Game Design Expo 2013 Vancouver examines transformation

Vancouver’s game development industry has shown as much change as the video game industry as a whole. Therefore, it’s important for forums like Vancouver’s seventh annual Game Design Expo to discuss topics such as the scene’s shift towards mobile, social and indie development. It will also focus on the growth of console game development with a panel of developers from 343 Industries, makers of Halo 4.

The Industry Speaker Day takes place at the Vancouver International Film Centre on January 19th. It will host a number of speakers including, Alexandre Mandryka, game design veteran turned design consultant who will discuss the transformation of the market from core gamers to social gamers. Clive Downie, CEO of ngMoco, will then discuss how to harness the power of Mobile in an age where an indie developer can reach the masses. This is most interesting to me because it takes place in a time where technology is transitioning to untraditional platforms like smart phones and tablets with touch screens and mobile internet connectivity. Patrick Ploude, a Creative Director at Ubisoft who has worked on numerous triple-A action games explores where he thinks the growth of providing players a rewarding gaming experiences will be found in games to come.

Chris Haluke, the Lead Designer of the hit game, Halo 4 will discuss how 343 Studios innovated on the classic, sci-fi, first person shooter with cooperative episodic content. These are multiplayer adventures that you can periodically download to play in a new cooperative game mode called Spartan Ops. Later that afternoon, Chris will also moderate a panel of Halo 4 developers who will discuss aspects of the story telling and sound design of the game.

Further into the day, we will meet Richard Rouse III, Senior Game Designer from Microsoft Gaming Studios, who will speak about the design of meaningful gameplay and gameplay systems. He will examine the process of collaborating with various skill sets of development (art, coding, design, sound) and he will draw upon game examples like XCOM, Portal and Far Cry to demonstrate methods of engaging players.

Since the GDE traditionally draws large numbers of wide eyed, aspiring game design students, the Vancouver Film School Game Design Program will hold their annual Open House the next day. Visitors of the free tour can meet past grads, sit in on example classes, try student made games and meet advisors of the internationally respected program.

There is still so much more happening that day. For full information on the various speakers and their topics, how you can get your ticket or info on the VFS Open House please visit: