Previous Special Guests

David Hayter

Born in Santa Monica, California, David Hayter spent the first eighteen years of his life traveling the world while picking up the Japanese and French languages. After graduating from high school in Kobe, Japan, Hayter went on to study theatre at the prestigious Ryerson Theatre School in Toronto.

A seminal figure in the 21st century wave of comic-book cinema, David Hayter’s films have amassed over one billion dollars in Worldwide Box Office. His screenwriting credits include the feature films, “X-Men”, “The Scorpion King” and “X2 : X-Men United”. He also penned the script “Watchmen”, directed by Zack Snyder for Warner Bros. Studios.

As a producer, he created the film “Burn” with Bryan Singer, and the pilot episode of “Lost in Oz, for Warner Bros. Television.

As an actor, his credits include the lead in the sci-fi film “Guyver: Dark Hero”, the voice of Captain America on the “Spiderman” animated series as well as a decade-long stint in the role of Solid Snake in the hugely popular ”Metal Gear Solid” video game franchise.

John Romero

John Romero is an award-winning game development icon whose work spans over 130 games, 108 of which have been published commercially. Romero is the “father of first person shooters” having led the design and contributed to the programming and audio design of the iconic and genre-defining games DOOM, Quake, Heretic and Hexen. Romero is also one of the earliest supporters of eSports and a current competitive DOOM and Quake player. To date, Romero has co-founded eight successful game companies including the likes of id Software. He is considered to be among the world’s top game designers, and his products have won well over 100 awards. Romero most recently won a Lifetime Achievement award at the Fun & Serious Games Festival in Bilbao and the Legend Award at 2017’s Develop: Brighton. One of the earliest indie developers, Romero began working in the game space in 1979 on mainframes before moving to the Apple II in 1981. He is a completely self-taught programmer, designer and artist, having drawn his inspirations from early Apple II programmers.

Former Ed Sessions

GAMEmason Grand Tier III Sessions

12:30-1:00 – Current and Future Trends of Augmented and Virtual Reality

Prof. Sang Nam, Director of Computer Game Design Program at George Mason University, will demonstrate how game technologies has been utilized in various AR/VR projects and showcase real-world projects from Virginia Serious Game Institute and Computer Game Design Program, George Mason University.

1:15-1:45   – Storytelling Through Animation

Eric Piccione, Assistant Professor, Game Design

This topic explores the role of animation in communicating thoughts, emotions and intentions through non-verbal storytelling and how it relates to game design.

2:00-2:30 – Game Dev Diary

Greg Grimsby, Assistant Professor of Game Art and Animation

You play games, but what it’s like to make games? A 20-year veteran of game development shares anecdotes and harrowing stories about life as a game developer. You’ll hear about nerf-gun fights, crunch-time, mountain dew collections, meat-men, and the power of the dry-erase board. Your view of games will be forever changed.

2:45-3:15 – Games and Japan

Dr. Kathryn Hemmann, Assistant Professor, Modern and Classical Languages, Rob Dieterich, Assistant Professor, Computer Game Design

Dr. Hemmann and Professor Deiterich will discuss the cross-section of video games, Japanese culture, and work in the Japanese games industry.

3:30-4:00 –Game Storytelling: What You Know and What You Should

Seth Hudson, Assistant Professor of Game Writing

Story is an undeniable force in video games in terms of critical reception, player engagement, and sales, but the role(s) of storytellers in the industry are largely hidden to the player.  Learn the vital factors in creating a strong game narrative and how you can start creating now.

4:15-4:45 – Mobile Music Tools

Matt Nolan, Assistant Professor, Game Audio

The exploration of mobile apps used for music and sound production in game design.

5:00 -5:30 – All About Game Jams

Chris Otey, President, Game Analysis Design Interest Group,  Kate Himler, President Voice Acting Club.   GADIG and VAC  members will talk about planning a Game Jam, what goes on at a Game Jam, and show some results from recent Mason Game Jams.