Preconference Summits

April 16th, 2019

ECGC 2019 has a variety of Preconference Summits to choose from. These events take place over a day, providing detailed focus on each topic. Grab a seat, come listen and learn from some of the best and brightest in the game development industries.

Seating is limited. Register today to reserve your space!

2019 Preconference Summit Presenters

Michael Briscoe

Educator in Residence at American Society of Naval Engineers

Summit: Education

Bring video games to the classroom

Hosted by Michaeal Briscoe, Thomas Dotson, Orin Adcox, and Scott Martin

Time: 9:00am – 3:00pm

Objective: Share and learn how video games are used educationally. Find teachable moments in video games.

Summit Description: Great teaching is hands-on and fun! Join us for a summit on teaching with video games you already love. Hear about cutting-edge projects from ed tech leaders, learn from industry veterans, and workshop your own teaching and gaming ideas.

Summit Topics:

  1. Orientation to Simulators, Serious Games, and Serious Educational Games
  2. Discussing funding for ed tech and educational goals
  3. Discussion developing serious games
  4. Introducing games that teaches Social Emotional Learning
  5. Workshop: Measuring your games impact
  6. Workshop to find teachable moments in your favorite video games

Target audiences: Game developers looking to an educational component to their current or future projects. Educators and game enthusiasts interested in using video games to engage students in learning. Students will attend later in the day to demo products and learn about these opportunities.


Toiya Kristen Finley

Game Designer, Narrative Designer, Game Writer, and Editor for Schnoodle Media, LLC

Summit: Narrative Tutorial

Narrative Tutorial

Hosted by Toiya Kristen Finley, Patrick Coursey, Anna Megill, C.J. Kershner

Time: 9:00am – 3:00pm

Summit Description:

Cutscenes, lore writing, character sheets, dialogue, creature descriptions . . . Narrative designers can be responsible for any number of narrative design and writing tasks. You might work on one or a number of them. At the Narrative Tutorial 2019, we’ll look at three narrative design roles, what will be expected of you, and how to write documentation for your team.

During our workshop exercises, we’ll work on a hypothetical game. Sessions build on one another. By the end of the tutorial, you’ll have part of a bible, item descriptions, character bios, and a cutscene for your game!

Lore and Worldbuilding (9:00 a.m.–10:20 a.m.)

Ever wonder how to write those fascinating passages you find in books or on computers in a game world? Excerpts on history, poetry, biographies, letters, etc. make up some of a game’s lore. If you want your players to discover great lore, you need great worldbuilding first.

In this session, C. J. Kershner will walk you through the differences in developing worldbuilding for the team and for players. Then you’ll develop your own lore, add it to a section of a game bible, and write item descriptions based on your worldbuilding.

Character Design (10:30 a.m.–11:50 a.m.)

Good, memorable characters have well-defined motivations, unique ways of speaking, and personalities we love (or love to hate!). A distinct look doesn’t hurt, either.

In this session, Toiya Kristen Finley will discuss creating three-dimensional characters with clear motivations. You’ll write your own character bios, focusing on important information for artists, animators, and sound designers. Incorporate aspects of your worldbuilding into your characters’ designs.

Lunch (11:50 a.m.–1:00 p.m.)

Cutscenes (1:00 p.m.–2:20 p.m.)

Cutscenes are great ways to advance the plot and reveal character development and motivations. The best cutscenes add to the players’ enjoyment of the game, and they don’t feel like they’re interfering with gameplay.

In our final workshop, Anna Megill will share techniques for effective cutscenes and show you proper scriptwriting format. Your cutscenes will feature the characters and lore you worked on earlier in the day.

AUA: Ask Us Anything (2:30 p.m.–3:00 p.m.)

In our last session of the day, Patrick Coursey, Toiya Kristen Finley, C. J. Kershner, and Anna Megill give you the chance to ask us anything about game writing and narrative design. Have specific questions about what we covered in the sessions? Are you working on a portfolio? Are you working with writers and want to know how to better help them? AUA!  


Indie Game Development Summit

Hosted by Dr. Farhad Javidi, Brandon Huffman, Annette Stavenow Eriksson, Chris Cooper,
Shaun Peoples, Randy Greenback, Rachel Presser, Nick Klingensmith, Joseph Blair, Evey Kollstrand,
Meghan Jack

Time: 9:00am – 3:00pm

Summit Description:

For years now, indie game developers have been creating games individually or in small teams without the financial support of publishers or other outside sources, and the best advice given to them is: “Give it your best, work hard and be true to yourself.” In this summit, we will try to do better than that. Our expert panelists and trainers will share insights and experiences to help create a path forward in the new cloud gaming environment. No longer will developers be able to sell their games individually, direct to consumers. Instead, they will have to adopt a model of selling their experience to a service provider who will, in turn, provide the consumer with the option to play that game. This “Netflix model” works for documentarians, drama series creators and independent filmmakers, but will it work for a product that is developed by a highly skilled, dedicated workforce, often over a period of years? It won’t be a smooth ride, but the journey to cloud gaming doesn’t have to spell the end of indie gaming and development as we know it. Instead, indie developers can take charge and take steps ahead of the triple-A pack to get their foot in the door and take advantage of their unique position within the industry.

9:00-9:30: Overview
Dr. Farhad Javidi

9:30-10:30: Law
Brandon Huffman
Annette Stavenow Eriksson
Tommy Persson

10:30-11:30: Startup
Chris Cooper
Shaun Peoples
Jon Luoni

11:30-12:30: Design
Randy Greenback
Rachel Presser

12:30-13:30: Lunch (on your own)

13:30-16:00: Development
Nick Klingensmith
Joseph Blair

Summit assistants:
Evey Kollstrand
Meghan Jack
Jesse Smith

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