2009 DICE Summit Schedule


4:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Conference Registration Desk, 5th floor

Summit Registration

7:00 PM - 12:00 AM
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Poker Lounge

Bioware Presents the 4th Annual D.I.C.E. Summit Poker Tournament

$200 buy-in the night of the event.



7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Conference Registration Desk, 5th floor

Summit Registration

9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Paiute Golf Resort

EA Partners Present the 6th Annual D.I.C.E. Summit Golf Tourney

Complimentary busses will be provided between Red Rock and Paiute Golf Resort.  Busses leave the Red Rock Resort at 7:30 AM.

2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Pavillion Ballroom

AutoDesk Presents: A Visual Fight Club - Game executives square-off in panel format

Topic: Believable characters in games
Moderator: Chris Kohler, Wired Magazine

Henry LaBounta, Director of Art, EA Games
Carey Chico, Executive Art Director, Pandemic Studios
Michael Boon, Technical Art Director, Infinity Ward
Tom Wujec, Fellow, Autodesk
Patrick Murphy, Lead Character Artist, SCEA
Steve Preeg, Animation Supervisor, Digital Domain

The Academy brings together leading game executives in a spirited conversation on creating believable characters for games. Moderated by WIRED Magazine Editor Chris Kohler, industry experts explore what makes a character believable – and its importance to storytelling and game design. During the discussion, Autodesk Fellow Tom Wujec will sketch the speaker’s concepts on a 60’ wall.  The completed visualization is available throughout the conference for participants to view - and add to - as the conference progresses.

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Summerlin Ballroom

Conference Opening Remarks and Keynote: Entertainment As A Service

Gabe Newell, Founder, Valve Software.

7:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Red Rock Pool and Cabanas

Welcome Party



7:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Conference Registration Desk, 5th floor

Summit Registration

8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Veranda, conference floor


9:15 AM - 10:15 AM
Summerlin Ballroom

Opening Remarks of the 2009 D.I.C.E. Summit and Session 1: Creating Entertainment for a Global Gaming Audience

Opening remarks by Joseph R. Olin, President, Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences.

Session 1 by Jun Takeuchi, Creative Director and Producer of Resident Evil 5/Lost Planet, Capcom, will discuss the challenges and opportunities that must be embraced by all developers in order to create entertainment that reaches across cultural divides to connect with gamers on a global stage. Capcom is already several years in to a plan that is already bearing international results with titles like Dead Rising, Lost Planet and Resident Evil 5 and will continue to do in the future. As head of Capcom’s internal game producers, Takeuchi-san will outline the thought process and the decisions that he and the Capcom production staff make as well as how the company continues to redefine its design mentality daily to attract gamers far beyond Japan's shores.

10:15 AM - 11:15 AM
Summerlin Ballroom

Session 2: Building Real Worlds From Scratch

As online games and virtual communities have become an established part of the interactive entertainment landscape, their complexities come closer to the challenges that urban planners face in our real world. Sony Online Entertainment's Chris Cao and The Planning Center's Randy Jackson will present some of the building blocks necessary to create real or virtual communities and discuss how among the many similarities, exist differences that may lead to inspire changes among both.
11:15 AM - 11:30 AM
Summerlin Ballroom


11:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Summerlin Ballroom

Session 3: Invention is the Mother of Creativity

Ralph Osterhout, Serial Inventor, Osterhout Group.

Ralph Osterhout, a self-described “serial-inventor” is proof  that the challenges of creating solutions for opportunities is the same; whether it’s coming up with a new category of toys or designing field weapons for the military. With more than 40 patents and countless products he’s designed, Ralph’s success may provide a path for everyone to twist what they already know to create new ways to entertain.
12:00 PM - 12:30 PM
Summerlin Ballroom

Session 4: Don't Fear the Changes

John Riccitiello, CEO, Electronic Arts.

Electronic Arts’ CEO John Riccitiello see’s opportunity in the economic crisis – a chance for developers, large and small, to experiment with new genres, platforms, and ways of delivering the experience. “Developers should not stop taking risks,” he says.  “We haven’t yet exploited the true potential of this generation of consoles and consumers will be expecting a lot more for their money.”

12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
Veranda, conference floor


2:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Summerlin Ballroom

Session 5: Social Gameplay: The European Perspective

Michael Denny, SVP, SCE Worldwide Studios Europe and Mike Haigh, Development Director, SCE London Studio

True social gaming is not just about the machine and its technical capabilities – it’s also about the connection the player(s) have with the audience, whether they’re sitting on the sofa or on the other end of the network. Singstar, EyeToy and Buzz have been based on competitive performance including singing, dancing and moving as well as audience participation. The session will be based on our own experience of developing these “social” titles for the widest audience possible.

2:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Summerlin Ballroom

Session 6: Embracing the Future and Finding Success

David Perry, Creative Officer, Acclaim Entertainment

Year after year, how can the band U2 thrive when their competitors wither? How will your company do the same?  It's certainly more than just talent.  David Perry has been racking up the Air Miles on his search for answers, and will present his findings.  This is Perry's first time speaking here at D.I.C.E.

3:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Summerlin Ballroom

Session 7: Making a Leap of Faith

Lars Gustavsson, Creative Director for Mirror's Edge, D.I.C.E. Studios/Electronic Arts.

Today's competitive landscape for game developers constantly forces them to make their game stand out from the noise. Do you need to compete through groundbreaking innovation or is evolution and execution king?

3:30 PM - 4:00 PM
Summerlin Ballroom

Session 8: Ensemble: Post-Mortem of a Billion Dollar Studio

Bruce Shelley, Senior Game Designer, Ensemble Studios - a very brief review of the studio history, a review of what we think we did right, and a discussion of what we may have done wrong that led to our being closed down this year.
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Summerlin Ballroom

Session 9: Power Panel: Teaching To The Test: The Impact of Reviews on Game Design

Are we making games for our customers or our critics?  The correlation between review performance and sales is clear, but is that because reviews reflect customer opinions or influence them?  What is the impact of numerical reviews and aggregate averages, or Metacritic averages making their way into game publishing agreements?  Expect a lively panel discussion from representatives of game journalism, development, and publishing.

Mona Hamilton, Vice President of Marketing, Capcom

Rich Hilleman, Chief Creative Office, Electronic Arts

Chris Taylor, Creative Director, Gas Powered Games

Danny Bilson, Senior Vice President and Creative Director, THQ

Moderator: Julianne Greer, The Escapist

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Outside the Red Rock Ballroom

Interactive Achievement Awards Red Carpet

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Red Rock Ballroom

12th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards Ceremony

8:30 PM - 11:00 PM
Cherry Nightclub

Interactive Achievement Awards After-Party



8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Conference Registration Desk, 5th floor

Summit Registration

8:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Conference Floor


9:00 AM - 9:15 AM
Summerlin Ballroom


9:15 AM - 9:45 AM
Summerlin Ballroom

Session 10: A Retailer's Perspective: Driving Value

J. Paul Raines, COO, GameStop.

Many retailers are facing challenges in this market. However, the video game business has continued to thrive and grow due to the extraordinary innovation the gaming experience affords consumers.  As the world’s largest video game and entertainment software retainer, GameStop's business model and strategic position has allowed itself to be resilient within a landscape of economic volatility. The company's new Chief Operating Officer, Paul Raines, reflects on what GameStop customers want: value, a large mix of new and popular games, and superior customer service —an equation that translates into long-lasting profitability not just for the retailer, but its partners.

9:45 AM - 10:15 AM
Summerlin Ballroom

Session 11: So What? Now What? The Games Industry Breaks Records but Where Will it Go from Here?

Anita Frazier, Industry Analyst, Toys and Video Games, NPD Group.

This presentation looks at the changing face of game consumers, the games they play, and presents exclusive research sponsored by the AIAS to address critical issues facing the industry in 2009 and beyond.
10:15 AM - 10:45 AM
Summerlin Ballroom

Session 12: Lessons Learned in Growing a Software Company

Brian Raffel, Co-Founder & Studio Head, Raven Software

The video games industry is a constantly changing environment that requires companies to continually evolve or face extinction.  Raven Software’s Co-founder and Studio Head, Brian Raffel, will present some of the many lessons learned from his 20 years of industry experience.  From starting a company, to launching a new IP, to moving from an independent developer into the family of a bigger publisher.  Changing times require new ideas and quick decisions.

10:45 PM - 11:15 AM
Summerlin Ballroom

Session 13: Visual Design: Telling Stories in Tomorrow's Games

Alex Laurant, Film and Games Art Director, will examine the critical role of art direction and production design in games, and how they can enrich the medium's pursuit of immersive storytelling. He will compare how visual design is used in both film and games, illustrated with examples of his work from both.
11:15 AM - 11:30 AM
Summerlin Ballroom


11:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Summerlin Ballroom

Session 14: Great Games Are Played, Not Made

Todd Howard, Game Director, Besthesda Game Studios

An inside look at the design and development philosophies at Bethesda Game Studios, creators of Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls.

12:00 PM - 12:30 PM
Summerlin Ballroom

Session 15: Media Molecule: The Experiment Continues

Alex Evans, Co-Founder, Media Molecule

Media Molecule is best described as a long running social/game-design/production experiment and as such there were a number of conscious and unconscious choices that shaped the creation of Little Big Planet and the team that made it. Our take on ‘Creative Gaming’ is that it’s an incredibly broad church, and Little Big Planet represents our particular first take on User Generated Content. That Spore, Black & White, the Sims, Space Invaders took such vibrantly different routes within that area is one of the aspects of game design that Alex finds fascinating.

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Conference Floor


1:30 PM - 2:00 PM
Summerlin Ballroom

Session 16: Small is the New Big

Tom Prata, Senior Director of Project Development, Nintendo of America and Kyle Gabler, Creator, World of Goo, 2D Boy. 

The game industry is not immune from the impacts of the larger economy.  Publishers and developers are suffering from reduced budgets and even layoffs; and that mandates safer development bets.  There is an upside, though, in that smaller projects have an opportunity to lead in creativity and innovation. Tom Prata, Sr. Director of Project Development at Nintendo of America, and Kyle Gabler of 2D Boy, creator of the award winning WiiWare title "World of Goo," will talk about how smaller development efforts can still have a big impact while exploring some of the challenges facing digital distribution.

2:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Summerlin Ballroom

Session 17: Re-Inventing A Billion Dollar Franchise Without Screwing Up

Ben Bell, Producer, The Sims 3, Maxis/Electronic Arts.

With over 100 million units sold, The Sims is certainly one of the most significant franchises in the history of interactive entertainment through attracting a broad and diverse world of players and online communities.  This year, EA will launch the next generation of its flagship game, The Sims 3 which expects to build on the real-world experiences its players provide.  During this session, Ben Bell, Executive Producer of The Sims 3, will talk about the challenges the team faced designing this new game, how the community inspired the team in the process and how one confronts the task of creating a sequel with such incredibly vocal fans. 

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Summerlin Ballroom

Session 18: Games Journalism--Who Cares? Media in the Age of Metacritic, GAF, and Wii

N'Gai Croal, Newsweek

Geoff Keighley, SPIKE TV

Mike Snider, USA Today

Seth Schiesel, New York Times

Moderator: Ted Price, Insomniac Game