Ever wanted to make your own video games? Do you have some great ideas but no idea how to follow through with them? Or do you just want to see what indie game developers are doing right here in Ohio? This Saturday (December 7), the Ohio Union building will host the Ohio Game Developer Expo, a day-long event where aspiring and established developers can attend lectures and panels on game design and development as well as the marketing, funding and other business aspects of the industry. Speakers include Lise Worthen-Chaudhari, who works with the OSU Medical Center to gamify physical therapy, Stephan Smith, president of Columbus-based FreshGames and Chase Grozdina, a Hilliard-based Kickstarter success story with his upcoming game ForgeQuest. The Speaker Series starts at 11 AM, with tickets for the entire day $15 in advance, $20 at the door, and discounted to $8 for students. You can also see what others are making at the Game Showcase. This part of the show is free and open to the public, so if you’re more interested in playing games than making them and want to see what our community is up to, there’s no cost to drop in. The showcase promises “dozens of companies and organizations at over 40 booths,” including makers of action/adventure games, puzzle games, 2D fighters and more for PC, consoles and mobile devices. Columbus’s own Soulfire Software will be showing their upcoming game Thieves’ Plummet, a 3D action/adventure game for the iPad, developer Few Remain will be bringing an arcade cabinet to demo their new mobile game Herd of Heroes and Elyria-based Liquid Shock will be showing off concept work for their in-development Open Source MMO Zone of Avoidance. The Game Showcase opens at 10 AM, so there’s time to stop in before the Speaker Series and enough exhibitors to keep you entertained all day. Indie developers aren’t the only ones you can help out at the Expo: Charity organization Extra Life will be there with Team Buckeye. Similar to sponsoring a runner in a charity race, Extra Life hosts 24-hour gaming marathons to benefit Children’s Miracle Network hospitals (locally, Nationwide Children’s Hospital). Team Buckeye’s November 2nd event raised over $7,000 for the hospital and they still need some help to reach their $10,000 goal. Nationally the charity has raised over $4 million this year. Even if you don’t have any money to donate yourself, Extra Life needs people willing to be sponsored for nothing more than a day of marathon gaming. More information on the Expo is available at OhioGameDevExpo.com. The event runs from 10 AM until 6:30 PM on Saturday, December 7th with an After-Party scheduled until 10 PM.

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