Preconference Summits

April 17th, 2018
ECGC 2018 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! *Please Note – After registration, an E-mail will be sent out requesting your Summit selection.

2018 Preconference Summits
IndieMath for Game ProgrammingNarrative Open SourceUnity Hands-On Workshop
Dr. Farhad Javidi,
Brandon Huffman,
More Panelist listed below.

Bartlomiej Waszak -
Respawn Entertainment / EA
Toiya Kristen,
Heather Albano, &
Beth Korth
Michael Clayton & Jared Sprague -
Red Hat
Nick Klingensmith -
2018 Preconference Summit Presenters

Jared Sprague

Principal Software Engineer for Red Hat

Summit: Open Source

Open Jamming: Free Game Dev Tools for Cool People

Hosted by Michael Clayton and Jared Sprague, Red Hat

9:00am – 3:00pm

Summit Description: Join us for a workshop on game jams and open-source game development tools.

Open-source tools have been lovingly crafted that cover every medium of game development. Through a series of hands-on labs, we will introduce you to many of those tools, with a focus on using them for game jams.

Now, with your tools sharpened and a jam on the horizon, embark on your next #gamejam journey.


Note:  Since this workshop will include hands-on lab exercises, it is highly recommended that you bring a laptop with you.  If you would like to get set up a head of time you can install Node.js and have a code editor of your choice installed.”


Led by:
Michael Clayton: Michael is a Senior Software Engineer at Red Hat, where he works as a front-end web engineer and tooling creator for the Red Hat Customer Portal. He’s also a co-founder of Scripta Inc, creative coding enthusiast, and new dad. Find more at & on twitter @mwcz.

Jared Sprague: Jared Sprague is a Principal Software Engineer at Red Hat. He leads the Red Hat Customer Portal DevOps and Site Reliability Program. Outside of Red Hat, he is a Co-Founder of a game company Scripta, Inc. He also cuts gemstones as a hobby. He lives in Raleigh NC with his wife, two kids, two cats, and one bearded dragon named “Wizard”.

Brandon Huffman

Attorney & Founder of Odin Law and Media

Summit: Indie Game Development

Track: Indie, Business, Legal

Randy Greenback

Executive Producer for Gun Media | ECGC Speaker Selection

Summit: Indie

Indie Game Development Summit

Hosted by Dr. Farhad Javidi, Brandon Huffman, Kathleen Riley, Chris Cooper, Randy Greenback, and Joseph Blair

9:00am – 3:00pm

Summit Description: ECGC’s Indie Game Development Summit will explore a variety of topics related establishing and operating an independent game studio. Get legal tips for starting a company and learn how to protect your creations. Learn how to obtain funding for projects and what it takes to run a healthy company.  Indie developers share their insights and experiences, and take your questions.

Led by: 

Dr. Farhad Javidi: Dr. Farhad Javidi is the founder and CEO of Simbryo, a North Carolina-based game company that has published more than 200 video games and mobile apps. He has been an executive board member of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) for the past three years and is a board member of American Field Service, Greater Charlotte Area. He is a professor and the chair of the Simulation and Game Development program at CPCC, and established the first state-approved associate degree program in Simulation and Game Development in the United States. He has served as an adjunct faculty member in the Computer Science departments at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the University of South Florida, and in the Visual and Performing Arts department at Johnson C. Smith University. He is an author, a nationally-recognized conference speaker and, for three consecutive years, a judge for Microsoft’s ImagineCup World competition in the areas of Game Development and Mobile App Development. Dr. Javidi’s team won the US ImagineCup competition for two consecutive years and advanced to the finals of the World competition. He is a judge for Serious Games and the Smithsonian Museum’s Arcade.

Brandon Huffman: Brandon J. Huffman (@brandonjhuffman) is an attorney and founder of Odin Law and Media, which focuses on counseling video game and interactive media clients on issues related to content, licensing, publishing, intellectual property and corporate growth. Brandon also serves as general counsel to the International Game Developers Association His clients include new and traditional media companies, game and software developers, authors, animators and others at the intersection of technology and creativity. He is the engagement editor for Business Law Today and he sits on the Sports and Entertainment Council of the North Carolina Bar Association.

Kathleen Riley: Kathleen Riley is a third-year law student at the UNC School of Law, a former intern with digital entertainment firm, Morrison/Lee, and an avid gamer. As part of the NC Journal of Law & Technology, Kathleen has focused on the intersection of video games and the law, with a particular interest in loot boxes and gambling; virtual and augmented reality; and user-generated content. Last year, Kathleen was a finalist in the international Games Law Summit’s Legal Games Challenge and served as an International Game Developer Association Foundation’s Women in Games Ambassador.

Chris Cooper: Chris (or, Coop, as many know him by) has been professionally involved with the game industry since 2011. In the past seven years he’s released seven titles including Saturday Morning RPG, Breach & Clear, and Battlesloths 2025: The Great Pizza Wars. Chris is currently heading design at Elephant Mouse Games working on an unannounced project.

Randy Greenback: Randy has over 20 years of professional experience in video game development across PC, consoles, mobile and handhelds. He’s a hands-on designer and creative leader who has contributed to major franchises including Command & Conquer, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six, Lord of the Rings, Ghost Recon, America’s Army, Ratchet & Clank, Breach & Clear & Friday the 13th. He has worked for major game studios and publishers including Westwood Studios, Red Storm Entertainment, Relevant Games, Ubisoft, Electronic Arts and Insomniac Games. Randy currently works with Gun Media as Executive Producer leading up the production side of their development adventures on titles like Friday the 13th: The Game. He’s a retro game collector, mentor, and staunch proponent of games for change.

Joseph Blair: Joseph Blair is currently the creative director at Simbryo, a North Carolina based indie game studio. He has designed and programmed a wide variety of games including mobile titles for the Windows Store, corporate training games for IBM, and the recently released top down shooter, Man of Honor on Steam. He has a passion for writing and creating game mechanics that illustrate a character’s personality.


Other Summit Panelists Include:


This summit is sold out

Unity Hands-On Workshop Summit

Hosted by Nick Klingensmith, Simbryo

9:00am – 3:00pm

Summit Description: In this hands-on summit, we’ll walk through creating a 2.5D game using the popular game engine, Unity! We’ll touch on topics like creating character controllers, implementing gameplay, making VFX and shaders, and creating good looking environments!

Takeaways: Attendees will learn to assemble an entire game using Unity, as well as expert tricks for enhancing productivity. Attendees will also receive a starter kit with helpful code, and keys for Asset Store plugins.

Target Audience: Whether you’re completely new to Unity, or you’ve been doing this for a while, you’ll be sure to find something of value! While this summit is targeted towards a newer audience, our presenters are Unity professionals, and even experienced Unity devs are likely to encounter new tricks!

Note: To participate fully, it is recommended that you bring your own laptop with Unity 2017.1 or later installed on it.

Led by: Nick Klingensmith is an experienced game developer and educator specializing in tool development, graphics programming, and Unity! With over 100 published games, he’s worked on titles ranging from small arcade games, to mobile high fidelity GPU pushing titles, to massive networked social games. Nick has not only collected all the Unity certifications currently available, he’s also helped write content for upcoming Unity certifications. He is currently the CTO of Simbryo, and spends most of his time publishing tools on the Unity Asset Store, and extracting quality content from procedural algorithms.

Bartlomiej Waszak

Senior Software Engineer for Respawn Entertainment / EA

Summit: Education, Programming

Math for Game Programmers

Hosted by Bartlomiej Waszak, Senior Software Engineer for Respawn Entertainment / EA

9:00am – 3:00pm

Summit Description: 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 practical exercises in Unity Engine during the class.

Important Note:
To participate in exercises you need to bring your own laptop with Unity installed on it (minimum version 5.0).

A summary of the contents:
Part 1. “Floating-point numbers”. A general overview of the IEEE-754 standard. Good practices.
Part 2. “Vectors”. Distance, normalization. Scalar product. Vector projection. Cross product.
Part 3. “Interpolation”. Linear and spherical interpolation. Bezier curves.
Part 4. “Matrices”. A set of operations. Matrix as a transformation. Rotation matrix. Local and global space.
Part 5. “Quaternions”. A set of operations. Comparison with matrices. Rotation quaternions. 4D dot product.
Part 6. “Forward and inverse kinematics”. Skeletal animation. An example of inverse kinematics solution.

Learning Objectives:
– In-depth knowledge of math used in game programming.
– Better understanding through detailed analysis of several problems and solutions.
– Math presented with practical examples in popular game engines.
– Coding exercises with an assistance of the top industry expert.

Toiya Kristen Finley

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

Summit: Narrative Tutorial

Heather Albano

Freelance Narrative Designer and Game Writer

Summit: Narrative Tutorial

Track: Narrative

Beth Korth

Freelance Narrative Designer

Summit: Narrative Tutorial

Narrative Tutorial

Hosted by Toiya Kristen Finley, Schnoodle Media, Heather Albano, and Beth Korth

9:00am – 3:00pm

Summit Description: Branching narratives and player choices are hallmarks of engaging stories in games. Any game genre can use branching narrative, from AAA RPGs to indie roguelikes to visual novels on mobile. But designing and writing those narratives can be challenging. We want to give players great experiences they’ll want to replay, but we don’t want to go beyond our game’s scope or include so many choices and branches that we end up with an unwieldy mess. Additionally, we want player choices to feel truly consequential.

At this year’s Narrative Summit, join us as we explore:

  • best practices for plotting and outlining branching stories,
  • designing meaningful choices that are clear to the player,
  • creating consequences where the world reacts to those choices, and
  • best practices for scripting conditionals and variables.

Workshop exercises will follow each lecture. This summit is ideal for narrative designers, game writers, game designers, and anyone working on a game with branching narratives.

Led by: 

Toiya Kristen Finley: Nashville native Toiya Kristen Finley is a writer and editor. She holds a PhD in literature and creative writing from Binghamton University. With nearly 70 published works in fiction, nonfiction, comics/manga, and games, she has over 20 years of experience. In 2011, she co-founded the Game Writing Tutorial at GDC Online with Tobias Heussner and served as an instructor in 2011 and 2012.

In videogames, she has worked as a game designer, narrative designer, game writer, and editor (or some combination of the four) on several indie, social, and mobile games for children and general audiences (a lot of them unreleased), including Academagia: The Making of Mages (Black Chicken Studios), Fat Chicken (Relevant Games), Peregrin (Domino Digital Limited), and Verdant Skies (Howling Moon Software). Current projects include game design and narrative design for Digital Myths/ConductXR, an XR and VR start-up. She is currently a member of the IGDA Game Writing Special Interest Group’s Executive Board and teaches game writing and narrative design for the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. She co-authored The Game Narrative Toolbox (Focal Press) with Jennifer Brandes Hepler, Ann Lemay, and Tobias Heussner. Narrative Tactics for Mobile and Social Games: Pocket-Sized Storytelling (CRC Press) will be out in August 2018.

Heather Albano: Heather Albano likes telling stories. She divides her time between writing traditional fiction and making games, and finds the line between the two growing fuzzier all the time.

On the game design side, she has co-authored five titles released by Choice of Games, including the award-winning Choice of Broadsides and Choice of Zombies. Her first solo ChoiceScript game, A Study In Steampunk, was released in 2016. She was lead writer on Mission One of the critically-acclaimed interactive radio drama Codename Cygnus, released by EarPlay and now available on the Amazon Alexa, and an early narrative designer on the forthcoming World War II leadership RPG Burden of Command. She is currently working as a narrative designer on Rochester Institute of Technology’s “Steampunk Rochester” augmented reality project. She has presented on game design at GDC, ECGC, the Boston Festival of Indie Games, and at MIT and RIT game design classes. See more at

Beth Korth: Beth has a passion for games which is surpassed only by her passion to help people. Fully believing that games are for everyone, she is always looking for ways to encourage diversity in the game development community and support new and genre-busting games. She is a co-organizer for the Twin Cities Minnesota chapter of the International Game Developers Association and is the mastermind behind the Midwest Game Jam.

Beth served as Narrative Designer, Lead Writer, and Producer on the recently released Verdant Skies which has received positive reviews. She contributed to the dialogue for Behind the Scenes, a visual novel meant to encourage empathy in teens, for the 2016 Global Game Jam and iThrive Empathy Challenge. Beth also wrote the narrative for Echoes of Kai Anders, a neon noir visual novel for the 2017 Global Game Jam.

When she’s not making or playing games, Beth can be found reading her comic collection, watching movies, or thwarting evil in a Dungeons & Dragons campaign with her friends.

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