Hackfort 2019 Lineup


Hackfort 2019 has a stellar lineup of gamers, makers, innovators, and creators set to blow your mind.

Hackfort welcomes Scott and Julie Brusaw of Solar Roadways as this year’s headliner. Solar Roadways is a company based in Sandpoint, Idaho that develops solar-powered roadways, driveways, and parking lots. Hackfort will also welcome back Eric Barone, the solo indie video game developer best known for creating Stardew Valley.

Explore this year’s lineup below.


Scott & Julie Brusaw
Scott and his wife Julie are the co-founders of Solar Roadways, a company in Sandpoint Idaho that aims to develop roadways, driveways, and parking lots using solar powered panels. The panels have LEDs, heating elements, microprocessors, among many other things. They famously created a successful Indiegogo campaign, raising $2.1 million and broke the record for most funders at the time. They also were the subject of a viral YouTube video titled “Solar FREAKIN’ Roadways!”

Scott is an electrical engineer with 30 years of industry experience. His hardware, firmware, and software have been sold around the world.

They’re bringing some of their newest panels to Hackfort and speaking about the history and future of Solar Roadways.



ConcernedApe / Stardew Valley
Eric Barone (AKA ConcernedApe) is a solo indie video game developer, based in Seattle, WA. He made a farming game called Stardew Valley, which was inspired by the Harvest Moon games he played as a child. Stardew Valley has sold over 6 million copies worldwide.

Eric plans on talking about the development history of Stardew Valley, and showing some old versions of the game, while answering questions from the audience. You won’t want to miss this.



Independent Brand Artivist
Chad has created influential advertising and design for more than 170 brands, including Target, Google, Nike, id Software, Mountain Dew, MTV, and ESPN X Games. When he’s not building brands, he helps build internal creative departments, coaches young creatives, and creates social impact art from Austin, Texas.

Chad defines what it means to live and work creatively by sharing proven processes and unconventional career highlights, including those that disrupted the video game industry.



Nerdcore Rapper
In a career that has now spanned more than a decade, Mega Ran has become one of the most recognizable faces in alt hip-hop and the single most well-respected lyricist of the entire nerdcore movement. He has been a participant at major music festivals like South By Southwest in Austin and A3C in Atlanta, and he is also a staple of Comic Book Conventions, Video Game Conventions and the like. He has even appeared inside of the WWE ring on Smackdown on July 4th of last year.

How did a 7th grade English teacher go from grading papers to becoming an innovator in the Nerdcore hip-hop subgenre, to traveling the world rapping about video games? Strap in for Mega Ran’s incredible story of finding inspiration in an unexpected place. Ran is a Guinness world record holder and the first rapper ever to be licensed by Capcom, so strap in for a delightful tale.



Experience Stratefist / The Collaboratorium
Kathleen is a Digital and Immersive, Experience Strategist with over 20 years building both user and guest experiences. Her background includes working as a Creative and Producer for DreamWorks Interactive, IBM Innovation, Disney Parks & Resorts, as well as a brief stint in politics as the Vice President of Digital Innovation, for the National Constitution Center, helping to tell the contemporary story of the U.S. Constitution.

She’ll talk about taking a peek at the perceptual reality of you in future worlds. From the data collected about you, to the AI bias that could be told about you. Who are you today? Who are you in 2045? Are you going to own our digital twin or is someone else going to? How do we control the physical representation of our own self and likeness? It’ll be about consciousness, ethics and soul awareness as we seamlessly integrate embodied communications and virtual worlds.



Consciousness Hacking / Standford University
Mikey Siegel is a robotics engineer turned consciousness hacker. He is currently teaching at Stanford University, founder of Consciousness Hacking, BioFluent Technologies, the Transformative Technology Conference, and serving on the board of Trustees of the California Institute of Integral Studies.

He envisions a present and future where science and technology support psychological, emotional and spiritual flourishing. Where our devices not only connect us to information, but also connect us to ourselves and each other, acting as a catalyst for individual and collective awakening.

How will innovations in neuroscience, neurotech, wearables, VR, AI etc. change the way we walk the spiritual path? What if any inherent differences are there between modern tech and “traditional approaches”? What are the dangers of a highly accelerated spiritual path? What are the bottlenecks to awakening? Is there anything inherently less skillful about Modern Tech as compared to traditional practices? Siegel will explore the way that modern technology will change the way we awaken.




Warner Bros. Games Montréal
Osama Dorias is a Senior Game Designer at Warner Brothers Montreal and the co-founder of the Indie Video Game studio Magic Pants. In the past, he’s worked as a Game Designer at Gameloft Montreal, GEE Media, Ubisoft Montreal, and Minority Media. He’s taught game and level design at Dawson College where he’s now the Coordinator of the Video Game Programs. He loves to empower people in expressing themselves through game making.

Osama especially loves to give a voice to marginalized people and causes. He’s hosted game jams, workshops and other community activities to this end, which has culminated in co-founding the Montreal Independent Games Festival. He will speak at Hackfort about the last 5-6 years making games with his children, and the lessons learned from that experience.



Warner Bros. Games Montréal
Ann Lemay & Ceri Young are veteran writers in the gaming industry (Assassins Creed, Mass Effect to name a few). Ann Lemay is the Narrative Director and Ceri Young is the Lead Writer at Warner Bros. Games Montréal.

The funny thing about writing for games is that the writing and the dialogue is often not the most important thing. In fact, worrying about the words can be the lowest thing on a writer’s priority list. How do stories, world, and gameplay interact to make a meaningful experience? Learn how they put the pieces together from two experts in the field.



Writer / Forbes
Jennifer Kite-Powell is woman who writes. Some people call her a multi-tentacled octopus, which is redundant, but she is a narrative journalist, writer, author and poet. As a tech contributor, she writes about innovation in tech and science for Forbes. She is also a pen for hire for companies and personalities who want to tell a better story. Jennifer travels around the world regularly to interview spectacular humans and help them tell their stories on the stage as a bespoke moderator. She lived in Europe for more than a decade and now calls Boise, Idaho home. To read her is to know her, so check out her writing on Forbes.com or buy her book Love, Lust, Longing & Truth.



goldyeller / Lego stop motion
Jared Jacobs (AKA goldyeller) is a Lego stop motion animator and YouTuber.

He’s giving a workshop on how to do stop motion.



Den of Geek
Chris Longo is an entertainment journalist. He’s the deputy editor and print edition editor of Den of Geek, one of the fastest growing pop culture publications in the world.

He’ll be on a panel of tech journalists to share insider tips on how startups, small businesses, and PR companies can find the secret sauce to getting game-changing media coverage for your tech company.



Freelance Journalist
Neel V. Patel is a freelance science and technology journalist, writing for outlets like Wired, Observer, Slate, the Daily Beast, Popular Science and more. Before freelancing, he worked as an Associate Editor at a startup called Inverse for two years, leading their space coverage.

He’ll be on a panel of tech journalists to share insider tips on how startups, small businesses, and PR companies can find the secret sauce to getting game-changing media coverage for your tech company.




League of Legends Team
eSports — or competitive video game playing — is a world-wide activity enjoyed daily by tens of millions of participants and viewers. Being one of the first collegiate programs, Boise State has quickly risen to be recognized as the premier eSports program in the country, having officially 60 varsity players who were broadcast in live events totaling over 200 hours and competing against over 80 schools during the fall 2018 semester alone.

Boise State University eSports Team will be playing a live League of Legends match against University of Oregon at Hackfort.



Professor, Director of eSports
Dr. Chris Haskell plays video games for a living, or at least that’s what his friends think. He’s the director of the Varsity eSports at Boise State. As a professor and researcher, Chris also focuses on the impact of videogames, virtual worlds, social media, and digital culture. Dr. H teaches his classes in Minecraft and World of Warcraft. He created a course about Facebook, Youtube, and Memes. He even has retro 80s arcade games in his office… for research of course. When it comes to work, Dr. Haskell is serious about play. It’s no wonder his friends think he needs a real job.

He’s going to speak in a panel about the gaming industry, and coach a live eSports match with the Boise State University eSports Team at Hackfort.



Black Box VR / Rich Reavis / Duane Mathes
An Idaho native, Rich proudly describes himself as a “nerd-lete,“ enjoying all things sports and tech from an early age. Rich is a licensed professional engineer in the State of Idaho and is responsible for product development, manufacturing operations, and procurement for mechanical and electrical hardware systems at Black Box VR. Rich enjoys exploring the Idaho outdoors and traveling with his family.

With over 10 years as a creative director in the gaming, mobile app and print industries and 5 years at Intel as a software engineer and UX lead, Duane has a unique talent of translating abstract creative concepts into actionable, real-world results. Duane has lived an adventurous life across 27 countries, speaks 3 languages (English, Mandarin and Indonesian), is the recipient of a Gold Award at Chinese International Industrial Fair (CIIF) for Excellence in Robotics, and has an enthusiasm and zest for life that he bring to all the teams that he works with.

Rich and Duane will answer your technical questions about Black Box VR and its development at Hackfort.



Dennis Garcia & Darren McCain
Hardware Asylum was started in late 2012 when Ninjalane.com was rebranded and moved over. Dennis started Ninja Lane in 1999 as a review site that focused on high-end computer hardware which gave rise to custom computer hobby we see today. Hardware Asylum also hosts a bi-weekly Podcast about the PC enthusiast culture and covers things related to the website, PC gaming and sometimes completely unrelated topics we find interesting that month. Darren worked with Club Overclocker for years before joining Ninja Lane in 2010, now Hardware Asylum, to continue to indulge in his hardware dabbling.

Dennis Garcia and Darren McCain will speak about getting the most from computer hardware including Custom PC building, Case Modding, Exotic Cooling and Overclocking. They will also give an overclocking demonstration while cooling the PC with liquid nitrogen! It’s going to be real cool.



A beer keg falls out of a driverless car in the desert and shows the value of design reuse. The night sky reveals AI isn’t about to render us obsolete. Art, not technology, is the future of VR. AI Scientist Josh Johnston will through 10 big lessons from robotics, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence.

Josh Johnston is an Artificial Intelligence Scientist who exploits information, automates decisions, and focuses attention on relevant data. With first-hand stories of complex machines and the very human humans who built them, Josh will explain his design philosophy through the things that went wrong (and occasionally right!) from 15 years of playing with big kid toys.



Norm Vogele & Mary Wilson
Norm Vogele and Mary Wilson will be giving a crash course in basic SEO titled “Experience, Authority and Trust: Making a Website Search Engines Will EAT.”

They will explain why EAT is the acronym to know, what it means, and how site owners can influence their website’s expertise, authority, and trust signals to both search engines and visitors.




Luke Mayville
Luke Mayville has recently taught civics and political philosophy at Columbia University and authored a book on President John Adams. In 2017, he co-founded Reclaim Idaho, a grassroots campaign to secure full funding for Idaho’s public schools, protection of Idaho’s public lands, and affordable healthcare for all Idaho citizens. Reclaim Idaho filed the petition to put Medicaid Expansion on the ballot in Idaho and then led the successful “Medicaid for Idaho” petition drive.

If you think politics is all about big data, artificial intelligence and bots in Russia, think again. Join Cameron Crow, Make Idaho Better and Luke Mayville, Reclaim Idaho, who will talk about separating the noise and the news from the issues and how to engage people to make real change. We’ll discuss how data analytics are being harnessed to empower every Idaho citizen, and we’ll hear the story of how a green spray-painted RV dubbed “the Medicaid Mobile” changed Idaho politics and became a social-media icon. Low tech, high tech–what if it doesn’t matter? Join us as we sift through the issues and look at what’s changed and what’s to come.



Cameron Crow
Data is one of the most important tools for problem solving. It helps you test your assumptions, see what’s working, and minimize risks. Most savvy organizations know that. But, then, why do we have so little data about important community issues in Idaho? Because quality research and community engagement isn’t cheap. At all. But that’s changing.

Make Idaho Better exists to solve this problem. It’s a nonpartisan research platform making Idaho voices heard and making a difference on important state and local issues using short weekly surveys, public results, and analysis. This research makes people better informed, more understanding, and makes it easier for leaders to find and implement better solutions.

Almost every aspect of Make Idaho Better’s business model is innovative. The value proposition for respondents is civic, not financial. The overall results are public, not private. The surveys are short, not long. The costs are low, not high. Come hear how Make Idaho Better’s founder, Cameron Crow, found the mix that worked for this ambitious project.



Senior Security Consultant
Dan McInerney gets paid to break into corporations’ buildings. He’s a senior security consultant and researcher who likes giving back through his top 100 Python GitHub account stuffed with security tools. Dan’s a BlackHat USA and EU trainer and has performed dozens of physical security tests against clients ranging from Fortune 50’s to military installations.

He’s got some interesting stories to share, and will discuss the simple tools and techniques involved.


3.18 LABS

Russell L Fair
Russell is a software developer by day, tinkerer and maker by night, and is passionate about teaching and developing STEM curriculum. He enjoys carpentry, low-voltage electronics, playing with legos, and geocaching.

He’s going to show us about LEGO Serious Play (LSP) and how we can use the LSP model to explore how changing technology impacts their community, explore ways to learn new skills and turn their passions into opportunity.



Brooke Lacey
Brooke has worked in IT since 1995 in Chicago after completing her CS degree from Northern Illinois University. She founded Tech Savvy, LLC in 2010 – the only woman-owned and operated computer repair business in the Pacific Northwest. Her non-profit, KidBuildIt was created out of a community need for complete computer science instruction that included not only computer programming but computer hardware knowledge as well.

This year, Brooke is bringing something new to the table and talking about navigating the world of being a woman in tech – and a girl gamer.



Scott Campbell
Scott Campbell is a startup founder, product designer, mechanical + electrical engineer, and 3D graphical artist.

Scott will talk about the story and development of LUMATIV, a premium wearable technology brand, his personal and professional history, and some technical insight into how LUMATIV technology works and what’s next.

Hackfort takes place Thursday through Saturday of Treefort (March 20th-24th, 2019) on the 5th floor of JUMP. Hackfort is open to anyone with a Hackfort badge and/or a Treefort Pass.