Louisiana State University

Meet the creators of Halo, FIFA, Star Wars X-Wing and Guild Wars 2

LSU Video Game Symposium – April 22, 2016

LSU Video Game Symposium

The 2016 LSU Video Game Symposium is a series of panels, group discussions and presentations with media leaders considering the future skill requirements that will be needed in the game industry. Speakers from around the country will be joining us from giant franchises such as Halo, FIFA and Guild Wars. We will also be hosting a showcase of local productions from around the state demonstrating a vibrant development culture that is starting to take hold. If you’re interested at all in the Gaming Industry, you should not miss this event. Bring your questions–Free to attend!


Find out the skills needed for development jobs of the future.



April 21

Daniel Dociu Talk

Art Building – Room 330
10:00 – 12:00

Daniel Dociu Career Retrospective

Daniel Dociu (Guild Wars) will discuss his careers and look at student work.

April 21

Edward Kilham Talk

DMC Theater
10:30 – 12:00

Edward Kilham Talk

Edward Kilham (Star Wars X-Wing, Need for Speed, FIFA) will talk to computer science students about game programming.

April 21

Drew Cady Talk

DMC Theater
3:00 – 5:00

Audio Demonstration

Being creative and adaptive, navigating a future production cycle.Drew Cady will walk you through a VR development cycle by being creative and adaptive. What were the choices made in choosing plugins to finally showing a VR film at Sundance?
Drew will also take an in depth look into sound designing for Guild Wars 2 Heart Of Thorns starting with a custom Foley library to final asset.

April 22

LSU Video Game Symposium

DMC Theater

Game Production Demystified

Dan Ayoub (Halo, NBA Street, Prince of Persia)

The Role of Programmers in Modern Game Development

Edward Kilham (FIFA, Need for Speed, Star Wars: X-WIng, RoboSport)

Zoom-In, Zoom-Out

Daniel Dociu (Guild Wars)


How to Get Hired as an Engineer

Matt Finley & Sid Brown (inXile)

Challenges for Audio in VR & AR

Drew Cady (Guild Wars)

Interviews Are so Hard

Anthony Glueck (High Voltage)

Having the Right Work Ethic and Attitude to Succeed

Josh Holmes (Halo, NBA Live, Def Jam Vendetta)

A Machete in the Jungle, and Game Development

Adam Volker (Moonbot)

Games Industry Round Table

Speakers answer questions from the audience

April 22

LSU Video Game Symposium

DMC 1034

Build it Better: The Future of 3D Content and the Standards Required

Beau Perschall & Matt Hales (TurboSquid)

My Game Sucked, and I‘m Grateful: How to Build a Successful Mindset

Nicholas Laborde (Raconteur Games)


So, You Want to Be a Game Artist?

Jessa Carlson (High Voltage)

Designer’s Quest-Log

Micah Skaritka (High Voltage)

Tadpole Treble Premiere

Michael & Matthew Taranto

What does a Game Designer Do?

Haider CW (Gameloft)

April 22

Future Fest

DMC First Floor
1:00 – 3:00

Demonstration of local digital art, video games and animation from students and local professionals. All spaces are taken for Future Fest but you can still sign up for Redstick on April 30th.

Sign Up for Red Stick

April 22

IGL Game Tournament

DMC 2nd Floor
10:30 – 6:30

The Independent Gaming League, in partnership with the Red Stick Festival, is pleased to bring you the IGL Indie Game Tournament, where gamers can walk up and try their hand at setting a high score, a record time, or just a personal best in a variety of independently developed video games.

Stick around till the afternoon, when you’ll have the chance to compete in a Nidhogg Tournament – an award winning indie game developed by Messof – with one lucky winner walking away with the grand prize.

Join us at the Red Stick Festival for the ultimate Indie Game experience!

IGL Tournament

Presenting the


Video game’s best and brightest from around the continent.



A 17-year veteran of the games industry, Dan Ayoub has worked for a number of games companies including Ubisoft, Disney, Electronic Arts, and Microsoft in both internal and external production roles. Dan has worked on games like Prince of Persia, NBA Street, and for the past 6.5 years, has been entirely devoted to Halo.

A gamer his whole life, Dan has been playing video, role-playing, and table top games as far back as he can remember, and remains highly passionate about the industry as an amazing medium for entertainment.




Sid Brown is currently the Lead Engineer at inXile Entertainment. He has been working in the video game industry for over 12 years. He started his career in 2004 at inXile where he worked on several AAA titles including The Bard’s Tale, Hunted: The Demon’s Forge, and. Choplifter HD.

Sid left the company in 2012 to work for Virtual Heroes in Raleigh, NC to work in the serious games where he was made Lead Engineer for the team. At Virtual Heroes Sid hired engineers for training programs and simulation software for medical, military, and other private applications.

In 2015 Sid came back to inXile Entertainment to be the Lead Engineer for their newly opened New Orleans office to hire the new team that is developing their latest Kickstarter project, Bard’s Tale IV.




Drew Cady is a sound designer and foley artist for ArenaNet. He also does recording, mixing and mastering engineer for music, film and virtual reality. At ArenaNet he works mainly on the foley library, voice processing, creatures and ambient sounds for Guild Wars 2 and Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns.

Drew has a driving need to push sound design and technology forward. He enjoys finding new ways of manipulating sounds and creating tools for a better product. Drew has lectured at the Berklee College of Music, DigiPen, Experience America and Seattle Game Audio Group.




Jessa Carlson graduated with honors from The Art Institute of Minnesota with an Associate of Applied Science and continued her education at the Illinois Institute of Art for Media Arts and Animation where she earned her BFA with honors. Her focus was in character animation where she started her career as a cinematics animator at Atomic Imaging in Chicago, IL. This led to her dream job as an animator at High Voltage Software in 2001.

In subsequent years, she has advanced her expertise as an animator and perfected her artistic vision and leadership skills. Jessa has led art teams on numerous titles, including the cinematics team on Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell (Xbox One and PS4) and most recently the art direction on Dragon Front (Oculus VR).




Haider CW is a Game Economy Designer at Gameloft New Orleans. Haider has been part of the game industry for over 12 years now. Haider has worked as a Game Designer for a number of companies including Ubisoft, EA and Gameloft. Haider has worked on IP’s such as Assassin’s Creed, Prince of Persia, The Settlers and Ice Age.

Haider has years of experience with free to play games, on a wide range of platforms from PC to Mobile. Haider has been playing video games his whole life and Baldur’s Gate 2 remains his all-time favorite.




Daniel Dociu is an award winning sci-fi and fantasy artist in the entertainment industry. Raised in the capital of Transylvania, in Romania, Daniel studied art and architecture, earning a Masters Degree in Industrial Design from the Academy of Fine Arts in the city of Cluj. He has been working as an Art Director for various game development studios in the Seattle area since 1993.

For the past thirteen years he has taken on the role of Studio Art Director forArenaNet, with particular focus on the critically acclaimed Guild Wars franchise. Daniel is a prolific freelance artist, contributing to numerous publications, advertising, film as well as educational and public speaking engagements.




Co-founded inXile Entertainment, Inc. in 2002 and serves as its President. Previous to inXile, Matt Findley worked at Interplay Entertainment from 1989 to 2002.

At inXile entertainment Mr. Findley serves as Creative Director and/or Executive Producer of all of inXile’s games. In additions to the critical success of their products, inXile has become one the most successfully crowd funded companies of all time with three multimillion dollar crowd funding campaigns for Wasteland 2, Torment: Tides of Numenera, and The Bard’s Tale IV.

Recently Mr. Findley moved to New Orleans, Louisiana to open inXile’s first satellite studio. In their first three months inXile NOLA has ramped up to 16 people and look to have more than 25 people by the end of their first year.

In his almost three decades of making games, Mr. Findley has been credited on over 50 titles on virtually every gaming platform that has ever existed.




Anthony Glueck graduated from ISU with a BS in Physics and Math in 1995, and was the first student at ISU to ever receive the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. He then pursued his love of physics with an internship at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and graduated from CSU with an MS in Physics in 1997. Anthony was a doctoral candidate at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory for 18 months, and has co–authored several peer–reviewed articles in different physics journals.

Moving from physics to games, Anthony worked in an engineering division of the now defunct Anchor Gaming for 18 months, and in that time successfully completed 6 titles. Anthony moved to High Voltage Software in March of 2001, where he began working on the original Hunter the Reckoning XBOX game; tackling AI, tool support, animation systems, and combat systems. Anthony is a great programmer who makes great games.








Josh Homes has over 21 years experience in the video games industry. His career started at Electronic Arts where he worked on titles such as FIFA Soccer 97, NBA Live 99, Def Jam Vendetta and NBA Street.

Josh then ran Propaganda games which produced Turok. Josh is now the studio head for 343 Industries and is in charge of the Halo series.




Edward Kilham has been working in the game industry for over 25 years and has been involved in a wide variety of game development from Apple II to modern games consoles.

In recent years, Edward has been involved in a variety of large scale game projects involving hundreds of people working collaboratively all over the world.

Edward is currently a Senior Technical Director at Electronic Arts Vancouver working on FIFA.




Nicholas Laborde is a video game “business guy” and the founder of Raconteur Games, a studio based in Lafayette, LA. The company was founded with a clear mission: tell stories worth telling.

While still in college, Nicholas attracted investment, recruited his team, and helped release the company’s first game. He is active in the Lafayette game development and entrepreneurial communities, and is also an active business development mentor with San Francisco-based video game startup accelerator, Core Labs Accelerator, where he assists with video game startups worldwide.




Beau Perschall has been deeply involved in the 3D world for the last 23 years; first as a 3D modeler and animator, working in New Orleans for clients including Shell Oil, MTV and Textron Marine, then as a plug-in development manager helping launch and support over 70 commercial tools in the early days of a upstart package called 3D Studio DOS and 3D Studio Max.

Beau has been the VP of Business Development with TurboSquid for the last 14 years and has built and maintained solid relationships with the major players in the 3D arena including Autodesk, Adobe, Maxon, The Foundry, Allegorithmic, nVidia, AMD, Chaos Group, Digital Tutors, Lynda.com and cgSociety among many others. Beau also acts as the CheckMate Evangelist within the company, helping teach artists around the globe what professionals at companies like Weta Digital, Blur, Electronic Arts, CNN, IKEA and inXile need in regards to stock 3D models and the standards that are required to be successful.




Micah Skaritka has been creating award winning games for the past 20 years. He began his career in the video game industry 10 years ago, after 10 years creating and publishing a line of pen-and-paper roleplaying games. Micah has worked on a diverse range of more than 16 titles; from point-and-click adventure games, to full-blown first person shooters, and a wide variety of licensed games for Marvel, Lucas, and Fox.

Over the years he has earned experience leading teams, designing game systems, scripting events and cinematics, writing story and dialog, directing Hollywood actors, and directing motion-capture shoots. Micah is currently leading the design charge on Dragon Front, the world’s first VR collectible card game.




Michael Taranto is the co-founder of BitFinity, and is providing Level Design and Programming for “Tadpole Treble”. An alumni of LSU he is currently working on Quest for Souls as well as the next upcoming title for BitFinity.




Matthew Taranto, founder of BitFinity, is the creator of popular video game parody webcomic “Brawl in the Family,” and is providing the art and music for Tadpole Treble. He’s also working on the soundtracks to other upcoming indie games which have roots in Baton Rouge, Nefarious and Quest of Souls.




Adam Voker is a Creative Director at Moonbot Studios in Shreveport Louisiana. He is originally an illustrator from the Midwest, and studied illustration at Ringling College of Art and Design. As a concept artist he worked for EA Tiburon, Bioware and Midway Home Entertainment. In 2009, Volker relocated to Shreveport, Louisiana to start at Moonbot Studios. Adam was art director for The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore short film. He has helped the team make a number of apps and games for various platforms. Now he and the team are pushing Moonbot into the console market.

He plays tons of DnD, and games everywhere from his phone to his living room to the soccer field. He believes that games can do anything, and can’t wait to see what they do next.

10:00 am DMC Theater

Game Production Demystified – Dan Ayoub

Dan will discuss one of the least understood positions in the games industry, the producer. Dan will discuss the skills and temperament needed to succeed in this challenging role.

10:40 am DMC Theater

The Role of Programmers in Modern Game Development – Edward Kilham

Edward will discuss in broad strokes the types of programmers involved in developing modern games. He will cover prerequisite hard and soft skills, domains of expertise and languages used on large scale projects. He will also discuss trends in gaming as a basis for predicting the types of languages and skills that may be best suited for game development in the next 3-4 years.

11:20 am DMC Theater

Zoom-In, Zoom-Out – Daniel Dociu

A lifer’s random observations on a quirky industry.

1:00 pm DMC Theater

How to Get Hired as an Engineer – Matt Finley & Sid Brown

Sid & Matt at inXile have hired many engineers spanning a long career. Come hear advice on interviews, the three c’s, technical interviews, side projects, knowing what you don’t know and getting your foot in the door. Come and learn what they like in a potential candidate!

1:40 pm DMC Theater

Challenges for Audio in VR & AR – Drew Cady

Future challenges are on the horizon for audio development in more immersive video games in the world of VR. Drew will walk you through working as a specialist on Guild Wars 2 and a generalist for VR development by being creative and adaptive. Drew will also discuss creative problem solving and workflow.

2:20 pm DMC Theater

Interviews Are so Hard – Anthony Gluek

Anthony discusses the challenges of the interview process in the video game industry.

2:55 pm DMC Theater

Having the Right Work Ethic and Attitude to Succeed Josh Holmes

Half of the hiring decision in games is looking at the candidates soft skills. Does the candidate have the work ethic, passion, humility and stamina to survive the typical development cycle? Josh will discuss the soft skills required in the games industry and some of the challenges with millennials.

3:30 pm DMC Theater

A Machete in the Junge, and Game Development – Adam Volker

Adam is going to talk about building an interactive division inside of a film studio that has it’s own passion for game development. He will talk about lessons learned along the way, and methods they have developed to get a small studio into the game development business.

4:00 pm DMC Theater

Games Industry Round Table

Forgot to ask your favorite speaker a question? Don’t fear, here is your opportunity to ask a speaker any question you that you would like. Come join us for a spirited discussion about the games industry and hear some crazy stories.
10:00am DMC 1034

Build it Better: The Future of 3D Content and the Standards Required – Beau Perschall & Matt Hales

Ever wonder what is an acceptable model that can be used on multiple platforms by different industries? Turbosquid (New Orleans) has spent a long time developing CheckMate, a quality control standard for 3-D models. Find out the latest developments, including new challenges in 3-D stereoscopic VR, with experts who are developing next generation standards of tomorrow.

11:15 am DMC 1034

My Game Sucked, and I’m Grateful: How to Build a Successful Mindset – Nicholas Laborde

There’s no “correct” path for getting into the industry, but there are lots of things you can start doing right now to break in! In this talk, Nicholas will discuss his experience releasing his team’s first game on Steam while still in college, give tips on what you should be doing right now to start your game development career, and offer a guide to building an unstoppable mindset of resiliency and success..

1:00 pm DMC 1034

So You Want to be a Game Artist… – Jessa Carlson

Jessa discusses the challenges with being an artist in a modern game development setting.

1:40 pm DMC 1034

Designer’s Quest-Log – Micah Skaritka

Micah discusses the often misunderstood role of the designer in a modern game setting.

2:30 pm DMC 1034

Tadpole Treble Premiere? – Michael & Matthew Taranto

Baton Rouge-based video game developer BitFinity presents a special look at its first game, Tadpole Treble! Founders of BitFinity—Michael and Matthew Taranto—detail the involved process of fleshing out a game idea from conception to completion, and will provide a colorful tour of their game.

Tadpole Treble is a music/action game about guiding a young tadpole named Baton through sheet music of the title’s own soundtrack. This presentation will reveal a variety of stages during the main Adventure Mode, as well as an in-depth look at the game’s Composition Mode, which allows players to create their own songs and stages.

3:30 pm DMC 1034

What does a Game Designer do? – Haider CW

Haider will discuss what a Game Designer does. He will talk about the different types of Game Designers at Gameloft. He will then dive deeper into various skill sets required by different types of Game Designers.


Digital Media Center

The LSU Digital Media Center is located on campus on the corner of East Parker and South Stadium Drive.

Main venue


Events are on the entire first floor and parts of the second floor.


340 East Parker Blvd, Baton Rouge, LA, 70803


+ 1 225 578-8907




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