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IGDA Leadership Forum Keynote Speakers

Charles Rector's Weblog; Oct. 16, 2011; By Charles Rector
Type: News

October 27th & 28th, 2011
Sheraton Gateway Hotel, LAX
6101 W. Century Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90045 Friend on FacebookFollow on TwitterForward to a FriendREGISTER






Microsoft StudiosGOLD SPONSORS

A limited block of rooms have been set aside for IGDA Leadership Forum attendees. Please to make your reservation.

The exclusive rate for IGDA attendees is $120/per night plus applicable taxes.

Additional information about the hotel can be found by visiting the Sheraton Gateway Hotel website.

Save 5% when flying Virgin America’s main cabin to the IGDA Leadership Forum by using this promo code: VXIGDAIGDA Leadership Forum is two weeks away in Los Angeles!

Today we focus on the keynotes.  To see our full slate of talks, visit our Schedule & Speakers pages. IGDA Members SAVE an additional 25% off the Leadership Forum IGDA Member Ticket price of $399 by using discount code: IGDAPRODUCERClick HERE to Register
Navigating Unforeseen Challenges –
Why leveling up your talent pool is key to
min-maxing your studio

Brandon Beck

President, Riot Games
 Description: The game industry is undergoing the most dynamic period in its history and your teams must be prepared to adapt to a barrage of new challenges at an ever-growing rate.  Traditional, “built-in” strategic advantages such as branded IP, publishing/distribution leverage, and technology no longer have the same strangle hold they once did in determining the success of your games.  Ultimately, at Riot Games we have found that great people are the most important driver of the success of games.  People make critical strategic, design, technology and business decisions.  People also navigate the one constant that arises in game development – unforeseen challenges.  We have found that there is rarely a better investment than in cultivating and refining your talent pool.  This talk will explore the impact people have on the success of video games.   We will explore core concepts like how do you build a self-sustaining system for attracting and retaining the best talent ?  What core philosophies help ensure consistent success?  How do you maintain a culture while rapidly growing a company?  How do you design an environment where people can create the absolute highest quality work?  How do you recruit exceptional talent from other industries?
Enhancing Your Leadership Approach through Productivity Patterns

Shannon Studstill

Studio Director, Sony Santa Monica Studio
 Description: There are countless books published every year about project and studio management, written by some of the most successful men and women in their fields. Each is filled with great advice on communication, problem solving, conflict resolution, schedule management, and budgeting. And the techniques they outline are proven successes, if you happen to be the person who wrote the book. There is no one size fits all management style. No fail-safe methods, no magic bullets to solve the problems your studio faces and ship the product your team has been built to make. If we’re going to be effective leaders, if we’re going to guide our teams to success, be it financial or creative or hopefully a little of both, we must first understand who we are, where we came from, and how we arrived here. We have to take an honest assessment of our values, of what is truly important to us, and what isn’t. From there, we’ll know what works for us and for our teams, and we’ll see the results immediately. This will happen because we’ll believe in the system we’ve put in place, not because a management consultant told us it’s the way to work. It will work because we'll recruit, mentor, and develop talent which reflects those values as well. When a team sees that kind of authenticity, they’ll not only buy into it, they'll contribute to it, bringing that enthusiasm to the game you're making. That kind of truth is rare, but powerful. We’ll discuss examples from God of War, the Santa Monica Studio, other success stories, and leave with the confidence to bring the values each of us finds important when building a team and leading it to success.
Information Flow: The Secret to Studio Structure

Jesse Schell

CEO, Schell Games
 Description: Growth is one of the biggest challenges any studio faces. As studios grow and change, mysterious communication problems and other frustrations start to arise, compromising projects, and threatening to tear the team apart. In this talk, Jesse Schell, CEO of Schell Games, shows the hidden source of these problems: blocked flow of information. By understanding the several types of information that need to flow through a healthy studio, and structuring teams and techniques to optimize these flows, studios of any size can grow, thrive and survive in the short term and the long haul. And everyone will be happier, too!

Four Twenty Six

John Romero & Brenda Garno Brathwaite

Loot Drop
 Description: In the last few years, the industry has seen incredible change. In any other context, it would be called a revolution, a toppling of regimes and the end of an era. Those in power watched as new powers emerged, and new classes of brash opportunists shoved their chair to the table. Great leaders of just months ago announced long-term strategies which were openly mocked, while those who knew something about nothing devalued art, process and experience. "The way" became "the old way." Things had changed. It is a time of questioning and critique, industry and art, capitalism and craft, of engines and mechanics. Yet, it is also the time of great passion and purity. 


The Second Annual IGDA Foundation Charity Dinner will be on the evening of Thursday, October 27th at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel, LAX, in Los Angeles, in conjunction with this year’s IGDA Leadership Forum. This year John Romero will be continuing his “legend on legend” interviewing of seminal game designers with an interview of David Jaffe.

The IGDA Leadership Forum:

  • Focuses on production and leadership
  • Is an intimate conference with great networking
  • Presentations by premier industry producers and managers
  • Speakers from Bioware, Blizzard, id, Intel, Insomniac, Loot Drop, Microsoft Studios, Respawn Entertainment, Riot Games, Schell Games, Sony Santa Monica, thatgamecompany and many more!
  • A must attend event for producers, managers and leads

OCTOBER 24th - 26th

OCTOBER 27th & 28th

Sheraton Gateway Hotel, LAX
6101 W. Century Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90045

Chuck Hoover
Studio Production Director, Schell Games

“I’ve attended the Leadership forum every year since its inception. It’s my can’t miss conference each year for a couple of reasons… 1. It’s a very personal conference, small enough to get to know everyone and large enough to attract great speakers. 2. The game industry tends to build leaders from with in, but being a great developer does not make a great leader. The Leadership Forum provides a wonderful opportunity to develop those traits and learn how others have gotten there. 3. Unlike some large events, this is a very focused conference. The topic is narrow enough to attract a lot of like minded people and broad enough to cross disciplines. I can’t recomend the Leadership Forum highly enoughto any producer, leader, or simply those in our industry seeking to be the best at their craft. ”

Kim Sellentin
Associate Producer,
Blizzard Entertainment

“I’ve had the pleasure of attending the IGDA Leadership Forum for 2 years now. The conference is small and focused, which is its greatest strength. Not only does it offer an excellent schedule with high quality speakers, attendees have many opportunities to connect with other developers. This networking and sharing of ideas is what gives someone the additional tools, and perspective to be better at their job. The IGDA Leadership Forum has had a huge impact on my career. Every year, I’ve come away with new friends and mentors, and new inspiration that I can immediately apply to create positive impact within my company. For such a low cost with such high return, I ask you this: How can you not afford to send yourself and your employees to the IGDA Leadership Forum?” 

Brett Douville
Lead Systems Programmer,
Bethesda Softworks

“If you’re a manager in the games industry, or you have managers reporting to you, you owe it to yourself to come out or send them to the IGDA Leadership Forum next year. Your competitors are out here trying to figure out how to get better at capturing the lightning and putting it in a package to ship out to customers. We desperately need better trained leaders in the industry, and this is a proven place where they can come and improve their skills. This year I found an insight in every talk to make me better at my job, and to help my reports become better at their jobs. I really don’t feel like I can afford *not* to go. Can you?”
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