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2009 Game Design Expo

Proclaimed a success.

For Immediate Release

February 10, 2009 – Vancouver, BC – Game Design Expo 2009 saw game industry professionals and enthusiasts from across North America converge in Vancouver, BC for a sold-out weekend of lively talks and panel discussions. The third annual expo – which has quickly cemented itself as a major event on the industry’s calendar – took place on February 7 and 8 at Vancity Theatre at the Vancouver International Film Centre, and at the Game Design campus of Vancouver Film School (VFS), Canada’s premier post-secondary entertainment arts institution.

Keynote speaker Clint Hocking, Creative Director at Ubisoft Montreal (Splinter Cell, Far Cry 2), gave the packed house an exhilarating start to Saturday’s Industry Speaker Day. His ambitious and provocative presentation, “The Next Generation of Player”, set the tone for the rest of the day’s exciting lineup, which also featured presentations by designers and producers from companies like 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? “Today, I’m not going to talk about the formal aspects of game design," he explained. "Today, I’m going to talk about the future of game design.”

Hocking’s keynote kicked off a day that ran the gamut from far-reaching explorations of how games are designed and played to behind-the-scenes looks at hit titles like Gears of War (Epic senior animator Scott Dossett) and Resistance 2 (Insomniac lead designer Drew Murray). A panel featuring a number of industry luminaries closed out the day, beginning as a discussion of Pre-Production, Prototyping, and Pitching, but hitting upon even more fascinating 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.

On the event’s 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. “It can be ridiculously hard but ridiculously rewarding,” concluded panelist and Electronic Arts game designer, Tara Mustapha.

This year’s event culminated in the exclusive announcement 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, Annex Pro, Obsidian Entertainment, and Radical Entertainment, were also revealed.

Visit gamedesignexpo.com in the coming days for a full wrap-up and photo highlights of this year’s event.

VFS is proud to partner with the following event sponsors in making Game Design Expo a hit in 2009: G4techTV, EA, Ubisoft, Annex Pro, Big Fish Games, Obsidian Entertainment, Radical Entertainment, The Georgia Straight, Biz Books, Vancouver ACM SIGGRAPH, Women in Games International, Vancouver, and TechVibes.

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 and 2009 weekends, Game Design Expo has played host to such industry luminaries as Don Daglow, Ron Gilbert, Eric Zimmerman, Clint Hocking, Ellen Guon Beeman, and Kelly Zmak, and creative leaders from companies like Bungie, Activision, EA, BioWare, LucasArts, and Crystal Dynamics/Eidos.


About Game Design at Vancouver Film School

Students in the one-year Game Design program at Vancouver Film School 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. In 2008, the Los Angeles Times identified VFS as one of the top 10 game schools “favored by video game industry recruiters” out of more than 200 other schools.


Vancouver Film School's faculty and Game Design 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


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