Sessions

More sessions to come soon

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

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?

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)

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, […]

AI in Video Games: What you’re doing wrong

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

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

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

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

Categories: Game Design By: Tiago Tex Pine, Hibernum

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

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 […]

Building an Indie Studio from Scratch: A Postpartum Examination

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 […]

Darwin Project: Break the traditions to create top quality

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 Savengers studio. Discover how they optimized resources available to produce a high quality […]

Designing and evaluating spectator experiences in eSports

Categories: Game Design By: Pejman Mirza-Babaei, Execution Labs

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 […]

Designing intuitive interaction in VR

Categories: Game Design By: Dave Ranyard, Dream Reality Interactive

New immersive technology allows us to be transported to places we could never otherwise access. And once there, we can do things we would never have the opportunity to do otherwise. In traditional games, we might use a game controller to add interaction, although compelling, this can limit the audience and reduce immersion. Immersion is […]

Destroying Things in Unity

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

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 […]

Directing and the creative process

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.

Editing the moments in video games

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

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.

Fake Internet Money: Integrating Ethereum payments in Unity

Categories: Programming & Technology By: Sarah Friend, Consensys

This session will cover not only how, but also why, you might want to use Nethereum, the .Net Ethereum API, to interact with cryptocurrencies in your Unity games.

Fast-Paced Multiplayer Combat: Latency Is Your Worst Enemy

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 […]

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

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.

Games as Cultural Identity

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 […]

How To Write Gender-Inclusive Games

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

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 […]

It’s all about the team

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 […]

Keynote: 30 years inspiration

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

Lessons From the Farm: The Story of Ultimate Chicken Horse

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 […]

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

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, […]

MIGS Brain Dump 2017: No Easy Answers

Categories: Keynote By: Richard Rouse III, Paranoid Productions

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 […]

Music as a subconscious narrator in Outlast franchise

Categories: Audio By: Samuel Laflamme, Samuel Laflamme Compositeur

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.

Non-Human Behavior AI

Categories: Game Design By: MJ Johns, MJ Johns

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 […]

Operation Live: learnings from RainbowSix Siege Year 2

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 […]

Pitfalls of Object Oriented Programming – Revisited

Categories: Programming & Technology By: Tony Albretch, 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 […]

Playtesting Narrative in Open-World and Procedurally-Generated Games

Categories: Production & Project Management By: Morgan Kennedy, Compulsion Games

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. […]

Procedural Generation in Dwarf Fortress

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 […]

Producing “Machines” for Horizon Zero Dawn

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

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 […]

Stardoll the journey

Categories: Arts & Animation By: Karolina Mazur, Glorious Games Group Katharina 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.

TBA

By: Ryan Schneider, Insomniac Games

The Future of AI Speech

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

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.

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 […]

Unlocking storytelling potential through nuanced design

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

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 […]

Using Game Mechanics to Go Viral

Categories: Game Design By: Ryan Holowaty, Noodlecake Studios

Flappy Golf was a strange viral hit for Noodlecake. Originally created as an internal joke, it climbed from the depths of the AppStore to reach a Top 10 Free App Overall in the US, purely through viral mechanics in game with no outside advertising or feature placements. Through happenstance it became one of Noodlecakes most […]

When five became three: Losing Episodes Without Losing The Plot

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. […]