Jay Inslee, the Governor of Washington State, will deliver the opening address at Casual Connect USA next month, kickstarting a programme that brings together the leading names in VR and indie development.
Inslee will welcome the Casual Connect conference to Seattle, its return to the city after four years in San Francisco. He will then hand over to Robert Glaser, the founder and CEO of the pioneering internet company Real Networks, who will deliver a keynote speech reflecting on his 40 year career.
Among the schedule's highlights are a fireside chat with Studio Wildcard's Jesse Rapczak, who will discuss the success - and looming retail release - of Ark: Survival Evolved with Chris Taylor, the revered creator of Total Annihilation and Supreme Commander. Roblox founder and CEO David Baszucki will also take part in a fireside chat, in which he will detail Roblox's journey from small beginnings to become a platform that now pays out $30 million a year to its creators.
Studio Wildcard and Roblox are technically independent studios, but the indie scene as it's commonly understood will be a recurrent theme throughout Casual Connect's three day schedule. Baiyon, the creative force at Q-Games, will talk about the PixelJunk studio's attempts to fuse the real and the digital with its new game, Eden Obscura. Elsewhere, a panel titled "The Autumn of Indie Games" will unite Spry Fox's Daniel Cook, Caledonia's Nels Anderson and Funomena's Robin Hunicke, with Xbox veteran Ed Fries on moderating duties.
Another major theme is virtual reality, with companies like Survios, Against Gravity and Skydance Interactive all imparting valuable lessons. Jason Holtman, head of publishing at Oculus, will also give a full appraisal of the current market in his talk, "State of VR Content in 2017.
Casual Connect USA will take place at Seattle's Benaroya Hall from August 1 to 3. For the full schedule and more information on the event, follow the link.
GamesIndustry.biz is a media partner of Casual Connect USA. We will be attending and covering the show, with assistance from the organiser.