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Hackfort 2017 Announced!

hackfort vr 2017

Hackfort returns in 2017 with a more fully realized vision than ever before, bringing Boise a digital humanities conference that aims to delight our attendees and stimulate their curiosity, creativity, and passion for tech. Hackfort, like Treefort Music Fest, will represent the broad spectrum of tastes and talents in the tech world and will introduce attendees to new and exciting discoveries. Hackfort is all about exploration, innovation, and fun. Here is the lineup:

Oculus – Recently purchased by Facebook, Oculus has become one of the front runners of the virtual reality race, pushing both its VR headset called the Oculus Rift as well as producing content through it’s Oculus Story Studio. Agatha Yu, Product Development Manager, will be discussing how virtual reality is impacting art at large; pushing it from a paper paradigm to a world dominated by 3D design and 3D modeling.

PlayStation/Sony – PlayStation’s Director of A&R for Music Affairs Alex Hackford is one of the top music supervisors in the gaming industry. He will be leading an onstage discussion about the process of choosing and adapting music for the quirky and majestic PS4 game, HOHOKUM.

Dex Torricke-Barton, founder of Onwards – is kicking off Hackfort as our keynote speaker. Drawing on his experience working for Google, Oculus, Facebook and SpaceX, Dex will be talking about how technology is changing society, giving us the tools solve fundamental human challenges.

Next Big Sound at Pandora – One of the forefront companies in music streaming, Next Big Sound at Pandora leverage huge amounts of user data to ascertain what song you want to hear next on your randomized listener station. Britnee Foreman, Head of Client Experience, will be discussing how both musicians and listeners can utilize this data to make more informed decisions.

Ann LemayAnn Lemay is a pioneer of our time and one of the leading voices in writing diversity and strong female leads in video games. Her writing in Mass Effect 3 has been a key example of what Ann calls a “more interesting playground” (PC Gamer) within the gaming world.  At Hackfort, she will be participating on a panel about narrative writing in gaming/VR, as well as leading a couple sessions of intimate Coffee & Conversation Q&A’s.

65daysofstatic – This instrumental electronic post/math rock band, 65daysofstatic recently scored and produced the soundtrack to procedurally generated game No Man’s Sky. Members of the band will be discussing what the process was like to create music for a procedurally generated game and then will be performing at Treefort at another time and date.

Stardew Valley – As reviewed by IGN, “Stardew Valley beautifully combines farm simulation with RPG elements to create an intriguing, rural world.” Landing five stars on Steam, this seemingly simple game has made a tremendous impact on the gaming world. Stardew Valley builder Eric Barone will be coming out to Hackfort to lead a couple of Coffee & Conversation Q&A’s about his game.

Laika – The leading production company in building hand-crafted animation and the makers of timeless movies like Coraline, Paranorman, Boxtrolls and Kubo and the Two Strings, Laika is an unparalleled company. Director of Rapid Prototype Brian McLean will be coming out to give a keynote about their use of 3D printers to create their life-like puppets.

Devolver Digital – Recently reviewed by PC Gamer as ‘the industry’s most eclectic studio’, publishing studio Devolver Digital has become well-known for their mix of awesome games. From Hotline Miami 2  (Boise’s own Magic Sword is on their soundtrack!), to The Talos Principle, Devolver has its fingers in many gaming pies. Founder Mike Wilson and Andie Grace will be leading a roundtable discussion about the foibles and fortune of publishing indie games.

Vertex Labs – One of the hottest topics on the tech industry right now is augmented reality. From Magic Leap to Microsoft, numerous companies are building for this under-realized platform. Vertex Labs, built to CEO and founder Paul Reynolds, is creating tools and technology for AR. Reynolds will be talking at Hackfort about how this medium will ultimately transform the tech industry.

Expo Hall – During Hackfort, multiple companies, both local and national, will be featuring exhibitions of PC and console games, VR games and experiences, and other interactive demos. This will be running concurrently to Hackfort talks and speaker sessions.

Maker Labs – In addition to Tristan Andreas’ Hardware Hack, Hackfort will be featuring a series of maker sessions in JUMP’s maker labs. These labs will be kid and family friendly.

Hackfort will take place March 24th & 25th and will happen in the JUMP building on the whole 5th floor.

Get your Hackfort pass now for $30 (plus fees) here or swing by the Record Exchange!


And while you’re at it, grab your 5-Day Treefort 2017 Pass so you don’t miss a beat!