Author Topic: 2014 Speaker Schedule  (Read 15126 times)

Offline Obiwantje

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2014 Speaker Schedule
« on: May 05, 2014, 03:44:41 pm »
So excited for this year's show!

Any news on the speaker schedule yet guys?

Offline Mark Birsching

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Re: 2014 Speaker Schedule
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2014, 05:56:26 am »
Here is a teaser start to the speakers for this year.  This will be updated and may change or more be added - stay tuned!!


  • Eugene Jarvis will return to CAX to discuss his legendary work in creating some of the greatest arcade games ever made.  Learn about Defender and his many other contributions to gaming.
  • Larry Rosenthal, creator of the Vectorbeam system, will be on hand to discuss his technical achievement and shed some light on the realities of his experience bringing it to the arcade.
  • Skit-B Pinball will discuss their creations and future plans.  You won't want to miss this seminar - they plan to raffle one of their creations to someone attending the presentation!
  • Matt Ownby will discuss Dexter, a project keeping classic laser games alive.
  • Roy "Mr. AWESOME" Shildt will discuss the game Missile Command, as will Dwayne Richard, who has created a documentary on proper play settings.
  • A panel of Sente employees will convene to discuss the history of the company.
  • PPM will be making their case for a pinball museum at the Alameda Carnegie Library.
  • Sunday, the Film Festival returns with Richie Knucklez, King of Arcades, a piece on Wade Krause's contributions to the FAILE BAST Deluxx Fluxx Arcade, and a number of shorts.

Offline modolief

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Re: 2014 Speaker Schedule
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2014, 06:41:00 pm »
Do we at least know which day Eugene Jarvis will be there?


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Re: 2014 Speaker Schedule
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2014, 06:16:39 am »
The big speakers are usually Saturday afternoon and evening. So I assume that's when Mr. Jarvis will be there.

Offline richieknucklez

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Re: 2014 Speaker Schedule
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2014, 07:00:33 am »
Eugene Jarvis is a big part of our film "The King Of Arcades"
He will also be sitting in on our after screening Q&A on Sunday around 2:30 pm.

I had the opportunity to hang with him at his home game room ( made it to the film )
and he is one hell of a guy.

hope to see you there.

Richie Knucklez

Offline Mark Birsching

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Re: 2014 Speaker Schedule
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2014, 12:25:24 pm »
California Extreme is pleased to announce our speaker line-up for 2014.  Please note: this list is subject to change


Saturday 11 AM

“Saving laserdisc arcade games through emulation” - Matt Ownby

Laserdisc games were either loved or hated when they came out in 1983.  Keeping them running has always been a challenge, but it has become increasingly difficult the older they get.  Matt Ownby, creator of the Daphne emulator, will discuss his various solutions to saving these games, including creating a solid state laserdisc player replacement.  He will also walk through the techniques he used to emulate one of the most challenging and complex laserdisc games, Star Rider.

Saturday Noon

“Vectorbeam Space Wars Story” - Larry Rosenthal

You've heard the story (from Syzygy Magazine):
"Space Wars became wildly popular in arcades, rated by game operators as the top earner of the year in 1978. Sales figures of the game are estimated to be in the neighborhood of 30,000 units, and given Rosenthal's deal with Cinematronics, it is safe to assume that he quickly became a very wealthy man, the profits of Space Wars netting him what would appear to be an eight figure sum (Do the math)."


"[Larry Rosenthal's] Vectorbeam only lasted about one year (from the fall of 1978 to the fall of 1979) and then Rosenthal sold the factory and the Vectorbeam technology rights to Cinematronics. He then took his substantial wealth (even after the failure of Vectorbeam he was still easily a millionaire) and left the game business for good, never to be heard from again."

In reality:
"In the end I did OK financially - but I would have been better off if I had never started Vectorbeam." - Larry Rosenthal.

Come hear the real Larry Rosenthal story, from the genius behind the best selling version of Space Wars! -- #1 on the Library of Congress's Game Cannon! (Game Cannon --  a list of historically significant games:

From technology to business models, come and listen to the story of the rise and fall of Cinematronics, Vectorbeam, and the incredibly versatile Vectorbeam platform that made it all possible, from the man himself, Larry Rosenthal!

Don't miss this once in a lifetime opportunity!

Saturday 1 PM
“Designing Defender” - Eugene Jarvis and Sam Dicker

How the first video game by a pinball coder and a high school kid blew away the gaming world in 1980.  We’ll tell all including game design, enemy dynamics, hardware, software, sounds, and special effects (actual code will be revealed!).   We will examine emergent behavior in the AI of Defender enemies, and how expert players exploit the classic Defender game play features (AKA Bugs!). And why is it that real innovation is always about small teams and rarely emerges from the bloated corpocracies

Saturday 2 PM

“Skit-B Pinball” – Kevin Kulek, Jimmy Piornack, Nick Droomer, and Jonathan Pinfield-Wells

Skit-B Pinball was born of a wild dream of manufacturing commercial pinball machines from its humble Midwestern location in Mid-Michigan.  After tirelessly proving their capabilities through fun and inventive custom machines including the internet sensation “Duck Hunt”, the “Star Fox” concept machine, the much-needed “Sonic the Hedgehog” table and the world-famous “Predator” machine, Skit-B Pinball plans to shed its rural upbringing and hit the big time.  Come see Skit-B Pinball not only to hear all of their ambitious plans for the near future, but to learn of what their next major title release will be and a chance to win one just for being present at the seminar!

Saturday 3 PM

“Missile Command” – Roy Shildt

Roy “Mr. AWESOME” Shildt from the “King of Kong- A Fistful of Quarters” will be making a rare appearance this year after his new WORLD record on Atari arcade missile command in the 2014 Gamer Edition of the Guinness Book of World Records! Roy Shildt will gladly sign autographs for FREE and answer Questions about the Guinness NEW World Record format, missile command game play, the King of Kong documentary, his new book, trials and tribulation with Twin Galaxies with score keeping.

Saturday 3:30 PM

“Pacific Pinball Museum Moves Ahead” - Larry Zartarian, Michael Schiess

Board president Larry Zartarian and founder/director Michael Schiess give a brief history of the  Pacific Pinball Museum and reveal their future plans for restoring an old Carnegie Library into an incredible new museum of everything pinball.

From the Lucky Ju Ju Pinball to the PPM, follow the vision of the non profit that help put pinball back on the map and see why this unique institution deserves some attention.

Saturday 4 PM

"Game Show Game Show" returns with "Match Game CAX 2014 Plus"

It's time to match the "stars" once again as we play our version of the classic fill-in-the-blank game show, live! Plus, some other games, too, also.  The whole audience can participate!  A panel of almost-famous members of the pinball and game community will match wits with participants from the audience for no cash and no prizes – but it will be funny. Well, it might be funny.  And I think there will be prizes.  Pretty sure.  Yup.  Definite possibility there.  Let's put it this way: If you show up and give us a few pity laughs, there's a good chance everybody else will play along.

Saturday 5 PM

Sente panel - Roger Hector, Lee Actor, Paul Brandt, Owen Rubin, Bob Smith, Jim Turner, Willy Aguilar, Lois Turner

This year, California Extreme is happy to present a panel of Bally Sente alumni that will give us perspectives of the video arcade engineering and business world in the 1980’s. Don’t forget to read about the Bally Sente Game Reunion in the program guide and visit the Bally Sente games in the main gameroom.

Members of the Panel:
•   Roger Hector: cofounder of Videa, at Sente he was Sr. VP of Engineering and led the teams to produce all the Sente games.
•   Lee Actor: One of the first employees hired by Videa in 1982. He designed and programmed Snake Pit, the first title for the SAC-I system; Hat Trick, which RePlay magazine ranked as the #1 earning game for 5 straight months in 1985; Team Hat Trick; Street Football, seen in the Oscar-winning feature film “The Accused”; and sound effects and music development tools for the SAC-I system.
•   Paul Brandt: Second hire at Videa. He was Howie’s (Howard Delman’s) tech, built the E-prototypes, did field test and upkeep, worked on the Sac systems, simulator, dark rides, etc. He stayed with Roger, Lee, and Owen until the end in 1988 to lock up the building.
•   Owen Rubin: Started video games in 1976 as one of first programmers at Atari. Worked with all the original Sente people while at Atari, and joined Sente in 1984. Worked on Goalie Ghost, Name That Tune, Shrike Avenger (a motion simulator game), and Grudge Match. Also managed their IT and tools infrastructure.
•   Bob Smith: Worked on  Moonquake, which was the first game finished on the Amiga 500a chipset.  It failed horribly on field test, so was never released.  He also did some work in 6809 for Dennis' game as well as some communication software to talk from a PC to the Amiga for rapid downloads
•   Jim Turner: Programmer, worked on early version of Shrike Avenger.
•   Willy Aguilar: Graphic Artist

Saturday 5 PM


Pinball Professors will be there to teach you how. How do you think they do it? I don't know - what makes them so good?  Learn from the master of pinball as they teach their art and techniques.  Basic to advance methods, strategy development - learn how to play your best!  Located in the hallway outside the show.

Saturday 7 PM-Midnight


•   7:00  PM | DJ Mr Smith
•   7:30 - 7:50 | Big Al's Jams
•   8:00 - 8:30 | Petriform
•   8:40 - 9:10 | Dr Awkward
•   9:20 - 10:00 | Urizen
•   10:20 - 11:00 | Gnarboots
•   11:20 - midnight | Slime Girls
•   12:00 AM - | DJ Mr Smith


Sunday 11 AM

“THE STORY OF US VS. THEM” - Warren Davis
One of the hottest new technologies in the arcades in the mid-1980s was the laserdisc.  In games, laserdiscs brought realistic movie quality graphics that were unequalled and unavailable by any other means.  Some laserdisc games such as Dragon's Lair and Space Ace were interactive  cartoons that required the user to push a joystick in the right direction at the right time to continue, and avoid skipping to a death sequence.  Other games such as Mach 3 and Firefox overlayed computer graphics on top of filmed footage for a more traditional gameplay experience.

But this revolutionary technology didn't last long in the arcades.  Why?  Warren Davis, the designer and programmer of Q*bert tells the little known tale of a laserdisc game he worked on called Us Vs. Them.  A sci-fi invasion themed game that incorporated dramatic scenes filmed with live actors and flying footage with overlayed computer graphics to create a truly interactive movie experience.  And although it proved to be a hit in the arcades when tested, its ultimate fate tells a sadder story about laserdiscs and why their life in the coin-op industry was so short-lived.

Warren began his career in video games at Gottlieb. He hit gold with his first game, Q*bert, which he designed and programmed.  This was followed by Faster, Harder, More Challenging Q*bert, but it was never released.  His next game was a laserdisc game, Us. Vs. Them.  Warren then moved to Williams/Bally/Midway where he worked on Joust 2 and began exploring the use of digitized imagery in video games.  During a hiatus from Williams, he designed and programmed the surreal bug killing game, Exterminator.  Then he returned to Williams to work on T2: Judgement Day and Revolution X. 
His video digitization system was improved and used for Mortal Kombat, NBA Jam, and virtually all of Midway's games in the early 1990's.

In 1995, Warren moved to Los Angeles to work for Disney Interactive. He becames an Imagineer for a short while, then left Disney to work on a Spyro the Dragon game. He developed The Lunar Explorer, a PC program which allows users to interactively explore any part of the moon.  Warren then spent some time as an R&D engineer for ILM where he worked on previsualization software for movies, and is currently an independent consultant.

Sunday Noon

Arcade Film Festival shorts and trailers

List of potential trailers to be shown:

•   Kind of the Arcade
•   Video Wars
•   Dangerous to Go Alone
•   No Princess in the Castle
•   Outerlands
•   Nibbler
•   Game Play.


From nerd niche to multi-billion dollar industry, this is the story of video games as told by their greatest creators and super-players. Featuring your favorite industry, gamer and geek icons including Chris Hardwick, Nolan Bushnell, and Cliff Bleszinski. VIDEO GAMES: THE MOVIE opens in theaters and is available on iTunes, On Demand, and starting July 15th.

Sunday 1 PM

“King of Arcades” (Movie) - Richie Knucklez, George Leutz, Paul Dean and Eugene Jarvis

The King Of Arcades movie was filmed largely in Richie Knucklez Arcade.  Following in Walter Day’s footsteps, bringing excitement and competition to the classic arcade scene.  Richie's arcade has become the central hub for setting World Records, a place where top players from both the golden age of arcades and the modern, post-King of Kong era gather and compete.  Richie Knucklez himself has become a lightning rod for the Arcade scene, drawing creators and programmers, collectors and hobbyists, kids of all ages with simply a passion and dedication for the classics.
For CAX, Richie has assembled a special panel of arcade visionaries from different areas of the classic scene to talk about the King of Arcades documentary, what led up to it, and make psychic predictions for what the future of the arcades have in store for us. Panelists include:
Eugene Jarvis:
Eugene has been creating arcade games since the golden age. A pioneer with Defender, and Robotron right through to today. with Big Buck Hunter and many other modern arcade titles with his company,  Raw Thrills.
Paul Dean: Paul is both a player and an arcade historian. His knowledge of the classics and the competitive arcade scene is unparalleled.
Paul is no dry historian though, he shares his arcade wisdom with charm and humor.
He also has the world record on the arcade classic, Spy Hunter.
(Eugene Jarvis, Paul Dean and Richie Knucklez are also hosting this year’s Defender Contest at CAX 2014)
George Leutz: George is the newest and most recognizable of the classic gaming celebrities.
First rising into the public eye by playing many Q*bert marathons at Richie's arcade - including the infamous unplugged Q*bert marathon - George is now the undisputed world record holder in Q*bert.
George also brings a rock star element by mixing rock n roll and classic gaming , Look for his cd of video game inspired songs out soon.
Richie Knucklez: Richie holds world records on such arcade classics as Space Invaders, Phoenix, Pleiades, Space Fury and many others. In his new arcade documentary, The King of Arcades,
Richie provides us with a window into his world and of the classic arcade scene.
Come take a trip with us hunting down, restoring and displaying hundreds of arcade games and pinballs as well as a glimpse into the ups and downs of juggling family life and how this hobby/business can consume you.
Hear Richie talk about the world of classic arcade gaming from his unique perspective deep in the thicket of our hobby.

Sunday 1 PM


Pinball Professors will be there to teach you how. How do you think they do it? I don't know - what makes them so good?  Learn from the master of pinball as they teach their art and techniques.  Basic to advance methods, strategy development - learn how to play your best!  Located in the hallway outside the show.

Sunday 2 PM

“So You Want To Buy a Pinball?” - Tim Showalter

This short talk will talk about how to get a game, what to look for, how much things cost, and what to do when things don't work.  We'll cover important topics like how to turn it on, how to not annoy your spouse, and how to adjust the volume.  If you don't own a pinball, and are thinking about buying one, this talk is for you.  No sales pitches -- we promise!

Sunday 3 PM

Wade Krause will present his 13 color backglass printing process and sample work for the custom arcade installation DELUXX FLUXX ARCADE created by the Brooklyn artists FAILE and BaST and currently on tour around the world.  Includes films and video by Wade and Anna Newman.

Sunday 3:45 PM

“Pinball Into the Future” - Mel Kirk, Zen Studios, Vice President, Publishing

Pinball is not just alive in the virtual world, it is thriving! Discover how the digital realm is contributing to today’s pinball renaissance, and how Zen Studios sees the growth and development of pinball in the near future.

Mel leads publishing, licensing and business development at Zen Studios, and shapes the future of Zen’s critically acclaimed pinball platforms available across console, PC, and mobile digital stores. A pioneer in the video game industry, Mel has amassed more than 70 project credits including Pinball FX, Zen Pinball, Star Wars Pinball, Marvel Pinball, CastleStorm, Guitar Hero, Star Trek Online, and PhysX by Ageia. When not working he can be found on the ski slopes of the Sierra Nevada’s, lounging on a beach, or playing Mario Kart with his daughters.

Aaron Davis & Dave Beecher, Fast Pinball; Brian Madden, Mission Pinball

Aaron and Dave will be giving updates on the development of Fast Pinball hardware, and Brian will be discussing his software; the Mission Pinball Framework.  They are working with an array of pinball innovators breaking new ground and changing paradigms in how pinball can evolve.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2014, 12:34:19 pm by Mark Birsching »