Thank you everyone for a great show!

About Us

Great Lakes Game Expo (GLGX) is an online game design and development expo organized by a group of coordinators from midwest game communities. It strives to promote the work of our industry at all of its scales, highlighting the leaders and innovators as much as the hobbyists and tinkerers. Through talks and game showcases GLGX elevates the work of the midwest industry and provides new opportunities and outlets for disseminating the work of anyone working on games.


Amber Renton
Amber is a junior Computer Science student at the University of Michigan's Ann Arbor campus.
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Austin Yarger
Austin is an international educator and Lecturer of Game Development in the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering.
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Christopher Totten
Christopher Totten is an Assistant Professor of Game Design at Kent State University and the founder of Pie For Breakfast Studios
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Joe Hopkins
Joe Hopkins has been designing games for 12 years. He lives in Michigan with his wife, two kids, and two dogs.
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Johan de Bruin
Johan de Bruin is a software engineer for over 10 years, 6 of them working at Riot Games implementing online ecosystems for League of Legends.
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Jordan Ajlouni
Jordan Ajlouni, aka RobotAdventure online, is a founder, programmer, and designer for Oil Leak Games.
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Lily Valeen
Lily Valeen is a hopeless optimist and creator of games such as Dogs Throwing Swords II, as well as the upcoming Bossgame: The Final Boss is My Heart.
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Mars Ashton
Mars Ashton is an award-winning Indie Game Developer, Assistant Professor of Game Design at Lawrence Technological University, and a QA Tester for Finji.
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Natalie Fang
Natalie is the Founder/CEO of Nochi Studios.
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Rachelle Viola
Rachelle Viola, also known as dr!p, is a freelance pixel artist and graphic designer.
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Sam Seltzer-Johnston
Sam is an independent contractor and game consultant, currently working as the engineer on ExoCorps in partnership with indie studio Gingerbred.
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Spencer Baughman
Spencer Baughman develops under the pen name of Attempting Entertainment to allow for the illusion of upward mobility and professionalism.
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Tony Manfredonia
Tony Manfredonia is a composer for video games and concert halls specializing in orchestral music, retro/chiptune, and more.
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Subject to change! Make sure to check back soon!

7:00 PM EST
Opening Speech - Ryan Soulard & Matthew Willard

7:10 PM EST
Trailer Reel

7:00 PM EST
Stream Night

11:00 AM EST
Every Pen Mark Leaves A Trace: An in progress retrospective of ‘A Prisoner in Your Skull: An Attempting Entertainment Horror Anthology’ - Spencer Baughman

Every Pen Mark Leaves A Trace will provide an abridged post-mortem of two of the three entries included in A Prisoner in Your Skull; Led A Long Way Down & Ceremony respectively. In addition to the post-mortems, the talk will also cover the screenwriting research that inspired the project and why an anthology approach was ideal to the team.

12:00 PM EST
Flipping the Table - Joe Hopkins

I'd like to tell you the story of my first published game, Endangered, and how I learned that changing your approach to game design is essential to getting noticed.

1:00 PM EST
Make Games and Live Where You Want! - Chris Totten

Lots of people think that it’s challenging to make a living making games away from a “hub”, but in this talk, a veteran game developer and instructor guides you through steps he’s taken to make it work.

2:00 PM EST
Mage Quit Tournament - Bowlcut Studios

3:00 PM EST
Streamer Bee & Pond - Rianna Bee & Chase Pond

5:00 PM EST
Running a Kickstarter Campaign - Natalie Fang

Running a successful Kickstarter can be a big undertaking, but for many founders, it also can be easier and more rewarding than other funding methods. Join us in discussing ways to prepare for a campaign launch and seeing it through!

6:00 PM EST
Indie Survival Guide : Sustainability Techniques for Small Midwestern Studios - Austin Yarger

From UnderTale to Roblox, "overnight successes" are fueled by the unromantic grind-- years of contract work, obscurity, frugality, tech / talent buildup, and experimentation. Join us in the struggle for sustainability as we explore indie funding models, local success stories, technology re-use techniques, and more.

7:00 PM EST
Student-led Production Studios - Amber Renton

Students at the University of Michigan have been uniquely successful in starting and maintaining a nonprofit student-led game production team called WolverineSoft Studio. Let's discuss its history, its various obstacles and accomplishments, and tips for faculty and students in other schools who may want to do the same.

7:30 PM EST
The Benefit of Small Games for a Small Studio - Jordan Ajlouni & Rachelle Viola

I will go over how Oil Leak Games was founded on small games and how small game cycles saved our two person studio a lot of time in finding our team dynamic, defining our brand, and developing our skills.

8:30 PM EST
Misanthropic Mechanics OR How To Find Your Game's Core And Also Make Games Faster Too! - Lily Valeen

Have your games ever felt like a jumbled mess? Let's talk about thrifty design and how to sharpen your game to a razor's edge!

1:00 PM EST
The Secret Life of Games : Introduction to Game Hacking / Modding / Scripting - Austin Yarger

Outshined by a sequel, unsupported by its dev team, cut off from its servers-- life can be tough for an aging experience, but as the classic saying goes, “You can’t keep a good game down!” Join us for live demonstrations of several basic (and ethical) game hacks, tips on how to make your next game more modder-friendly ("moddable by default"), and a historical review of early cheat codes and cheat devices such as Codemasters’ Game Genie.

2:00 PM EST
Online services using Azure Playfab - Johan de Bruin

Walkthrough how Azure Playfab works and demonstrate how to implement some of the most important features.

3:00 PM EST
Decreasing Workload by Bringing Audio on Early - Tony Manfredonia

Audio — both music and sound — is an integral part of the gaming experience. This talk will discuss why audio is best treated as a core component of the development cycle, and how you can enhance communication with your musicians and sound designers.

4:00 PM EST
The Draw of Social Structures in Online Games During A Pandemic - Mars Ashton

With the isolation of the pandemic and the trends in declining mental health, games have become a place for players to meet their psychological needs more than ever. Through a look at online communities in games like Final Fantasy XIV, Guild Wars, and World of Warcraft, Mars Ashton will reveal the ways in which the social structures in online games can promote mental health.

5:00 PM EST
Tips From a Senior - Matthew Willard

A short 5 tip summary on what i've learned being in the industry.

6:00 PM EST
Productivity Workshop: Informing Your Process with Worklogs - Sam Seltzer-Johnston

Ever wonder where the time goes? Can we min-max productivity? Let's look at a methodology for spotting inefficiencies in your process and keeping things on-track.

7:00 PM EST
Closing Ceremonies - GLGX Team