The lineup for Game Design Expo 2011 in Vancouver has been revealed, highlighted by keynotes from Rovio Mobile, the makers of all-time bestselling iPhone game Angry Birds, and Blizzard Entertainment, the creators of the world’s most popular subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game, World of Warcraft®. The entire day of presentations by the luminaries behind some of the most important games of this year and next constitute the event’s biggest speaker lineup in its five-year history.
The event, slated for January 22-23, 2011, is hosted by the acclaimed one-year Game Design program at Vancouver Film School (VFS), which the Los Angeles Times has called “a top school favoured by game industry recruiters.” Saturday’s Industry Speaker Day at Game Design Expo will feature talks aimed at game industry professionals, students, and anyone interested in games. Tickets for Industry Speaker Day are on sale now and already selling fast.
Rovio Mobile’s Angry Birds, a puzzle game for iPhone, Android, and other mobile devices, has been downloaded over 20 million times. Rovio’s Senior Game Designer and Marketing Manager will kick off Saturday’s schedule by delving into the design and business factors behind its incredible success in a presentation called How to Design a Hit Game for the iPhone.
In addition to crossing the 12 million subscriber mark recently, Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft has racked up numerous achievements. Its first two expansions, The Burning Crusade® and Wrath of the Lich King®, both broke PC-game sales records upon their release, and Blizzard’s latest expansion for the game, Cataclysm™, is set to launch on December 7. Blizzard’s lead content designer on the game will discuss how the company uses macro design to stay focused on the big picture amid a world of details.
Among the schedule’s many other highlights are talks by leading minds behind Dead Space 2, Tron: Evolution, True Crime: Hong Kong, and Halo Waypoint, as well as PlayStation Move and Microsoft Kinect. The lineup represents an incredible cross-section of the game industry, from mobile and online games to big-budget AAA titles, from traditional platforms to new motion-based systems.
Game Design Expo Industry Speaker Day Guests – January 22, 2011
Jaakko Iisalo/Matthew Wilson – Senior Game Designer/Marketing Manager, Rovio Mobile (Angry Birds)
Jeff O’Connell/Mike Skupa – Lead Producer/Lead Designer, United Front Games (True Crime: Hong Kong)
Anton Mikhailov – Software Engineer, Sony Computer Entertainment (PlayStation Move)
Paul Parsons – Senior Game Designer, 343 Industries (Halo Waypoint)
Mitchell Lagran – Designer, most recently of Rockstar Games Vancouver (Max Payne 3)
Alan Shen – Senior Design Program Manager, Microsoft (Kinect)
Jonathan Gallina – Lead Game Designer, Propaganda Games (Tron: Evolution)
Seth Marinello – Level Designer, Visceral Games (Dead Space 2)
Cory Stockton – Lead Content Designer, Blizzard Entertainment (World of Warcraft)
The event is held in the intimate Vancity Theatre at the Vancouver International Film Centre, and has sold out every year. Anyone hoping to attend is encouraged to buy their tickets now.
“We’re incredibly excited to be welcoming these speakers and companies to Vancouver,” says Dave Warfield, Head of VFS Game Design and the host of Game Design Expo 2011. “Whether you’ve worked in the game industry for years or you’re just starting out, you never stop learning. Games like Angry Birds and World of Warcraft offer countless lessons to us all.”
In conjunction with Game Design Expo 2011, Warfield and VFS Game Design will be hosting a free Open House at the school (390 W. Hastings) on Sunday, January 23, where attendees will be able to hear about the program, meet students and faculty, play games, take sample classes, and get details on the full-tuition Women in Games Scholarship. Space is limited, so anyone interested in attending the always-popular Open House is strongly encouraged to register now.
VFS is proud to partner with the following event sponsors to realize Game Design Expo 2011: G4, 3vis, Annex Pro, Pixologic, Radical Entertainment, Sumo Lounge, and The Georgia Straight.