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CGX2018 - A Celebration of Games!

Ottawa Conference and Event Centre, April 6-8, 2018

About Capital Gaming Expo 2018

We are thrilled to announce CGX 2018 will be hitting Ottawa April 6th to 8th at the gorgeous Ottawa Conference and Event Centre!!!


-Beautiful conference and expo rooms!
Courtyard by Marriott Ottawa East attached for speakers and visitors with dedicated meeting rooms
-Rooms for the connect cafe and portfolio rooms
-incredible food and networking!
-next to train station and 10 mins to parliament

We can’t wait to show off the happy new space and upgrades while keeping the recipe of content and exhibitors showing how Canada is rocking the industry!

What we will do

CGX brings a similar vision that PAX has to Ottawa by including gamers, startups, indies, and AAA studios from all over Canada together in one giant celebration of games. There will be an expo floor dedicated to games and tech, organized by Jared Thomson from Snowed In Studios, as well as conference talks by industry leaders focusing on entrepreneurial success, positive leadership, industry creative and technical directors. The expo floor will also include an incredible display of industry art.

Who is coming

Studios and speakers are coming from all over Canada, including Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, and more! Speaking games from studios such as Execution Labs, XMG, Microsoft, Unity, Karman Interactive, Ludia, Ubisoft, East Side Games, and so much more!






Meet some of our valued speakers


CEO @ Jillian Mood & Partners


Co-founder@ Execution Labs


Co-Founder @ Steel Crate Games


Head of HR @ Square Enix


Animation Director @ Eidos


Peoples & Cultures @ East Side Games


Partner @ Karman Interactive


CEO @ Trois Pixel


9:00-10:00 AM
Developing a UX mindset on Fortnite

While there is no recipe for crafting successful video games, there are specific ingredients that we can rely on and a specific process that can guide developers along the way. The ingredients come from our understanding of the human brain. The process comes from the scientific approach and "design thinking". Considering them both allows developers to adopt a user experience (UX) mindset for their project, empowering them to accomplish their goals faster and more efficiently. Former director of UX at Epic Games explains in this talk how such UX strategy was developed on Fortnite and how the team implemented it.

Ceila Hodent, Freelance Game UX Consultant

Creative direction is even harder as an indie. You're a small team, pushing the frontier of games, on a smaller budget. How do you keep your team not only on-target but motivated? How do you evaluate your own effectiveness as a creative director? Everyone has their own style and strengths -- let's find yours! This session will explore Kitfox's experiments (successful and otherwise) in creative direction, in terms of theory and practice as executed in her studio over the past 5 years.

Tanya X. Short, Creative Director @ Kitfox Games


Geoff Ellenor, Game Director @ WB Games Montreal


Anne Gibeault, Creative Lead & Founder @ Epsilon Games

From Game Jam to Glory: The Ultimate Chicken Horse Story" is a (mostly) business-focused talk about the story of UCH, from its inception to its critical success on Steam. Throughout the story, many lessons were learned, and I will talk about these lessons which touch on topics such as management, handling relationships, hustle, design, community, and more.

Richard Atlast, CEO & Game Designer @ Clever Endeavour


Mark Allice, Innovation Advisor @ NRC-IRAP | PARI-CNRC | Government of Canada


Tali Goldstein, CEO & Producer @ Casa Rara Studios; Lateef Martin, Founder & Creative Director @ Miscellaneum Studios


Ken Seto, CEO & Co-Founder @ Massive Damage, Inc; Jeff Giasson, Founder @ Meridian4


Jefferson Allen, VP of Studio Operations @ Mercury Filmworks
10:00 AM - 10:40 AM
Cuphead - The Creative Process and 2D Animation

Get Behind the Scenes of ­Cuphead – the gloriously fiendish indie run-and-gunner game inspired by classic Rubber hose cartoons of the 1930s. Hotly anticipated, and blowing up since launching on PC and Xbox One, Cuphead was painstakingly created using techniques of the 1930s era: traditional hand drawn animation, watercolor backgrounds, and original jazz recordings.

Tina Nawrocki, 2D Animator @ Cuphead

Level design can be hard - especially when you're staring at a blank page. I'll share some of the techniques I use to find starting points.

Travis Martin, Game & Lead Designer @ Snowed In Studios

What is a Top Ad Strategy? How are Top Grossing Studios and Indies Innovating the Balance between User Experience & Revenue in Mobile F2P? Join Chris Lefebvre, VP @ Tapdaq, Publisher @ DoubleJump, CEO @ Petty Vindictive Games, and Judge @ Big Indie Pitch & Indie Prize, as he showcases the year's best in-app ad implementations. Also, memes.

Chris Lefebre, VP of Business Development @ Tapdaq

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 does 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 Digital Extreme's tried and tested approach to continuous iteration within our flagship title Warframe

Jim Leedham, Programmer @ Digital Extremes

Want to learn how to get your apps or games covered by main stream media such as Techcrunch, The Verge, Mashable, Buzzfeed, New York Times and more? Adrian will walk you through the process he's used to get his companies top tier media exposure for FREE and without wasting money on a PR agency. Get ready to take notes, this session will be focused on delivering you takeaways you can start using right away.

Adrian Salamunovic, Co-Founder @ CanvasPop

Brent George, Animation Director @ Eidos; Nick Eypert, UX Director @ Reflector Entertainment Ltd; Ken Hall, CEO @ 2Dogs Games; Tina Nawrocki, 2D Animator @ Cuphead; Guillaime Charrin, Lead Art @ Ludia

I will discuss the specific design decisions that were required given the state of VR as it existed when we started on the project, point out some of the alternatives if we hadn't been focused on VR, discuss some of the challenges we faced trying to add in motion control support to a game that wasn't designed for them and talk about some of the design constraints with current VR tech and how this will likely change in the near future.

Brian Fetter, Co-Founder @ Steel Crate Games

Jillian Mood, CEO @ Mood Foundation; Ian Durant, People Operations Leader @ You.i TV; Jane Maguire, Lead Engineering Recruiter @ Shopify; Lidi Giroux
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Scrum Workshop

Do you have daily standups but no other scrum meetings? Are you doing scrum but don’t have a product owner or scrum master? Are you a team lead who’s just been made the scrum master? Did you just google ‘what is a product owner or scrum master’ right now? Maybe you’re just curious about what scrum is and how you can implement it for your team or studio? In some agile circles there’s a term called scrumbut to define when a team ‘does scrum but …’. I prefer to call it FrankenScrum. Either way, if you’re new to scrum, or are struggling with how to implement it successfully this is the workshop for you!

This half-day scrum workshop is full of activities to encourage teamwork and collaboration. Each activity builds upon the previous activities, reinforcing important information in an interactive way. We’ll learn the better practices and things to avoid when implementing scrum for you team.

By the end of the workshop you should have a thorough understanding of the Scrum Roles, Meetings, and how a feature makes its way from the Product Backlog, through a Sprint, and out as a potentially shippable product increment. You should leave with enough knowledge to start or reboot scrum for your team and be on your way to agile success.

Be prepared for an afternoon of fun-filled collaboration and learning with your peers.

Sherri Flemings, Founder @ Webble Interactive Inc.
9:00 AM -10:00 AM
Key Note


Mike Mood, Co-Founder & CEO @ TheMeatly Games; Jon Keon, Partner @ Karman Interactive


Erika Ishii, Host / Producer @ Geek & Sundry; Sax Carr, Producer / Writer / Social Media @ Geek & Sundry


Rachèl Bazelais, Front End Developer @ Formerly AOL

Formal UX evaluation sessions are becoming more integrated into game development cycles. However, conducting these sessions is not always feasible or affordable for smaller independent game studios, as they often require specialised equipment and expertise. In this talk, I provide guidelines for how small studios with low budgets can benefit from playtesting their games. Using recent, real-world examples, I discuss the approaches, methods and equipment used to build an effective playtesting setup to help game developers optimize the player experience for their titles.

Pejman Mirza - Babaei, Director @ UXR Lab

In this long-take anecdote I'll go in detail about a specific moment that resonated with me in my years teaching Game Development. It stemmed from a single question from one of my students, "How do I build an elevator?". What emerged from that problem is something I'll never forget. This is a story of creative problem solving, imposter syndrome and perseverance when the road ahead is thick with fog.

Derek Ledoux, Co-Founder & Organizer & Mobile Educator @ Dirty Rectangles & Shopify

Osama Dorias, Senior Game Designer @ WB Montreal; Kim Swift, Design Director @ EA Motive; Jillian Mood, CEO @ Mood Foundation; Kezia Adamo, Freelance Game Developer

Rebecca Johnson, Co-Founder @ Colony VR; Kevin Harwood, Founder & Producer @ The Station; Keith Makse, Senior Product Project Manager @ Red Meat Games; Martin Bradstreet, CEO & Creative Director @ Martov Co; Vicky Ferguson, Programming Team Lead @ Ubisoft Montreal
10:10 AM - 10:40 AM
Lessons from Suzy Cube

A distillation of a number of the blog posts I've written over 3 years of working solo on Suzy Cube from my blog posts of the same name. Interspersed with anecdotes on my experience doing all this while living through the socio-economic turmoil in Venezuela.

Louis-Nicolas Dozois, Creative Lead @ NorthernBytes Software

Corina Diaz, Digital Marketing Strategist @ Lightning Rod Games; Jillian Mood, CEO @ Mood Foundation; Victoria Tran, Community Manager @ Kitfox Games; Cole Hagedorn, Community Manager @ Mood Foundation

Vicki Ferguson, Programming Team Lead @ Ubisoft Montreal

This is the story of how an animator and a programmer started a game company, raised money, designed an original game, did their own PR and marketing, self published and, most importantly, shipped the game on time. This talk will include a brief post-mortem of the game "Fossil Hunters" that addresses key challenges for a small team on their first game, and some advice from a 6 year old on overcoming the fear of failure.

Simon Paquette, Co-Founder @ Reptoid Games

Competitive games need to be built from the ground up. This includes thinking about your community, low level programming, and constant balancing and refinement of the game. In this talk we'll take a critical look at what makes competitive games unique, and how you can make yours as holistic as possible.

Ben Pavelsky, Business Development @ Hyroglyphik Games

Speaking from a unique perspective of leading design across digital brand advertising for clients (at Fuel) and long term game/app development as part of internal teams (at Funzio and Mind Candy). Some insights on how each industry can learn from the other.

Ram Kanda, Partner & Head of Design @ Karman Interactive
10:10 AM - 11:40 AM
Directing Art: An Unexpected Journey

Dan Vargas, Art Director @ Ubisoft Quebec

Fred Rambaud, Art Director @ Gearbox Studios

Adam Duff, Concept Artist @ Lucidpixul
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

"Making fun and engaging video games is hard, and with thousands of games being released every year, the competition is fierce. Although there is no known recipe for crafting successful games, some clear ingredients do exist, which game developers can use to make their own successful recipe. User experience (UX) and cognitive science disciplines combined provide developers with those ingredients --across all types of games, platforms used, or audiences targeted-- to guide them along the development process. Experiencing a game happens in the player's mind. This is why understanding the human brain (especially its limitations) while it is perceiving and interacting with a game is paramount to accomplish faster and more efficiently your developers' goals. This Masterclass proposes to delve into how the human brain works in terms of perception, attention, and memory and offers a concrete UX framework and guidelines that developers can apply during the different development stages. The ultimate goal of this Masterclass is to provide tools to significantly improve the experience of the game you are developing, as perceived by your target audience. This Masterclass will offer numerous examples, from video games and beyond, to illustrate each point."

Celia Hodent, Game UX Expert

Event tickets

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

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

  • info@cgexpo.ca
  • April 6-8, 2018 from 10am - 5pm.