Vector 2020 Speaker Announcement: Heath Price

We are pleased this year that we are going to be joined by Heath Price, who will be talking Friday about the state of the University of Kentucky’s burgeoning Esports program!

A short bio on Heath Price:

HP photo bioHeath Price has grown up around higher education, having spent over 10-years at two flagship research universities – LSU and the University of Kentucky (UK). Additionally, he had the opportunity to work in the private sector as a partner with many institutions across the United States.
In his current role at the University of Kentucky, Heath serves as the Associate CIO in ITS. Most recently he has been a core member of a cross-functional campus team at UK that is charged with building a comprehensive and thoughtful approach to engaging gaming and Esports through the University-environment.

If you haven’t already, be sure to register online at GoToWebinar to join this years FREE event! Register here.

Vector 2020 Speaker Announcement: Ross Hersemann

This year we are so pleased to have lawyer Ross Hersemann joining us for our 2020 event. This years event is entirely online, and Ross is going to give an incredible talk entitled “Pandemic Proof: Leveling Up Your Emergency Response Plan.” This talk sounds like a great opportunity to learn more about what’s happening this year and how it can factor into the future

Ross’s personal bio is as follows:

Ross leaning up against an arcade cabinet.

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. @loadinglaw @cvgls @igdachicago
We are super pleased for Ross to be joining us this year, and hope you join us as well! This years event is entirely online, and you can join us April 24-25! Be sure to register online here.

Vector 2020 Speaker Announcement: Rafael Estrada

We are super pleased to announce another speaker for Vector 2020! This year we are pleased to bring along Rafael Estrada (also known as Super8bitRafa) an independent developer who will be talking about “Making 50 Games a Year: Why Rapid Prototyping is Essential.” Rafael is known for making quick, high energy games and it’ll be exciting to see his talk on the subject at this years online event.

A full bio for Rafael:

RafaelSuper8bitRafa 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.


We are so excited to have Rafael speak with us this year, and we look forward to hearing his talk this weekend! Be sure to join us as well at our conference, April 24-25. The entire conference will be online, and you can register here.

Vector 2020 Speaker Announcement: Kevin Knight

This year we’re incredibly pleased to be joined by Kevin Knight as one of our speakers at this years entirely online Vector conference! Kevin will be giving a talk entitled “Soft Games, Sex, and You – The unexplored depth of non-binary game mechanics that nobody touches because there’s no instructions and no safety rails.” We’re very excited to feature Kevin’s talk this year as a part of our lineup of incredible speakers.

A full bio of Kevin:

In a beanie and eyeglasses, Kevin slouches to the left. 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.”


We are very excited to be joined by Kevin this year, and hopefully you as well! Vector 2020 is completely online this year April 24-25! You can register here online today for our full talk.

Vector 2020 Speaker: Jonathan Hamel

This year we’re exceptionally pleased to announce one of our Keynote speakers for 2020, Ready at Dawn Studios Lead Designer Jonathan Hamel.

Jonathan is going to join us this year to discuss his talk “Between Jumping and Fighting: Puzzle Design Best Practices,” with a Q&A afterwards! Here’s his full talk description here:

Drawing from experience on Tomb Raider 2013, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and the 2017’s VR action/adventure Lone Echo, this talk examines that pace-breaking connective tissue of the action/adventure genre in detail: puzzles. What distinguishes a puzzle from a simple gate? How do you design good puzzle ingredients? What makes some puzzles feel boring and other puzzles rewarding to solve? How do you add difficulty to late game puzzles vs. early game puzzles? And what pitfalls can you expect (pun intended) during the level design process?

Jhamel_2019_reunionJonathan 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.


We are so excited to bring you our entirely online Vector 2020! This years event will feature two days of speakers (April 24-25) from fantastic folks in the AAA and indie industries! Be sure to register online for our entirely free event at GoToWebinar.

Vector 2020 Speaker Chris Totten

Hello folks! We are continuing to roll out our speaker announcements for 2020! This year we’re once again pleased to have Christopher Totten speak with us! Chris is a phenomenal speaker (maybe last year you caught his talk on Architecture in Video Games) and we’re excited to once again have him joining us this year on Making Games with Public Domain Assets.

Here’s a look at Chris’s bio:

A white smiling man with a beard, standing in front of a bookshelf and wearing a shirt with the text SAAM Arcade repeating.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).

Chris has written articles featured on Gamasutra, Game Career Guide, and other publications and is a frequent speaker at game industry conferences such as GDC, GDC China, East Coast Game Conference, GDEX, and others. He is the author of An Architectural Approach to Level Design, published with CRC Press/AK Peters in 2014 (2nd edition published in 2019) and Game Character Creation in Blender and Unity, released by Wiley Publishing in 2012. He is also the editor of the collected volume, Level Design: Processes and Experiences. 

Vector is moving online this year and we are excited to bring you an awesome line-up of talks for this years event! Be sure to check it out April 24-25, 2020! Register online here.

Vector 2020 Speaker: Jay Kidd

We here at Vector are excited to bring to you a vast array of speakers who are going to talk about their experience. That includes Jay Kidd of Wraith Games, who will be speaking about putting together a versatile and compact booth. If you’ve ever seen Jay or Wraith Games at a conference or convention you’ve probably been wowed by the way that their booths break down into tiny compact totes. In this talk, Jay is going to talk to you about that and about boothing at conventions!

A little bit about Jay:


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.


If you’re interested in Vector, please be sure to register with us at GoToWebinar! We’re looking to bring you a great conference April 24-25! Register here.


Vector 2020 Speaker: Tim Fritz

Here at Vector we’re excited to keep bringing you the excellent quality of speakers that you’ve come to expect, even as we move online. This year, we’re proud to include Tim Fritz as one of our speakers for Vector 2020! Tim will be speaking about Hand Drawn Game Animation with Open Source Tools, and we’re super excited to have him onboard this year.


A quick bio from Tim:

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.


Vector is going to be moving online this year, with a full 2 day conference, for free, online at GoToWebinar. Be sure to register online now, and watch along with all of the talks on April 24-25, 2020. Register here.


Vector 2020 Speaker Announcement: Maxwell Kunze

We are looking to create a truly interesting, all digital event this year! To do so we’re bringing in some really interesting speakers and talks, and we’re excited to show them to you this year. Our next speaker is Maxwell Kunze! A quick bio:


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.

Vector 2020 Speaker Announcement: Becca Hallstedt

I don’t have to tell you that this year has been a bit different than previous years. There’s no way you could have escaped that information – but we are still committed to bringing you a wonderful line up of speakers and maintaining the quality of Vector that you’ve come to expect. We are looking towards making an all-digital event this year, and we’ll have more news to drop as the weeks progress.

With that in mind, we’re incredibly pleased to announce our first speaker for Vector 2020, Becca Hallstedt. A little info:

Becca stands with a wry smile, glasses, and a thick scarf. 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.


We are very excited to continue the tradition we’ve fostered over the years of having really incredible speakers and we look forward to the excellent talk that Becca is going to give to this years (virtual) attendees!


We’ll post more information about our digital home in future updates, but for now, keep an eye out on our social media (@vectorconf on Twitter) as well as this blog page!

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