PixelPop Festival 2016 – Post Event Wrap-Up
Thanks to everyone who came out for PixelPop Festival 2016! This year’s event expanded to a great new venue – the Saint Louis Science Center – and featured more game creators and demos than ever before. The weekend was full of stellar presentations and panel discussions, and we were excited to take part in eight of those panels. It was a great show, and we look forward to PixelPop’s growth into 2017.
For a thoughtful, thorough recap of the show, check out Todd Mitchell’s article on CodeWritePlay.com.
PixelPop Festival: Celebrating Gaming – October 8 & 9, 2016 at Saint Louis Science Center
The third-annual PixelPop Festival returns to St. Louis, Missouri, on Saturday, October 8th and Sunday, October 9th. PixelPop celebrates gaming – both digital/interactive video games and tabletop gaming. The convention focuses on the creation of games and the love of gaming itself, and the gaming community.
PixelPop includes activities and programming for gamers of many interests. Over 30 game demos will be available to learn and play during the weekend. Five programming rooms will feature presentations and panel discussions throughout the weekend. And there will be freeplay sessions and game tournaments, including Mario Kart 8, Sm4sh, Rocket League, and Street Fighter V.
This year, PixelPop Festival is taking place at the fantastic Saint Louis Science Center (SLSC), one of the top five science centers in the United States. SLSC was named one of America’s most visited museums by Forbes Traveler Magazine. Its mission is to ignite and sustain lifelong science and technology learning. SLSC is located at 5050 Oakland Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110.
Two-day passes are $25. Special child pricing is available for ages 12 and under. One-day passes will be available during the event for $15.
Nerd For A Living is sponsoring the event for the third year in a row. N4AL’s Adron Buske will be on-hand Saturday, moderating 5 discussion panels. N4AL’s Wendy Buske will be on-site Sunday, moderating 3 panels. Our full schedule and panel descriptions are below.
Saturday Panels hosted by Nerd For A Living
Voice Acting for Games
Saturday, 10/8 | 10:00am-11:00am | Vector Room (Boeing North)
Love using your voice to create characters? Interested in using those talents in interactive media? Game developers and voice actors discuss what it takes to produce voices for games, and how you can improve your chances to become a voice actor for digital entertainment. Panelists: Jenny Gibbons (Woodsy Studio), Carol Mertz (Butterscotch Shenanigans), Ryan Winzen (Upheaval Arts). Moderated by Adron Buske (Nerd For A Living Podcast).
Play in Public
Saturday, 10/8 | 11:00am-12:00pm | Glitch Room (T-Rex Room)
Games can have a big impact on the way we experience culture, and allow audiences to interact with art and ideas that may have previously seemed intangible. Designers of games showcased in museums talk about the process and power of designing for a singular large-scale public experience. Panelists: Stuart Keating (Dioxin Dump), Kristina Goodwin (Kairoi), Ben Triola (Happy Badgers Studio). Moderated by Adron Buske (Nerd For A Living Podcast).
Saturday, 10/8 | 12:30pm-1:30pm | Vector Room (Boeing North)
It’s all about the visuals! Game industry artists share how they found a foothold, their favorite tools, and unique approaches to making art for games (and even making games as art). Panelists: Anita Tung (Shard), TJ Hughes (Terrifying Jellyfish), Anthony Amato (Cardboard Fortress). Moderated by Adron Buske (Nerd For A Living Podcast).
Saturday, 10/8 | 1:30pm-2:30pm | Glitch Room (T-Rex Room)
How do you generate a unique premise for your game, or create original gameplay mechanics? How do you merge your favorite influences into something exciting, new, and your own? A strong concept can drive innovative game play, engage audiences, and fuel the imagination. Our panelists discuss how they came up with the concepts for their games, and how those ideas evolved. And they’ll explore methods for idea generation and story outlining. Panelists: Gene Kelly (Volcano Bean), Liz Gattra (Xenofera). Moderated by Adron Buske (Nerd For A Living Podcast).
Life Before Going Indie
Saturday, 10/8 | 4:30pm-5:30pm | Vector Room (Boeing North)
Like the storyline of a great, non-linear game, the career of an indie game developer is full of twists, turns, and unexpected outcomes. Learn about the unique career paths of indie developers, and how diverse professional backgrounds helped them develop the skills to make games on their own. Panelists: Mary McKenzie (Volcano Bean), Jenny Gibbons (Woodsy Studio), Ryan Winzen (Upheaval Arts), Samantha Kalman (Timbre Interactive). Moderated by Adron Buske (Nerd For A Living Podcast).
Sunday Panels hosted by Nerd For A Living
Promoting Your Games
Sunday, 10/9 | 11:30am-12:30pm | Vector Room (Boeing North)
Finding an audience for your game is one of the biggest challenges you’ll face as an indie creator or studio. In a densely populated games landscape, what can you do stand out in the crowd? This panel of game industry professionals will compare notes on best practices, and share methods for getting your game noticed among an ever-growing field. Moderated by Wendy Buske (Nerd For A Living); Panelists: Adam Coster (Butterscotch Shenanigans), Shane Myerscough (Grey Fox Games), Matt Donatelli (Graphite Lab)
Sunday, 10/9 | 12:30pm-1:30pm | Vector Room (Boeing North)
How do you keep your game project from falling apart? Game projects grow and change all of the time, but having a keeper, manager, and enforcer of your project scope and timeline can help you keep sight of your goal. Game Producers and independent creators discuss their favorite tools and methods for keeping your game project organized, on track, and on time. Panelists: Ben Triola (Happy Badgers), Mary McKenzie (Volcano Bean), Matt Donatelli (Graphite Lab). Moderated by Wendy Buske (Nerd For A Living Podcast).
Sunday, 10/9 | 3:30pm-4:30pm | Glitch Room (T-Rex Room)
As Twitch continues to grow, so does the network of St. Louis streamers sharing their gameplay. Join this panel of local broadcasters as they talk about the burgeoning Twitch community in St. Louis, and discuss what it means to be a content creator in the game industry. Panelists: FOXE and Members of TwitchSTL. Moderated by Wendy Buske (Nerd For A Living Podcast).