Heartland Gaming Expo is back for its third year and they plan to go bigger than ever. The previous events were held at the University of Tulsa campus and they had great attendance. At this year’s event, they are expecting 5000 or more people to show. This year, the event will be held at the Cox Business Center. This will allow them to expand the event to include exhibits, tournaments and game development competitions.
The main draw of this event are the game competitions. They have several competitions available for students and indie developers. The big one will be the 24 hour game jam. Those participating in that event will start working on their game on Friday night and finish by Saturday night. These games will them be awarded prizes based on a number of criteria. Here is the description of how this competition will go down.
The 24-Hour Code Jam will be similar to other 24-hour programming competitions with one significant twist. This year, we are adding a Hunger Games like component. During the 24-hours, teams will have to maintain a web page based on their game. The purpose is to allow people to vote on which game they like the best. During the event at predefined intervals we will tally the votes and give intermediate prizes to the teams. Think of it as the parachutes in the Hunger Games, but in this case they will be crowdsourced. These pages will be on display at the event and online.
The other two competitions are also something worth participating in. The game showcase will feature games from four different categories, indie games, game mods, college projects, and high school projects. Teams of up to four people can enter any of these, if they fall into those categories. The other competition is a gallery show that will allow participants to show off animations, art, music and more.
The other big draw this year will be the speakers. They have three impressive speakers lined up this year. The first is Tulsa’s own Matt Harmon from Bonozo Apps. Next we have Eric Peterson from Descendent Studios. Finally Richard Huenink from The Fun Pimps. These guys will be talking about their own game projects as well as what it takes to succeed in the games industry. There will also be Unity 3D tutorials on Saturday and Sunday.
You can check out the full schedule of the event and learn about sponsorship opportunities at the Heartland Gaming Expo website. Heartland is also looking for anyone who is interested in hosting a panel or a tutorial during the expo. They have plenty of time slots available. The more people that speak and teach at the event, the better it will be. If you are interested, let them know.