Important Vector 2020 Update, After close consultation with our University and educational partners, and viral concerns, we are moving our event online to GoToWebinar. Please scroll down for more information about this years event. Our in-person event has been cancelled this year, and we hope to see you next year.
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Continuing Our Mission – Online

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This year our conference is utilizing GoToWebinar. Press the Register button to sign up for the sessions and to be notified when the event goes live April 24-25.

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2020 Speakers

Becca Hallstedt

Becca Hallstedt

Worker/Owner Wild Blue Studios

Becca Hallstedt (they/them) is a worker-owner with Wild Blue Studios. Based out of Chicago, they have worked with clients including Blizzard, Riot, Netherrealm, Phoenix Labs, and more as a concept artist and illustrator. In their spare time, they regularly work as a mentor and organizer in the games industry.

Jonathan Hamel
Jonathan Hamel

Jonathan Hamel

Lead Designer

Jonathan Hamel (Lead Designer, Ready at Dawn Studios) has been designing and programming games professionally since the mid-90s. Career highlights include What Remains of Edith Finch (winner of Best Game of at the 2018 BAFTAs and the Best Gameplay at Games for Change); Lone Echo (2017 Immersive Reality game of the Year at D.I.C.E.); the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot, and its sequel Rise of the Tomb Raider. He produced online games at Sesame Street Online and co-wrote The Postman Always Brings Mice and two other Stink Fink novels with Jennifer L. Holm.

Tj Hughes
Tj Hughes

Tj Hughes

Independent Developer

An independent game developer and 3D artist out of St. Louis, Missouri, Tj Hughes taught himself game development in his early teens, and has since started a solo dev company entitled “Terrifying Jellyfish”. Under this name, he intends on escaping the mundane and mediocre forever through the exorbitant use of color, playfulness, and aesthetics.

Christian Allen
Christian Allen

Christian Allen

Unreal Engine Evangelist

Christian Allen is an experienced and BAFTA award winning AAA game designer and creative director. Prior to joining Epic Games as the Unreal Engine Evangelist for North America, Christian served as Lead Designer, Creative Director, and Design Director of several AAA game projects for Ubisoft, Red Storm Entertainment, Microsoft, Bungie, and Warner Bros. Games; as well as running his own indie development studio, Serellan LLC, which shipped multiple titles on console, PC, and VR.

Ross A. Hersemann
Ross A. Hersemann

Ross A. Hersemann

Founder of Loading Law

Ross is the Founder of Loading Law, a Chicago-based law practice, and provides legal counsel to video game developers and entrepreneurs in the tech sector. Ross is also the Organizer of the Chicago Video Game Law Summit and an Adjunct Professor of Video Game Law at DePaul University. He speaks frequently on hot topics in law and technology. Ross also serves as the Chair of IGDA Chicago, Chair of the CBA YLS Creative Arts Committee, and Vice Chair of the ABA IPL Digital Games and New Media Committee.

Christopher Totten
Christopher Totten

Christopher Totten

Assistant Professor at Kent State

Christopher Totten is an Assistant Professor of Game Design at Kent State University’s Animation Game Design program. He is also the founder of Pie For Breakfast Studios, an award-winning Northeast Ohio-area indie game company. He has done work as an artist, animator, level designer, and project manager in the game industry. He holds a Masters Degree in Architecture with a concentration in digital media from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Chris is an organizer for the Smithsonian American Art Museum Arcade and lifetime member of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA).

Rafael Estrada
Rafael Estrada

Rafael Estrada

Super8BitRafa

Super8bitRafa is a game developer and visual artist originally from the Monterey California area. Born and raised in the culturally rich Salinas Valley, Rafa has thrived in his artistic endeavors as an independent artist and has always aimed to explore the human subconscious through imagination and aesthetic design with practices inspired by the early surrealist movements. Constantly striving to explore new avenues of art and modern culture, 8bit Rafa shifts his focus from traditional arts to digital interactive mediums.

Jay Kidd
Jay Kidd

Jay Kidd

Creative Director

Jay Kidd is the creative director for Wraith Games, an award-winning indie game collective from Hamilton, OH. Their current project, Collapsus, has been featured at SAAM Arcade, PAX East Indie MEBABOOTH 2020, Game Masters: The Exhibition, and many others. Wraith Games has also won both an AbleGamers/GDEX award, and Can I Play That award for game accessibility, while Jay has spoken at GA Conf, the Games Accessibility Conference, hosted by IGDA.
When not making games, he is a part-time game development instructor, and Artspace Hamilton artist, and avid arcade collector.

Tim Frtiz
Tim Frtiz

Tim Frtiz

Animator, Little Nemo and the Nightmare Fiends

Tim Fritz is a contributing animator on the upcoming game Little Nemo and the Nightmare Fiends. He is also a Lecturer in the Computer Design and Animation program at Kent State University, with 15 years of technical experience. He earned his Master’s degree in Technology from Kent State University, and he helped build the program’s virtual reality labs, motion capture lab, and render farm. Outside of work, he enjoys hiking in state and national parks, and discussing rationality.

Maxwell Kunze
Maxwell Kunze

Maxwell Kunze

Indie Developer

Max Kunze is currently a Junior Computer Design & Animation Student at Kent State University. Max has always loved video games and their surrounding culture. His passion for making his own games was sparked in the summer of 2014 when he debuted “Go Fast: A Sanic Adventure”, a rage inducing video game based on the “Sanic” meme. In all seriousness, he made the game in less than 24 hours, to entertain himself while on the road home from Northern Tier. While it started off as a joke, the game gained a fairly significant amount of attention. Ever since, Max has worked towards a career in game development and he still believes that memes serve an important purpose in video games.
Here’s my photograph:

Kevin Knight
Kevin Knight

Kevin Knight

Gameplay Programmer, Iron Galaxy

Kevin Knight is a programmer at Iron Galaxy Studios in Chicago, and an independent tinkerer. Kevin has been developing games since he was thirteen years old, and he’s exceptionally interested in pushing the bounds of interactivity. In undergrad he worked on Kinect games, a path that led him to Iron Galaxy Studios. He has helped ship several titles and ports in his 7+ years there and helped build some interesting prototypes. Kevin also a third of the “nights and weekends” company Pizza Curse, who created the local multiplayer robot soccer fiasco, Real Winners: Victoryball. Critics (who may have some blood relations to members of Pizza Curse) have labeled the game as “pretty fun”

Jordan Taylor
Jordan Taylor

Jordan Taylor

Studio Head for Hitcents

Jordan Taylor is the Studio Head for indie game label Hitcents. Based in Kentucky, Jordan has led the publishing arm of the company for several years, and as a result has the privilege of working with indie game development teams across the globe. As an advocate for responsible game development, Jordan is vocal about dev studios embracing sustainable practices in all forms. Jordan also loathes self-aggrandizement in all forms, and writing this short bio was a form of torture for him.

Becca Hallstedt

Becca Hallstedt

Worker/Owner Wild Blue Studios

Becca Hallstedt (they/them) is a worker-owner with Wild Blue Studios. Based out of Chicago, they have worked with clients including Blizzard, Riot, Netherrealm, Phoenix Labs, and more as a concept artist and illustrator. In their spare time, they regularly work as a mentor and organizer in the games industry.

Jonathan Hamel

Jonathan Hamel

Lead Designer

Jonathan Hamel (Lead Designer, Ready at Dawn Studios) has been designing and programming games professionally since the mid-90s. Career highlights include What Remains of Edith Finch (winner of Best Game of at the 2018 BAFTAs and the Best Gameplay at Games for Change); Lone Echo (2017 Immersive Reality game of the Year at D.I.C.E.); the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot, and its sequel Rise of the Tomb Raider. He produced online games at Sesame Street Online and co-wrote The Postman Always Brings Mice and two other Stink Fink novels with Jennifer L. Holm.

Tj Hughes

Tj Hughes

Independent Developer

An independent game developer and 3D artist out of St. Louis, Missouri, Tj Hughes taught himself game development in his early teens, and has since started a solo dev company entitled “Terrifying Jellyfish”. Under this name, he intends on escaping the mundane and mediocre forever through the exorbitant use of color, playfulness, and aesthetics.

Christian Allen

Christian Allen

Unreal Engine Evangelist

Christian Allen is an experienced and BAFTA award winning AAA game designer and creative director. Prior to joining Epic Games as the Unreal Engine Evangelist for North America, Christian served as Lead Designer, Creative Director, and Design Director of several AAA game projects for Ubisoft, Red Storm Entertainment, Microsoft, Bungie, and Warner Bros. Games; as well as running his own indie development studio, Serellan LLC, which shipped multiple titles on console, PC, and VR.

Ross A. Hersemann

Ross A. Hersemann

Founder of Loading Law

Ross is the Founder of Loading Law, a Chicago-based law practice, and provides legal counsel to video game developers and entrepreneurs in the tech sector. Ross is also the Organizer of the Chicago Video Game Law Summit and an Adjunct Professor of Video Game Law at DePaul University. He speaks frequently on hot topics in law and technology. Ross also serves as the Chair of IGDA Chicago, Chair of the CBA YLS Creative Arts Committee, and Vice Chair of the ABA IPL Digital Games and New Media Committee.

Christopher Totten

Christopher Totten

Assistant Professor at Kent State

Christopher Totten is an Assistant Professor of Game Design at Kent State University’s Animation Game Design program. He is also the founder of Pie For Breakfast Studios, an award-winning Northeast Ohio-area indie game company. He has done work as an artist, animator, level designer, and project manager in the game industry. He holds a Masters Degree in Architecture with a concentration in digital media from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Chris is an organizer for the Smithsonian American Art Museum Arcade and lifetime member of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA).

Rafael Estrada

Rafael Estrada

Super8BitRafa

Super8bitRafa is a game developer and visual artist originally from the Monterey California area. Born and raised in the culturally rich Salinas Valley, Rafa has thrived in his artistic endeavors as an independent artist and has always aimed to explore the human subconscious through imagination and aesthetic design with practices inspired by the early surrealist movements. Constantly striving to explore new avenues of art and modern culture, 8bit Rafa shifts his focus from traditional arts to digital interactive mediums.

Jay Kidd

Jay Kidd

Creative Director

Jay Kidd is the creative director for Wraith Games, an award-winning indie game collective from Hamilton, OH. Their current project, Collapsus, has been featured at SAAM Arcade, PAX East Indie MEBABOOTH 2020, Game Masters: The Exhibition, and many others. Wraith Games has also won both an AbleGamers/GDEX award, and Can I Play That award for game accessibility, while Jay has spoken at GA Conf, the Games Accessibility Conference, hosted by IGDA.
When not making games, he is a part-time game development instructor, and Artspace Hamilton artist, and avid arcade collector.

Tim Frtiz

Tim Frtiz

Animator, Little Nemo and the Nightmare Fiends

Tim Fritz is a contributing animator on the upcoming game Little Nemo and the Nightmare Fiends. He is also a Lecturer in the Computer Design and Animation program at Kent State University, with 15 years of technical experience. He earned his Master’s degree in Technology from Kent State University, and he helped build the program’s virtual reality labs, motion capture lab, and render farm. Outside of work, he enjoys hiking in state and national parks, and discussing rationality.

Maxwell Kunze

Maxwell Kunze

Indie Developer

Max Kunze is currently a Junior Computer Design & Animation Student at Kent State University. Max has always loved video games and their surrounding culture. His passion for making his own games was sparked in the summer of 2014 when he debuted “Go Fast: A Sanic Adventure”, a rage inducing video game based on the “Sanic” meme. In all seriousness, he made the game in less than 24 hours, to entertain himself while on the road home from Northern Tier. While it started off as a joke, the game gained a fairly significant amount of attention. Ever since, Max has worked towards a career in game development and he still believes that memes serve an important purpose in video games.
Here’s my photograph:

Kevin Knight

Kevin Knight

Gameplay Programmer, Iron Galaxy

Kevin Knight is a programmer at Iron Galaxy Studios in Chicago, and an independent tinkerer. Kevin has been developing games since he was thirteen years old, and he’s exceptionally interested in pushing the bounds of interactivity. In undergrad he worked on Kinect games, a path that led him to Iron Galaxy Studios. He has helped ship several titles and ports in his 7+ years there and helped build some interesting prototypes. Kevin also a third of the “nights and weekends” company Pizza Curse, who created the local multiplayer robot soccer fiasco, Real Winners: Victoryball. Critics (who may have some blood relations to members of Pizza Curse) have labeled the game as “pretty fun”

Jordan Taylor

Jordan Taylor

Studio Head for Hitcents

Jordan Taylor is the Studio Head for indie game label Hitcents. Based in Kentucky, Jordan has led the publishing arm of the company for several years, and as a result has the privilege of working with indie game development teams across the globe. As an advocate for responsible game development, Jordan is vocal about dev studios embracing sustainable practices in all forms. Jordan also loathes self-aggrandizement in all forms, and writing this short bio was a form of torture for him.

sponsors

Sponsors

Chore Monster
I Need Diverse Games
University of Kentucky Esports
twozeroonenine-schedule

2020 Schedule

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