Vancouver, BC - Hundreds of game industry professionals and enthusiasts from across North America attended the sold-out Game Design Expo 2009, which took place at Vancity Theatre at the Vancouver International Film Centre and at the Game Design campus of Vancouver Film School (VFS).
Keynote speaker Clint Hocking, creative director at Ubisoft Montreal, started off the Industry Speaker Day. His ambitious and provocative presentation, "The Next Generation of Player," set the tone for the rest of the day's lineup, which featured presentations by designers and producers from companies such as Epic, Insomniac, Microsoft, and Radical. Hocking led the audience through a rapid-fire rundown of game console history, up to an impending "massive demographic shift" in 2015, and asked the question that should be on every game designer's mind: "Who is Generation Y, and why should we care?"
A panel of industry luminaries closed out the day, beginning as a discussion of Pre-Production, Prototyping, and Pitching, but hitting upon various topics, as moderator Victor Lucas (Electric Playground) led the group through a wide-ranging and spirited discussion on sequels, the future of the industry, and the economy's impact on game development, says a representative.
On the second day, VFS's Game Design campus opened its doors to more than 400 registrants in a free, day-long Open House. Aspiring game designers and their families were treated to a hands-on slate of sample classes, interactive gameplay, and exclusive industry presentations. A Women in Games panel was an especially big draw, as it delved into one of the biggest challenges facing the industry today. The panel members were enthusiastic about the continued increase in the number of women working in the game industry, and discussed what they enjoyed most about their game careers.
This year's event culminated with the reveal of Vancouver Film School's first-ever $30,000 Women in Games Scholarship, which covers one aspiring female game designer's full tuition to VFS's acclaimed one-year Game Design program. Details on six other scholarships, ranging in value from $2,500 to $7,000 and sponsored by G4techTV, EA, Big Fish Games, AnnexPro, Obsidian Entertainment, and Radical Entertainment, were also revealed.