects, from the artistic to the pragmatic, before making a game.

Keynote Panel • Hosted by Deirdre Ayre

11:00am - 12:30pm • Deirdre Ayre, Director of Operations for Other Ocean Canada's companies, sits with panel members Jayson Hilchie, Kate Arthur, and Kristian Roberts to discuss Atlantic Canada's role at the forefront of interactive development, the opportunities for students, entrepreneurs, and professionals alike, and where our focus should be as a community and an industry to continue growing PEI as a centre of excellence in the video game industry.

Lunch Provided by Merchantman Next Door

12:30pm - 1:30pm

Fireside Chat: Pathways to Gaming

1:30pm - 2:00pm • Tiffany Baxter was hired straight out of college - 5 short years later she found herself a lead artist for Other Ocean and becoming an instructor at a college similar to the one she once attended; Sam Stiles built a hit game in his basement while working in New Brunswick as an application developer and decided to make the jump from moonlighting to the Main Stage as a full-time game dev. Two stories that couldn't be more different but showcase the many ways we all join the community of game professionals around the world. Moderated by Deirdre Ayre.

Inclusive Design in Gaming with Chris Power

2:00pm - 2:30pm • Players with disabilities represent a potential audience of over 46 million players in North America alone, and they want to play games with everyone else. Understanding the key motivations of players with disabilities in games and the benefits of including accessibility to gaming are crucial as a core selling point of any game. Chris Power, Associate Professor at the University of Prince Edward Island and Vice President of the AbleGamers Charity, brings us a preview of the new paradigm for inclusive design in gaming, the Accessible Player Experiences (APX) design language.

Where There's Steam... with Ryan Hale

2:30pm - 3:00pm • After deciding to self-publish Other Ocean Interactive's "Project Winter" on Steam, Product Director Ryan Hale became obsessed with trying to figure out how the algorithm works. Ryan will share his experiences and some tips and tricks when facing the overwhelming beast that is publishing an indie game on PC's most popular distribution platform.

Production Roundtable Discussion

3:00pm - 3:45pm • Ryan Filsinger (General Manager at Kabam Acadia), Ryan Hale (Product Director at Other Ocean PEI), and Owen Watson (Development Director at Ghost Fish Games) moderate a community discussion with attendees on the topics and issues that students, professionals, entrepreneurs, and business owners are facing in the gaming industry. Come prepared with your questions and topics to bring to the group!

Gordon Wood - Code Isn't Everything

3:45pm - 4:30pm • Gordon Wood's reputation precedes him in Atlantic Canada: as Technical Director for EA's smash-hit "The Simpsons: Tapped Out" Gordon was at the forefront on mobile and free-to-play games; Gordon even joined the late Steve Jobs on-stage to demo Super Monkey Ball to an audience at WWDC as a collaborator on the SDK for iOS! With more than 15 years of experience in game development and production, as well as in his role as an instructor at UPEI for Computer Graphics and Advanced Computer Graphics Programming among others, Gordon discusses the important decisions teams need to make before they start writing their first line of code. Facilitated by Sam Stiles.

Mixer and Continued Conversation

4:30pm Onwards • Join as at the back bar of The Merchantman to continue the conversations from the day, meet and network with folks, and bend an elbow with our speakers and presenters - all are welcome! 

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