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XDS 2016 Agenda

Please Note: The XDS 2016 Agenda is subject to change. The final schedule is also available via the XDS Mobile App. To view all speakers, please click here!

 

Day 0 – Tues. Sept 6

06:00pm | XDS 2016 Speaker's Dinner hosted by Virtuos (invitation only) | Westin International Suite

As a thank you to all our Main Stage speakers and panelists our friends at Virtuos are pleased to host the XDS 2016 Speaker’s Dinner.  (Invitation Only)

Day 1 – Wed. Sept 7

08:00am-08:00pm | Registration & Attendee Info Desk | Main Foyer

Pick up your accreditation at the registration desk. Haven’t registered yet? You can purchase a pass to XDS onsite here too.

08:30am-09:30am | AM Break presented by Glass Egg | Glass Egg Central Bar (The Hub)

Scheduled time to enjoy a refreshment at the Central Bar in The Hub, brought to you by Glass Egg, one of our Presenting Sponsors.

09:30am-10:00am | Welcome to XDS! Opening Remarks | Main Stage
Victor Lucas (Electronic Playground): Welcome to XDS! Opening Remarks

Join us as we kick-off the 4th annual XDS, the only global event that strives to advance external development for the video game industry! We will welcome our speakers and attendees, and provide an overview of an exciting program to follow in the days to come.

10:00am-10:30am | HOLY COW! Harnessing the Positive Impact of Cultural Immersion on External Development – Our Experiences in India | Main Stage
David Kern (Technicolor) & Owen Hurley (Technicolor) : HOLY COW! Harnessing the Positive Impact of Cultural Immersion on External Development – Our Experiences in India

Presented by Owen Hurley and David Kern – both whom have been on the ground living and working in Bangalore, India for Technicolor’s 1000 headcount studio there. They will share their experiences – good, bad, funny, being expats working in India and also discuss the cultural nuances that can impact external development engagements. The audience will take away a better understanding of best practices for approaching XD and get a glimpse of the human side of working with an External Partner in India.

10:30am-11:00am | Bringing Co-Dev to the Next Level at Electronic Arts | Main Stage
Andrew Pojar (Electronic Arts) & Diego Tartara (Globant): Bringing Co-Dev to the Next Level at Electronic Arts

Outsourcing engineering is hard, but there is big upside if you can get over the initial hurdles. Learn how EA partners with Globant to leverage co-development with a high degree of integration, scope, and complexity to deliver world class AAA titles like NHL and UFC.  This talk will cover topics such as “when” and “how” to engage, best practices for builds and workflows, how to protect IP and how to foster a single team mentality to maximize productivity. No more excuses!

11:00am-12:30pm | Beyond Negotiation 2.0 – Evolving Relationships (Sign-up is required) | Westin Pool + Lawn
Sam Carlisle (Microsoft): Beyond Negotiation 2.0 – Evolving Relationships (Sign-up is required)

This is a ‘hands on’ session employing game theory to explore how we can navigate the challenges presented by the ever evolving, collaborative relationships – which are found in our development world of increasing scale, static budgets and persistent service models. Building on learning uncovered at XDS Ignite; Beyond Negotiation 2.0 is a highly interactive program, delivering tailored feedback in order to provide vital insight for both suppliers and buyers.

Submit your interest to attend here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XDS2016_Beyond_Negotiation

Please note that the number of participants is limited, priority will be given to those who were unable to attend Beyond Negotiation in 2014.

11:00am-11:30am | Speaker Q&A | Innovation Space presented by Unity

Interested in continuing the mainstage conversation offstage?  The Speaker Q&A is a scheduled time for speakers from previous sessions to answer questions and engage with their audience in the intimate and casual environment of the Innovation Space presented by Unity. Space is limited in this area, so don’t delay!

11:00am-12:30pm | Networking Time | The Hub

Take care of business in The Hub. Network with colleagues and fellow attendees or schedule a pop-up high-top meeting at one of the cocktail tables throughout the space.  These scheduled meetings can be booked by registered attendees via XDS Connect.  Be sure to visit the Glass Egg Central Bar at The Hub for happy hour refreshments!

12:30pm-02:00pm | Lunch Break

Scheduled time for attendees to get lunch. See the XDS Mobile App for nearby lunch locations. Please be back on time for the afternoon sessions!

02:00pm-02:30pm | Using Outsource Key Performance Indicators to Manage Quality and Cost Overrun | Main Stage
Masashi Otake (Sony Interactive Entertainment America): Using Outsource Key Performance Indicators to Manage Quality and Cost Overrun

Since 2008, Sony Worldwide Studios Visual Art Service Group had supported over 14 titles’ outsource work from Art, R&D Engineering to Game Co-Development outsource. The presentation will share Key Performance Indexes we have monitored over the past 3 years, including vendor performance analysis from: Days Gone, Spiderman, MLB: The Show series and other unannounced PS4 titles. Art and Outsource Supervisor, Masashi Otake, will offer insight on challenges on cost overrun management faced and how those led us to KPIs, overview of the benefit of setting up KPIs and gathering stats for vendors and dev teams, performance and cost control KPIs tracked, and a great deal more.

02:30pm-03:10pm | Expert Panel: From Getting Started to Achieving Greatness in External Development | Main Stage
Chris Wren (Electronic Arts) and the XDS Advisory CommitteeExpert Panel: From Getting Started to Achieving Greatness in External Development

Over 100 collective years of external development experience on this panel! This session is a broad panel delivered by all XDS Advisory Committee members and geared to industry professionals and service providers looking to move external development to the next level. The committee will address the fundamentals of external development (101), discuss war stories, and offer suggestions to advance external dev to the next level based on experience and current trends.

03:10pm-03:40pm | Are You Ready for the Future? A Look Inside VR from a Video Games QA Perspective | Main Stage
Mathieu Lachance (Babel Media) & David Yee (Oculus Studios): Ready for the Future? A Look Inside VR, AR & AI from a Video Games QA Perspective

Humoristic and participative presentation of Oculus’ and Babel’s collaboration experience, challenges, considerations and best practices with the new VR technology for videogames. Most of the presentation runs in the form of a quiz where all of the audience participates. There are surprises and jokes here and there, but each point raised addresses real-world challenges we’ve faced, and provides insights on how not to repeat the same mistakes we’ve made. The audience will learn how to integrate VR in your current QA and development teams.

03:40pm-04:00pm | Speaker Q&A | Innovation Space presented by Unity

Interested in continuing the mainstage conversation offstage?  The Speaker Q&A is a scheduled time for speakers from previous sessions to answer questions and engage with their audience in the intimate and casual environment of the Innovation Space presented by Unity. Space is limited in this area, so don’t delay!

03:30pm-04:00pm | PM Break presented by Glass Egg | Glass Egg Central Bar (The Hub)

Scheduled time to enjoy a refreshment at the Central Bar in The Hub, brought to you by Glass Egg, one of our Presenting Sponsors.

04:00pm-05:00pm | XDS Speed Dating presented by VEC - Creative Services | Main Foyer

After last year’s huge success with Speed Dating, we are bringing it back – bigger, and better than ever.  XDS Speed Dating presented by VEC is a fast, simple way for content creators (buyers) to meet with service providers (sellers) in a fun and casual environment. Hosted by Jillian Mood and Nancy Mott, sellers get 3 minutes to give their elevator pitch to a buyer and exchange business cards before moving onto the next round. You never know – you might find a lifetime business partner! Each Speed Dating session at this year’s event will target different disciplines. Service providers received an invitation to apply on Aug 25, and the deadline is Aug 30. Industry professionals will also receive invitations around this time. Creative Services refers to art, animation, audio, vfx and mocap.

06:00pm-08:00pm | Welcome Reception presented by Keywords Studios | Westin Pool + Lawn

Our Presenting Sponsor, Keywords Studios, brings you our coveted Welcome Reception! Come by the Westin Pool + Lawn for a good old fashioned Backyard BBQ serving up sliders, sausages, good tunes and classic lawn games. The Welcome Reception presented by Keywords Studios is definitely not to be missed!

Day 2 – Thurs. Sept 8

08:00am-06:00pm | Registration & Attendee Info Desk | Main Foyer

Pick up your accreditation at the registration desk. Haven’t registered yet? You can purchase a pass to XDS onsite here too.

09:00am-11:00am | Networking Time | The Hub

Take care of business in The Hub. Network with colleagues and fellow attendees or schedule a pop-up high-top meeting at one of the cocktail tables throughout the space.  These scheduled meetings can be booked by registered attendees via XDS Connect.  Be sure to visit the Glass Egg Central Bar at The Hub for happy hour refreshments!

10:00am-11:00am | XDS Speed Dating presented by VEC - Technical Services | Main Foyer

After last year’s huge success with Speed Dating, we are bringing it back – bigger, and better than ever.  XDS Speed Dating presented by VEC is a fast, simple way for content creators (buyers) to meet with service providers (sellers) in a fun and casual environment. Hosted by Jillian Mood and Nancy Mott, sellers get 3 minutes to give their elevator pitch to a buyer and exchange business cards before moving onto the next round. You never know – you might find a lifetime business partner! Each Speed Dating session at this year’s event will target different disciplines. Service providers received an invitation to apply on Aug 25, and the deadline is Aug 30. Industry professionals will also receive invitations around this time. Technical Services refers to localization, QA and software engineering.

10:00am-11:00am | AM Break presented by Glass Egg | Glass Egg Central Bar (The Hub)

Scheduled time to enjoy a refreshment at the Central Bar in The Hub, brought to you by Glass Egg, one of our Presenting Sponsors.

11:00am-11:30am | Audio Outsourcing: Contracts, Workflow, and Best Practices | Main Stage
Richard Ludlow (Hexany Audio) & Ben Jones (Fugitive Games): Audio Outsourcing: Contracts, Workflow, and Best Practices

This highly practical session will educate and empower developers looking to contract a composer or sound design / VO studio for their next game. A joint session between developer Fugitive Games and audio outsourcing studio Hexany Audio, both parties will discuss their recent collaboration for the title Into the Stars focusing on two key areas. 1) analysis of work-for-hire and License deal contracts, emphasizing copyright ownership and negotiation, and 2) remote workflow practices and methods for concepting/design and asset integration, highlighting the use of the audio middleware in conjunction with UE4. The two parties will detail what worked particularly well in their collaboration along with areas that could have been improved. This session will be extremely beneficial for developers working with external audio providers and offer immediate and tangible solutions for improving pipeline with remote contractors in the sound and music fields.

11:30am-12:00pm | Customized Integration: Build Massive Open Worlds with a Minimal Internal Team | Main Stage
Youyou Wu (Virtuos) & Johan Petersson (Ghost Games): Customized Integration: Build Massive Open Worlds with a Minimal Internal Team

By sharing the visualized methodology for collaborated project management, the intention of this session is to walk the audience through the challenges faced in creating mass art content with a condensed core game team. Presenters will share their findings through this process such as the importance of being 100% transparent with partners and treating internal /external teams as though they were one, comprehensive and unified dev team. With these points at the forefront of their minds, Virtuos and Ghost Games brought the traditional “over-the-fence” outsourcing model to the next level – *customized integration*. Presenters will focus on the value to be brought to both the game dev team and the distributed studio. Attendees will understand the step–by–step methodology for ramping up an external team in a very short period of time, along with the strategy for significant and detailed integration with the core game team. The main purpose is to leverage external, scalable resources, to strengthen overall game development capability and to create greater games on a larger scale.

12:00pm-12:30pm | Speaker Q&A | Innovation Space presented by Unity

Interested in continuing the mainstage conversation offstage?  The Speaker Q&A is a scheduled time for speakers from previous sessions to answer questions and engage with their audience in the intimate and casual environment of the Innovation Space presented by Unity. Space is limited in this area, so don’t delay!

12:30pm-02:00pm | Lunch Break

Scheduled time for attendees to get lunch. See the XDS Mobile App for nearby lunch locations. Please be back on time for the afternoon sessions!

02:00pm-02:30pm | Women in Animation present: Diversity in External Development | Main Stage
Kristy Scanlan (Technicolor), Julie Ann Crommett (Google), Katie Schaeffers (BRANDLIVE), Neil Thompson (BioWare), Liza Wood (WB Games) & Dilber Mann (Capcom)

Diversity is a topic that impacts all organizations – whether you work for a large AAA developer, or an external partner delivering services. This panel will discuss the gaps as they exist today, and explore solutions companies can put in place leading to a more diverse workforce – whether it be related to gender, culture or disability. The panel will also address how external development, and those involved in the practice, can benefit from fostering a culture of diversity.

02:30pm-03:00pm | The Evolution of Ubisoft Node as a Unique Business Model Through the Lens of the Assassin’s Creed Franchise | Main Stage
Lina Lu & Alain Gurniki (Ubisoft Shanghai): The Evolution of Ubisoft Node as a Unique Business Model Through the Lens of the Assassin’s Creed Franchise

An insider’s look at the evolution of Ubisoft’s Node studio, based in Shanghai – addressing the challenges, successes and lessons learned throughout its mandate to constantly raise the quality bar in supporting and collaborating with Assassin’s Creed. The presentation will explore various topics including stakeholder relationships, ownership, scalability, change management and lessons learned, and the constant aim to exceed expectations.

03:00pm-03:30pm | Expert Panel: Virtual Reality's Impact on External Development | Main Stage
Lauren Freeman (Electronic Arts), Ben Jackson (Sony Interactive Entertainment London), Eric Hine (Archiact Interactive), Kayla Kinnunen (Roadhouse Interactive) & Scott Gershin (Technicolor)Expert Panel: Virtual Reality’s Impact on External Development

This industry panel will include external development community members from a cross-section of the industry who are working in VR/AR. The panel will focus on the technical and creative challenges of developing in VR and best practices. We will also peer into the crystal ball and make some group predictions for VR forecasts (what hardware will win the race, what game genres will be most popular, etc). The audience is encouraged to ask questions, or offer insight based on practical experience in the development of VR titles.

03:30pm-04:00pm | Speaker Q&A | Innovation Space presented by Unity

Interested in continuing the mainstage conversation offstage?  The Speaker Q&A is a scheduled time for speakers from previous sessions to answer questions and engage with their audience in the intimate and casual environment of the Innovation Space presented by Unity. Space is limited in this area, so don’t delay!

03:30pm-04:00pm | PM Break presented by Glass Egg | Glass Egg Central Bar (The Hub)

Scheduled time to enjoy a refreshment at the Central Bar in The Hub, brought to you by Glass Egg, one of our Presenting Sponsors.

04:00pm-04:30pm | A League of Their Own - The How, Who & What of Localizing League of Legends | Main Stage
Sergio Herrero (Keywords Studios) & Valerio Starna (Riot Games): A League of Their Own – The How, Who & What of Localizing League of Legends

Riot Games aspires to be the most player-focused game company in the world. Being “Player-Focused” for the Localization department of Riot essentially translates into always delivering quality, being culturally relevant and making sure that localized versions of League of Legends provide the players with the exact same amount of fun as the English version. In this presentation Valerio Starna, European Localization & QA Manager of Riot Games, and Sergio Herrero, Localization PM of Keywords, share how they are tackling the ever-growing localization of League of Legends, while keeping 67 millions of players happy.

04:30pm-05:00pm | Outsourcing Art for Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes | Main Stage
Derek Smith (Electronic Arts): Outsourcing Art for Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes

Without leveraging heavy amounts of outsourcing for the project’s character and environment pipelines, the EA Star Wars team would not have been able to accomplish what they did in the time they had. The team had roughly 8 months of dev time to create over 250 characters and over 30 environments. This is work that had to be integrated with internal approval as well as Lucasfilm approval. Because of the latter, EA had to tweak their entire pipeline to allow for fast iteration and multiple rounds of feedback. This session will explain how the team worked with their vendors – Sperasoft and Mindwalk – and how they were able to tune their process to produce the best quality results and fast Lucasfilm approvals.

05:00pm-05:30pm | Speaker Q&A | Innovation Space presented by Unity

Interested in continuing the mainstage conversation offstage?  The Speaker Q&A is a scheduled time for speakers from previous sessions to answer questions and engage with their audience in the intimate and casual environment of the Innovation Space presented by Unity. Space is limited in this area, so don’t delay!

06:00pm-09:00pm | Industry Pub Crawl presented by Volta | Main Foyer
For the 3rd year in a row we invite all attendees to join us for the Industry Pub Crawl presented by Volta.  Visit creative studios around Vancouver to check out their space and have a few drinks.

NEW for 2016 – Meet in the Main Foyer from 6:00 – 7:00pm for a Pizza Party kick off before we load the buses!

6:00 – 7:00pm – Pizza Party Kick Off
7:00 – 9:30pm – Industry Pub Crawl

*Shuttles for the Industry Pub Crawl leave at 7:00pm sharp!

09:00pm-Late | Industry Pub Crawl presented by Volta - After Party | The Yale

Are you ready to keep the party going? After the Industry Pub Crawl we will all congregate at The Yale, one of Vancouver’s most iconic bars, for a memorable night of drinks, music and perhaps a little bull riding for those who dare!

Day 3 – Fri. Sept 9

08:00am-06:00pm | Registration & Attendee Info Desk | Main Foyer

Pick up your accreditation at the registration desk. Haven’t registered yet? You can purchase a pass to XDS onsite here too.

09:00am-11:00am | Networking Time | The Hub

Take care of business in The Hub. Network with colleagues and fellow attendees or schedule a pop-up high-top meeting at one of the cocktail tables throughout the space.  These scheduled meetings can be booked by registered attendees via XDS Connect.  Be sure to visit the Glass Egg Central Bar at The Hub for happy hour refreshments!

10:00am-11:00am | AM Break presented by Glass Egg | Glass Egg Central Bar (The Hub)

Scheduled time to enjoy a refreshment at the Central Bar in The Hub, brought to you by Glass Egg, one of our Presenting Sponsors.

11:00am-12:30pm | Tech Innovation Rapid Fire | Main Stage

Tech Innovation Rapid Fire is designed to provide exposure to new and innovative tools that enable our ability to perform external development. The session serves to promote the benefits of the tools, provides real-world case studies for pipeline integration, and allows open dialog with attendees. 3 Tech Innovation Teams will have 25 minutes to present their work followed by 5 minutes of Q&A with a select group of judges onstage who will ask tough questions and ultimately award top prize for “best collaboration”.

11:00am-11:30am | Tech Innovation Rapid Fire: Zynga & Hansoft – Live Ops Outsourcing | Main Stage
Jon Leslie (Hansoft) & Carlos Barbosa (Zynga): Tech Innovation Rapid Fire: Zynga & Hansoft – Live Ops Outsourcing

An operational overview of how Zynga San Diego uses Hansoft to manage multiple projects, both live and in development, using internal and external art, design, engineering, and quality assurance resources. The talk will include how production organizes and balances long term planning, regular product releases, and a rigorous content release schedule to stay competitive in the mobile arcade space with nearly half of the development and testing occurring offsite. Coordination occurs around the world including Spain and India.

11:30am-12:00pm | Tech Innovation Rapid Fire: EA & Faceware – Automating Facial Animation | Main Stage
Peter Busch (Faceware), Greg Wellwood (The Capture Lab), Marla Rausch (Animation Vertigo) & Sam Mynott (The Capture Lab): Tech Innovation Rapid Fire: EA & Faceware – Automating Facial Animation

This talk will serve to celebrate and examine the collaboration between EA and Faceware in establishing high-end facial capture technology, and demonstrate real-world examples. Discussion points will include the use of floating licenses to enable distributed teams to use licenses more efficiently, how EA’s automation wrapper increases throughput, and the way EA is now working with vendors such as Animation Vertigo and Original Force to scale production throughput.

12:00am-12:30pm | Tech Innovation Rapid Fire: Autodesk & High 5 Games – Shotgun and the Integrated Pipeline | Main Stage
Louai Abu-Osba (High 5 Games) & Eli Rarey (Autodesk): Tech Innovation Rapid Fire: Autodesk & High 5 Games  Shotgun and the Integrated Pipeline

Everyone has a pipeline, but how much thought and attention has gone into building it? Has it just come together organically over time or been engineered and constructed for your workflow? This session will look at some different approaches to pipeline and how the idea of pipeline has developed in the game industry. How can pipeline improve artists’ efficiency? How can it improve our quality of work — and more importantly, our quality of life?

Louai Abu-Osba will show battle tested examples of High 5 Games using Autodesk Shotgun to build a high-volume game asset pipeline that normal humans love using. Presenters will show how to optimize your pipeline with non redundant processes, activity measurements, interactive tools, and lots of automation. Specific examples will be offered as to how to integrate local artists and off-site artists with production using build systems, source control, and production management tools. Learn how to better build your pipeline into a flexible system designed for creativity.

12:30pm-02:00pm | Lunch Break

Scheduled time for attendees to get lunch. See the XDS Mobile App for nearby lunch locations. Please be back on time for the afternoon sessions!

02:00pm-03:30pm | Tech Innovation "Tool School" | Innovation Space presented by Unity

Want to learn more about the innovative tools and technologies presented in the Tech Innovation Rapid Fire Session?

Join us in the Innovation Space presented by Unity from 2-3:30pm to connect with the presenters face to face and dive deeper into the processes presented that have proven successful!

02:00pm-03:30pm | Vendor-only Panel: How to Sell Your Company’s Services | Main Stage
Ashley Liu (Mindwalk Studios), Wonder Lin (XPEC), Carl Schmidt (Zynga), Su-Cheng Wu (Sony), Sam Carlisle (Microsoft), Jason Harris (Electronic Arts) & Dennis Cooper (Telltale Games): Vendor-only Panel: How to Sell Your Company’s Services 

[For vendors only] Following the success of the vendor-only session at XDS 2015, this year we are hosting a panel discussion on “How to Sell Your Company’s Services”.  XDS has organized a panel of developers in decision making roles to talk about what works and what doesn’t. Attendees should be those in a sales and marketing role for external partners.  We hope attendees will walk away with practical advice on how to engage clients and sell their services effectively.

02:00pm-02:45pm | Mobile Localization Process Made As-Easy-As-Possible | Breakout Room
Kassi O’Conner (Glu Mobile) & William Farrell (GameScribes): Mobile Localization Process Made As-Easy-As-Possible

Localization of a mobile game title is usually a last minute product in the development cycle. Localization is vital to any mobile game because, with quality localization it gets you more players & downloads, plus a higher possibility of your game being featured. This session will go through the process of localising a mobile title within a four-month development cycle. It will go through the steps starting with developmental pre-planning, making your localization vendor part of your team, and planning for curve balls such as schedule changes and updates.

02:45pm-03:30pm | Lean Management Adapted to Game Live Operations: Go on a Honeymoon with your External Development Partner! | Breakout Room
Nicholas Bensignor (Playsoft): Lean Management Adapted to Game Live Operations: Go on a Honeymoon with your External Development Partner!

Applying the core principles of lean management to mobile game live operations, Playsoft has set up a unique approach that drastically changes the external developer/ publisher relationship and spectacularly improves the games KPIs. The approach allows the team to constantly focus on Player’s needs. The short iterations in product development (one week sprint) allow the Product Owner (publisher) to take decisions frequently to orient the development towards the players expectations based on metrics (and not feeling).

This session will show how project success is built through an early definition of standards, the development of a new testable feature every day, the implementation of real condition testing and more over the pursuit of continuous improvement for the team. Presenters will share how they adapted the famous build-measure-learn loop to gaming live ops, adding systematic A/B testing for each 2 weeks releases. Playsoft’s live ops lean approach not only allows to create great games that keep players happy but helps to build a trustful and solid relationship between the publisher and the developer!

03:30pm-04:00pm | PM Break presented by Glass Egg | Glass Egg Central Bar (The Hub)

Scheduled time to enjoy a refreshment at the Central Bar in The Hub, brought to you by Glass Egg, one of our Presenting Sponsors.

04:00pm-06:00pm | XDS Wrap Party & Awards | The Hub

The 2nd annual XDS Wrap Party + Awards returns in 2016 inviting attendees to kick back with cocktails, canapés and reminisce on the past 3 days at XDS.  You won’t want to miss this chance to say farewell, see the XDS 2016 Wrap Video, and find out who will go home with our coveted “Gary Trophies”.  Don’t miss it!

06:00pm-09:00pm | Farewell Drinks hosted by Sprung Studios | Seawall Bar + Grill

To view the 2015 Agenda, please click here.

To view the 2014 Agenda, please click here.