2:00- 2:45PM BE IMPACTFUL: YOUR INFLUENCE IN VIDEO GAME COMMUNITIES AND GAME DEVELOPMENT (ROOM 107)
Guess what? Your voice and your opinion matters in the gaming industry more than you might know! Video game development blossoms from many different points of inspiration that affect not only our entertainment choices, but how we approach our daily lives as well. Join Genese Davis (The Holder’s Dominion, MMORPG.com), Jason Hayes, (Composer, Critical Hit) Johnathan Wendel (Fatal1ty), John Spatola (Lake Effect Applications), and Jamey Stevenson (Tech Valley Space, Spoony Bird) for this exciting topic about how you and the video game community impact each other and game development at large. Be there and share how you’d like the industry to be impacted as well!
A multiple award-winning composer, Jason Hayes is well known for his long-standing relationship with Blizzard Entertainment, contributing music to their games set in the popular worlds of Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo. He was the original lead composer of World of Warcraft, the most successful online game in the world.
Jason’s music has been performed by symphony orchestras all over the world in various concerts including the touring show “Video Games Live”, which debuted at the Hollywood Bowl with the LA Philharmonic to a crowd of 11,000 people. He’s also been a featured speaker for UCLA, USC, the Film Music Network, ASCAP, the Game Developers Conference, and the Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program.
Jason was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. As a young adult he discovered his passion for music composition while studying piano with the renowned concert pianist, Dr. William Chapman-Nyaho. After spending a year traveling around the country as a touring musician, Jason studied music composition at the University of North Texas. Soon after, he moved to California and began his career as a staff composer at Sierra On-Line, which eventually led to him joining the award-winning development team at Blizzard Entertainment.
Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel
Johnathan Wendel is considered one of the best professional gamers in the world, having won 12 world championship titles, including four Player of the Year awards with the Cyberathlete Professional League and one with the World Cyber Games. His endorsement deals include computer hardware companies, headphone companies and even food companies. Wendel was recently named the highest paid professional video gamer in the world by Business Insider, having earned a total of $454,544.98 from 35 tournaments.
Genese Davis is an American author, host, columnist, and media personality. She is the author of The Holder’s Dominion, a next-generation thriller heralded as a breakthrough novel by Publishers Weekly. Her writing expertise expands across various genres including thriller, fantasy, gamer-lit, and new adult, as well as screenplay, playwriting, and video game lore. Davis is an in-demand host, speaker, and moderator for TV, radio, web-series, conventions, academic fairs, publishing workshops, and literary and entertainment expos. Davis is a featured columnist at MMORPG.com, and she is the founder of The Gamer In You. She was awarded the iGR Woman of the Year for her outstanding efforts in debunking stereotypes and for bringing the video game industry the first new adult, gaming-thriller, The Holder’s Dominion.
Davis is a thought-leader in video game culture and its social development. Through her passion for the art community, she demonstrates how team-based video games like MMORPGs affect our lives and the new place video games have in fiction and other forms of media.
All his life John has excelled in both art and technology. After attending Syracuse University for his Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering and a Minor in Computer Science, he completed Lockheed Martin’s Leadership Development Program. He also attained a Masters in Systems Engineering from Cornell University.
In 2009, using his solid engineering background and experience as an avid gamer, he created Stickbo, a side scrolling stick figure shooter. Released in January, 2010, it was number one on iTunes overall free list two times. The follow up, StickBo: Zombies was released for Halloween that same year. With the success of the series, he founded Lake Effect Applications, a company specializing in mobile video games.
As CEO, Lead Designer, and Lead Software Engineer, John started to build TriggerFist, a modern third person shooter targeted towards core gamers. Released in August 2012, it is widely regarded as one of the best shooters on the iTunes App Store. It has over 16 million downloads and has held rankings in the Top 200 for over two and half years.
Lake Effect Applications represents one of the last few strongholds in the mobile gaming marketplace — an independent, self-sustaining game studio that values quality above all else. John and his team are currently working on an unannounced action game.
Jamey Stevenson is a designer and programmer with over a decade of experience creating video games for handheld, mobile, desktop and web. He is the founder of Tech Valley Game Space, an inclusive game development community and co-working studio in upstate NY, and is also the proprietor of Spoony Bird, an independent game development studio devoted to serving up flighty experiments in tiny, bite-sized portions.
In past lives, Jamey served as an AI Programmer at Realtime Worlds and a Game Designer at Tag Games, and has worked on titles ranging from the large scale online cops and robbers game All Points Bulletin to the cute and cuddly cat breeding sim Cat Tap Feverfor iOS. He has written extensively about game design and related topics, including featured contributions in Gamasutra, Idle Thumbs, Critical Distance, Memory Insufficient, and the book Designing Games for Ethics: Models, Techniques and Frameworks. Jamey is also an outspoken advocate for game development education, and has previously served as a judge and mentor for the Dare to be Digital student game competition and provided guest lectures to elementary, middle and high school students in both the U.S. and U.K. to help spread awareness about careers in digital game creation.