Keynote Speaker


Tim Aldridge

Senior Director of Game Mods/UGC // Twitch

Tim Aldridge is the Director of Game Mods/UGC at Twitch, where he is responsible for the game mod platform, CurseForge. Before coming to Twitch, he was the Director of Web for the Curse App and built Gamepedia at Curse. Tim started out modding StarCraft before jumping to Neverwinter Nights, and recently Stardew Valley. His passion is to help developers bring their creations to the world. 

Session Title: “Making your Game a Success with Twitch”


Nicholas Compton

Nicholas Compton

Lead Artist // Verity Integrated Systems

Nicholas Compton is a graduate of Shawnee State University with 7 years of military experience that ultimately helped drive him towards the Government sector of serious games. This is where he spent the last 5 years helping to create award winning military training applications. Prior to that, he worked 2 years on the commercial title Second Chance Heroes while at Rocket City Studios.  He also co-started and runs After Hours : Game Developers, the largest game developer community in Alabama.  

Jason Conaway

Jason Conaway

Co-founder // Exultant Games

Jason Conaway is a Co-founder of Exultant Games, a new game studio working hard on creating something special for strategy-minded players. For more than two decades, Jason Conaway has been a Software Engineer and Technical Director in the video games industry. Jason’s developer credits include engineering roles on more than a dozen blockbuster video games, including League of Legends for Riot Games, Star Wars: The Old Republic for BioWare, Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 for EA Los Angeles, Bulletstorm for People Can Fly, Golden Eye: Rogue Agent for EA Los Angeles, Return to Krondor for PyroTechnix, and several titles in the Medal of Honor series for DreamWorks Interactive and Electronic Arts. Jason is also a Senior Instructor at Game-U, where he teaches students how to design, build, and program their own video games using professional tools and methods. 

Chris Volpe

Chris Volpe

President & Founder // Multivarious Games 

Executive Director & President // GDEX 

Founder // Ohio Game Developer Association 

Chris Volpe is the co-founder of Multivarious Games, the leading game development company in Columbus, Ohio. The President and Co-Founder of the Ohio Game Developer Association, leading a dynamic team of dedicated individuals to create novel gaming experiences and further the game development industry within Ohio. He is also the Director of Operations for Game-U, an educational company where industry professionals teach kids how to develop video games using industry software, STEM learning techniques and soft skill development. Lastly, Chris is a co-founder of GDEX, the Midwest’s largest gaming expo that brings together people from across the country, to learn, connect, and share, at a Weekend Celebration of Games! 

Troy Knight

Troy Knight

Founder & Chief Executive Officer // BLDG-25

Co-Founder and Co-Chair // East Coast Game Conference

Co-Founder // Triangle Game Initiative

Troy has twenty + years of experience in the gaming, learning and design industries and is an entrepreneur at heart. His work experience roles have grown from an animator, to lead application engineer, head of project management, director of global production and C-Level Leaderships. His experience began in the seminal days of virtual reality in the mid ‘’90s. Troy helped to spin out a company from the Virtus Corporation that focused on creating business applications using gaming engine platforms and Virtual Reality applications. In 2001 he became founder and CEO of a creative and digital agency, Bluemoon Design, which created interactive media, e-learning applications, simulations and serious game platforms. After Bluemoon’s main client expanded their operations, they acquired Bluemoon to run the global productions division. Through the years, Troy saw a gap in the marketplace for experts needed in the industries of learning, design, and gaming. To meet the demand, Troy built a consultative practice for a national consulting firm Vaco that supported those industries in building strategies and team structures with that core expertise. As the practice accelerated, more clients were tapping into the expertise that Troy provided to strategize and create solutions. Troy spun out the division and launched BLDG-25, Inc. in 2015 as a Software and User Experience company creating leading-edge digital strategies leveraging their gaming, learning and design expertise. 

Troy has led and served on several boards such as the American Marketing Association, the North Carolina Advanced Learning Technologies Association, North Carolina Contemporary Art Foundation and has served as the industry cluster lead for Wake County Economic Development in gaming. As an advocate for the gaming and immersive learning industries, Troy co-founded the Triangle Gaming Initiative and the annual international East Coast Game Conference, held in Raleigh and now in its tenth year. This influential conference now reaches audiences on a global scale. 

In 2011, Troy won the Triangle Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 elite class for up-and-coming entrepreneurial leaders under the age of 40. 

Marcus Cenci

Marcus Cenci

Principal Outsource Manager // Deep Silver Volition 

Marcus Cenci has spent 17 + years in the games industry where he’s worked on multiple projects as an Art Director and Lead Artist including the Saints Row and Madden NFL franchises. He’s currently working at Deep Silver Volition focused on External Development as an Outsource Director for the studio’s new unannounced title. Volition is located in Champaign, Illinois, but Marcus works offsite from Columbus, Ohio.  

Website: www.marcuscenci.com

George Ziets

George Ziets

Lead Designer // InXile Entertainment

George Ziets has been writing and designing games since 2001. He spent the first part of his career on MMOs like Lord of the Rings Online and D&D Online before running off to make RPGs at Obsidian Entertainment. His favorite Obsidian projects were Neverwinter Nights 2 and its expansion, Mask of the Betrayer, for which he was the creative lead. More recently, he’s been a stretch goal on a few crowd-funded games, including Pillars of Eternity and Torment: Tides of Numenera. He is now a lead designer at InXile Entertainment, working on the latest installment of the post-apocalyptic Wasteland series. 

Bastien Lecouffe Deharme

Bastien Lecouffe Deharme

Artist // Freelance

Bastien Lecouffe Deharme was born on the shores of Brittany (France) at the beginning of the eighties. His artwork evolves at the crossroad of modern and ancient myths and legends, forgotten tales and tragedies. Bastien creates dark and symbolic pictures, blending a contrast of beauty and decadence. 

Bastien’s traditional and digital work can be seen in publications and exhibitions worldwide, including the cover of the emblematic Spectrum Fantastic Art book, Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, ImagineFX, SFXMagazine, etc

Today, Bastien lives in the USA and works as a freelance artist for companies such as Wizards of the Coast, Hasbro, National Geographic, Adobe, Random House, Penguin Books, Harper Collins, Orbit books, Applibot, Riot Games and many others.  

His work is represented by the NYC agency Shannon Associates.

Website: www.deharme.com 

Bastien Lecouffe Deharme

Zac Pierce 

Lead Developer // BOMBFEST

Zac Pierce is an independent game developer who specializes in programming, UI/UX, and product management. He's the lead developer on BOMBFEST, a party game set for release in January 2019.

Session Title: Build-A-Boss: Leading Your Own Projects 

Session Description: Working independently and being your own boss isn't without its hardships! Join Zac Pierce as he talks through his own experiences as an independent developer, learning time-management and budgeting, leading a small team, and staying motivated. 

Website: www.playbombfest.com