LSU Video Game Symposium
The Video Game Symposium is open to the public and free to attend. Come see 100+ years of combined knowledge in video game development!
10:00 - 11:30 am
Art Building 330
Finding Your Place in Digital Production: Games, Animation, VFX - Tad Leckman
Studios that create video games, animation and visual effects are full of artists, engineers, designers and producers. But they also employ editors, trainers, DBAs, social scientists, data analysts, archivists, writers, and managers. Roles that used to be unique to visual effects are now in demand by game developers. Tools that used to only be part of a game pipeline are now part of making tv animation. Figuring out where you might fit in requires you to know not only what you want to do, but also what the possible roles are, and what studios are even out there. Tad will discuss the current digital production landscape, immediate and upcoming needs across the industry, and even some opportunities that you didn’t know were out there.
12:30 - 1:30 pm
Art Building 330
Learning to See - Henry LaBounta
How do you know when a game looks good? It’s subjective, and your very first impression of whether you like the game or not is based on what it looks like. Making great looking games starts with developing a critical, discerning eye. In this presentation I share what my eyes have learned over the past 25+ years working in film visual effects, television, games and feature animation. By exercising your eyes and using the helpful tools and tips I present you can apply these same principles to make great game visuals.
1:45 - 3:00 pm
Art Building 330
The Next 10 - Mike Swanson
Game Art technology trends for the next 10 years.
Mike Swanson will share his opinions and experience on what Art technology trends will dominate the gaming industry over the next 10 years. The focus will be directed at High-end PC and VR technology.
3:15 - 4:45 pm
PFT 1124 A
Game Development for Large Teams - Jeff Skelton
Jeff Skelton is giving a brief talk and workshop. His talk will be multi-faceted. Come and hear about his career, the challenges of large AAA development teams, EA Frostbite, EASTL and a coding workshop. If you are interested in working for any large engineering firm or game company this talk is a must see. The workshop will entail some programming challenges for seniors who are up for CS students who are up for a gauge on where they stand professionally.
4:30 - 5:30 pm
5:00 - 6:00 pm
PFT 1124 A
Career Musings - Chris Taylor
You never know what to expect when Chris talks about his career and games he has worked on. Come listen to his adventures with game development that spans a career to is nearly 30 years in the making. Chris has been a designer, engineer, ran his own studios and has seen the industry from as many perspectives as a person can. Chris is not only a talented game developer but a terrific storyteller; this is a must see presentation
Friday, April 28
Friday is the day filled with industry titans and what's emerging right here in Baton Rouge. Want to crack into the video game industry? Here's your chance.
Chris Taylor is a driving force in the industry and has a strong point of view on the direction it is moving in. Chris is a video game designer and entrepreneur most famous for developing Total Annihilation and the Dungeon Siege series and for founding Gas Powered Games. Chris started in the video game industry in the late 1980s at Distinctive Software in Burnaby. His first game was Hardball II released in 1989.
Chris went on to develop Supreme Commander and Supreme Commander: Forged Forged Alliance. Chris moved to Wargaming.net in 2013. He has recently left the company and is now a self declared indie developer. We look forward to what Chris will be doing next and hope to hear more during Redstick.
Jeff Skelton comes from EA Vancouver, working in an incredible studio setting. Jeff is the Technical Director on the Frostbite team, EA's world-wide internal game engine. He has recently moved into a role in the CTO organization where he is EA's primary external point of contact for technology relations.
Mike Swanson has over 25 years’ experience in developing games, from touch-screen laserdisc golf in the late 80's to the latest VR content and everything in-between. Mike has had a hand in almost every game genre, game system and has held multiple roles at various publishers, independent developers and startups.
Now based in Southern California, Tad has been responsible for story development and art education at Blizzard Entertainment and Riot Games. Tad is currently a Research Fellow for the UC Santa Cruz Division of Arts.
After graduation, Tad’s diverse career has included time spent in both production and education. As a digital artist at Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light & Magic, Tad served as Production Manager and Pipeline Architect for the studio’s “Rebel Mac Unit” as well as supervising the creation and operation of ILM's previsualization team for both visual effects and feature animation.
Tad has taught at Academy of Art University, NYU’s Center for Advanced Digital Applications, and Savannah College of Art and Design where he also served as Chair of the Visual Effects BFA and MFA programs.
Tad returned to Lucasfilm as Director of Training at Lucasfilm Singapore, where he oversaw the creation of the Jedi Masters Program, which enabled the rapid expansion of the Clone Wars, ILM and LucasArts teams.
Tad’s credits include: Star Trek First Contact, Men in Black, Frankenstein (Unproduced Universal Digital Feature), Space Cowboys, Galaxy Quest, Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes, Terminator 3, Clone Wars, Rango, and cinematics for Diablo III, World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Hearthstone and Overwatch.
Academy Award nominee Henry LaBounta has over 25 years of entertainment experience in games, film visual effects, feature animation and television. Most recently at Zynga he held the position of Chief Visual Officer.
Henry began his career in New York doing animation work for commercials and network television before moving to film visual effects and feature animation. At PDI/DreamWorks Henry was Visual Effects Supervisor for the Steven Spielberg films “Minority Report” and “A.I.” as well as “Mission Impossible 2″ and “The Prince of Egypt”. At Industrial Light & Magic his film work included “Star Trek VII Generations”, “Casper” and “Twister” for which he won a BAFTA award and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.
amoeba.design established in Glasgow in 1995 as an independent creative design studio working with clients, specialising in digital design, direction, consultation for projects in print, screen, VR, AR, branding, live performance visuals and content, broadcast, publishing, music videos and reactive audio+visual installations.
amoeba is now based in Brighton, UK with clients in Europe, USA and Russia including: MTV, Sony UK+USA, MTV Asia, Playstation Network, Viacom, The Cartoon Network, Centropolis, Wall of Sounds Records, Channel 4, Princess Productions, Compost Records, BBC, Soma Records and Maverick Media.
Using her well-rounded film, animation, television and worldwide product distribution experience, she has produced, directed and written several short films and web series and is currently developing the The Rogue Initiative’s IP for VR, interactive, feature and television projects.
Peter Blumel is an established first-mover in VR, Blumel is an award-winning veteran producer of real-time, story-driven immersive entertainment with over 22 years of experience in feature film, animation and AAA interactive production.
With over 35 years experience as a musician, composer, producer, programmer, product developer and entrepreneur, Sessionwire Communications, Inc. President and CEO Robin Leboe has deep ties with the music and recording industry.
Rick Beaton is the Chief Technical Officer at Sessionwire. Rick is a seasoned technology executive, with an impressive record of leadership as an early contributor to MPEG and ITU Broadcast standards, founding successful startups and leading the technology organizations of both private and public companies.
Sid Brown is currently the Lead Engineer at inXile Entertainment. He has been working in the video game industry for over 12 years.
Sid left the company in 2012 to work for Virtual Heroes in Raleigh, NC to work in the serious games where he was made Lead Engineer for the team. At Virtual Heroes Sid hired engineers for training programs and simulation software for medical, military, and other private applications.
In 2015 Sid came back to inXile Entertainment to be the Lead Engineer for their newly opened New Orleans office to hire the new team that is developing their latest Kickstarter project, Bard’s Tale IV.
Matthew Hales is VP of Immersive Technology and a founding member of TurboSquid, the world's largest provider of 3D content. Drawing on over two decades of experience in stereoscopic 3D, Matthew now heads up TurboSquid's Virtual Reality Lab, focused on VR, AR, photogrammetry and other immersive technologies.
With a catalog of over 650,000 unique 3D products, TurboSquid is the world’s largest source for quality stock 3D content. TurboSquid’s community of over 2.5 million artists and customers come from every line of production, including movies, games, news, advertising, architecture, engineering, training and simulation, and defense.
TurboSquid’s VR Lab reviews the latest Virtual and Augmented Reality hardware and software in order to establish best methods and practices for the production and use of immersive 3D content.