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Panel Line-Up for 2014 Part 2 – SUNDAY

GottaCon 2014 is pleased to announce a variety of discussion panels and special events for the 2014 convention, held February 28 – March 2, 2014 at the Victoria Conference Centre. These special events and discussion panels will feature everything from burlesque and live improv shows, to discussion about Dungeons & Dragons and video games, and more.

To finish up the panel announcements, here are the discussion panels, and special events you can attend on Sunday, March 2, 2014. More information about our guests can be found below the panel information.

Panels of GottaCon 2014 on Sunday

The Future of Gaming

Day: Sunday
Time: 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Where: Main Theatre
Panelists: Michael Kwan, Ben Hesketh, Alex Zorkin, Clayton Stark, Tyler Brand, Kathleen De Vere
Price: Included with your regular GottaCon pass

The way in which people game has evolved in leaps and bounds over the last five years. Now, most people have a gaming device at their fingertips. We call these things smartphones, but phoning people is a last-use item. Between smartphones, tablets, PCs, consoles, wearables, smart glass, oculus rift, alternate reality gaming, and the gamification of almost everything we do, where do we go from here? Is a holodeck just around the corner? Join us as we discuss what’s good, bad, and fluff in regards to what is currently available. Also, is there anything exciting currently in the works?

Making Kickass RPG Adventures

Day: Sunday
Time: 10:30am to 12:30pm
Where: Esquimalt Room
Panelists: :
Alex Flagg, Steve Saunders, Douglas Lloyd, Jonathan Tweet, Chris Tulach
Price: Free with valid con entry while seating is available

Anybody can run a module, but writing a good adventure of your own can be tough work…and reading The Hero With a Thousand Faces again isn’t helping. Brainstorm ways to breathe new life into your games with professional authors and veteran GMs Steve Saunders, Douglas Lloyd, Alex Flagg, Chris Tulach, and Jonathan Tweet in this invigorating roundtable discussion. Please bring your own ideas or adventure concepts for discussion!

Storytelling in Video Games: Telling Tales Around the Digital Campfire

Day: Sunday
Time: 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm
Where: Main Theatre
Panelists: Chris Tihor, Raphael van Lierop, Eric Jordan, Joanne Parker Robertson

With the increasing popularity of story heavy video games such as the Walking Dead and the Mass Effect series, more developers are looking towards story as being an essential element in modern games. Others disagree, even going as far as declaring story “unnecessary,” “irksome,” and “a waste of resources and time.” Our panel of industry veterans will discuss the importance of narrative in games, talk about the games that prove their point, and attempt to answer the question: are games the future of storytelling?

Memorable Characters in Literature and Games

Day: Sunday
Time: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Where: Esquimalt Room
Panelists: Karl Johanson, Stephanie Johanson, Ryan Speck, Jordan Stratford
Price: Included with your regular GottaCon pass

Join Neo-Opsis editors Karl Johanson and Stephanie Johanson, and writers Ryan Speck and Jordan Stratford to discuss what makes a good character. Learn from these industry vets as they give examples of good characters, share their opinions as to why they’re good characters, and give advice on creating good characters.

The Art of Gaming

Day: Sunday
Time: 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Where: Main Theatre
Panelists: Adam Kosh, Michelle Papadopoulos, Raphael van Lierop, Paul Dowd, Jon Wiggins, Mack Adams
Price: Included with your regular GottaCon pass

Are video games art? This has been the subject of debate for years. Even with The Art of Video Games exhibit touring across North America, many parts of the entertainment industry are reluctant to accept video games as a true art form. Join industry vets as they discuss how the art found in video games has evolved over the decades, why the art is important to storytelling, what makes it art, and their thoughts on why the entertainment industry doesn’t want to acknowledge video games as an art form.

PC vs Console, Digital vs Physical, Cable vs Netflix

Day: Sunday
Time: 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Where: Esquimalt Room
Panelists: Ivan Metelitsa, Michael Kwan, Glenn Morgan, Ryan Speck, Kathleen De Vere
Price: Included with your regular GottaCon pass

With digital media available at everyone’s fingertips, the way we consume media is constantly changing. It is estimated that 25 percent of Canadians own a tablet, 56 percent of Canadians own a smartphone, every Canadian has access to a computer and the Internet, even if it’s only through their local library, gaming consoles have turned into multimedia machines, we have eBooks, Netflix, and now GlobalTV allows you to watch television live via their website, instead of being stuck to your television. Despite an abundance of digital media, physical media is still being consumed at very profitable levels. How has all of this changed the way creators get their product to the consumer? Where are they failing to keep up? Will physical media ever die or will it continue to evolve? Join us as we answer these questions and more, plus discuss where we may be in another five years.



Guests of GottaCon 2014 – Sunday
Mack Adams
Mack Adams

In his role as CEO & co-strategist at Superbrothers, Inc., Mack combines his long love of video games with his experience operating small businesses. His focus is on creating the environment within which magic emerges while maintaining a long-term view on the business of video games. Superbrothers, Inc, makers of the award winning ‘Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP’ is a indy video game studio, art house and collective of creative people. For more information, please visit: http://www.superbrothershq.com/hq/

Tyler Brand
Tyler Brand

Tyler sailed for twenty-two years in the Canadian Coast Guard as a rescue specialist and navigation training officer. Tyler has a Nero-Science Degree and 20 Years experience designing training for defense & Security, moving from “hands on”, to simulation, to serious games as the technology matured. Tyler brings a unique view on the future of games as they relate to skills training.



Kathleen De Vere
Kathleen De Vere

Kathleen De Vere is a professional writer, video editor, comedian and geek. Formerly the Lead Writer for Inside Mobile Apps, Kathleen now spends her time writing and editing videos for internet comedy group LoadingReadyRun. Her work can be seen on LoadingReadyRun.com, EscapistMagazine.com, Penny-arcade.com and Wizards.com/Magic. She is also one of the organizers of the Desert Bus for Hope charity gaming marathon, likes cats, all kinds of games, and music that sounds like sad computers working out their feelings.


Paul Dowd
Paul Dowd

Paul is highly experience artist and UI/UX designer with over fourteen years of in the interactive and digital art industry. He was one of the first employees at Zynga where he was responsible for designing its iconic logo as well as driving the look and feel of several games, including Farmville. Paul now leads the art team at TinyMob Games in Victoria where he is using his unique talents to create an exciting new universe of characters and environments to life.


Alex Flagg
Alex Flagg

Alex Flagg is a game designer and co-founder of Crafty Games. Since starting in 2002, he has worked for companies including Privateer Press, Fantasy Flight, Paradigm Concepts and AEG, and created over 30 RPG products, including Spycraft, Spycraft 2.0, Fantasy Craft, Little Wizards and the Mistborn Adventure Game. This is his third year at GottaCon, where you can find him in the RPG area running games or in the panel rooms talking about GMing and storytelling. He’s also full of secrets, but accepts bribes of 80′s Citadel miniatures, pork products, and delicious cocktails.

Ben Hesketh
Ben Hesketh

Ben is a twelve year veteran of the video game industry, having worked for companies such as Sony, UbiSoft and Microsoft. He has built up a deep understanding of every sphere of game technology from game engines to AI. Ben is also an experienced game designer and loves to spend his spare time away from the computer creating innovative board games. His most recent adventure involves joining Victoria’s exciting new videogames studio, TinyMob Games.


Karl Johanson
Karl Johanson

Karl Johanson is the editor and science writer for Neo-opsis Science Fiction Magazine, which has won 2 Aurora Awards, and a former co-editor of Under the Ozone Hole, which won 4 Aurora Awards. Karl has had articles and fiction published in On Spec magazine, Here Be Monsters, Sci Phi Journal, Stitches: the Magazine of Medical Humour and other publications. Karl has done extensive work in the computer game industry, working for Disney Interactive, Sanctuary Woods Multimedia and and has done free lance work for an XBox 360 game. Karl has been a speaker at dozens of gaming, SF and Fantasy conventions, including Worldcons, Westercons & World Fantasy Con, and he’s happy to participate on GottaCon’s programming.

Stephanie Johanson
Stephanie Johanson

Stephanie Johanson is the art director, assistant editor, and co-owner of Neo-opsis Science Fiction Magazine, publishing since 2003. She is an artist who has worked in a variety of media, though painting and soapstone carving are her passions. Stephanie paints realism with a hint of fantasy, often preferring landscapes as her subjects. Examples of her work can be viewed on the Neo-opsis Science Fiction Magazine website at www.neo-opsis.ca/art.


Eric Jordan
Eric Jordan

Eric is CEO at DJArts Games. Previously, he was the CEO and co-founder of PureEdge Solutions. PureEdge had 5 million users when it was acquired by IBM. Eric was an Executive-In-Residence at UVic and the President of the Premier’s Technology Council. Eric serves on the boards of Archipelago Marine Research (Chair) and the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness (co-chair with Mayor Fortin).



Adam Kosh
Adam Kosh

Adam is the Lead Artist and Animator for DJArts Games. His excellent illustrations and animations are seen throughout all of our games. Adam is also responsible for UI layout and design.






Michael Kwan
Michael Kwan

Michael Kwan is a professional freelance writer from the Vancouver area. Referring to himself as a professional gadget geek, Michael is the Managing Editor of MEGATechNews.com, an online publication dedicated to “stuff for people who like gadgets.” From smartphones to tablets, Bluetooth speakers to video games, he’s got it covered. Michael also recently published Beyond the Margins, a book on how to start your own freelance business. Find it at michaelkwan.com.


Douglas Lloyd
Douglas Lloyd

Douglas Lloyd is a part time writer of RPG adventures. His first adventure, Where is My Spellbook, was published in 2010 by Blackbyrne Publishing which is a licensed third party publisher of Dungeons and Dragons and Pathfinder role playing games. He is a contributing writer in Blackbyrne Publishing’s Age of Lords Campaign Setting and Expedition Guide and has since gone on to write for other third party publishers. He has recently formed his own small company Vedder Press.


Max Haagen Loy
Max Haagen Loy

Max is a savvy game developer with a passion for all kinds of gaming. He has been making games since before he can remember and, along with his hat, he is a well known fixture in the Victoria Indie scene. Over the last two years Max has become a professional game developer, having worked for InLight Entertainment and now most recently he has joined TinyMob Games.



Glenn Morgan
Glenn Morgan

Glenn is a Victoria, BC geek, who started his computer his love affair with tech at 7, teaching himself to program BASIC on the family computer and faithfully saving his result to the tape drive. Years later, he’s a fully fledged technowizard, well versed at many of the computational arts. He’s a PC gamer at heart, but has fond memories of classic console gaming on his Coleco Gemini (Sears Atari-clone). His next console will very likely be a Steam Box.


Michelle Papadopoulos
Michelle Papadopoulos

Michelle is an Artist and Animator in the gaming industry. She works at InLight Entertainment on children’s video games for clients such as Fisher Price, Leapfrog, Disney, Pixar, and Nickelodeon. When not at work, she loves to create fantasy illustration either digitally or with ink and watercolor. Her first graphic novel is in the works. You can view some of her art here:
http://www.michellepapadopoulos.com/



Steven G. Saunders
Steven G. Saunders

Steve has worn a variety of hats in his life, including creator, writer, editor, and game master. Since diving into role-playing games and such back in the mid-80’s, he’s worked for many companies and people in the publishing and music industries; including being a comic book nerd internet dart board for a year, magazine editor, novel editor, and comic book creator and editor. These days, Steve– aside from using his middle initial all pretentious-like– is writing, being the Managing Editor of NerdTitan.com, still running games, producing comics, and has recently started his own RPG imprint, Black Goat Games (blackgoatgames.com). If you are really, really bored, read more about Steve at www.baconlich.com.

Ryan Speck
Ryan Speck

Ryan Speck is the author of the unrepentantly vulgar and idiotic satirical detective novel The Big Rusty Lie. When not consuming copious amounts of media, Ryan is computer gaming or tending to his wife and herd of cats. He can be regularly found on the internet, doing nothing at all, especially not writing any more novels. Ryan has written for IndustrialNation, co-hosts the MouthFist Podcast, and runs mediagauntlet.com. Oh, and he writes short stories, too.

Clayton Stark
Clayton Stark

Clayton Stark is head KIXEYE’s Canadian studio located in Victoria, BC. KIXEYE merges the accessibility of the browser with the modern technologies that enable immersive experiences to bring hard core, free to play gaming to everyone online. Clayton has a long history of driving innovative development in social and gaming internet platforms and applications, and is now very pleased to be using his powers for evil.



Jordan Stratford
Jordan Stratford

Author, Game Designer and World Builder Jordan Stratford has been pronounced clinically dead, and was briefly mistakenly wanted by INTERPOL for international industrial espionage. He is an ordained priest, has won numerous sword fights, jaywalked across the streets of Paris, San Francisco, and São Paolo, and was once shot by a stray rubber bullet in a London riot. He lives on a tiny windswept Pacific island populated predominantly by realtors and carnivorous gulls. He is represented by Heather Schroder of Compass Talent, New York.

Chris Tihor
Chris Tihor

Chris Tihor is a game designer, writer, and creator of comics and other assorted geekery. In his spare time, he’s the organizer of the local chapter of the International Game Developers Association in his often damp home of Victoria, BC, Canada. He’s also the creative dynamo behind Ironic Iconic Studios (http://www.ironiciconicstudios.com/). He enjoys cargo pants, microbrew beer, and complaining about improper apostrophe usage.



Chris Tulach
Chris Tulach

Chris Tulach is the D&D Organized Play Program Manager for Wizards of Coast, responsible for creating play programs such as D&D Encounters and Living Forgotten Realms. A gaming convention veteran, Chris has been involved with Organized Play for over 20 years, and has been a Dungeon Master for over 30 years. He was a developer on Scoundrels of Skullport and has contributed to design and development on several D&D RPG products.

Jonathan Tweet
Jonathan Tweet

Jonathan Tweet has been bringing new ideas to roleplaying games since 1987. He authored or co-authored the RPGs Ars Magica (1987), Over the Edge (1992), Everway (1995), D&D 3rd Ed (2000), and Omega World (2002). He’s in the Origins Gaming Hall of Fame. His latest RPG, 13th Age, brings story-oriented, indie-style creativity to familiar d20-style gaming. Jonathan values roleplaying games because they inspire players to be creative. He is a Burning Man regular, an armchair evolutionary psychologist, and an atheist Sunday school teacher. You can follow him on G+.

Raphael van Lierop
Raphael van Lierop

During his 13 years in the game industry, Raphael has held the positions of creative director, narrative director, producer, designer, and writer on multiple award-winning game titles. He has been instrumental in launching successful game franchises at Relic Entertainment, including Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War, and Company of Heroes. Some of his other credits include: Far Cry 3 (Narrative Director), and Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine (Game Director). Also, Raphael has been a creative advisor to over a dozen major entertainment companies including Activision, Blacklight, BigPoint, GameForge, Radar, City Interactive, and WorldTribe Media.

Jon Wiggins
Jon Wiggins

Jon has been in the interactive design and gaming industry for over 15 years. Before working in games, Jon worked for brands like Nintendo, LEGO and Atlantic Records developing their online identities in the late 90s. He has worked as Lead UI Artist at Electronic Arts and Disney Interactive and is currently the Art Director at GameHouse Canada here in Victoria. Jon believes that an engaging art style and a strong user experience are key to creating great games that people love to play.

Alex Zorkin
Alex Zorkin

Alex Zorkin is CloverPoint’s lead interactive applications architect. He specializes in spatially aware enterprise technologies and game tech. The majority of Alex’s applications use web services to pull data from multiple external databases and display that data with 2D, 3D and BIM Models for augmented visualization. He is also responsible for implementing cross platform authorization and development standards.

This concludes our panel and special events announcements, we hope you are as excited about our lineup as we are!

GottaCon 2014 will be held February 28 – March 2, 2014 at the Victoria Conference Centre located at 720 Douglas Street, Victoria BC. The convention doors open at 5:00pm Friday and close at 6:00pm Sunday with nightly shutdowns between 4am and 8am.

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