Preconference Summits

April 7th, 2020

ECGC 2020 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!

2020 Preconference Summit Presenters

Databases, Unity, and You*

* Computers are not provided; attendees should bring a laptop with Unity installed to receive the most value from this summit.

Leaders: Jere Miles, Randall McNeil

Time: 9:00am – 3:00pm

Description: In this summit we are going to explore the data back end of a game and how to implement a database system as well as construction of designer tools for editing data within Unity. Attendees should bring a laptop with the latest version of Unity installed to work along with us on the project that will be providing as we move beyond XML and text files and into the world of the database.

9:00 – 9:20 Introductions and distribution of the project that we will be working with. During this time we will make sure that the project is working on everyone’s laptop and do a quick look through of the current system: how it works and what we want to add to it as we move forward.

9:20 – 10:00 Database concepts. We will explore the underlying concepts of a modern database and how an RDBMS functions.

10:00 – 10:30 MySQL Setup. We will walk through installing and configuring MySQL so that we have an RDBMS installed on everyone’s laptop to use going forward. We will also explore the default editing tools provided with MySQL by constructing some tables and entering some data.

10:30 – 12:00 Unity integration. We will get our Unity project working with the new database. The way that player characters are currently being stored and retrieved by the game will be modified to function with the database instead.

12:00 – 1:00 Lunch

1:00 – 2:00 Designer Tools. It is now time to build tools that can be run by the game’s designers so that they can add to or edit information that is currently in the database.

2:00 – 3:00 Migrating from Local. Now that we have most aspects working, we are ready to consider the game beyond the local machine and will look at hosting options and the steps that may be needed to migrate from what we have to those systems.

This summit will also be presented with my partner Randall McNeil from Ashes Rise Entertainment and we are open to tweaks and suggestions to it prior to launch.

Simulation and Game Development Educational Summit

Leaders: Brad Swearingen, Marc Tucker

Time: 9:00am – 3:00pm

Description: Many Colleges across the nation already have, or are interested in creating, a curriculum program related to the Game Development industry. This full-day event will bring together Simulation and Game Development faculty and Industry Leaders to share their ideas, discuss issues, and examine what the future holds for education in the Entertainment Industry as it applies to Game Development.

We will hold round table discussions with Faculty and Industry leaders, discuss classroom best practices, and feature workshops for faculty interested in ways to teach topics effectively in online, hybrid, and fully online courses. Course topics will include best practices for delivering effective content for 3D Modeling, Animation, Engineering, Narrative Design, Sound Engineering, and Game Design.

Game Narrative Tutorial: Portfolios and Writing Tests

Leaders: Eddy Webb, Heather Albano, Toiya Kristen Finley

Time: 9:00am – 3:00pm

Description: Ever been excited to apply for a game writing/narrative design job, but you had absolutely no idea what portfolio samples to send? Have you taken a writing test, only to never receive feedback, so you don’t know how to improve or be ready for the next test?

This year’s Game Narrative Tutorial is all about two things that frustrate even veteran writers: portfolios and writing tests! We’ll look at how to demystify job descriptions, what types of samples you should include in a portfolio, and what employers/clients are looking for in tests and portfolios.

Eddy Web - 2020 ECGC speaker
Eddy Webb

Eddy Webb

Owner, Pugsteady

Paper Design: Learning video game narrative from tabletop RPGs

Game Narrative Tutorial: Portfolios and Writing Tests Summit

Toiya Kristen Finley and her dog Cleo - 2020 ECGC speaker
Toiya Kristen Finley

Toiya Kristen Finley

Game Designer, Narrative Designer, Game Writer, and Editor

Game Narrative Tutorial: Portfolios and Writing Tests Summit

The ECGC “Come One, Come All” Narrative Hootenanny

Presenting At Conferences: It’s Networking, Too!

Math for Game Programmers *

* Computers are not provided; attendees should bring a laptop with Unity (minimum version 5.0) installed to receive the most value from this summit.

Leaders: Bartlomiej Waszak

Time: 9:00am – 3:00pm

Description: This tutorial will explain the details of the most frequently used math objects in video game programming. Topics will cover the basic and advanced parts of math. There will be many 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 the Unity Engine during the class.

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. A 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 an inverse kinematics solution.

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

Indie Summit *

* Computers are not provided; attendees should bring a laptop to receive the most value from this summit.

Leaders: Dr. Farhad JavidiEvy KollstrandNick Klingensmith

Time: 9:00am – 3:00pm

Description: Mixed Reality is a huge new opportunity for budding developers, as an industry expected to reach nearly $600 billion within the next five years. This summit will focus on Mixed Reality technologies to help indie developers build a solid foundation for entering this rapidly growing market. Participants will be introduced to StereoKit, an open source, cross-platform Mixed Reality library for C#, based on OpenXR. It is optimized for mobile MR hardware, and is designed to be easy to learn, yet provide a production ready environment for developers to build real software with.

StereoKit is inspired by tools like XNA, Dear ImGui, and Processing. It provides an extremely simple interface over graphics, physics, UI, and other functionality needed to make an MR application. You don’t need a game engine to build an app, nor should you need to become a graphics programmer to get your models onto a headset. All you need is an easy way to build a UI, and design interactions, and StereoKit does just that. A single line of code can accomplish a pressable UI button, load a .gltf model, play a sound and plenty more!