CGX Ottawa 2018 - A Celebration of Games!

We are thrilled to announce that we are coming back for June 23 & 24, 2018 at the gorgeous Ottawa Conference and Event Centre!

After last years success, the CGX conference will focus on positive leadership in gaming and technology through three separate tracks. The content will continue to focus on founders of Canadian studios sharing all the things they’ve learned from starting and running a successful company. We will also have two other tracks focusing on some of the most exciting movements in technology, creative, and production in the game and tech industry.

The expo zone will have 100 studios showing off their games and tech! Indie, AAA, VR, leaders in tech, and game engines (and tons of surprises and fun for family)!

Alongside the conference and expo, CGX is planning a Mentor Lounge, Connect Cafe (where you can meet lots of studios that are hiring in Canada), and a gorgeous video game art gallery showing off Canadian game artists!

Our beautiful venue is located 10 minutes from Parliament and next to the VIA Rail train station, and we have partnered with Courtyard by Marriott Ottawa East for accommodations!

We cant wait to see you in our beautiful new space, full of great games and industry leaders!

Our Speakers

Meet this year’s speakers


Creative Director @ Kitfox Games


Senior Game Designer @ WB Montreal


Co-Founder @ TheMeatly Games

Jim Leedham

Programmer @ Digital Extremes


Partner & Head of Design @ Karman Interactive

Corina Diaz

Community & Marketing @ Lightning Rod Games; Editor & Host @ GameDevCafe


CEO & Game Designer @ Clever Endeavour Games


Animation Director @ Eidos Montreal

Past Speakers

Meet some of our previous speakers


CEO @ Jillian Mood & Partners


Co-founder@ Execution Labs


Co-Founder @ Steel Crate Games


Head of HR @ Square Enix


Peoples & Cultures @ East Side Games


Partner @ Karman Interactive


CEO @ Trois Pixel


Community Developer @ Execution Labs

Event tickets

Hurry up and get the Early Bird tickets while they are available
Expo Day Pass
  • Full day access to the access floor
Coming soon
Expo Weekend Pass
  • Full weekend access to the Expo floor
Coming soon
Conference Day Pass
  • Day access to the expo floor
  • Day access to the conference
Coming soon
Conference Full Pass
  • Full access to the expo floor
  • Full access to the conference
  • Early bird pricing!
Buy now!

Last Year's Schedule

9:00-9:45 AM
Post-Mortem: Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

From game jam to IGF award winner, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes has been an adventure in game development. For the first title from a new "studio", working in a new medium to boot, there were plenty of lessons to be learned. Come hear about what went right, what went wrong, and why we should never use any ideas brainstormed after 4pm.

BEN KANE, Co-Founder @ Steel Crate Games

Game development is driven by a passion for creating amazing worlds and compelling gameplay. It is also big business. Sadly, it is not always clear how best to mix that passion for creation with commercial viability. This session will provide 10 tips for winning at the business of games while creating visionary works.

JASON DELLA ROCCA, Co-founder @ Execution Labs

Jillian Mood, CEO @ Jillian Mood & Partners, Julie Tremblay Roy, Project Manager @ Cinnamon Toast, Yves Bordeleau, General manager @ Rogue Factor, Lee Vermeulen, Game Developer @ Alientrap, Ken Seto, CEO @ Massive Damage, Samantha Cook, Co-founder & Producer @ Artifact 5, JONGWOO KIM, Co-Founder, Gameplay Programmer @ Kitfox Games

Join Jon as he flows through a stream of consciousness about Karman Interactive and the ups and downs over the past 5 years. From the founder's motivations for quitting their jobs and taking the plunge to start the business, to implementing controversial policies that are frowned on from other organizations, Jon will dive deep into the behind the scenes workings of running a company and the victories and failures that come along with it.

JON KEON, Partner @ Karman Interactive

I started in the industry in 2015, 6 months later I was leading a team of artists and developers whom had decades of experience. Forward another 6 months and I now have my own business. Today, I run my business, teach in the animation program at algonquin and get to present at conferences. A 18 months success story that took me a decade to accomplish.

Jason Renaud, CEO @ Trois Pixel

During One More Story Games' game engine development (StoryStylus), they hosted intensive week-long courses for youth aged 10-16 to see if the engine designed for adult game writers was simple enough for youth to master.

Jean Leggett, CEO @ One More Story Games

JOHN GARDINER, Partnership & Finance @ Big Viking Games

Learn the secrets of low budget game development, from empowering your fans to do your marketing for you, to managing projects effectively with free tools, to how to save by employing remote team members. Start making more, with less!

Xavier Sythe, Producer @ Diamond Age Media

With a mature video game market and essential technologies turned into commodities, does it still make sense for small development companies to staff internally from day one? Through case studies, parallels with the evolution of the cinema and television industries, we will explore the advantages of assembling lean temporary teams from a network of experts for high-risk project exploration before growing internally as an optimization of success. Our industry is ready for the lean startup at every product!

Thiéry Adam, CEO @ Trailblazer Games
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Portfolio reviews and mentoring


In today's landscape of free-to-play it's never been more important to keep growing your game beyond its release with rich, meaningful content updates, but what kind of technical challenges can that introduce? How can you reconcile a cohesive code base with an ever-growing feature set? And how can you effectively stabilise your builds when there's always work in progress? Join me as I present our team's tried and tested approach to continual iteration and improvement within our flagship title, Warframe.

Jim Leedham, Programmer @ Digital extremes

While barriers to entry are at an all time low, the hurdles to success in the increasingly lucrative games industry continue to grow at a rapid pace. Focusing largely on the challenges of the free-to-play market, explore with Chris Lefebvre (IGDA Victoria President, Indie Prize Judge, Head of Business Development with Tapdaq) the idea that the survival in hyper-competitive markets requires a collaborative perspective on problem solving, and that even red-headed ad salesmen have a soul.

Chris Lefebvre, Head of Business Development @ TapDaq

With Alexa, Google Home, Watson and Microsoft Cognitive Services creating easier ways to talk to computers, the old-school text based game is set to make a comeback as game developers harness the power of artificial intelligence. Recent experiences like Lifeline and Marvel’s Dr Strange AI on Skype begin to show the trend, but what does audio-only gaming look like? Can games be engaging without a screen?

Sean MacPhedran, Senior Content Strategist @ SMITH

Daniel Beauchamp, Head of VR @ Shopify, Justin Wilkinson, Lead Developer @ SimWave Consulting, Allen Pestaluky, Co-Founder @ Steel Crate Games, Jonathan Gagne, CEO @ Brinx Software, Ravi Udit, Moderator
9:00-9:45 AM
Forging Honor: Providing a Coherent Vision for a New IP

At E3 2015, Ubisoft revealed 'For Honor', a new IP that offers the opportunity to let your inner knight, viking, or samurai come out to play. The game garnered a huge amount of attention, in part because the message to gamers was so clear (and because SWORDS, of course). How does one provide a team with a vision for something completely new like that? A vision that inspires, yet is flexible enough to allow for change? A vision that will guide everyone working on the project in every department over the years needed to make something like that come to life? Come join the creative director of 'For Honor', Jason VandenBerghe, as he takes you from the games original conception straight through to that big reveal, and shares the techniques that his team applied to maintain that vision across all the phases of development. Let's fight!

Jason VandenBerghe, Creative Director @ Ubisoft Montreal

There was a time when web browsers didn’t support images. Now they’re able to run full 3D games at high framerates and even interact with Virtual Reality headsets. Whoa. If you've been heads down in game development for a while, you may have missed some of the coolest technologies coming out on the web. Here's your chance to catch up.

Daniel Beauchamp, Head of VR @ Shopify

Brent George, Animation Director @ Eidos, Stephen Daggitt, Creative Director @ Fuel Industries, Osama Dorias, Senior Game Designer @ Minority Media Inc., ALEXANDER KARPAZIS, Presentation Art Director @ Ubisoft

Pixelles, Dames Making games, Girl Force

Jennie Robinson Faber, ED @ Dames Making Games, Alicia Fortier, Pixelles Volunteer & Game Designer @ Ubisoft

Engage Everbody: A Panel on PR & Communications

ASTRID ROSEMARIN, Community Developer @ Execution Labs, Jim Squires, Freelance PR, Kayla Spagnoli, Marketing and Communications Manager @ Capital Gaming Expo

JESSE DALLON, HR Manager @ Pirahna Games, Kayla Boyer, Isabelle Tremblay, Head of HR @ Square Enix, Lidi Giroux, Peoples & Cultures @ East Side Games, IAN DURANT, People operations @ You.i TV

David Lightbown, User Experience Director @ Ubisoft Montreal, Byron Mayne, Programmer @ Budge Studios, Blair Leggett, Founder & CTO @ One More Story Games

Sometimes looking to the past can yield interesting and useful results in solving modern game development problems. Discover the history of bitboard algorithms, from their early days in Chess AI programming, to their more recent applications in match 3 style puzzle games. Gain an understanding of how bitboard algorithms work and learn how they were applied to Magmic’s match 3 puzzle game, Rubik’s Uncubed.

Cristian Potvin, Software Developer @ Youi Labs
9:00-9:15 AM
Canadian Video Game Awards and 2017 Ottawa games week announcement

Guy Laflamme, Executive Director at Ottawa 2017 Bureau

Ever thought "I always wanted to get started with shaders but they're a bit scary"? Or how about "I don't even know what a shader is"? Well you've come to the right place! We go over some shader examples with little to no code, and show how they can be both a fun and easy way to level up your game's visuals.

Jason Nuyens, Founder @ Breakfall

We’ve all heard or read about Design Thinking, Lean, U-X, Flow or Innovations theories, but making sense of all of that together can be daunting. Taking the point of view of game conception and inspiration from artists, I share my personal notes on how all of this works together and more importantly of how to transform those mindsets into tools to work on your own game ideas.

Nicolas Eypert, Director of conception @ Ubisoft

Interested in experiencing the world of holograms and mixed reality? Microsoft has a vision for the future, and it involves terms and technology straight out of science fiction. In this talk, we will cover some key aspects of developing for mixed reality using a Microsoft HoloLens. We will discuss the considerations of building mixed reality experiences, walk through the workflow and look at how you can get started developing today. So join us and learn how high-definition holograms and mixed reality can bring your ideas to life.

Mickey MacDonald, Developer Evangelist @ Microsoft

How can UI design enhance the stories our games tell and player immersion? Does bad UI present a hidden cost? What does incorporating accessibility through UI mean to our players​' experiences? Using hands-on examples, we​'ll see how user interfaces can be so much more than critical messages, popups, menus, and mundane vessels for information.​

Rebecca Cohen Palacios, UI Developer/Artist @ Ubisoft Montreal

Always wanted to write your own tech? Or just curious about how it's usually done? In this talk, David will give specific tips and tricks. What modules are needed and how they work, managing your render states, making sure the code stays cross-platform, and how to avoid bloating your framework with third parties. Onut, an open source framework, will be used as a reference.

David St Louis, Senior Game Developer @ bitHeads

Take a deep dive into the physics of Windforge. This talk will focus on the physics features in Windforge that went beyond typical usage of the physics system. In particular, it will cover the physics of our grappling hook, air ships, and environment, as well as a number of Box2D modifications to make it all work.

Evan Hahn, Co-founder @ Snowed In Studios

Whether it is for frantic panic, loving compassion or serene calm, successful mobile game developer Shane McCafferty presents on the power and effectiveness of designing rigorously towards that feeling!

Shane McCafferty, iOS developer

VR technology is somewhat ubiquitous these days and we’ve heard plenty of stories about how it’s a bit nauseating. Although the tech is good, it is not perfect. This talk explains a bit of the science behind visual perception and the discrepancies found within current VR technology. Most importantly it will venture to propose how to build experiences to minimize the visual and motion discomfort so users can truly enjoy your creations.

Martin Walker, CTO @ Fuel Industries

Inside Tracks: A Talk With Three Game Music Composers

Mike Keogh, Composer and Interactive Media Designer, Ray Gould, Sound Designer, Music Composer @ Soundkamera, Liam Sauvé, Game Developer

Watch CGX talks LIVE


Fun Initiatives
A collection of game artists/designers showcasing their best work in a exciting art gallery set up
Pens & Pixels presents "Video Game Art Gallery"
10 hiring studios will take part in a meet and greet cafe set up to connect with any devs/artists interested in hearing about open positions
Connect CafeConnect and get hired

Meet our Exhibitors

Partners & Sponsors

these awesome companies support us

Ottawa Conference and Event Centre