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 2 sold events CGX is back! The conference will focus on positive leadership in gaming & technology through three separate tracks, including the famous founder’s track. Along with advances in tech and creative, we will also have art workshops and masterclasses.

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

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 new beautiful venue is located 10 minutes from Parliament and next to the train station. We have partnered with Courtyard by Marriott for accommodations!

We can’t wait to see you in our beautiful new space, full of great games and industry leaders! We also promise, as with all our events, to be incredibly diverse and inclusive.


Over 1000 Industry members will unite at GDC for a record-breaking Mentoring Event

SAN FRANCISCO, California. Monday, March 19 – The Canadian Gaming Expo (CGX), one of Canada’s premier gaming conferences, is thrilled to announce it will be hosting the biggest-ever Mentor Lounge™ at GDC 2018. Supported and attended by companies such as Intel, Adobe, and Microsoft, the upcoming CGX-hosted Mentor Lounge will not only support knowledge sharing between Mentors and Mentees, but it will be done in an environment that supports diversity and inclusivity.

“This initiative was created to help experts and leaders give back and help shape a more positive and successful games industry. The Mentor Lounge event gives both Mentors and Mentees an astonishing amount of knowledge and motivation that provides everyone the tools they need to grow and succeed,” says CGX founder, Jillian Mood.

The CGX Mentor Lounge at GDC 2018 will feature over 125 industry leading professionals (Mentors) sitting down to share their advice, knowledge, and experience across various topics in game development. The event is set up in a speed dating format, pairing up-and-coming developers (Mentees) with multiple professionals who suit their needs, giving them a chance to meet and learn from multiple perspectives on everything from programming, to art direction, to leading a team of diverse individuals to succeed, all within a positive environment.

The CGX Mentor Lounge will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on March 19, 2018, at Lucky Strike, followed by a big Canadian Bash. Check out the Mentor line up here

About the CGX Mentor Lounge

Mentor Lounges are events set up in a speed-dating style, giving up-and-coming developers a chance to meet and learn from industry professionals in programming, art and creative design, sound design, management, and production. The events provide a chance for constructive feedback, creative collaboration, and a positive, inclusive environment in which to learn and grow skills as a newcomer to the industry. Go to for more information and here to see the line up of GDC Mentors

About CGX

The Canadian Gaming Expo (CGX) is a gaming conference and expo held in cities across Canada focused on positive, innovative growth in the games industry. By focusing conference talks on diverse topics from various studio founders, artists, developers, and producers, supporting Mentor Lounges and Connect Cafes, and providing an expo floor to various games and studios to show off their newest projects to the world, CGX provides developers with many tools needed to succeed in this ever-expanding industry.

Event tickets

Hurry up and get the Early Bird tickets while they are available!

*Ending April 1st, 2018.

Expo Day Pass
  • Full day access to
  • the expo floor
Expo Weekend Pass
  • Full weekend access
  • to the expo floor
Conference Day Pass
  • Day access to the expo floor
  • Day access to the conference
Conference Full Pass
  • Full access to the expo floor
  • Full access to the conference
Buy now!

Our Speakers

Meet this year’s speakers


Creative Director @ Kitfox Games

Dan Vargas

Art Director @ Ubisoft Quebec


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

Ben Palevsky

Business/Marketing Director @ Hyroglyphik Games

Byron Mayne

Developer @ Playtika

Guillaume Charrin

Lead Art @ Ludia

Jessica Shields

2D/3D Artist and Animator @ REDspace Inc.

Lidi Giroux

Team and Culture Manager @ East Side Games

Anne Gibeault

Creative Lead @ Epsilon Games

Rachèl Bazelais

Front End Developer


Partner @ Karman Interactive

Brian Fetter

Co-Founder @ Steel Crate Games

Xavier Sythe

Founder & Producer @ Diamond Age Media

Derek Ledoux

Co-Founder @ Dirty Rectangles

Travis Martin

Game & Level Designer @ Snowed In Studios Inc.

Victor Mosquera

Concept artist @ Ubisoft Toronto

Adrian Salamunovic

Co-Founder @ CanvasPop

Frederick Rambaud

Art Director @ Gearbox Studio Québec

Rachelle Reye

Character Design @ Disney

    Pejman Mirza-Babaei

    Director @ UXR Lab

    Nivanh Chanthara

    Concept Artist

      Chris Lefebvre

      Ads @ Tapdaq, Publishing @ Double Jump

      Past Speakers

      Meet some of our previous speakers


      Co-founder@ Execution Labs


      Head of HR @ Square Enix


      CEO @ Trois Pixel


      Community Developer @ Execution Labs

      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, Founder & 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

      GORDON MCMILLAN, CEO & CCO @ Mcmillan

      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

      Coming soon!

      Partners & Sponsors

      these awesome companies support us

      Ottawa Conference and Event Centre