Game Career Seminar at Austin GDC Announces Keynote

Andy Schatz, Founder and CEO of Venture Arctic creator Pocketwatch Games, is set to keynote the Game Career Seminar, taking place September 7, 2007 alongside the Austin Game Developers Conference.
Andy Schatz, Founder and CEO of Venture Arctic creator Pocketwatch Games, is set to keynote the Austin edition of the CMP Game Group’s Game Career Seminar, taking place September 7, 2007 alongside the Austin Game Developers Conference at the Austin Convention Center. (Both and are also part of the CMP Game Group.) In his talk, titled “A Game Industry Journeyman,” Schatz will give attendees an intimate look at his career path which took him from intern to CEO over the course of only twelve years. Sponsored by Disney and Activision, in association with, and programmed by the Game Developers Conference (GDC), the Seminar also features a number of sessions offering practical advice for beginning and intermediate-level game developers wanting to advance and develop their game careers, including the sponsored session on Disney’s MMO and virtual world strategy, “Disney’s World of Worlds: Where We Came From and Where We Are Headed.” In his talk, Andy Schatz will recount the professional journey he has taken, from his start as an intern at one of the first internet gaming portals in 1995 through his work in the big-budget console world and ending with his move into to the independent game development sector. Schatz is uniquely positioned to offer his experience to Seminar attendees, having founded Pocketwatch Games, creators of the acclaimed indie ecosystem-building game Venture Arctic, Schatz also worked for seven years within the large-scale videogame development world where he wrote the first Xbox Live code to ship to the public. Schatz’s first indie title, Wildlife Tycoon: Venture Africa was built over ten months on a budget of $8000 and has sold more than 70,000 copies worldwide. “Andy’s story is every aspiring game developer’s dream, so it thrills us that he has agreed to share his experiences with attendees hoping to learn how to achieve comparable accomplishments,” said Jane Pinckard, Conference Manager of the Game Career Seminar. “We’re very proud of the content we’ve put together for the Austin edition of the Game Career Seminar, and are confident that the students who spend the day with us are going to leave with a stronger toolset to become the game industry’s next generation of innovators and leaders.” The Game Career Seminar provides opportunities for students, recent graduates, and those looking to get into the game industry to network with industry professionals, meet with HR executives from leading game companies and learn how to jumpstart their careers. The speaker lineup includes top game developers and industry experts willing to share their perspectives and insights. In addition to the keynote by Andy Schatz, the Austin Game Career Seminar content includes the following sessions: Schools Under the Microscope: An Open Q&A: Representatives from various types of schools that offer degrees in, or related to, game development and design will be on-hand to take questions. Disney’s World of Worlds: Where We Came From and Where We are Headed: Mike Goslin, Vice President, Virtual Reality Studio, Walt Disney Internet Group and Steve Parkis, Vice President, Premium Content, Disney Online discuss the evolution of Disney’s MMO and Virtual World strategy, past, present, and future for all levels of game professionals interested in learning more about Disney’s game strategy and new career opportunities. Pitch Your Game Idea: A panel of industry professionals hears attendees’ one-minute pitches and gives the thumbs up or thumbs down to each; everyone is encouraged to participate in this fast-flowing session. What are Employers Looking for Now?: A panel of game industry HR professionals sheds light on the industry’s latest hiring trends, what companies look for in entry-level candidates, which skills are most sought after, and educates attendees on how best to showcase the skills each is equipped with. This session is followed by a Q&A. Networking 101: Darius Kazemi, President, Orbus Gameworks teaches attendees how to talk to anyone, how to be memorable in an industry full of memorable people, and how to increase the value of industry contacts over time. The Game Career Seminar is always run alongside some of the industry’s best games-related conferences. Following the Seminar at Austin GDC, CMP Game Group will present a Games Career Seminar at the E for All Expo in Los Angeles, CA October 18th and 19th at the Los Angeles Convention Center. To register for the Austin Game Career Seminar or for more information, please visit the official website.

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