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 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!

Speaker Announcement 2017 – Aleissia Laidacker

a picture of a woman, aleissia laidacker, standing with her hair dyed a sort of cotton candy grey and wearing a dress  with tattoo illustrations on it

We’re pleased to announce our next keynote speaker, Aleissia Laidacker!

Aleissia is a game programmer-designer-director who has been working as a programmer for 16 years and developing games at Ubisoft for 10 of them. She was Lead AI on multiple Assassin’s Creed games. Her passion for design has pushed her teams to think about why we are developing our games rather than just how we develop them. She empowers her teams to think outside of the box through game jams and experimentation. As part of the Diversity Committee at Ubisoft, she mentors kids and gives talks at schools to inspire young girls to pursue careers in tech and games.

We’re super pleased that Aleissia will be joining us this year!

a gif of skeletor, from the he-man television series, pumping his hands in the air in excitement

You can still buy tickets for Vector ’17 at discounted, early bird pricing. You can find out all the ticket prices at our Eventbrite.

Speaker Announcement 2017 – Mark Mandel

a picture of a man, Caucasian, smiling at the camera. He is Mark MandelWe are super excited to have Mark Mandel back for Vector 2017.

Mark Mandel is a Developer Advocate for Google Cloud Platform and one half of the Google Cloud Platform Podcast. Hailing from Australia, Mark built his career developing backend systems for over 15 years and authoring and contributing to several widely adopted open source projects. When he’s not building infrastructure in the cloud for games, he’s constantly looking for new and interesting things he can do with Docker containers, playing with his dog and reading too much fantasy literature.

This year, Mark will be leading a talk on Scaling Multiplayer Games with Open Source.

“Awesome! You’ve built the next Overwatch! You have your game client and your dedicated game server ready to power game sessions as your players duke it out in your new amazing PvP tournament or MOBA death match.

Now you’ve just got to write code to spin up a game server for each match, power up machines to run those game servers, autoscale them based on server load, handle log aggregation, health checking, deploying new versions of your game servers, and…

Wow. That’s a lot.

In this talk we will look at open source projects we will use to automate scaling both our game servers and their supporting infrastructure, with relatively low effort compared to coding this infrastructure by hand. Finally we will run a Unity based multiplayer game on our newly built infrastructure, so you can see it all in action!”

a group of characters from Bobs Burgers excitedly raising their arms together. Jean is wearing a very strange green jacket

We are incredibly excited to have Mark again this year! You can still purchase your Early Bird tickets on Eventbrite now.

Speaker Announcement 2017 – Lisa Brown


Lisa Brown is an independent developer, formerly a game designer at Insomniac Games and a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center. Since going indie, she has released several experimental personal games (Imaginal, Lisa vs. the Tornado) and livestreams game development and game design analysis to help others get better at making games. Lisa loves advising students, participating in game jams, and exploring alternative control schemes for games.

Lisa has a pretty awesome website, where you can check out her games and Patreon and see all of the cool stuff that she’s into.

We’re super excited that Lisa is joining us for the second year! She was a fantastic speaker last year and we’re very excited that she will be joining us again.


You can pick up tickets at Early Bird pricing now!

Speaker Announcement: Ben Kuchera

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Hey folks! We’ve got less than a month before Vector and we’ve got another speaker announcement for you. We’re super pleased to announce Ben Kuchera, who is joining our super awesome group of keynote speakers.

Ben Kuchera is the senior opinions editor at the video game and technology website, and has spent the past decade reporting on virtual reality at such publications as Ars Technica, Wired, and Penny Arcade. He lectures and moderates panels on the emerging field of virtual and augmented reality around the world when he’s not spending time in his own basement VR lab.

Ben will be joining our pretty esteemed set of speakers, folks like Dan Hsu, Lisa Brown, and Jerry Belich. It’s a pretty neat lineup.


Tickets are still available to Vector, if you’re interested in attending. We are currently offering student and academic discounts, as well as a diversity scholarship for diverse applicants of all ages. Please contact for more information.

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