Skip to main content
If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

2009 Game Design Expo

Follow-up to this year's event in Vancouver to be staged in February.

For Immediate Release

November 18, 2008 – Vancouver, BC – Building upon the sold-out 2008 event, the third-annual Game Design Expo, hosted by Vancouver Film School (VFS), Canada’s premier post-secondary entertainment arts institution, is shaping up to be even bigger and better. Set for February 7 and 8, 2009 at the Vancity Theater at the Vancouver International Film Centre, the weekend will be headlined by Clint Hocking, Creative Director at Ubisoft Montreal (Splinter Cell, Far Cry 2), a popular speaker at industry events, and will feature an exciting lineup of talks and panels with the leading minds in game design.

The event begins with Industry Speaker Day on Saturday, February 7, aimed at game industry professionals and enthusiasts alike. Hocking's keynote will pave the way for presentations by designers and producers from top companies like Epic, Insomniac, Radical, and Relic. An industry panel with panelists from EA, Obsidian, Propaganda, and more will round out the day.

Tickets to Industry Speaker Day are CDN $75 for the full day and are expected to sell out quickly when they go on sale November 18, 2008. For ticket purchases and the latest information and schedule, visit

The second day of the Expo, Sunday February 8, will see VFS open the doors to its Game Design Campus for a free, day-long Open House. Sunday’s program is a hands-on look at the acclaimed one-year program at VFS, providing visitors the opportunity to test-drive student- and alumni-created games, take sample classes, and meet faculty and students.

In an event first, the 2009 Game Design Open House will host a special Women in Games panel which coincides with the launch of the inaugural Women in Games $30,000 scholarship to VFS. Other scholarship opportunities will be announced at the Open House as well. Also for the first time, the Open House will include exclusive presentations by representatives from LucasArts, Big Fish Games and Vicarious Visions, giving attendees fascinating insight into the industry from the frontlines.

Those interested are strongly encouraged to register early for the Open House before it fills. Event details and registration are available at

Game Design Industry Speaker Day

Saturday, February 7, 2009, 9am-6:30pm

Vancity Theatre

1181 Seymour St.

Vancouver, BC

VFS Game Design Open House

Sunday, February 8, 2009, 9am-5pm

Vancouver Film School

390 West Hastings St.

Vancouver, BC

VFS is proud to partner with the following event sponsors to realize the annual Game Design Expo 2009: G4techTV, EA, Ubisoft, Annex Pro, Big Fish Games, Obsidian Entertainment, Radical Entertainment, The Georgia Straight, Bizbooks, and Vancouver Siggraph.

- 30 -

Game Design Expo 2009 Speaker Schedule

Day 1: Industry Speaker Day - Saturday, February 7, 2009

Clint Hocking Creative Director, Ubisoft

Matt Searcy Lead Designer, Nexon Publishing North America

Scott Dossett Senior Animator, Epic Games

Ellen Beeman Lead Producer, Microsoft Game Studios

Drew Murray Lead Designer, Insomniac Games

Kelly Zmak President, Radical Entertainment


Rory Armes (Electronic Arts), Chris Avellone (Obsidian Entertainment), Clint Hocking (Ubisoft), Josh Holmes (Propaganda Games), Wil Mozell (BigPark), Tarrnie Williams (Relic Entertainment) and Moderator: Victor Lucas (Creator/Executive Producer/Host, Electric Playground, Greedy Productions Ltd).

Day 2: Game Design Open House - Sunday February 8, 2009

Industry Presenters

Matt Manuel VP of Production Operations, LucasArts

Nick Newhard Lead Designer/Producer

Jake Birkett Lead Programmer/Designer, Big Fish Games

Brandon Van Slyke Game Designer, Vicarious Visions

Women in Games Panelists

Brenday Bailey (Deep Fried Entertainment), Krissie Franco (Hydrogen Whiskey Studios), Tara Mustapha (Electronic Arts), Susannah Skerl (Hothead Games) and Moderator: Noelle Hunt Bennett (Creative Talent Recruiter, Big Fish Games).

About Game Design Expo

Game Design Expo is an annual event for game industry professionals and enthusiasts hosted by Vancouver Film School’s Game Design program. Since the inaugural event in 2007 and continuing through the sold-out 2008 weekend, Game Design Expo has played host to such industry luminaries as Don Daglow, Ron Gilbert, and Eric Zimmerman, and creative leaders from companies like Bungie, Activision, EA, BioWare, and Crystal Dynamics/Eidos.

About Game Design at Vancouver Film School

Vancouver Film School, founded in 1987, offers a proven education for everything in the entertainment industry. With 13 production-oriented programs and a unique one-year education model, VFS prepares students to join the creative economy. Students in the one-year Game Design program train to be part of any video game development team by learning all aspects of game design, from visual storytelling to level design principles to the production process, ultimately creating playable games themselves.

Our professional faculty and expo speakers are available for print, television and radio interviews upon request. For more information, please contact:

Thuy Khuc, Public Relations Coordinator

Vancouver Film School

+1 (604) 631.3563 or toll free in North America 1 800 661 4101


Read this next avatar GamesIndustry International is the world's leading games industry website, incorporating and