Friday, 26 September 2014

Digital Nationz gets ready to rock and roll

Digital Nationz gets ready to rock and roll

Digital Nationz is back in Auckland for another year - the show kicks off at Auckland's Vector Arena on Saturday, before running to the end of Sunday.

Here's a list of some of the highlights and speakers at the event:

What to see at DNZ 2014, some key highlights:

·         At the Xbox stand – be the first in New Zealand to get your hands on Halo Master Chief Collection, Sunset Overdrive, Forza Horizon 2, and many indie titles
·         At the Fiveight stand experience Far Cry 4, Alien Isolation Dying light, Assassins Creed Creed Rogue, LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, The Crew, Disney Infinity 2.0 and Assassins Creed Unity (hands-off demo).
·         The PlayTech stand – Overclocking workshop, drone obstacle course, and LoL workshop.
·         The LG Stand – new ultra-wide gaming monitors, new 55” Curved OLED TV, Killer Instinct and Season 2 battles.
·         The Logitech stand – latest in gaming peripherals including the new “G” range featuring the world’s fastest gaming mouse.
·         The Homegrown area - 10 pods showcasing NZ’s homegrown developer talent and other Kiwi technology talents.
·         Speaking sessions – over 10 world-class speakers including Jason Sussman from Bungie (Destiny). See the full list of speakers below.
·         The Atrium exhibits and the upper floor exhibits featuring dozens of exciting technology exhibitors.

·         LOGITECH G LAN CHAMPIONSHIP - $30,000 prizes and cash up for grabs as players battle it out in the finals of the championship after honing their skills in the BIGPIPE BOOTCAMP LAN

David ‘DJ’ Johnson, Lead VFX Artist at Infinity Ward
David Johnson is the Lead Visual Effects Artist at Activision/Blizzard’s Infinity Ward Studio as a hands-on artist as well as supervisor/coordinator to multiple ATVI studios. David has 15 years of computer graphics experience, of which 13 has been dedicated to video games. David has shipped a remarkable 15+ video games and contributed on some of the largest names in video game history including the Call of Duty and Halo franchises. The combined revenue of games David has worked on exceeds 3 Billion Dollars, and broken multiple records for units sold. David is an active VES member as a Board of Directors alternate, and member of the education and membership committees.

Jason Sussman, Environment Artist at Bungie Studios
Jason Sussman, an Army veteran from Dallas in Texas, brings 14 years of gaming industry experience to his role as Senior Environment Artist on Destiny. Of those 14 years, eight years have been spent at Bungie, creating single player and competitive multiplayer maps, and DLC environments for Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, and Halo: Reach. Currently, Jason designs and creates destination environments for Destiny’s Mars location.
Destiny (PS4, Xbox One, Xbox360, PS3)
Halo: REACH DLC “Nobel Map Pack” (Xbox360)
Halo: REACH (Xbox360)
Halo: ODST (Xbox360)
Halo 3: DLC Heroic,Legendary,Mythic map packs (Xbox360)
Halo 3 (Xbox360)
Jason will be found around the Big Pipe – Media Design School stand to do more Q&A’s when he isn’t speaking and is coming courtesy of Media Design School.

Josie Nutter, Software Engineer and UX Specialist at Technical Illusions
Josie Nutter is a software engineer and UX specialist with almost two decades of experience in the video games industry. She has a B.S. in Human Centered Design and Engineering from the University of Washington, where she received the Undergraduate Award of Excellence for demonstrating special strength in innovation. Coming from a background in gameplay and tools programming at companies such as Crystal Dynamics, Snowblind Studios, and PopCap Games, she is now working on the software side of castAR (projected Augmented Reality) for Technical Illusions after helping launch a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised over $1M.]

Dr Michelle Dickinson AKA Nano Girl, University of Auckland
Michelle has a talent of being able to break pretty much anything put in front of her, which is lucky because it is her job. As the director of New Zealand’s only Nanomechanical testing laboratory, Michelle gets to make and break things on a daily basis.
With regular slots on national television and radio, Michelle is passionate about explaining complex concepts in everyday language and strives towards breaking down the barriers created by high walls of scientific and technical jargon. Lots of people collect things and Michelle likes to collect certificates, including one that says PhD and a couple of other postgraduate qualifications. The desire to keep learning and challenging herself never stops. With an internal compass that seeks out adrenaline and adventure, Michelle is often found salinating her skin while kitesurfing, exfoliating her fingertips on a rock climbing mission, or creating tree bark skin impressions from a mountain-bike ride. Michelle tries to break all the stereotypes that are traditionally associated with the tech field, by bringing her high energy personality, an enthusiasm for gadgets and a style of presenting that will make you want to join in too!

Dmitry Selitsky, Founder and CEO, Thought-Wired
Dmitry founded Thought-Wired with the vision of making the world accessible to everybody. On their journey to develop assistive solutions based on direct brain interfaces and principles of user-centred design, thought-wired gained invaluable knowledge and expertise for working with the newest interfacing technologies. Now they want to share that knowledge with you.

Fletcher Dunn, Valve
Fletcher has been making video games since 1995 and has around a dozen titles under his belt across a variety of gaming platforms. He worked at Terminal Reality in Dallas, where as principal programmer he was one of the architects of the Infernal Engine and lead programmer on BloodRayne. He was a technical director for The Walt Disney Company at Wideload Games in Chicago and the lead programmer for Disney Guilty Party, IGN's E3 2010 Family Game of the Year. He now works for Valve Software in Bellevue, Washington. Oh, but his biggest claim to fame by *far* is as the namesake of Corporal Dunn from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Fletcher Dunn will be found around the Big Pipe – Media Design School stand to do more Q&A’s when he isn’t speaking and is coming courtesy of Media Design School.

Simon Barlow, Design Director, Evolution Studios
Originally trained as a Level Designer on the legendary Colin McRae Rally games, Simon has spent close to 15 years at the forefront of game design. Having held the lofty position of Head of Design for SCEE's North West Studio Group, Simon has been one of the driving forces behind the WRC and MotorStorm series. When it came to work on DRIVECLUB the task was simple: deliver a cutting edge user experience that draws inspiration from social media, and redefines the console racing game experience. From coding the user interface backend to directing the game's companion application, Simon has left his mark on every aspect of DRIVECLUB's development.

Peter Beck, Rocket Lab
Peter Beck founded Rocket Lab in 2007 following almost a decade and a half of propulsion research and market development in the international space community. Peter has since established Rocket Lab, both in New Zealand and the United States, as a premier institute for innovative space systems. As comfortable on a CNC mill as he is in a board room, Peter is both the head visionary and technical adviser for the Electron program. He is also an acclaimed scientist and engineer, having been awarded a Meritorious Medal from the Royal Aeronautical Society for service of an exceptional nature in New Zealand aviation, and the Cooper Medal, presented by the Royal Society bi-annually to those deemed to have published the best single account of research in physics and engineering.

Brad Allen, Artist, Respawn Entertainment
Made from PVC metal and silicon, Brad stands 67 tall and comes equipped with accessories, such as a sketchbook, magic ham and cheese sandwich , Zombie/vampire repellent, Robot (Chop-o-matic) arm and a custom base for display. Warning: Possible choking hazard. Do not take Brad internally…his wife will get mad.
Past projects:
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Call of Duty 2
Call of Duty
Medal of Honor: Allied Assault

David Tremont, Senior Model Maker , Weta WorkshopDavid Tremont, the senior model maker at Weta Workshop in Wellington, has tonnes of experience in model construction and design which started when he was a kid. Early TV shows, such as Doctor Who and Thunderbirds, inspired a sense of wonder for making models in David and he started trying to replicate what was on screen with cardboard and Lego. This set the foundation for David’s career as he started as a professional model maker in the late 70’s working on TV commercials, film and displays. The early 90’s saw an opportunity to set up a workshop in Queensland, Australia at the film studios, where he spent ten years working on back to back films before moving to Wellington in 2001 to work on Lord of the Rings with Weta Workshops. These days David is involved to some extent in just about every single collectible Weta Workshop produces and wants to inspire future model makers. 

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