Speakers / Sessions:

In alphabetical order by Speakers first name.  Associated track in [braces] after Talk Title. The targeted understanding / skill level (i.e. Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced) for each talk is listed after the talk description. Click here to go to Speaker Bios.

NOTE: subject to changes.


Charlie Mauck / Luminescent Brain Shrimp

"Fruitful Games: Deliberate Excellence and Success"    [Business]

Making a game is harder than it looks.  Making a really great game is even harder, and involves coordinating many different components across many disciplines, and a lot of work that doesn’t look a lot like game-making.  Without focus, we can create a disjoint, un-engaging game experience. But there are also teams making consistently good games.

For this talk we’re going to cover the underlying and overarching principles that should drive the whole of our game-making process, from the conception of an idea, through the design, development, and marketing of the game.  To overcome the odds of competition, cognitive bias, and un-engaging gameplay, we’re going to talk about the intentional, sometimes counterintuitive, steps that we can take to put the odds back in our favor.

(Beginning) Thurs 1:00p to 4:00p, Cafeteria


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Cheryl Gress / Christ Centered Gamer

" What Reviewers are Looking for in the Games they Critique [Business]

Christ Centered Gamer breaks down games on various levels and issues two scores for each game reviewed.  One score focuses on the gameplay and the other deals with the family friendliness.  If you want to know how to get your game to score well on our site and other review outlets, come and listen to Cheryl Gress, Editor-In-Chief, at ChristCenteredGamer.com and author of over 1,500 reviews.

(Beginner) Friday 10:30a to 11:45a, Classroom L101


Chris Skaggs / Soma Games

Redemptive Entrepreneurship   [Business]

Indie game developers are all entrepreneurs by definition and operating in a sector that knows practically nothing about faith, Christ, or the kingdom of heaven. It’s easy to feel embattled and defensive in such a position but what if there was a different way? As the founder and COO of Soma Games Chris talks about the sometimes fuzzy lines between foolish, functional, and truly redemptive ethos and practices in the world where many say a business’ culture is the most effective way to shape general culture.

(Beginner)  Saturday 10:30a to 11:45a, Library L101 


Danny Danciu / the Bible Project

" Story Telling in VR "    [Design / Programming]

Co-presenting with Jon Dobson.

Includes an introduction of the Bible Project, a showcase of 4 of our videos, and discussion of the artistic style behind each one. The videos will include: How to Read the Bible, a Word Study, a Read Scripture, and Luke Ch 19-23 where we showcase the art style that we've been developing our VR program around. Next, we will discuss what we are currently experimenting on with VR and what we're expecting to do in the future.

(Beginner) Thursday 4:15p to 5:15p, Cafeteria


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David Reyes / Immersive Experience Studios

" Getting the Best Spatial Audio for your next VR/AR Game or Experience "    [Design / Programming]

Spatial Audio will deliver the next level of immersion for VR/AR Games and Experiences.  For developers actively working in this space, no single resource exists that equips them with the information they need to quickly ramp up on the trends, history, theory and technology options in this rapidly expanding space. 

The intent of this session is to fill that gap.  Topics include:

  • The theory behind spatial audio  – ambisonics, psychoacoustics, etc.
  • Rules of thumb to guide creative and technical decisions
  • Trends and areas of opportunity in VR/AR Cinema, Games, Corporate and Training

(Intermediate) Friday 10:30a to 11:45a, Library L109


Jessica Newby / Heromedia.Pro

"Managing your Audience with Imagery"   [Art / Story]

This session will show you great tips and tricks on how to achieve the designs you want, and choose the best style for your game.  Video games use the same design principles as all other art design...its just moving.  You will learn how to identify design elements quickly and know if your design is successful.  Setting the mood of a game and its characters using purposeful design dynamics can really make generic game mechanics POP.  We will talk about color, shape, line quality, movement and bringing it all together to get the reactions from your viewers that you are looking for.

(Beginner) Saturday 10:30a to 11:45a, Library L110


Jon Dobson / the Bible Project

" Story Telling in VR "    [Design / Programming]

Co-presenting with Danny Danciu.

Includes an introduction of the Bible Project, a showcase of 4 of our videos, and discussion of the artistic style behind each one.  The videos will include: How to Read the Bible, a Word Study, a Read Scripture, and Luke Ch 19-23 where we showcase the art style that we've been developing our VR program around.  Next, we will discuss what  we are currently experimenting on with VR and what we're expecting to do in the future.

(Beginner) Thursday 4:15p to 5:15p, Cafeteria


Jonathan Hogins / Unity Technologies

"Exploring the Latest in AR and VR in Unity"    [Design / Programming]

We'll go hands-on with two preview packages in active development at Unity designed to help you build AR and VR experiences quicker than ever.  We will explore the AR Foundation and XR Interaction packages in a real project, showing how to use its features and components and leaving you with a working example you can use as a start for your own project.

(Intermediate) Friday 1:15p to 2:30p, Library L109


Laurene Wells / Heaven's Blessings Tiny Zoo

"Finding Your WHY : Game Design and Purpose"    [Design / Programming]

You know why you make games.  Do you know "Why this game" though? Come find out! 
This presentation will start with a talk, but if time and interest allows, may transition to a workshop.  Bring your game idea!

(Beginner) Saturday 9:00a to 10:15a, Library L109


Matthew Colón / Adobe Systems

" Project Management 101 "   [Business]

Have you ever felt that shipping a game is an endeavor too large to ever complete?  Do you struggle with making steady progress, or go through periods of passionate development followed by feeling burned out?  Do you want to move from casual game development to purposeful game development?  If so, join me in a crash course on project management for solo developers and teams, teaching how to sustain your passion, motivation, and energy by "eating the frog" and how to use the agile software development process and tools to create a plan for consistent progress.  You will leave this talk with frameworks and tools to help you put the "development" in your game development.

(Beginner)  Saturday 9:00a to 10:15a,  Library L101


 

Michael Herrera / Break Ground Game Studio

"Year in Review 2017 - 2018"   [Inspirational]

For the fourth year in a row, Michael will provide updates and analysis of what's occurring in the Christian game space with information about the organization that is CGDC as well as games announced, released, and continuing since last year's conference. 

The Year in Review has been judged "Very Inspiring and Encouraging" by past attendees!

(Beginner)  Thursday 10:00a to 11:45a, Library L101


Rich Tanner / Abilene Christian University

" Game Development in Christian Higher Education"   [Design / Programming]

Find out how a small Christian University in West Texas is preparing students for careers in Game Development and Cinematics through their Digital Entertainment Technology degree program.  We will review the software and skills taught in the classroom and see examples of student work.  Professor Tanner would also welcome open discussion on the technical aspects of training for game development and the integration of Christian faith into the digital design process.  There may or may not be a pop-quiz following the discussion.

(Beginner)  Saturday 10:30a to 11:45a, Library L109   


Samantha Riff / Soma Games

" Ink Basics for Game Design"    [Art / Story]

This talk is a beginner's introduction to the free writing tool Ink by Inkle.  It aims to teach the fundamentals of using ink, best practices and organizational tips, and brush on Unity Integration.

(Beginner) Friday 10:30a to 11:45a, Library L110


Sarah Tan / Against Gravity

" Locomotion in VR: Designing Movement That Doesn't Make People Sick"    [Design]

Virtual Reality (VR) has gained immense popularity over the past couple of years, and many game developers are raring to create their own VR experience.  But room-scale VR comes with its own set of design challenges, the biggest of which involves virtual movement of the user's avatar.  How do you design locomotion which doesn't make people sick and satisfies users across the sensitivity spectrum of VR sickness?  In this session, Sarah starts off with the science behind VR sickness, before diving into the most commonly used forms of locomotion.  Expect a myriad of examples, both from existing VR games, as well as Sarah's own experience.  Attendees of this talk will come away with a solid understanding of the design principals behind VR locomotion, each of their pros and cons, as well as industry best practices.

(Intermediate) Friday 9:15a to 10:30a, Library L109


Scott Bjerk / White Fortress

"Why Your Unpublished Game Matters (And Why You Should Publish It)"    [Business]

Be encouraged as a struggling game developer to know and understand the importance of the work you are doing.  We will talk about the vast sea of games out there, how easy it is to get lost and discouraged with your own game development and why your efforts are important even if they seem to have little to no impact.  Then be further encouraged to make further impact by publishing and what it takes to get there.  A look at the potential audience you have and how to go about making a impact.

(Beginner) Saturday 9:15a to 10:30a, Library L110


Thomas Henshell / Defiance Game Studio

"Building and Maintaining a Fanbase: Best Practices and Lessons Learned"  [Business]

They say it’s never too early to start marketing your game.  But how do you build a fanbase?  Once you have them, what do you do with them?  What if, heaven forbid, development takes longer than expected?  In this talk we investigate several paths to fan acquisition, feeding and maintaining the fanbase, and how to grow a vibrant community around your game.  Lessons come from experience with Archmage Rises, Redwall, and analysis of AAA studios.  Attendees will discover one concept that is, itself, worth over $1 million.

(Beginner) Friday 9:15a to 10:30a, Library L101


Panels:

 

"Working from Rest Panel" [Inspirational]

Moderated by Chera Meredith of So Peculiar, this panel will focus less on what we do as designers and more on how we do it.  Whether game development is a hobby, a career, or a calling, God has given us a model for how to do our work.  We'll talk about how God shows us this model in scripture, how it differs from other world views, and some tools for applying it to our work in game development.  We will offer some time for prayer and ministry as well.

Expected panelists include Ryan and Amy Green of Numinous Games.

(Beginner)  Friday 1:15p to 2:30p, Library L101


 

"Voice Acting Panel" [Art / Story]

Moderated by  professional film and voice actor Stephen Weese, this group will begin the first half with a review of voice over concepts with comments from Katie Leigh and Dave Deandrea. Katie Leigh is the voice of  Connie from Adventures in Odyssey. The second half will be reserved  for questions and other topics.  We will talk about the Exodus Adventure game which I did voices acting for Phil Conrod and Kris Murray over the last year.  We will examine sample voices and compare it to samples the panelists voice. 

Expected panelists include Katie Leigh of KatieLeigh.com and Dave DeAndrea of DaveDeandrea.com

(Beginner)  Saturday 1:15p to 2:30p, Library L101


 

"Work / Life Balance Panel" [Inspirational]

Moderated by Peter Venoit of Lightheart Labs, this group will discuss some tips/habits you and (if applicable) your spouse employ in order to honor God and each other, while working to further your craft and make a living.

Expected panelists include Emily Venoit, Neil Sauvageau of Pixelight Games, and Joel Carlson of Salvation's Story LLC.

(Beginner)  Saturday 1:15p to 2:30p, Library L110


 

"Unity Development Panel" [Design / Programming]

Moderated by  Brock Henderson of Numinous Games, this group will discuss the latest in Unity developments as well as field questions from the audience.

Expected panelists include Nic Biondi of Soulareus Interactive and Jon Collins of Kaio Interactive.

(Intermediate)  Saturday 1:15p to 2:30p, Library L109


 

"Challenges and Opportunities in International Game Development Panel" [Business]

Moderated by  Phil Conrod of BibleByte Games, this group will discuss the challenges and opportunities of outsourcing internationally as well as developing in international spaces.

Expected panelists include Amin Josua and Jonathan Hess, both of Lightword Productions, Henry Olson of Pixelight Games, and Seth Crofton, independent consultant.

(Beginner)  Friday 1:15p to 2:30p, Library L110


2018 CGDC Games Cup

Jii Vasquez / Nintendo Technology Development Inc

"2018 CGDC Games Cup"

Jii will be hosting the popular contest where you show your games skills, knowledge and possibly risk embarrassment to vie for the top-scoring team.  Arguably more fun for the spectators!  Join in regardless of your role.  Great fun for all ages!

(Beginner) Friday beginning at 7:30p, Cafeteria / Expo Hall

Speaker Bios:

Click here to go to Session Descriptions


Amy Green was a contributing writer, narrative designer and voice actor for That Dragon, Cancer, a video game created about her son Joel’s battle with cancer.  She continues to work for Numinous Games as a writer and game designer on the studio's current projects.  In addition to her work in the video game industry, she is a freelance writer, speaker, and the proud mother of four children in addition to Joel.

Brock Henderson is lead programmer at Numinous Games. Before joining Numinous, he co-founded the mobile game studio Elevate Entertainment and the design firm Paper Tower, where he served as creative director.

Charlie Mauck has been following the game industry, and game design specifically, for more than twenty years. During that time, he has designed dozens of game ideas, as well has been involved in a consulting capacity with several game companies. This has included: Story Creation and Game Design, Game Industry and Target Market Analysis, 3D Engine Selection and Add-in Recommendations, and Alpha/Beta Testing.
Charlie is President of the Christian Game Developers Conference - performing as facilities and expo coordinator at the conferences since 2004, and has spoken on topics including interactive storytelling, speed game competitions, and what makes games fun.

Chera Meredith is new to the world of game development.  She grew up in Middle Tennessee and moved all the way to East Tennessee where she now lives with her husband and two young boys.  Graduating from Auburn University with a degree in Psychology, Chera was a stay-at-home mom for five years prior to Googling "how to make a video game."  With lots of work and big thanks to some amazing folks in the CGDC community (and YouTube), she's in production on her first project, expected to release late in 2019.  Her desire is to create games for kids that are both fun and meaningful.

Cheryl Gress has been playing video games on console since the Atari 2600 and on computers since the Commodore 64.  She appreciate all kinds of games including virtual reality (as long as they don’t give me motion sickness!), platformers, rhythm, strategy, and First Person Shooters.  If there is an option to disable blood and language, she’ll activate it.  She doesn’t like games that promote political, sexual, or anti-Christian themes in them either.  She also shy's away from Mature or Teen games, and instead loves playing games that the whole family can enjoy.  Along with her husband, Jason, she has three children (two girls and a boy) and was married in 1999.  She started her ministry shortly afterwards when both were convicted not to waste money nor play a certain video game anymore.  This game contained occult rituals that were required in order to use magic.  After discovering that there were little to no resources that let concerned Christians and parents know about objectionable content that can be found in games, Cheryl and her husband decided to start Christ Centered Gamer (CCGR).  It’s been going strong and has been continually blessing ever since!  In 2015, CCGR became a 501 (c)3 non-profit.

Chris Skaggs  is an 18 year veteran of the web and mobile software industry.  The founder and CEO of both Code-Monkeys and Soma Games LLC.  Chris has delivered software applications to some of the country’s most discerning clients such as Intel, Four Seasons, Comcast, MGM and Aruba Networks.  In addition to corporate customers, Code-Monkeys and Soma Games have programmed many casual and mid-core games for iPhone, iPad, Android, and Mac/PC platforms.  A Black Belt in Intel’s Software Developer Network, Chris also writes and speaks on topics surrounding the rapidly changing mobile application environment at venues like GDC Next, CGDC, Casual Connect, TechStart, Serious Play, and AppUp Elements.  Soma Games acquired the rights to produce games based on the wildly popular Redwall series of books.

Dave DeAndrea is an award-winning voice actor with hand (or would that be lip?) in several elements of advertising and entertainment, including National and International commercials, motion comics, video games and apps, and many more.  He was once listed as one of the Top 20 Video Game Voices of ALL Time on iMDB (although he's pretty sure that was an error on their part... but still).  Dave worked in Christian Radio for much of his time as a DJ before moving to Voice Overs full-time.

He and his wife have been married for 25 years and have 4 children and 2 son-in-laws.  The kids all got their looks and talent from Dave, because his wife still has hers.  

Dave serves as an Elder at Riverview Christian Fellowship in Coos Bay, Oregon.

Danny Danciu is a Portland native and graduated from Portland State University with a B.S. in Marketing & Advertising. He was a Bible Project fanboy well before he accepted a role on the Audience Engagement Team with the Bible Project. He manages all Social Media and digital media publishing and makes sure all content is available in every Bible Project digital medium. When he's not working, he can be seen chasing around his two toddlers Millie and Damian.

David Reyes is a Producer, Composer and Sound Designer based in Boise Idaho.  He has composed music for Fortune 500 companies, PBS and live theater.  His core belief is that VR/AR, Social Media and Mobile devices are vehicles for expanding the Kingdom of Heaven.  His goal is to produce AAA VR/AR games and experiences.  His latest project is a Spatial Audio Master Class August 18 and 19 in Santa Barbara, CA featuring Alan Parsons.  When he is not devoting time to his wife and daughters or working in his studio, he can be found running the Boise foothills - trolling YouTube for the latest in Spatial Audio, VR/AR and Entrepreneurship. 

Jessica Newby is an Artist with 27 years of professional experience in Broadcast Television, Cable, Animation, Branding, Marketing, Website Development, and Illustration.  Her desire is to create video games that people like and apps that solve problems.  She is a successful entrepreneur with several businesses.  She has one published game in Google Play called Wordracer by Heromedia.Pro.  Currently, she is working on games for blind people to play and other fun games for mobile devices.  She is married to Chris and has two sons, Austin and Jacob.  Her degree is a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Electronic Imaging from Northern Michigan University (computer animation, graphics, video, multimedia etc)

Jii Vasquez is in the Product Development group at Nintendo, where he works with internal teams and 3rd party companies to get products working, shipped, and updated. He also works on improving software tools and designing new product prototypes. He also does brand ambassador and performance work for Nintendo's media events, and he loves his job.

Jii holds a B.S. in Real-Time Interactive Simulation with a minor in Computer Engineering at DigiPen, where he co-developed a handheld game system, and a classroom was named after it. He also held a pretty low GPA. He is published in the book Game AI Pro, and is completing his M.S. in Computer Science with a focus in AI for games.

Jii lives in the Seattle eastside with his lovable pup, Connor, and some gold-hearted friends. He loves dancing, nature walks, and home-grown veggies. He is a dance fitness instructor licensed for Zumba and Zumba Kids, and he's held staff positions at multiple churches. Jii finds that game development offers a unique way of appreciating and understanding God's creation work. He is passionate about edification, and encouraging craftsmanship in the game industry.

After testing the water in the United Kingdom with a number of successful educational games and utilities, Jon Collins subsequently started Kaio Interactive in 2010.  Located in Washington, close to a great many strategic partners, Kaio continues to develop cutting-edge games using the latest VR, AR, mobile and console platforms.  All the while fostering strong partnerships with other indies, often
providing technical expertise and outsourced resources.  Jon is also one of our CGDC Board Members.

Jon Dobson  is Director of Studio Technology at The Bible Project.  He's spent the last 25 years in the animation and visual effects industry where he worked on several feature films, Disney theme park attractions, and TV series/commercials.  Prior to joining The Bible Project, Jon was a senior technical director at Laika Studios. 

Jonathan Hogins is a software engineer and project facilitator who loves helping people achieve their dreams.  As Tech Lead of the Code Fitness team and in-house engine guru for the VR group at Unity Technologies, he facilitates API design, helps set coding standards, and builds tools for writing C# code in Unity.  He is also a member of the .NET Standard review board. Prior to Unity, Jon worked in computer vision, app engine development, and AR.  Outside of work, he teaches and does music at church, fathers two boys, and plays various games.

Katie  Leigh is a popular and talented voiceover veteran.  She is beloved as Connie Kendall in the world’s longest running international radio drama, Adventures in Odyssey.  Other roles she's played include Baby Rowlf in the Emmy Award-Winning Jim Henson's Muppet Babies cartoon series, Honker Muddlefoot in Darkwing Duck, Sheila the Thief in Dungeons and Dragons, Richie in Richie Rich, Sunni Gummi of Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears, Alex in Totally Spies and young Han Solo for Lego Star Wars: Padawan Menace, and many others.

She also has decades of experience in every form of Voiceover from toys, to games to radio, to e-learning, specializing in boys and girls voices and many foreign accents.  With a state-of-the-art studio, she is ready to connect via every form of patching to yours usually with as little as 12 hours notice. 

Laurene Wells is in attendance with three of her children this year, Rivan Wells 22, Zephan Wells 20, and Kaiya wells 16 (turning 17), while her husband is working in Wilsonville this week.  We are grateful to all the people who helped us get here and especially to the Lord for performing a series of miracles to make our attendance possible at a time when we didn't think we would be able to come.  Laurene is leader of an entirely volunteer game development team and the company, Heaven's Blessings Tiny Zoo, LLC. founded in Oregon.  Her flagship project is Visions, a Christian MMORPG set in the ancient Roman empire. HBTZ is also working on several other smaller projects including Dragons of Yahira, Prayer Battle, VR Vacation, Cosmetry, and some other unannounced projects.  Anyone interested can see what else she does on her personal website at http://LaureneWells.com or her company website at http://tinyzoo.com

Her family currently lives on 2.6 acres in Nampa, Idaho with 5 cats, a dog, a leopard gecko, 3 white chinese geese, 11 common ducks, 3 muscovy ducks, 2 alpacas (1 huacaya and 1 suri), 6 angora goats, and an excessive number of chickens.  Laurene and her family are currently seeking to move back to Oregon where there is 21st century technology, high-speed internet, and a more comfortable climate.  Life has not gone anywhere nearly as planned the last two years and her team has experienced many setbacks and delays, but we press on and look forward to better days and improved success.  Thank you for your support!  God bless you.

Matt Colón is a software developer who has had a passion for video games from a young age, and he soon desired to develop games of his own.  Despite feeling called to this by God in college, his direction became unclear after hearing first hand about the crunch culture of the gaming industry and the effect it has on marriages.  It was not until Minecraft opened his eyes to the viability of small indie teams and digital distribution that he fully understood where God would be leading him someday.  While taking steps towards his calling, Matt leads Men on the Hill, the men's ministry at his church, is enjoying marriage with his wonderful wife, Katie, and raising his three children to be the next generation of gamers.

Michael Herrera was born in Anaheim, California next to Disneyland, which he always maintains was a sign that he belonged in the entertainment industry.  His interest in video games began during his childhood, just as video games were emerging as a popular new form of entertainment; his first video game was the original King’s Quest by Sierra Online. 

Prior to entering the game industry, Michael obtained a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies at the University of Maine Fort Kent.  Almost a decade later, Michael obtained a second degree (Bachelor of Art) in Game Design at Collins College and thereafter moved to the Seattle area to pursue working in the game industry.  Michael currently works at Macy's while pursuing his game development aspirations part-time as an independent game creator for Break Ground Game Studio.

God lover, encourager and Code Monkey, Nic Biondi founded Soulareus Interactive, making indie games ever since 2013.  He's also a serial game jam junkie and Unity zealot.  Nic is currently working on Archmage Rises, "The best RPG Ever".

I, Peter Venoit, am a husband and new dad with aspirations of creating games with heart.  When I find the time, you can find me working on digital art or coding, depending on how many cups of coffee I've had that day.  I lead youth ministry (grades 1-5) where I find great joy in sharing the love and hope of Jesus.  There's nothing better than getting kids excited to serve the Lord!
 
Professionally, I have experience in animation, visual effects, and web design/development.  In my pursuit to make gamedev a full-time venture, I am currently developing my skills on a handful of projects including my passion project:  "The Guarding of Eden."  Eden is a couch co-op adventure game set in post-Fall Eden.  In February 2017, I released my first game "Rodger Dodge" (a cartoony arcade game where you try to Get Hit by dodgeballs) on iOS and Android.  I love everything about the learning process and enjoy sharing what I've learned with others. I'm excited to participate in my first CGDC and look forward to the amazing things we all create!

Philip Conrod has published dozens of computer games and step-by-step game programming tutorial textbooks over the past 35 years.  His step-by-step game programming tutorial textbooks are used in schools all over the world to teach computer programming to beginners.  Philip Conrod holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems and a Master’s certificate in the Essentials of Business Development from Regis University.  He has also served in various Information Technology leadership roles in companies like Sundstrand Aerospace, Safeco Insurance, FamilyLife, Kenworth Truck Company, and PACCAR Inc.  Philip has lived and worked in 24 different countries and has employed and/or contracted with teams in over 30 different countries.  Today, Philip currently serves as the Chief Information Officer for a $2B manufacturing company based in Seattle, Washington and in his spare time, Philip serves as the President & Publisher of Kidware Software and BibleByte Books & Games in Maple Valley, Washington.

Rich Tanner Rich is a Clinical Professor of Digital Entertainment Technology at Abilene Christian University, where he teaches 3D modeling, animation, texturing, game engines, and software development to aspiring game developers and content creators.  Prior to his return to academia, Rich worked for several years in the technology and financial services industries, developing daily-use productivity & financial applications and performing research and exploration into the viability of various emerging technologies.  Rich has a passion for digital creation, usability, and generally fun projects, including anything to do with Virtual and Augmented Reality systems and applications, and other shiney toys.  He (usually) has multiple in-development projects going with students and other collaborators.  Rich will be in attendance with his entire clan this year, including his amazing wife Stacey and their four children (ages 20, 16, 13, and 8).

Ryan Green is an artist and videogame designer, currently focused on creating narrative VR experiences. Ryan currently serves as Head of Narrative for Numinous Games, a studio he co-founded.  Numinous Games first title, That Dragon, Cancer, was created as a poetic memorial to Ryan and his wife Amy's third son Joel, and Joel's fight against terminal brain cancer.

This time last year Samantha Riff was a total noob searching for her place in the game industry.  God led her to Soma and they took her in much to her surprise.  Now she works as a writer and design dabbler on the Lost Legends of Redwall.  In her spare time, she plots how to bring life and religion to her own hobby projects.

Sarah Tan is a Gameplay Engineer on Rec Room, one of the most popular (and free!) social VR games available on the market.  Since joining the VR industry in January 2015, her passion for all things VR has only grown.  She holds a Bachelor of Computing from the National University of Singapore, and a Master of Entertainment Technology from Carnegie Mellon University, where she was the Head TA for Building Virtual Worlds, the class pioneered by Randy Pausch of "The Last Lecture".  Her goal in life is to change the world for the better, and games, along with other interactive experiences, are her tool of choice.  Sarah is also a HUGE foodie  – give her food and you're instantly her friend!

Scott Bjerk has spent countless hours as a low-key gamer and hobbyist developer.  He has been a part of the CGDC community for many years and through his exposure to the gaming industry has gained cursory insight into the depth of challenge of breathing life into his own personal project, Artificial Memoirs.

Stephen Weese is a professional film and voice actor, as well as a writer, director and producer.  He is known for his voice roles in anime and video games, including Hellsing Ultimate and Samurai Heroes.  Stephen co-produced the English dub for the anime Kick-Heart, and wrote, produced and starred in the live action feature sci-fi film, Altered Spirits.  He does sword fighting as well, as can be seen in the film Legend of the Red Reaper. He is a lifelong believer who has been in Christian ministry for over a decade.  He founded the Christian geek group Fans for Christ and is the author of God Loves the Freaks.  He currently lives in Los Angeles where he also teaches Java Coding and History of Video Games at a film college.

Thomas Henshell took the scenic route to game dev through enterprise software. In the early 2000s, he helped build Canada's largest ecommerce site and, in 2005, founded a tech consulting firm building award winning mobile solutions for fortune 500 companies.  In 2012, Thomas retired from biz software to pursue games.  But God had other plans and threw some other ventures his way including a tabletop gaming store, a grocery store, and a discount fashion store.  Thomas is now exploring new territory in AI, emergent story, and procedural generation with Archmage Rises: an RPG/simulator where the world and characters age with the passage of time.  One thing that has driven him throughout his career: understanding the underlying principles (the "why") behind success and failure in different fields: business, entertainment, and art.