April 8-9TH 2020

The Westin Harbour Castle

XP Game Developer


The XP Game Developer Summit is a conference in Toronto, Canada about sharing knowledge and supporting growth in the video game industry.

The XP Game Developer Summit will host over 25 talks and panels led by mentors in the video game industry focused on game design, business & marketing, funding, game development, technical challenges and how to overcome them. Check back weekly as we announce more talk and panel information!

APRIL 8-9 2020

Room A

Presenter: Jason Della Rocca – Co-Founder at Execution Labs

We all know that promoting your game is critical to getting noticed in the deluge of titles… yet, few embrace the concept of product design as the most critical aspect of marketing. Meaning, how can you design discoverability directly into your game in order to boost commercial potential? This session will explore ways games are shareable, spreadable, contagious, competitive, watchable, variable, and otherwise socially accelerated — both as a way to make games more engaging and commercially viable. Concrete game examples will be provided to showcase these discoverability methods and approaches.
Presenter: Kate Edwards – Executive Director of Global Game Jam

With over 30 years of experience in digital media as a geographer and culturalization strategist, and 27+ years in games, Kate Edwards has been involved in the creation of many games, including major titles such as Halo, Fable, Age of Empires, Mass Effect, Call of Duty, and many, many others. She has seen it all when it comes to geopolitical and cultural issues that are often overlooked in content creation and can negatively affect the ability of content to be accepted overseas, and she has seen designers miss opportunities to create more robust worlds that engage the players from diverse cultural backgrounds. Kate will discuss the field of content culturalization and how it can assist game creators with building better game worlds that account for a wider range of cultural and geopolitical considerations.
Presenter: Carl Callewaert – Global Director at Unity Technologies

How do you build architectural and gaming environments that create a presence? Carl Callewaert (Unity Technologies) beings this presentation by briefly explaining how and why we perceive 3D and virtual reality. With this knowledge as a foundation, we will then learn to use this in building architectural environments that boost the feeling of presence and immersion. Each topic will focus on examples based on the real-world and the virtual. After the presentation, you will be able to use this knowledge to create a feeling of presence within (room-scaled) architectural VR to boost the Genius Loci.

Presenter: Jean Leggett – CEO of One More Story Games

This talk looks at OMSG’s strategies for maximising resources and overcoming challenges. Topics such as recruiting interns, raising over $500K, accessing government grants, and developing valuable partnerships will be covered. Learn about how to deal with difficult situations with your co-founders, staff, contractors, financers.

Presenter: James Fraser – Art Director

Best practices for an indie art team to allow them to be ready for success and growth. Including Documentation like ADDs and Style Guides; Art Pipeline creation; file structuring and control; organizing an internal team to work with outsourcing; asset ownership and preparing for bug management. All the things that seem so simple that they often get overlooked but make for big headaches when growing your team and product. Get your team ready for success and all the new challenges that involves!
Presenter: Woogie Wolgemuth – Technical Solutions Engineer at Google

Game launches can be trying times for backend development and operational teams. Learn how to use techniques from Google’s Site Reliability Engineering book to align your team. Improve your next launch by focusing on the user!
Presenter: Pawel Czaplarski – QA Lead at 11bit Studios

During my years in Quality Assurance I’ve had an opportunity to talk with hundreds of players both during play tests and after releases on community sites like Steam or Reddit. I would love to share my experience of how to properly get all the information you want from your testers, how to identify which information shares some light on issues you might want to address and how to address those issues properly. I’ll base my talk on play tests which I’ve run during development of games such as: Moonlighter, Children of Morta, This War of Mine, Frostpunk and many more.

Room B

Presenter: Anya Combs – Director of Games Outreach at Kickstarter

Running a Kickstarter campaign can be scary. How much should you ask for? What happens if you fail? Come listen to successful Kickstarter creators talk about what they did and wished they did while running their campaigns.
Presenter: Pejman Mirza-Babei – Associate Dean at the University of Ontario

The overall aim of developing a game that is fun to play is a complex one due to the diversity of players who may interact with the game. An accurate understanding of player behaviour and their gameplay experiences can help identify and resolve any potential problem areas before release. There are two main data sources from which useful data for gameplay balancing can be extracted: the game data (analytics) and the player data (behaviour). In this talk, I provide guidelines and approaches on how smaller studios can also benefit from game analytics and player metrics to optimize their gameplay. Takeaway #1: Get practical guidelines for collecting and analyzing game/player data. Takeaway #2: Learn how to design and conduct gameplay evaluation sessions. Takeaway #3: See examples of gameplay evaluation reports to communicate findings with your development team.

Presenter: Annette Stavenow Eriksson & Tommy Persson –

Welcome to a talk about game developers’ mistakes with IP rights, music collaboration and other easy deals that have the potential to make your future revenues disappear. Or worse, lose your company.

The lawyer company´s CEO Annette, and Tommy, the most experienced video game lawyers in Sweden, will tell you stories from real life and explain the advantages of taking the legal parts seriously when making games.

Questions you may have that will be answered during this session:
When and why do you need to use external lawyer help? Is it important to have a lawyer specialized in videogames or will any lawyer be OK?

Why is it necessary to have proper contracts? What can happen if you don’t?

We will also talk about the importance of negotiating in a smart and clever way and point out ways to do so.

Take the chance to level-up your thoughts about video game law to avoid mistakes other people have already made!

Presenter: Stephen Kim – CEO of Crystallized Games

Creating development teams is hard! From finding the right people, aligning goals and availability, to managing expectations, every aspect is filled with pitfalls and difficulties. This talk will explain how and when indie developers should create teams, and what they can do to ensure that team’s success in the long term.

Presenter: Jools Watsham – Founder & Designer of Atooi

Are you a grizzled indie developer or perhaps thinking of going independent in the future? With 28 years in the videogame industry and 13 years as an indie developer, Jools Watsham has gathered his most vital lessons learned and formulated a handy step-by-step indie survival guide. Starting with what it means to be indie all the way through to how to successfully launch your game, each important step is covered in between. For beginners and pros alike!

Presenter: Perry Burkum – Composer at Atooi

Music composer Perry Burkum talks about composing video game music, networking, and music production from the beginning stages to final production.

Presenter: Dr. Kristopher Alexander – Professor at Ryerson University

This talk will outline the breakdown of roles that exist in the esports broadcasting spaces, via virtual studio production, and how that directly ties into game programming and the associated job market.

More to be announced!

Kate Edwards

Executive Director

Global Game Jam

Jason Della Rocca


Execution Labs

Dr. Kristopher Alexander

Professor of Video Games

Ryerson University

Anya Combs

Director of Games Outreach


Carl Callewaert

Global Director Evangelism

Unity Technologies

Jean Leggett


One More Story Games

Woogie Wolgemuth

Technical Solutions Engineer


Jools Watsham

Founder, Designer


Stephen Kim


Crystallized Games

Perry Burkum



Lidi Giroux

Communications Manager

East Side Games

Emmanuel Evdemon


Entertainment Counsel

Mohammed Agha



Kris Piotrowski

Creative Director

Capybara Games

Justin Vazquez 

Executive Producer

Elastic Games

Pejman Mirza-Babei

Associate Dean

University of Ontario

Annette Stavenow Eriksson


Tommy Persson


James Fraser

Art Director


Stephane Cotichini



Dave Proctor


Mighty Yell Studios

Pawel Czaplarski

QA Lead

11bit Studios

Join us!

Industry Professionals

We bring world-class speakers to Toronto so that they may share their knowledge and experience with the local industry to help them grow and advance their careers. We also provide networking opportunities through a business lounge and programming that encourages attendees to meet new people.

Indie Developers

We help connect indies with  mentors so they can receive the critical feedback and/or monetary support they need to make their game successful.


We help build the foundation of the next generation of developers’ networks through specific networking events and opportunities. 



Attend gaming talks and panels focused on game design, business & marketing, funding, game development, technical challenges and how to overcome them.


Network and connect with new business partners or old colleagues in the Business Lounge.

XP Share Mentorship Program

This program is designed to build one-on-one mentorship sessions in our Business Lounge across several fields

Industry Mixer

Put on your classiest look and come mingle with other members of the industry at an exclusive party at the Westin Harbor Castle on April 8. The party will feature games, champagne and a few other surprises.

Canadian Game Awards

This year the Canadian Game Awards will take place Thursday, April 9th 2020, via a pre-recorded broadcast on GINX Tv 



April 8 - 9

XP Game Developer Summit 2020

© Copyright 2020 . Northern Arena . All Rights reserved.

Contact us

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.