VRDC Fall 2017 | September 21-22, 2017 | Hilton San Francisco Union Square

ABOUT VRDC

| ADVISORY BOARD
These seasoned industry professionals volunteer their time to help curate conference content at VRDC. They work to ensure that the quality of the content provided to attendees is high-level, relevant, and timely. Their dedication is critical to the success of the conference. Read below to find out about the extraordinary members of the VRDC Fall 2017 Advisory Board.

VRDC FALL 2017 ADVISORY BOARD

Daniel Aasheim
ILMxLAB
 
Daniel Aasheim has produced world-class interactive entertainment for over 20 years. As the Senior Development Producer at xLAB, his current focus is premium, story-based interactive experiences for VR and MR. Before joining ILM, Daniel was a co-founder of Rebel Entertainment; led production at Hangout Industries; and was Director of Production at the Disney Interactive Media Group, where he oversaw production of award-winning virtual worlds Toontown Online and Pirates of the Caribbean Online. Prior to that, Daniel spent several years as the producer for the VR Studio at Walt Disney Imagineering. During his tenure there he collaborated on numerous R&D projects specific to interactive entertainment and pre-visualization for the parks and produced a series of innovative virtual reality theme park attractions including, Aladdin's Magic Carpet Ride, Hercules in the Underworld, and the THEA-winning Pirates of the Caribbean, Battle for Buccaneer Gold.
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Ikrima Elhassan
Kite & Lightning
 
Ikrima Elhassan is a technical creative who has spent the last several years focused on intersection of creativity and technology. His research focus is bringing film quality rendering techniques to real time environments. Together with Emmy award winning Creative Director Cory Strassburger, he co-founded Kite & Lightning, a boutique creative development studio focusing on virtual reality. Their latest work has spanned surreal art pieces such as Senza Peso to experiential installations for NBC & GE.
Noah Falstein
Google
 
Noah Falstein has been a professional game developer since 1980 ('Sinistar', 'Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis', 'Neuroracer'), and was one of the first ten employees at LucasArts Entertainment, The 3DO Company, and Dreamworks Interactive. He ran The Inspiracy, a game consultancy. He was the first elected Chairman of the IGDA and design columnist for Game Developer magazine for 6 years. Most recently, Falstein was Google's Chief Game Designer for four years.
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Dan Hurd
Playful Corp
 
A crude homunculus, stitched together from assorted debris, Dan Hurd pantomimes his designs (with gnarled driftwood hands) for the Lucky's Tale and Creativerse teams. They pretend to know what he's saying and nod out of horror more than anything else. Dan has previously worked on several With Friends games, notably Hanging, Matching, and Gems, but he only designed the cool parts that you like, and none of the bad parts. <3
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Ben Lang
Road to VR
 
Based in Philadelphia, Ben has held editorial positions across tech publications for some six years, following the bleeding edge of technology with each step. Ben's most recent project was the founding of RoadtoVR.com to explore the immense possibilities of virtual reality, augmented reality, and human-computer interaction.

Ben has spent the last several years actively documenting and promoting the industry as it experiences an explosive resurgence, leading Road to VR to become the leading publication in the virtual reality industry. He has been recognized among the most influential voices in the VR landscape.
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Colin Northway
Northway Games
 
Colin Northway makes games with his wife Sarah. They spent the previous five years traveling full-time while making games. While on the road they made Incredipede, Deep Under the Sky and the Rebuild series. They are currently living in Vancouver and working on Fantastic Contraption for VR with Radial Games.
Alex Schwartz
Owlchemy Labs
 
Alex Schwartz is the CEO and Janitor of VR studio Owlchemy Labs, creators of the HTC Vive, Oculus Touch, and PlayStation VR triple-platform launch title 'Job Simulator' and 'Rick and Morty VR'. As one of the first studios to dive head-first into the VR space, Owlchemy Labs' efforts have resulted in some of the top played VR content in the world, earning them a Sundance Nomination for Job Simulator as well as the opportunity to ship inside the box with the HTC Vive. As co-founder of the VR Austin group, Alex plays an active role in the gaming and VR community by speaking around the world, organizing events, and smoking various exotic meats down in Austin, TX.
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Timoni West
Unity Labs
 
Timoni West leads design on Unity's Labs team, focusing on the future of game development and creation tools in VR. Labs' first project, EditorVR, was introduced at Vision Summit in February 2016. Before Unity, Timoni was SVP of Design at Alphaworks, and cofounder & creative director of Department of Design. She also mentors VR startups in the Bay area, at Upload, Runway and River.
Jazmin Cano
High Fidelity
 
Jazmin Cano has been developing 3D content for Virtual Reality games and education since her first experience using DK1 in 2013. Most recently, she operates as High Fidelity's Marketing and Events Coordinator, organizing hackathons and meetups in the virtual world and in person. While working in VR she has experience building worlds to be seen in the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Samsung Gear VR, and Google Cardboard. In her free time, she creates 3D artwork, plays PC games, and visits local comic book shops in search of new sci-fi material.
Liv Erikson
Microsoft
 

Liv Erickson is a Virtual and Augmented Reality Developer and Evangelist at Microsoft based out of the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the creator and host of Just A/VR Show, a web show for aspiring VR and AR developers, developer of KittenVR, and the author of The Matrix is My Office blog. Liv is passionate about making immersive technologies accessible to everyone, and teaching new developers how to create their own VR & AR experiences. She is a co-organizer of ARVR Women, and is a frequent speaker on virtual and augmented reality development in addition to developing projects across desktop, mobile, and web virtual reality platforms.

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Christina Heller
VR Playhouse
 
Christina Heller is the CEO and Co-Founder of VR Playhouse, a creative studio and full stack virtual reality production company based in Los Angeles. Beginning her career in media as a political journalist and host of an award-winning political radio program, Christina gained a global perspective and connected with people from many walks of life. Throughout her career, she has explored ways to use media to bring people together and make an impact on people's lives.

Christina got her start in radio in Boston, producing and hosting a weekly politics show which won Associated Press Awards for the two years it was under her leadership. She moved to television, producing, shooting, and hosting "My Voice," a program broadcast into 9 million homes. She covered the 2008 presidential election for both MyTV New England and Al Gore's Current TV, and was featured on Good Morning America as a commentator on the Millennial impact on politics. She directed and produced two feature documentaries, Libertopia and Reversing the Mississippi. She currently serves on the Board of Advisors for SH//FT, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting diversity in virtual reality.

When not checking out VR content, Christina spends her time experiencing actual reality, traveling and exploring the outdoors.
Pete Isensee
Oculus Research
 
Pete has been in the digital entertainment business since 1994. He's made video games, shipped three generations of Xbox consoles, created VR experiences at HBO, published dozens of technical articles, and provided C++ insight to game developers worldwide. Currently, Pete's at Oculus Research, helping unlock the potential of virtual reality.
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Aaron Lemke
The Wave VR
 
Aaron is a musician and VR developer from Austin, TX who has shipped 9 VR titles. Interested in experiential and transcendent applications of VR, he has been creating VR experiences since the Rift DK1 days back in 2012. His first VR endeavor was Unello Design, the studio responsible for many relaxing and meditative VR titles like Eden River, Waking Man, and Zen Zone. Aaron is a three-time Proto Award nominee for Best Original Score. He is currently co-founder and Chief Creative Officer at The Wave VR.
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Dave Ranyard
Dream Reality Interactive
 
Dave is a self-confessed VR pioneer and the CEO of an independent virtual reality studio, Dream Reality Interactive. The studio is based in London, and is currently busy creating original IP, designed from the ground up for VR.

Prior to this, Dave worked for 17 years at PlayStation, where he was the director of Sony's London Studio. He oversaw Sony's critically acclaimed ventures into the world of virtual reality on PlayStation. VR games include Ocean Descent, Street Luge and the critically acclaimed, London Heist and make up PlayStation VR collection, VR worlds.

Dave was executive producer on a number of million plus selling PlayStation titles, including Singstar & Wonderbook: Book of Spells. Prior to this, Dave has been a research fellow, musician, programmer, audio creative services manager. Having, studied at Leeds University, Dave obtained a 1st in computer science and PhD in Artificial Intelligence and keeps active links with a number of universities.

Dave is also an active member of the game development industry, holding positions on the BAFTA Games Committee, the Game Developers Conference, Virtual Reality Developers Conference, and the Virtual Reality World Congress. Dave also sits on the advisory board of a number of new VR companies, including Game Face Labs & the New Reality Museum.

Dave can be found tweeting @Dr__Dave
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Ethan Stearns
Legendary Entertainment
 
As the VP of virtual reality at Legendary Entertainment, Ethan Stearns is responsible for spearheading Legendary's content expansion into both virtual and mixed reality. Ethan works closely with filmmakers and industry professionals seeking education and deeper knowledge of emerging platforms, while collaborating with creatives to bring unique interactive titles into the market. Through partnerships with industry leaders such as Google, Oculus, and Microsoft, he has already assisted Legendary in producing several interactive cinematic experiences in both virtual and mixed reality.
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Graeme Devine
Magic Leap
 
Graeme is a 30 year industry veteran who has worked on everything from a TRS-80 to a Xbox 360. In the early nineties he pioneered CD-ROM gaming with the breakthrough title 'The 7th Guest'. He later went on to become the lead designer on 'Quake III Arena' and 'Halo Wars'. Graeme started GRL Games in December 2010 to focus on bringing entertaining titles to the iPhone, iPad and Mac Desktop. Currently he is working as the Chief Creative Officer of Magic Leap.
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Chet Faliszek
 
 
VR Developer
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Robin Hunicke
Funomena
 
Robin Hunicke is a Game Designer & Co-Founder at Funomena, an independent game studio making unique VR, AR & console games in the heart of San Francisco (Luna, WOORLD & Wattam). A computer scientist by training, she has been designing & making games for over 12 years (Journey, Boom Blox, MySims, TheSims2). She is co-curator of the annual GDC Experimental Gameplay Workshop, a member of the VRDC advisory board, and the PlaySFMOMA advisory board.
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Tracey John
Independent
 
An avid gamer and veteran writer, Tracey John has been creating digital experiences for brands across video games, television, e-commerce, and healthcare for more than 13 years. Formerly a games journalist for MTV, Wired, News Corp., TIME, and Forbes, she went on to become a narrative designer at Gameloft, where she shipped more than 20 mobile games, including chart-topping titles like My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Cars: Fast as Lightning, The Oregon Trail: American Settler, and Order & Chaos Online.

During the last several years, she has been working on the design and development of interactive experiences aimed at physicians and patients, including mobile games and apps, virtual reality, and augmented reality. After serving as Vice President, Associate Creative Director at Havas Health, she is now a writer, experience designer, and creative director for various agencies working on mixed reality, chatbots, and other digital experiences and interfaces.
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Richard Marks
Sony Interactive Entertainment
 
Richard Marks is a Senior Research Engineer at Sony Interactive Entertainment. He founded and currently leads the PlayStation Magic Lab, an R&D group that pushes the boundaries of play using technology to create new entertainment experiences. Marks studied avionics at MIT then received his doctorate from Stanford in the field of underwater robotics. Marks joined PlayStation in 1999 to investigate the use of live video input for gaming and develop new interactive user experiences. He helped create the EyeToy and PlayStation Eye cameras and the PlayStation Move controller. Most recently, Marks and his team at Magic Lab have been involved with PlayStation VR.
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Jenna Seiden
Viveport, HTC
 
Jenna has spent her career in both creative and business positions in the entertainment and technology sectors. As Head of Content Acquisition and Partnerships for Viveport, HTC VIVE's app store for virtual reality, she is responsible for building the global content strategy and portfolio for Viveport's home, mobile, enterprise and arcade platforms. She formerly was the VP of Distribution at Maker Studios, Head of Entertainment Partnerships for Microsoft Studios and an agent in the video games division at CAA. She is a graduate of the UCLA Anderson School of Management and the University of Pennsylvania.
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Robert Stevenson
Oculus VR
 
A long time virtual reality enthusiast, Robert heads content strategy for Oculus VR at Facebook. In his role, Robert engages with creators of all types around marquee properties for the company's content portfolio. Prior to Oculus, Robert was the Chief Product Officer at GAIKAI under Sony Computer Entertainment, where he was in charge of PlayStation Now, the world's largest cloud gaming service. Before his work in cloud gaming, Robert worked with publishers, developers and content creators on dozens of major product launches, including some of the game industry's top properties. Robert holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, with undergrad studies in design and computer science.

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