Eastern Kentucky University, home to the world’s 47th-ranked game design program, will host the second annual Vector conference, a celebration of developers from the Midwest and southeastern U.S.
The EKU Gaming Institute is partnering with the Richmond office of the Kentucky Innovation Network, RunJumpDev of Lexington and Tech Base 10 to present the event April 21-22 in the Perkins Building
“This event will more than double the activities from last year, said Dr. George Landon, director of the EKU Gaming Institute (gaming.eku.edu). “This year we are looking to solidify Vector as a premier game development conference by expanding our offerings while continuing to cater to students, professionals and hobbyists. We have maintained our focus on game development while expanding our offerings to include game art and programming workshops, a concert and a film screening.”
Vector is also an IdeaFestival event, part of a “year-round celebration of ideas to foster creativity, curiosity and disruptive innovation.”
The two-day conference will feature a student game showcase and portfolio reviews, as well as talks from representatives from Ubisoft, Bungie, Google, Devolver Digital and others. California-based publisher Black Shell Media will sponsor a game idea pitch contest, with the winner receiving $500. The Unity Certification Exam, an industry credential available for the first time in Kentucky, will be offered. Also, at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 21, a game music concert with Daniel “C418” Rosenfeld, best known for his work on Minecraft, and Matt “2 Mello” Hopkins. Then, on Saturday, April 22, at 5:30 p.m., the film “The Lost Arcade” will be screened at the adjacent Hummel Planetarium, followed by a talk by Director Kurt Vincent.
Aleissia Laidacker, from Ubisoft Montreal, has been a lead for gameplay and artificial intelligence on multiple Assassin’s Creed titles. Lisa Brown, now part of the AAA sandbox team at Bungie, has worked as an independent developer on titles such as Hyperlight Drifter. Another speaker, Nigel Lowrie, has helped publish titles such as The Talos Principle, Hotline Miami, Enter the Gungeon, Broforce and Shadow Warrior 2.
Tickets are $40 for both days, covering all events, or $30 for individual days. For more information, visit http://vectorconf.com/#section-tickets. Tickets purchased during the conference go up $10. Separate tickets may be purchased for the Friday night concert ($15 through https://www.eventbrite.com/e/vector-game-music-concert-w-c418-tickets-32918885272) and the Saturday film screening ($5 through https://www.eventbrite.com/e/vector-the-lost-arcade-screening-tickets-33259053725).
The Princeton Review recently ranked EKU’s game design program 47th worldwide based on a survey it conducted in 2016 of 150 institutions offering game design coursework and/or degrees in the U.S., Canada, and some other countries.
“Events like the Vector conference are helping establish us as a premier site for game-related education,” Landon said. “The top-50 label demonstrates that we are consistently providing our students a world-class education in game development.”
For more information about the conference, visit vectorconf.com, or follow on Twitter (@vectorconf) or Facebook (runjumpdev).