The Interactive And Games Conference

The Interactive And Games Conference

The Interactive And Game Conference on October 17, 2014 is a one-day summit focused on discussions about design and innovation in digital, interactive, and game media welcoming a mix of game developers, interactive designers, digital creatives, and artists.

Games and interactive media are clear companions, but few events have skillfully combined the two together. The Interactive and Game Conference, an extension of the Gamercamp Festival, launched in 2013 to hugely positive reviews. 2014's edition will feature 18 inspiring, useful talks from organizations and individuals who are experts in their fields in hopes of cross-pollinating and sparking cool, new ideas. (Gamercamp itself, for example, sprung out of drawing inspiration from tech, art, and culture events like TED, Come Up To My Room, and TIFF.) This is an opportunity to learn about a wide span of projects and ideas in a single day.
Presentations Include:
  • Attack Of The Clones: a legal framework for protecting yourself against stolen work 
  • Why Does Choice Matter: a look at "good" and "meaningful" choices in games
  • The Value Of Social Gameplay: are you missing out by not including a social element?
  • The Importance Of "Visual Hierarchy": an easy guideline to making awesome art
  • The Advantage Of Being Indie: from award-winning designer Kan Gao ("To The Moon")
  • What Do Women Want?: a discussion from "Child Of Light" lead programmer Brie Code
  • Mental Health and Games: how new forms of games are changing the conversation
  • Bringing "Snow" to Life: a panel from the creator, director, and actor from the film "Snow"
  • And, many more!
Ubisoft Montreal\

Ubisoft Montreal's Child Of Light


Hotel Ocho - Floor 1
Hotel Ocho - Floor 2
9:30 AMRegistration
10:00 AMEmeric Thoa (Game Bakers) and Nadim Haddad (Pastagames) — Life and Lessons From The French Games Scene — Special Guests Of The Consulate General of France in TorontoBob Tarantino and Conrad Lee — Attack of the Clones: Legal Implications of Game Clones
11:00 AMMiriam Verburg and Renee Vrantsidis, LongStory Game — How Choice Itself Can Be More Important Than An OutcomeLee Vermeulen and Jesse McGibney, Alientrap — Bringing Ancient Greek Art To Life In "Apotheon"
11:45 AMDave Ireland, Royal Ontario MuseumSCEA Developer Relations — PlayStation: Where Developers are Publishers, and What That Means for You
12:30 PMLunch (buffet-style, provided)Lunch (buffet-style, provided)
1:30 PMKan Gao, Freebird Games (To the Moon) - Making Use Of Advantages In Indie Game Creation (And Q&A)Brie Code, Ubisoft Montreal — What Do Women Want?
2:15 PMMicrosoft Developer Talk — ID@Xbox - The Next Generation of Indie Games on Xbox OneRyan Couldrey, Kira Hall, and Benjamin Rivers (Panel) — From Page To Game To Screen : The Evolution Of Snow
3:00 PMBreakBreak
3:15 PMMicro-Talks (Michael Brown, Alex Hayter,
Kara Stone)
Lyndsey Gallant, XMG Studio — Simple Guidelines for Making Awesome Game Art
4:00 PMMicro-Talks (Ryan Luck,
Andy Smith,
Marie Foulston)
Owen Lawson, Uken Games — The Value of Social Gameplay
4:45 PMEmerging Artist Showcase
5:00 PMClosing Remarks & SocialClosing Remarks & Social

Alientrap's Apotheon
PASSES ARE $125 + HST + fees
Gamercamp All-Access: $150 + HST + fees
Get the full Gamercamp experience with our special Gamercamp All-Access option!
The Gamercamp All-Access includes the Interactive and Games Conference on Friday, in addition to Saturday Night Arcade (19+) with over 40 new and innovative games from across the country. The Night Arcade includes the same games as the Pop-Up Arcade during the day, but includes food, craft beers, and music.

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(In Chronological Order)

SPECIAL GUESTS EMERIC THOA & NADIM HADDAD — Courtesy of the Consulate General of France in Toronto 

Topic: A Peek Into The Exciting Independent Game Development Scene In France

Game Bakers' is a Montpellier-based studio and behind critically acclaimed hits like Squids and Combo Crew, and the upcoming Duels. Emeric Thoa is in charge of The Game Bakers’ creative content. In a previous life he was Director of Game Design for Ubisoft and played a major role in the design of best-selling AAA console games (Clancy titles amongst others). 

Pastagames was the Paris-based studio behind the 2012 Apple Game of the Year, Rayman Jungle Run, and the frenetic arcade-style game Pix The Cat. Nadim Haddad is a game and level designer for Pastagames. 



Topic: How Choice Itself Can Be More Important Than An Outcome

The importance of having 'good choices' in a game can't be understated. But what do designers mean when they say 'good' or 'meaningful' choices? How do players experience choice and what can we learn about choice from some of the great works in both the linear canon and AAA games? Within this discussion, Miriam and Renee will include their understanding of how choice impacts player enjoyment in games, and why sometimes the outcome of the choice is much less important than the act of choosing itself.

DAVE IRELAND — Managing Director, Centre of Discovery in Biodiversity

Topic: The Importance Of Interactivity At the Royal Ontario Museum

Dave Ireland is responsible for developing programs, projects, and partnerships that help people understand and conserve biodiversity. He also helped spearhead the second annual ROM Game Jam, held in August. This presentation will look at how a major cultural institution can and should incorporate interactive elements. [Tentative description, and subject to change.]

A selection of salads, wraps, and paninis made fresh and in-house.

KAN GAO — Creator of To The Moon and the upcoming A Bird Story
Topic: Making Use Of Advantages In Indie Game Creation (And Q&A)
Kan Gao is the creator behind the moving role-playing game To The Moon, which in 2011 won the "Best Story" award from GameSpot's Game of the Year awards, besting titles like Catherine, Portal 2, and Xenoblade Chronicles. Gao with his team at Freebird Games will soon release A Bird Story. This presentation will share the advantages intrinsic to creating independent games, and how to best make use of them.

Topic: ID@Xbox - The Next Generation of Indie Games on Xbox One
Join the team at Microsoft as they discuss developing games for its platforms.

MICHAEL BROWN — Editor-In-Chief, Emerge Magazine

Micro-Talk: Video Games as a Means of Influencing Public Perception: Gay Representations in the Mass Effect Series

Over the last 20 years, gay representations in video games have evolved from being implied to stereotypical to relatable to even being fully integrated into the story as an entirely realized character who is not just defined by their sexuality. Michael will examine gay representations and romances in the Mass Effect series as a way of evaluating the power these characters have in the greater public’s understanding of LGBT individuals and LGBT issues. Michael Brown has been involved in the games journalism industry for the past four and a half years.

ALEX HAYTER — Marketing Professional

Micro-Talk: Weirded Out: Unconventional Ways to Get Game Publicity

Shmoozy product pitches and boring marketing buzzwords don’t work in game PR today. In this talk, Alex will discuss unconventional, eccentric methods for earning game publicity. From Sony’s fake VP Kevin Butler to Super Time Force’s Saturday morning cartoons, sometimes the best way to get your game noticed is to do the unexpected.
Using a variety of examples—like custom-built arcade machines, pet photo Tumblrs and convention hall scavenger hunts—Alex will talk about how to earn attention without breaking the bank (or cashing in their integrity).

KARA STONE — Artist, creator of Medication Meditation and Sext Adventure

Micro-Talk: Affective Games: Mental Health and Interactivity

In videogames, people with mental illness are often the bad guys, someone to shoot at, or a plot line to conquer. The uprising of indie game developers, accessible tools, and interest in personal stories has led to the bourgeoning of videogames about mental health and wellness. Kara will talk through the process of making Medication Meditation about her own experiences with mental illness, how she approached the content and design, and the response.

RYAN LUCK — Instructor, George Brown

Micro-Talk: Indie MMOs: How To Tackle A Big Project With A Small Team


ANDY SMITH — President, XMG Studio

Micro-Talk: Intention Matters For Game Design, Studio Culture, and Online Presence


MARIE FOULSTON — Curator and community organizer, Wild Rumpus

Micro-Talk: Oh The Places You'll Go 

(In chronological order)

BOB TARANTINO & CONRAD LEE — Counsel (Entertainment) and Articling Student at Dentons Canada LLP
Topic: Attack of the Clones: Legal Implications Of Game Clones
This presentation will discuss the relevant areas of law (in particular, copyright) in which game studios can bring a legal action against other studios that clone their game idea. The discussion will include illuminating examples of court battles that involved video game clones and recent business examples where lawsuits may have benefited the developers. A brief questioning period will follow the presentation.


Topic: Bringing Ancient Greek Art To Life In "Apotheon"

As Apotheon nears completion, Lee and Jesse will talk about the evolution of Apotheon’s art style from sci-fi cyber-mythology to classical black-figure pottery; how important efficiency and speed of production is to a small team; Apotheon’s iterative approach to designing game mechanics with a focus on quick experimentation and in-game balancing; and how to draw from real-world inspiration to take something ancient and make it new.

BRIANNA CODE — Lead Programmer, Child Of Light; Associate Lead AI Programmer, Assassin's Creed III

Topic: What Do Women Want?

As half the population, women are a varied group of people with wildly different preferences and tastes. Thinking of us as a niche market and trying to design just for women are mistakes. And yet, many women are underserved by current offerings in the games industry. Brie will discuss what is missing from the industry using some of her favourite games as a lens. From the Sims to Skyrim to Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, all her favourites offer character customization, environment customization, and gameplay based on socializing and story creation. 

After, a group brainstorm will explore the questions: What themes or gameplay may be missing from the industry? What do members of the audience like in games, and what do their parents, grandparents, children, and friends like? If they could make any game, what would that game be?


Members of SCEA Developer Relations, Sony PlayStation

Topic: Where Developers are Publishers, and What That Means for You
What does self-publishing ACTUALLY mean on a console? The SCEA Developer Relations team will be on-hand to discuss everything from licensing to business models, and how you can get started developing for PlayStation platforms. Bring your questions!

RYAN COULDREY — Filmmaker, Snow

Topic: From Page To Game To Screen : The Evolution Of Snow

Ryan got his start in moving pictures by shooting live-action trailers for the award-winning video game Home, music videos for the likes of Nutella and shorts with the award-winning Blue Flame Collective. Snow, which releases worldwide on Oct. 27, is his feature-film directorial debut. The film was self-produced by Ryan without any government grants or Kickstarters.

Twitter: @RyTron and #SnowFilm

KIRA HALL — Actor, Snow

Kira is a Yellowknife-born actor, playwright, puppeteer and singer. You may know her from the premiere Canadian cast of Avenue Q at the LOT as Kate Monster and Lucy the Slut. She recently was in the Dora-nominated puppet ensemble of The Old Man and the River, and just wrapped up a tour for Paleoncology, her Best Solo Show (Montreal Fringe) and Best Drama (Victoria Fringe) award-winning one-woman play. Snow is Kira’s feature film debut.

Twitter: @KiraNorth

BENJAMIN RIVERS — Creator, Home and Snow

LYNDSEY GALLANT — Art Director, XMG Studio

Topic: Simple Guidelines for Making Awesome Game Art

This talk will overview what "Visual Hierarchy" is, what the basic elements of it are, and give examples of how you can use this information to make more beautiful games that are easy for users to play and understand. With a focus on mobile, though the principals are applicable to all platforms.

OWEN LAWSON — Game Lead, Uken Games

Topic: The Value of Social Gameplay

Social games appear to be everywhere these days, but it's not always clear what is meant by social gaming. At Uken we've found that social gameplay helps engage players and keeps them coming back for more. This talk will present a proposed definition for 'social gaming' and describe how it has helped contribute to the success of Uken Games.