“At First I Thought I Was Sick”: Designing Emotionally Charged Games and Mental Illness Advocacy

Wednesday, December 13th

Categories: Industry & Advocacy By: Kaitlin Tremblay, Freelance

“At First I Thought I Was Sick”: Designing Emotionally Charged Games and Mental Illness Advocacy is about writing and designing emotionally charged games and how to establish an understanding between players and fully developed protagonists. This talk focuses on difficult to discuss topics, feelings, and emotions (and is largely focused on mental illness and healing), […]

20 years in the AAA game and counting: Where next for Remedy Entertainment?

Wednesday, December 13th

Categories: Business & Marketing By: Thomas Puha, Remedy Entertainment

You know Remedy Entertainment for cinematic, story-driven games like Max Payne, Alan Wake and Quantum Break. The key to staying in the business for such a long time has been adapting to the ever changing AAA landscape of the video games business. A few years ago Remedy decided on a new strategy. We wanted to […]

2D Animation Pipelines: The Hard Way and the Easy Way (Speed Brawl & Ultimate Chicken Horse)

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Arts & Animation By: Eric Angelillo, Double Stallion Games Kyler Kelly-Tan, Clever Endeavour Games

Two studios present their 2D pipelines. One is efficient, polished and scalable, while the other is short, fast and messy. Understand the thought processes behind them and learn about why each suits the needs of the games being made. Learn about efficient sprite sheet packing, the best ways to outsource pieces of your art pipeline, […]

30 years of inspiration: Observations and Lessons Learned from 30 years of Game Audio

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Audio By: Brian Schmidt, GameSoundCon Brian Schmidt Studios

Although the industry itself has dramatically and drastically transformed itself over the past 3 decades, the traits of successful game composers and sound designers  share remain constant. Looking back at his own 30 years in the industry and taking inspiration from other successful game composers and sound designers, Brian will look past the changes in […]

A Prototyping Tale of Confusion and Success

Wednesday, December 13th

Categories: Production & Project Management By: Jason Kim, Cardboard Utopia Sam Daher, Cardboard Utopia

“Prototype, prototype, PROTOTYPE!!” is the game developer’s mantra for finding the innovation and “fun” in a game. Being a team made up of industry veterans from the triple-A space, we knew its theory and value, but soon realised, that as an indie studio, we were now in a totally different context; we no longer had […]

AI in Video Games: What you’re doing wrong

Wednesday, December 13th

Categories: Programming & Technology By: Nathan Pringle, Somniplex Interactive

When designing AI in games, a lot of people seem to be satisfied with very basic concepts and designs. In this talk, we will discuss alternatives to very basic AI concepts. This talk is designed for both people with no programming experience at all, as well as advanced programmers.

An inside look on the For Honor brand creation

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Business & Marketing By: Luc Duchaine, Ubisoft

Creating a new brand requires a very strong and compelling vision but transposing this vision into actionable communication and marketing tools requires synergy between the creator and brand owner. This talk will give you an inside look at the creation of For Honor’s brand, a process that started long before its public announcement at E3 […]

Architecture and Game Development: The Give and Take

Wednesday, December 13th

Categories: Game Design By: Maia Levinshtein, University of Ontario Institute of Technology

This lecture will show the parallels between one of mankind’s oldest industries, architecture, and one of the youngest, video game development. It will talk about how architects can be useful assets to game development teams, and what they can bring to this industry. The same applies the other way around too – the architecture industry […]

Assassin’s Creed Origins: Monitoring and Validation of World Design Data

Wednesday, December 13th

Categories: Programming & Technology By: Kevin Coughlan, Ubisoft Montreal Nicholas Routhier, Ubisoft Montreal

Given the complexity and sheer size of modern open-world games like Assassin’s Creed Origins (ACO), it is practically impossible to validate the integrity and functionality of world data on a timely basis using traditional methods. This problem is compounded by the interdependencies between all the various types of world data (AI, Art, Design), both hand-placed […]

Balancing Economies in Free-to-Play Games

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Game Design By: Tiago Tex Pine, Bethesda Game Studios

We will take a look at some ideas on how to balance a free-to-play economy to be fun, engaging and lucrative. We will see some common patterns on free-to-play economies and how we can approach balancing for them.

Bodies in Motion – Anatomy Lessons of the Dynamic Figure

Wednesday, December 13th

Categories: Arts & Animation By: Scott Eaton, Independent

During this session Scott will talk about the most important anatomy lessons he has learned from years of studying the figure and teaching anatomy to VFX and games artists. He will introduce his Bodies in Motion reference library, and use it to clearly explain some of the most complicated parts of human anatomy. Artists will […]

Branching off branching: new avenues in game dialogue

Categories: Game Design By: Jonathan Lessard, Concordia University

Dialogue trees are still a staple of narrative driven games. While they offer advantages such as simplicity of implementation and strict authorial control, they are also very limiting in terms of meaningful player input and emergent behaviors. LabLabLab has been exploring alternatives to dialogue trees by making a series of playable games since 2013. In […]

Branded and IP Based Games: The Pros and Cons

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Business & Marketing By: Caglar Eger, Good Game Dean Takahashi, GamesBeat Louis-Rene Auclair, Matthew Leopold, Yodo1

As making and scaling games is getting more difficult, an IP can help your game to become successful. Through a well-known IP, you can lower your user acquisition cost (e.g. reaching out to the fan base), but at the same time you are giving some some of your creative flexibility. In this panel we want […]

Building an Indie Studio from Scratch: A Postpartum Examination

Wednesday, December 13th

Categories: Business & Marketing By: Andrée Boutin, Cardboard Utopia

Like many others, Cardboard Utopia – an indie studio founded in Montreal in 2014 – started with big hopes and dreams, a passion project, a fair amount of professional expertise… but very little business experience! Within its first three years of existence, the studio has nonetheless managed to run a successful Kickstarter campaign, secure funding […]

Building Indie Games and VR Experiences with Houdini

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Sponsored Session By: Ben Mears, SideFX

“I’ve heard of Houdini, but it’s only for movie special effects, right?” is a common misconception that persists today. Fortunately, the answer is “No, Houdini is for everything now!” Today, Houdini is widely being used by AAA and indie studios alike to create artistic and compelling games and VR experiences. These studios leverage Houdini in […]

Cache Coherent Data: Why you should care

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Programming & Technology By: Tony Albrecht, Riot Games

Pitfalls of Object Oriented Programming was a popular presentation and white paper from 2009 which showed conclusively some of the performance issues inherent in the OO programming model. That talk was focused on console development on the hardware available at that time. Now, 8 years later, have things changed? Are the same pitfalls evident in […]

Challenges and Opportunities of a Competitive Game

Wednesday, December 13th

Categories: Sponsored Session By: Michael Daudignon, Toornament by Webedia

Why are we talking so much about esports? No one can argue against the fact that tournaments are at the heart of esports. We know that competition means player retention and storytelling. A few examples of synergies between game studios, tournament organizers and media are presented thanks to one technology Toornament: dedicated official league websites; […]

Composing World Music for Video Games

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Audio By: Inon Zur,

Three times BAFTA nominated composer Inon Zur (inonzur.com) will discuss his creative use of world music in the acclaimed scores for Ubisoft’s first virtual reality title, EAGLE FLIGHT, a breathtaking flight simulation experience set in the skies of Paris, and the third installment in Microïds’ beloved and mystical adventure series SYBERIA. Zur will demonstrate how […]

Darwin Project: Break the traditions to create top quality

Wednesday, December 13th

Categories: Arts & Animation By: Charles Philip Simard, Squeeze Jonathan Simard, Squeeze

How to be creative and invent strong character while respecting production constraints? This is what Jonathan Simard and Charles-Philip Simard achieved at Squeeze studio, thanks to the tips and tricks used during the creation of the video game trailer Darwin project for Scavengers studio. Discover how they optimized resources available to produce a high quality […]

Designing and evaluating spectator experiences in eSports

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Game Design By: Pejman Mirza-Babaei, Execution Labs Samantha Stahlke, Ominous Games

Although eSports are not a new phenomenon, their popularity has surged in the past few years. Creating a game that is engaging for both players, streamers and spectators presents interesting design challenges, as it combines the needs of interactive design with more traditional entertainment media. Ultimately, the design must be able to create a cohesive […]

Destroying Things in Unity

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Programming & Technology By: Ben Throop, Frame Interactive

This session will introduce proven methods for achieving destruction effects in Unity, combining physics, particles, sound, and code. The focus will be on destruction during gameplay and fast, flexible systems that work anywhere from mobile to VR to console to PC. Examples will be provided and available for download.

Developing Real Time Multiplayer with Unity & Microservices

Wednesday, December 13th

Categories: Programming & Technology By: Kevin Setiono

Developing a Real Time Multiplayer Game with Unity and Microservices from the scratch. We will take a look at common pitfalls and interpolations while building on top of rock solid backend technologies as a foundation. I leverage Service Fabric as a microservice framework and Unity as a client engine, but the session is mostly technology […]

Editing the moments in video games

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Arts & Animation By: Sebastien Dussault, Digital Dimension

In the process of creating a seamless experience for the players, we need to successfully bridge different states of play that are often crafted appart; gameplay and cinematics. By the analysis and comparaison of scenes from famous movies and video games, we seek to understand and harness the meaning and power of editing and camera […]

Empowering your Sound Designer

Wednesday, December 13th

Categories: Audio By: Beatrix Moersh, Artifact 5 Ramy Daghstani, Artifact 5

Live Unity3D and Wwise demonstration and technical overview of tools and workflow that allow for simultaneous design and implementation to increase efficiency in small teams. Bypassing verbal middlemen where implementation instructions can be lost in translation allows the sound designer to take charge and implement the audio to sound exactly like it should in game.

Exploring Beyond the Moon

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Business & Marketing By: Ryan Schneider, Insomniac Games

Insomniac Games is one of the most iconic and trusted brands in video games. So why re-brand the studio, especially two years shy of its 25-year-anniversary? Join Chief Brand Officer Ryan Schneider to go behind the scenes on the decisions that led the studio to overhaul its identity, along with how Insomniac communicated its new […]

Facebook Instant Games & The Future of Social in Gaming

Wednesday, December 13th

Categories: Sponsored Session By: Mike Johnston, Facebook

Frictionless adoption, seamless accessibility, and social community are changing the way people experience gaming. Instant Games embodies these changes by introducing an opportunity for developers to take advantage of a unique UX and cross-platform experience that drives engagement. Mike Johnston, Technical Program Manager at Facebook Games, will share best practices in game development for Instant […]

Fake Internet Money: Integrating Ethereum payments in Unity

Wednesday, December 13th

Categories: Programming & Technology By: Sarah Friend, Consensys

This session will cover not only how, but also why, you might want to interact with the Ethereum cryptocurrency network in your Unity games. We’ll discuss the various integration options, technical considerations, and best practices, including using Nethereum, the . Net Ethereum client library.  No previous experience with cryptocurrencies needed!

Fast-Paced Multiplayer Combat: Latency Is Your Worst Enemy

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Programming & Technology By: Daniel Menard, Double Stallion

Implementing online multiplayer is a big challenge, especially when your gameplay requires fast reaction times and tight timings for attack moves. The high-speed combat in their latest game Speed Brawl challenged the team at Double Stallion to produce robust netcode to tackle these problems. In this session, learn the experiments that Double Stallion performed and […]

Fireside chat with Leonard Teo

By: Leonard Teo, ArtStation

In this keynote, Leonard will share the journey that lead ArtStation to becoming the world’s largest Media & Entertainment artist platform with more than 400,000 members and nearly 3 million unique visitors each month.  Hear how ArtStation has contributed to the industry ecosystem and learn what might come next!

Fireside Chat: StudioMDHR and the Cuphead Craze

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Keynote By: Chad Moldenhauer, StudioMDHR Jared Moldenhauer, StudioMDHR Maja Moldenhauer, StudioMDHR

The amazing success of Cuphead makes you wonder if the Moldenhauer family actually did make a deal with the Devil. With well over a million copies sold in its first month, something magical is certainly at hand! Join us in a discussion with Chad, Jared, and Maja Moldenhauer as they recount the origins and inspirations […]

From Executive to Declarative: An A.I. transition story in Assassin’s Creed

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Production & Project Management By: Gabriel Robert, Ubisoft  

In this presentation I want to share my experience on how we made the transition from an Executive A.I. (heavily scripted) to a Declarative A.I. (more autonomous) on AC. This presentation will cover both the technological choices made and the implications of those on the production.

From Game Jam to Glory: The Ultimate Chicken Horse Story

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Business & Marketing By: Richard Atlas, Clever Endeavour Games

The story of Ultimate Chicken Horse is full of lessons on the subject of business and hustle, marketing, management and design. I will tell the story of how we went from a game jam in our parents’ kitchen to become a stable company with one of the most successful party games of the year, while […]

Funding Immersive Art & Entertainment

Wednesday, December 13th

Categories: Business & Marketing By: René Pinnell, Kaleidoscope

The launch of consumer virtual reality has set off an avalanche of money for original VR content that is likely to exceed $1 billion in 2017. But how do independent VR creators and small studios capture this funding for their own projects? Hear from René Pinnell, the CEO & Founder of VR/AR funding platform Kaleidoscope […]

Game Audio Gamefication

Wednesday, December 13th

Categories: Audio By: Bjørn Jacobsen, Cujo Sound

“Using sound as a key informant in your game design creates a more immersive and smoother experience for any player. For HITMAN we put in a massive effort to not create more immersion, but to keep the player from loosing it”

Game Jam: The Movie

By: Game Jam: The Movie

12 Teams / 48 Hours / 1 Grand Prize… Game Jam: The Movie follows the lightning-fast video game development process over the course of a 2 day long “game jam” sponsored by tech moguls. The time crunch and challenges these aspiring game developers face while attempting to build a playable game under the wire , […]

Games as Cultural Identity

Wednesday, December 13th

Categories: Industry & Advocacy By: CJ Kershner, Polyhedron Productions

Video games, as an interactive medium, have the power to teach players about different real-world cultures, arguably better than books or films on the same subject. Through code, visuals, audio, narrative, and design we can gain new perspectives about the people and places that produced these works. This session investigates several games with distinct cultural […]

Houdini for VR – Tips & Tricks to Maximize Flexibility in a Houdini/Unreal Pipeline

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Sponsored Session By: Scott Keating, SideFX

Examples of assets and tools built in Houdini and how they can be helpful in a VR production where quick iterations can be invaluable

How Advocacy and Accessibility Changed Our Studio

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Industrie-rayonnement By: Hugh Monahan, Stellar Jockeys

A chance meeting with the AbleGamers charity after Brigador’s launch changed how we think about design, and put us on a path of collaboration and design changes that benefited everyone involved (on top of being the right thing to do).

How to Grow Your Local Game Community

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Industry & Advocacy By: Elaine Gusella, TEK Brigade Jillian Mood, JM&P and CGX Liv Lunde, GamePlay Space

This session will share advice and insight on how to grow local game communities and to build and foster the growth of strong networks. Case studies will be presented on how to identify local game culture and how to organize and launch initiatives to begin forming bonds internally, between studios, and in the local game […]

How To Write Gender-Inclusive Games

Wednesday, December 13th

Categories: Industry & Advocacy By: Alex Zandra Van Chestein, Independent

Making a game gender-inclusive is often represented as a major hurdle, but in reality it’s far easier (and affordable) than it’s made out to be. Having a diverse cast of characters, giving the player more agency when it comes to their gender identity, making sure the game’s marketing doesn’t alienate a segment of the population […]

I’ve Got To See A Man About a Unicorn: The Myth of Open World Narrative

Wednesday, December 13th

Categories: Game Design By: Jesse Scoble, Ubisoft Russell Lees, Ubisoft

The friction of open world stories vs. strong narrative moments is a constant struggle in current AAA development. Often the mandate is not to set the player’s agenda, and let them make their own story, but stories are built from a structure of: action and response. How do you create engaging, memorable moments if you […]

In the Long Run

Wednesday, December 13th

Categories: Industry & Advocacy By: Fredrik Liljegren, Nvida's Toronto Henrik Jonsson, Ghost Games (an EA studio) Marie Mejerwall, Tanya Short, Kitfox Games   Tina Merry,

A panel on surviving, on self-care and sustainability in the crazy world of Game Development. Game Development is more than the mere developing of games. As an industry, we are young, and sometimes immature. As individuals, we are fragile and frail, sometimes more enthusiastic than realistic. We build circles of trust out of necessity, among […]

Inspired World Building

By: Raphael Lacoste, Ubisoft

Open worlds creation is a challenge, as much to create memorable visual compositions as to arouse in the players a strong immersion and a sustained interest for exploration. We will follow the creative path of Assassin’s Creed Franchise’s Artistic Director and precisely his creative process for environment design in triple A games and open worlds.

It’s all about the team

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Production & Project Management By: Joe Khoury, Eidos Montreal  

Discuss the importance of positive team health and talent retention from within the production team. Choose the right members of your team, know when to fight for them and when to let them go. Try to understand each person, especially considering how diverse a development team can be. Having a team gain experience together is […]

Jouer dur: a documentary series revealing the inside story of the game For Honor

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Business & Marketing By: Jean-Simon Chartier, MC2 Communication Media Luc Duchaine, Ubisoft Stephane Cardin, Ubisoft

Presented at Télé-Québec, Jouer dur takes place at Ubisoft Montreal, a hub of video game creation and production, a micro society of player designers that shapes the global entertainment industry. Shot over a four year period, the series offers an unprecedented access to the secret world of major video game studios. Between Los Angeles, Cologne, […]

Leveling Up Your Esports Broadcast: Creating Revolutionary Interactive Streams for Spectators

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Sponsored Session By: Jacob Navok, Genvid Technologies Inc.

Esports and broadcasting of games has become big business, and spectators of your game are demanding new and rich capabilities. What kind of tools are available for game developers to leverage? How do you create streams that surpass the expectations of your broadcast partners and your spectators? Where is the future of game streaming going? […]

LIVE DEMO : How to Manage the Onslaught of Crashes with Backtrace

Categories: Live Demo By: Abel Mathew, Backtrace

In this demo of the Backtrace product Abel intends to show developers how Backtrace can help them take control of their game development with the most powerful end-to-end crash management tool on the market. He will first explain what Backtrace does, and what challenges led to its creation. Next he will explore how the product […]

LIVE DEMO : New Collaboration Opportunities with Chilean Video Game Developers

Categories: Live Demo By: Maureen Berho, Niebla Games

Chile and its video game development services offer. New opportunities for business and collaboration. Best practices and public policies aimed at strengthening the international promotion of the Chilean industry. The “Ask about Chile” campaign and the video games industry as a national prioritized industry. The attributes of Chilean professionals and how these make them to […]

LIVE DEMO: Creating a procedural forest ground material in Substance Designer

Categories: Live Demo By: Casimir Perez, Allegorithmic

We will demonstrate how to create a forest ground material procedurally in Substance Designer, based on a photo reference. We will start by creating generators for the different elements visible on the image, utilizing some of the latest nodes in Substance Designer. Then, we will assemble a layering system for these different objects. Finally, we […]

LIVE DEMO: Digital and Physical Worlds Collide: Selling Merch In Your Game

Categories: Live Demo By: Daniel Asper, Shopify Gaming Eli Cymet, Snowman

In July 2017, award-winning indie game Alto’s Adventure became the first mobile game to let players natively purchase physical merchandise through an in-game gift shop. With this new revenue channel, its developer Snowman doubled 2016 merchandise revenue in the first 2 months after launch. From knitted llamas to touques, physical products authentic to Alto’s universe […]

Making Wellington Wells Memorable: Narrative in We Happy Few’s Procedurally Generated Sandbox

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Game Design By: Alex Epstein, Compulsion Games Lisa Hunter, Compulsion Games

We Happy Few 1.0 will have linear stories, but in Early Access, players will discover our narrative unpredictably. How are we building a compelling world, that engages them emotionally, and conveys our themes of memory and denial? Alex Epstein is the game’s Narrative Director; Lisa Hunter writes the environmental narrative. We’ll talk about creative process, […]

MASTER CLASS: Advanced Techniques for Material Creation in Substance Designer

Categories: Arts & Animation , Master Classes By: Nicolas Wirrmann, Allegorithmic

Learn how to create complex PBR materials using procedural tools within Substance Designer. Various Materials will be covered (Brushed Metal, Carbon Fiber,  Wood, Stone tiles) as well as advanced nodes and graphs in Substance Designer. Audience: Technical Artists Pre requisites: Having a professional understanding of texturing and already being a user of Substance Designer (but not necessarily […]

MASTER CLASS: Data-Oriented Design in C++

Categories: Master Classes , Programming & Technology By: Mike Acton, Insomniac

What is data-oriented design and how is it applied? Understanding hardware and platform. Analyze data through examples. Analyze and refactor existing codebase and data. Problem solving example exercises. Focus on performance, maintenance, debugability, concurrency and simplicity. Audience: Experienced engine and game programmers. Pre requisites: C++ experience Main goal: Straightforward techniques to analyze problems to improve performance, maintenance, debugability, […]

MASTER CLASS: Game Production, Management and Leadership

Categories: Master Classes , Production & Project Management By: Sergei Savchenko, Counsl Inc.

This class will cover fundamentals of leading and managing video game projects.  It will cover multiple leadership and management topics based on latest science and research as applicable to the field of interactive entertainment development. Audience: It is designed for leads, project managers and producers new to the role or looking for a fundamental refresher. Main […]

MASTER CLASS: Game Project Management for Devs

Categories: Master Classes , Production & Project Management By: Keith Fuller, Fuller Game Production

This class will teach the fundamentals of project management to game devs. We’ll cover foundational concepts such as time, cost, and scope management. We’ll also talk about common frameworks such as waterfall, agile, and lean, and when it might make sense to use each. In addition to hard skills, there will be coverage of critical […]

MASTER CLASS: Live Operations – The Bedrock of an Online Game

Categories: Game Design , Master Classes By: Jeremy Masker, Riot

The dirty business of actually shipping and operating games is rarely talked about publicly, even though Live Operations is the bedrock that online games are built upon. In this class we will go over how leveraging Live Operations early in the development process can pay dividends at and after launch. We will also cover how […]

MASTER CLASS: Mastering Marvelous Designer: Clothing for Game Characters

Categories: Arts & Animation , Master Classes By: Wojciech Michalski, Cd Projekt

This introductory course for Marvelous Designer will go into detail about most of the tools and different techniques used to create clothing for game development. Audience: This course is for 3D/CG Artists who would like to make 3D clothing for their characters Pre requisites: basic knowledge of any 3d package Main goal: – Create really […]

MASTER CLASS: Mastering ZBrush 4r8

Categories: Arts & Animation , Master Classes By: Madeleine Scott Spencer

In this Advanced ZBrush Master Class we will be covering the ZBrush tool set as it applies to character and costume work. There will be a specific focus on those new tools for ZBrush 4r8 which apply to a character workflow such as booleans, VDB brushes, and LazyMouse 2.0. We will also delve into texture, […]

MASTER CLASS: Math for Game Programmers.

Categories: Master Classes , Programming & Technology By: Bartlomiej Waszak, Ubisoft Quebec City

This master class will explain the details of the most frequently used math objects in video game programming. Topics will cover basic and advanced part of math. There will be a number of code examples presented using Unity and Unreal Engine. We will discuss common problems and solutions. Participants will have a chance to solve […]

MASTER CLASS: Stability testing and play-testing: a quantitative approach (2.0)

Categories: Game Design , Master Classes By: Martin Talbot, Square Enix

Quantitative methods applied to game user research allow researchers to measure and compare the impact of changes in games in development, or to compare a game in development against other games already on the market. For example, it is possible to determine whether or not design changes improve the player experience, or whether a game […]

MASTER CLASS: Stories we tell ourselves – Non intrusive narration techniques and dynamic story telling

Categories: Game Design , Master Classes By: Raphael Colantonio

We’ve been telling stories in games for the past decades, yet, many games still rely on the use of cut scenes and CG cinematics inspired by the movie industry. While there is nothing wrong with this approach, there are other techniques that take advantage of the interactive nature of our media in order to push […]

MASTER CLASS: United We Stand: Building Effective Squad AI

Categories: Master Classes , Programming & Technology By: Eric Martel, Ubisoft

This master class aims to familiarize the participants with common problems when putting in place a squad system. Many game AI topics will be discussed, from high level like archetype design and voice overs to low level like navigation system changes and synchronization strategies. The strategies discussed should fit many game types, such as action […]

MASTER CLASS: UX and Cognitive Science Applied to Game Development

Categories: Game Design , Master Classes By: Celia Hodent, Consultante UX du jeu vidéo

User experience (UX) and cognitive science are becoming trendy in the industry, but how can these disciplines concretely help a team develop and improve a video game? UX and cognitive science combined are at the service of the intended design, and can provide very concrete and easy-to-use tips to anticipate and solve problems, sometimes even […]

MIGS Brain Dump 2017: No Easy Answers

Wednesday, December 13th

Categories: Keynote By: Heidi McDonald, iThrive Games Henry Smith, Sleeping Beast Games Osama Dorias, WB Games Rayna Anderson, Eidos-Montréal Rebecca Cohen-Palacios, Pixelles Richard Rouse III, Paranoid Productions Simon Darveau, Scavengers Studio Teddy Dief, Square Enix Montreal Tony Albrecht, Riot Games

The popular MIGS Brain Dump returns for 2017 with eight speakers who each get five minutes to tackle this year’s theme: “No Easy Answers.” With the increasing complexity of game development and the sprawling nature of the game marketplace, it’s clear that some of our biggest problems do not have obvious solutions. Our lineup of […]

Mobile User Acquisition for Small and Medium-sized Game Studios

Wednesday, December 13th

Categories: Business & Marketing By: Paula Neves, Gazeus Games

With over 5 million apps up on the app stores, it isn’t an easy feat to make your mark on the mobile ecosystem. Especially if you don’t have a large marketing budget. This lecture intends to shed some light into a very diverse topic that is key when it comes to developing and distributing a […]

Montreal Video Game Symphony’s screening

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Audio By: Benoit Groulx, Mi Diese Maxime Goulet, Composer

Are you a fan of the music of Assassin’s Creed, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Deus Ex, Warhammer, FEZ, Papo & Yo and Outlast? On September 29, 2017, the Orchestre Métropolitain performed the Montreal Video Game Symphony. The event was part of the Montreal’s 375th anniversary celebrations. Emceed by Stéphanie Harvey and Jasmin Hains, the multimedia […]

Music as a subconscious narrator in Outlast franchise

Wednesday, December 13th

Categories: Audio By: Samuel Laflamme,

This session will describe the differences and similarities between the creative process behind the music compostion of Outalst and Outlast 2, the importance of a collaborative approach and the cinematic aesthetics of the franchise as well as the value of a strong sound identity for a new franchise.

Music Theory for Sound Design

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Audio By: Vincent Gagnon, Ubisoft

In this presentation we will see how to use musical theory to create unique sound design and unity in the soundscape of a game. Tuning, scales, keys and timing are some of the ingredients used to achieve that goal. Examples from games shipped and design in Wwise will be presented To illustrate these ideas.

Non-Human Behavior AI

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Game Design By: MJ Johns, Astire Games

Most games are designed and built by humans. So – designing and implementing AI behavior for non-humans comes with some interesting challenges. Mammals, fish, and insects all have their own variants on behavior that we as humans don’t have personal experience with. Some interesting behaviors to consider include: flocking, hive mind, predator/prey relations, and natural […]

Nutaku presents the rise of adult gaming and $10M investment opportunity

Categories: Sponsored Session By: Mark Antoon, Nutaku

Mark Antoon, President of Nutaku, the world’s largest browser gaming platform dedicated to 18+ games, and the best alternative to the overcrowded and oversaturated traditional gaming stores, will present “The rise of the adult gaming & $10M investment opportunity”. 18+ games are usually misunderstood, or not known at all. In this session, Mark talks about […]

Operation Live: learnings from RainbowSix Siege Year 2

Wednesday, December 13th

Categories: Production & Project Management By: Noemi Rouleau, Ubisoft  

RainbowSix Siege is in its 2nd year of live content. During that time we worked hard, we adapted, we improved, we crashed, we got back up, we had amazing community events, we had community backlashes, we had tired people, angry people, and team successes: and through it all, we learned many things. I would like […]

Optimizing for Speed: Two PS VR Case Studies

Wednesday, December 13th

Categories: Programming & Technology By: Jay Koottarappallil, WhiteMoon Dreams Wessam Bahnassi, Inframez Technology Corp.

This is a PS VR optimization techniques session. Two individual case studies will be presented, each describing its take to optimization for this VR device. For StarBlood Arena, White Moon Dreams’ Jay Koottarappallil will talk about performance pitfalls and bottlenecks they had to face and how they handled them, along with renderer and other modifications […]

Overcooked: Co-operation by Design

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Game Design By: Phil Duncan, Ghost Town Games

A closer look at the process of designing a co-operative game, exploring the development process from initial concept through to user testing and the eventual release.

Pre-production Guerilla Style

Wednesday, December 13th

Categories: Game Design By: Stéphanie Bouchard, WB Games

Welcome to your Pre-production Tyrant best practices guide! From 48h Game James, to 6 years AAA Project, passing by 15 weeks Students demos… what stays true? What info is needed by whom? When? How?

Procedural Generation in Dwarf Fortress

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Programming & Technology By: Tarn Adams, Bay 12 Games

Dwarf Fortress uses many intricately-connected systems to generate and simulate a fantasy world, complete with its own history and thousands of characters with which the player can interact as the manager of their mountain outpost. We’ll delve into some of the unique systems that make the game work as a narrative generator, with an eye […]

Procedural Worlds for VR

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Arts & Animation By: Johannes Saam, Framestore

Procedurally generated worlds start from one idea, but go on to spark creativity with infinite flexibility. The visual arts experts at Framestore will explore the different fields and approaches to procedural VR and dive into their best-in-class projects. Led by Oscar-winning Senior Creative Developer Johannes Saam this presentation will explain the mindset needed to enhance […]

Producing “Machines” for Horizon Zero Dawn

Wednesday, December 13th

Categories: Production & Project Management By: Dave Gomes, Guerilla Games  

Follow along as Guerrilla Games’ Senior Producer Dave Gomes describes the development history for the Machines in Horizon Zero Dawn. How do you scope and schedule a complex feature you’ve never built before? How do you create commonalities and systems for elements that desire to be special cases? How can you manage unknown iterations towards […]

Production, the Indie Way: 3 Methods for Sanity and Success

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Production & Project Management By: Samantha Cook Tali Goldstein, Casa Rara Studio Tanya Short, Kitfox Games  

Samantha Cook (Artifact 5), Tali Goldstein (Casa Rara), and Tanya Short (Kitfox) are co-founders of indie studios in Montreal, and running their studios with their staff’s well-being in mind is one of their shared values. These founders have challenged themselves to tackle the big questions: how do you protect your mental health while funding a […]

Raising the Artistic Bar – Pose and Action Analysis, Body Mechanics, Aesthetics, Performance and Storytelling

Categories: Arts & Animation By: Samantha Youssef, Studio Technique

Gain insight into Samantha Youssef’s process and how Studio Technique offers innovative solutions to improve the animation pipeline in video games. Samantha’s consulting work with concept artists, character artists and riggers helps develop stronger assets for animators, as well as her work directing and performing as a motion capture artist, helps gaming artists create stronger […]

Real World Scrum : Strategies for Four Stages of Development

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Production & Project Management By: Zoe Bell, Big Huge Games

Scrum can lead to 90% done and games that don’t hit the fun bar. It is not the perfect solution for mobile game development, but it fails for different reasons at different stages of production. This talk will cover the best tools and team structures for four stages of development from Prototyping to Live Ops.

Real-Time Cinematic Production in Unity

Categories: Sponsored Session By: Dan Miller, Unity

Unity AR / VR Evangelist Dan Miller will cover how to use Unity’s Timeline, Cineamachine, and post-processing stack features to speed up and improve production.

Scaling Dedicated Game Servers with Open Source

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Sponsored Session By: Mark Mandel, Google Cloud Platform

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. 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 […]

Scoring to Picture: Games vs. Film

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Audio By: Guy Whitmore, TricksterSong Productions

This lecture compares and contrasts the historical development of film music and its synchronization to picture, with modern game scoring and the inherent challenges of syncing music to visuals in nonlinear media

Share Your Games – Sharing your game incredibly early in development can lead to amazing things.

Wednesday, December 13th

Categories: Production & Project Management By: Colm Larkin, Gambrinous

Colm Larkin will take you on a journey from his early days of gamejam prototypes & abandoned projects all the way to completing his first professional game, Guild of Dungeoneering. He’ll talk about why ideas aren’t special, why it’s important to be embarrassed by what you share, and why sharing can even help protect your […]

Smart Production Management for Distributed Teams and Agile Development

Wednesday, December 13th

Categories: Sponsored Session By: Jon Jones, Autodesk Julien Charlebois, Framestore VR

Large-scale game and VR development comes with a variety of production challenges, which are further compounded when you’re co-developing with other studios and managing teams of outsourced artists. Autodesk’s Jon Jones will show you how to address these challenges, how to plan, support, and provide logistics for international virtual teams, and how Shotgun’s production tracking and review […]

Stardoll the journey

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Arts & Animation By: Karolina Mazur, Glorious Games Group Katarina Lindström, Glorious Games Group

Slide show briefly presenting product history, focusing on the development of Stardoll.com, content art, illustration techniques, user creativity and user engagement.

State of the Industry in Canada Address

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Sponsored Session By: Jayson Hilchie, Entertainment Software Association of Canada | Association canadienne du logiciel de divertissement

With new data from 104 Canadian video game companies, Jayson Hilchie will provide insights about the state of the Canadian industry. He’ll also provide an overview of the key issues – and opportunities that faces the industry at the national level.

Streamlining gameplay animation development at EA Sports

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Programming & Technology By: JC Delannoy, Electronic Arts

How would you manage hundreds of different gameplay animations for a single action in your game? How do you determine which one gets selected? How do you allow new animation assets to be integrated efficiently? This talk will cover techniques used at EA Sports for solving these types of problems and increasing the efficiency of […]

Taking Game Audio to New Heights

Wednesday, December 13th

Categories: Sponsored Session By: Andy Vaughan, Dolby

Microsoft recently announced support of spatial audio in PC and Xbox, what does this mean for you as a developer? In this talk Andy Vaughan, Sr. Developer Relations Manager will provide an overview of Dolby Atmos technology, and how Windows Sonic supports Dolby Atmos (over HDMI and headphones). As a spatial sound provider, Windows Sonic […]

The ‘Slims: A How-To Guide for Muslim Representation in Video Games

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Industry & Advocacy By: Osama Dorias, WB Games

With the recent spike in Islamophobia and violence against Muslims, there has never been more of a need to humanize Muslims, who are 1/5 of the world population, to the masses. Sadly, very little effort is being put to this cause, and even the most well-intentioned creators often fail to understand what is needed, and […]

The Bushido guide to Esports: what we learned making Japan’s top Esports title

Wednesday, December 13th

Categories: Production & Project Management By: Dewi Tanner, Cygames

With the 2016 release of Shadowverse, developer Cygames went from publishing popular domestic mobile games to suddenly being the master of Japan’s most played Esport. What can westerners learn from this unique combination of hard-earned F2P acumen and a distinctly Japanese approach to the murky world of Esports? The answer: lots.

The Dark Arts of Directing

Wednesday, December 13th

Categories: Arts & Animation By: Richard Arroyo, Gameloft

The session will examine the creative process and best practices on “how to lead and understand the audience” when creating. The talk will contain and cover topics such as story, character, visual language and performance. The attendees will be introduced to similar process used by film, commercial, actors, performers and directors.

The Future of AI Speech

Wednesday, December 13th

Categories: Audio By: Rene Hidalgo, Ubisoft Entertainment

Did you know that humans have been trying to create artificial speech since the Thirteenth Century? In this talk, we will first go back in time to have a listen and talk about different ways humans have tried to create artificial speech. Then, we will discuss and hear examples of the current state of speech […]

Thrive Games: Design Recipes for Empathy Games and Beyond

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Industry & Advocacy By: Heidi McDonald, iThrive Games

“Heidi McDonald explains iThrive Games’ mission and the ways in which the organization supports games with positive psychology outcomes to help teens thrive. Part of this support includes an ongoing strengths-based approach by which they are producing scientifically rooted, expert-informed design resources which may support player outcomes such as empathy, gratitude, and kindness at a […]

To self-publish or not to self-publish? An indie survival guide to self-publishing in the mobile F2P world.

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Business & Marketing By: David P. Chiu, DC Games Consulting

To self-publish or not to self-publish, that is the question. The mobile F2P space is more competitive than ever. Millions of existing apps already in the app stores, thousands of new games launching each week and the costs of user acquisition keeps increasing. Should developers partner with a publisher or launch the game on their […]

Understanding music rights in videogames

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Audio By: Mathieu Lavoie, Vibe Avenue and Université du Québec à Montréal

During this session, Vibe Avenue composer and UQAM professor Mathieu Lavoie will moderate discussion with a panel of experts, comprised of Me Martin Lavalée, director of licences and legal affairs at SODRAC, Me Marie-Josée Dupré, Director at SPACQ, Geneviève Côté, Chief Quebec Affairs Officer from SOCAN and Justin Vazquez, IP Design director at Warner Bros […]

Unleashing Houdini for Mobile AAA Productions

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Sponsored Session By: Alejandro Martinez-Chacin, Gameloft Alexandre Stroukoff, Gameloft Pascal Beeckmans, Gameloft

In this presentation, we will show how Houdini was used in a wide range of tasks, from creating breathtaking backgrounds to developing key optimization tools for artists to producing impressive visual effects, using Houdini default operators as much as possible. In this talk we will discuss: Generating complex procedural environments to be used as pre-rendered […]

Unlocking storytelling potential through nuanced design

Wednesday, December 13th

Categories: Arts & Animation By: Gabriela Aveiro-Ojeda, Freelance

The aim of this talk will be to explore how story can be expressed through subtle cues in a game’s design, from the animation to the gameplay flow, and the challenges it presents. Examples will be taken from existing games, as well as from DON’T WAKE THE NIGHT, a game in development that utilizes nuance […]

Up Close and Personal: Successfully Managing a Small but Inclusive Community on Twitch

Wednesday, December 13th

Categories: Industry & Advocacy By: Geneviève Leblanc, Independent

First I will describe the unique position of Moderator / Community Manager for a small community one is an integral participant in, and how the intervention techniques I use show great results in this context; followed by a reflection on the associated personal rewards as well as interpersonal and emotional pitfalls. I will then explain […]

UX Testing for Open-World and Procedurally-Generated Games

Categories: Production & Project Management By: Morgan Kennedy, Player Research

Playtesting games with significant open-world and/or procedurally generated content can be challenging even for experienced user researchers. This is especially true if when these games also challenge traditional linear game narrative. This is an industry case study in games user research on the first-person survival game We Happy Few currently in development at Compulsion Games. […]

VR and AR will change everything in the next 50 years. How can you take your place in it?

Wednesday, December 13th

Categories: Business & Marketing By: Vander Caballero, Minority Media Inc.

I have seen many platform transitions: PlayStation 2 to PlayStation 3; Wii motion controllers to Kinect motion-sensors; console to mobile. These changes seemed considerable, but in retrospect, they are incremental. By contrast, VR and AR are a series of exponential leaps: fast, unpredictable, and potentially life-changing. However, old game development assumptions prevent most studios from […]

When five became three: Losing Episodes Without Losing The Plot

Tuesday, December 12th

Categories: Production & Project Management By: Mika Sorvari, Rival Games Ltd  

Our first game, The Detail, was a set of five episodes, until it wasn’t. With only three episodes to work with, we still had the full intention to finish the story, which we did. It was not easy, nor was it pretty, but we ended up with a game we could still be proud of. […]