Co-Founder & CEO
David Edery is the co-founder and CEO of Spry Fox, the studio behind titles such as Alphabear, Triple Town, Steambirds, Bushido Bear, & Realm of the Mad God. Previously, David was Worldwide Games’ portfolio manager for Microsoft’s Xbox LIVE service, where he was responsible for content strategy and selecting the games that would be accepted for distribution by the LIVE service. David co-authored, “Changing the Game: How Video Games are Transforming the Future of Business” a book that explores the ways that games can be leveraged by businesses for serious purposes.
Head of Analytics
John Smith is the Head of Analytics for ArenaNet as well as the game economist for Guild Wars 2. His department involves in-game economies, machine learning, predictive analytics, reporting, logging, analytics tooling, data visualization, risk analysis and game insights.
Sam has been writing software for the past 5 years. He is currently a Server Programmer at ArenaNet, where he spends his days writing and supporting systems for account management and authentication. Previous projects include writing build tools, creating backend services to support commerce systems, and launching Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns. Before working in the MMO space, he struggled as an indie startup and helped write motion capture software for IMU sensors.
Asa Reed is a Field Engineer at Unity Technologies. He works with game developers across North America to effectively harness the capabilities of the Unity game engine. Previously he worked as a developer at Disney Consumer Products and Interactive, where he contributed to multiple educational games and apps.
Creator GaymerX & Read Only Memories
Matt Conn is the founder and CEO of MidBoss, through which he is the executive producer for the annual GaymerX gaming convention. Matt also produces LGBTQ focused gaming media, including the the cyberpunk story adventure game 2064: Read Only Memories (2016), and the ‘gaymer’ documentary Gaming in Color (2014). Conn is a major leader of the fight for inclusion of queer themes and developers in the video games industry and works out of San Francisco, where he lives.
Eric has been developing games for 18 years, working as an Animator, 3D Artist, Environment Artist, and Producer. He finally settled into working as a Visual Effects Artist 13 years ago and hasn’t looked back. With over 12 published titles he is currently working with the amazing people at Bungie on their SpecOps team where he loves to create Space Magic in Destiny.
Security and Moderation Consultant
“Stephen “Stepto” Toulouse has spent over two decades in the technology industry and has worked on products from HBO to Xbox and Xbox LIVE. He is an industry expert on social interaction online as well as product and computer safety. A frequent performer at the popular geek vaudeville show “w00tstock”, Stepto also performs locally at Seattle venues and video game industry events.
He lives on the Olympic Peninsula in a farm house near a small town called Kingston with his Golden Retriever Basil Hayden and a Miniature Australian Shepherd named Lucien Idaho. Applicants to his zombie survival compound must bring an essential skill.”
Senior Game Designer
Nate Heiss is a 10+ year veteran of the games industry, with his roots in paper gaming. His design resume includes Magic: the Gathering, Axis & Allies, Dominion, Paradise Bay, and Plants vs. Zombies: Heroes. By day he works as a Senior Game Designer at EA PopCap, and by night he designs board games such as Rumpelstiltskin and Red Dragon Inn: Battle for Greyport. Favorite games include Magic, D&D, Stone Age, Civ 5, Warcraft 3, and Can’t Stop.
Greater Than Games, LLC
Game Design Director
Christopher Badell is the designer and co-creator of the hit cooperative card game Sentinels of the Multiverse, as well as the co-owner of Greater Than Games, LLC. Over the last few years, his story-telling game creation style and attention to both thematics and mechanics in games has made a mark on the tabletop gaming industry. Even with a variety of games in production, his first love is co-op games, to the point that he views the gaming industry as one big cooperative game!
Wizards of the Coast
Nik Davidson is a fifteen year veteran of online game and virtual world development. He currently works as a Design Director on unannounced projects at Wizards of the Coast. Previously, he worked at Amazon and Turbine, where he led the design for Lord of the Rings Online. He’s been a designer both with and without significant data resources.
Brian Cautrell is a Development Manager at Riot Games focused on feature development for the game League of Legends. His team works on game data storage and consumes it for player profiles and interactions. With tens of millions of unique daily players, that’s a lot of data! Brian previously worked at ArenaNet, where he helped form the first Analytics team, managed production on Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns, and supported many other teams over time.
Having developed mobile apps, games, and educational titles in the UK, Jon relocated to Seattle in 2010 and launched Kaio Interactive to better connect with established partners in the Pacific Northwest. Since doing so, in addition to continuing to develop mobile games, Jon and the team at Kaio have been able to help other Indie studios in the PNW and have also become a member of the Intel Innovator Program. After launching a number of AR games, his team is now developing their own VR games. Kaio Interactive’s “Leave the Nest” launched in May for HTC Vive and is now available on Steam.
EEDAR and Experiment 7
Geoffrey “GZ” Zatkin is the Co-Founder & Creative Director of Experiment 7, a video game studio focused on VR Strategy games. Mr. Zatkin also Co-Founded EEDAR, the video game industry’s premier market research and business-intelligence firm, and currently serves on its Board of Directors, as well as on the Board of Directors of SnowCannon games.
Mr. Zatkin has over 20 years of experience in video game development, tools, and analytics, and has served in senior design roles on numerous video game titles generating over $1 billion in combined revenue. He was an integral part of the original EverQuest design team and helped pioneer the rise of MMO games. In addition, Mr. Zatkin is a frequent contributor to industry development as a presenter at the Game Developers Conference, PAX, and various other conferences and collegiate game courses.
DigiPen Institute of Technology
Boyan Radakovich is a senior lecturer at DigiPen Institute of Technology in the fields of game design and user testing, the creator of the gaming holiday TableTop Day and the co-producer for the popular show “TableTop,” while also being an award winning tabletop game designer himself. Bo is a sought after creative consultant, valued community organizer, and a outspoken advocate for the cognitive and social benefits of gaming. Bo’s vulnerabilities include a particular weakness for corgis.
Head of Games
Luke has been designing and publishing roleplaying games since 2002. His most popular titles, The Burning Wheel and Mouse Guard, are known to a chosen few who seek to do more than just kill things and take their stuff. He’s recently published a two-player strategy game called Swords & Strongholds and hopes to release his Viking LARP soon. He’s also the Game Lead at Kickstarter and since 2012 has helped thousands of games creators fund their projects.
The Brightskull Entertainment Group
Michael is a voice director and writer whose notable works include Bioshock 2, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, Masquerada, andTacoma. He is the founder of The Brightskull Entertainment Group, a production services company providing audio and narrative for development teams. When not working he builds motorcycles, practices his magic, and continues to make rude noises with guitars and microphones. Michael lives in Los Angeles, keeps his roots in NYC, and is proud to have been raised in the Catskills.
Having commit the egregious sin of doing poorly in school as a Singaporean, Ian starting working young and only returned to his studies at 23, receiving a scholarship at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. In 2010, his second year there, Ian co-founded Witching Hour Studios with some friends. Six years on, Witching Hour has garnered multiple awards and international recognition for their line of games. He is currently working on their latest title, Masquerada: Songs and Shadows.
Zach Aikman is the Technical Director at 17-BIT, a Kyoto-based indie game studio. His interest and experience in procedural content generation helped guide the shift from hand-crafted levels to randomized missions and environments in their recent rogue-lite, space-combat game, Galak-Z.
As a founding member of Runic Games in 2008, Wonder created their PR role from the ground up, working on Torchlight, Torchlight II, and now Hob. She handles all public-facing aspects of game development from social media to tradeshows. She is an award-winning filmmaker finishing her first feature film. As an actor she appears in the upcoming JourneyQuest Season 3 and the Soma live action webseries. She is obsessed with photography, snapchat, and her papillons, Falcor and Danger.
Game breaker by day, scream inducer by night, and always a man of mystery (but only in the continental United States). Witt has once again dove head first into something he didn’t know existed. He is one of the founding members of Seattle Megagames and has spent over a decade giving game devs nightmares.
Weng Chen has worked as an artist in the game industry for 14 years. Currently Art Director and a Co-founder of Carbon Games working on a new VR game, she recently shipped AirMech Command, an Oculus Rift launch title. She created the visual design for Fat Princess at Titan Studios, was art director for AirMech, and worked on multiple Splinter Cell titles at Ubisoft. Before starting her game career, she was a professional manga artist and illustrator in China.
DigiPen Institute of Technology
Victor Cecci is a graduate student from the Bachelor of Computer Science and Game Design at DigiPen. He now works at DigiPen Research and Development as lead designer on a variety of projects including the Wellbody Pacific Science Center Playdium exhibit, Sandblocks and helps develop the game design curriculum at DigiPen. On his spare time he organizes and participates Game Jams, playtest meetups, develops board games and runs the Game Design Club at DigiPen.
Designer of Dreams
Tyrone Rodriguez is the founder of Nicalis, Inc., a California-based developer and publisher that collaborates with famously talented indie designers such as Edmund McMillen and Studio Pixel.
Currently, Tyrone and Nicalis are finishing development on highly anticipated The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ and a few unannounced games. Previously, he produced 1001 Spikes, NightSky (nominated for IGF Seamus McNally Grand Prize, Excellence in Audio, Excellence in Design) as well as indie poster child, Cave Story.
Tyrone loves working with talented game developers, transforming robots and hates writing in third person.
Raised on a steady diet of video games and fantasy/sci-fi novels, Tyriq’s youth conspired to cultivate within him a fascination with technology, storytelling, and worldbuilding. Eventually, this fascination led to a game development hobby, now-turned career. After working as a pixel-artist professionally for several years, a successful Kickstarter campaign allowed him to turn his full attention to his long-time side-project, Catacomb Kids, a procedural dungeon-crawling platformer which leans heavily on traditional roguelike values. He currently works full-time as the artist, coder, and designer for the game.
Tyler Walters is a Technical Artist with a background mainly focused on environment production. He has been at Oculus for two and a half years, watching the industry grow exponentially over that length of time. His previous work involved a handful of independent games for PC and Mobile devices. Today he is completely focused on the future of VR development, and enjoys all of the problem solving involved.
Tyler Coleman is the Founder of Retora Game Studios. A long time player of simulation games, his passion for procedural generation stems from interest in the genre as well as interest in algorithmic art. This interest influences Retora’s releases, such as the recently release Merchant on iOS and Android.
Senior Game Designer
Tyler Bielman is a game designer, marketer & inventor with nearly twenty years of experience in the gaming industry. Tyler served as the Global Brand Manager and Creative Director of Magic: The Gathering, in addition to holding the position of Director of New Business while at Wizards of the Coast. From start-ups to Microsoft, tabletop to digital, he has seen the industry from every angle. He currently works for The Coalition on Gears of War 4.
Sr. User Researcher
Twyla Campbell, Ph.D. is a research psychologist at Unger Campbell, an internationally recognized human factors and usability consulting firm. The focus of her work is using psychological principles and research to improve interactions between users and systems, an approach she applies enthusiastically to game design and playtesting. Dr. Campbell has experience developing systems for a wide variety of design, defense and corporate clients.
Co-founder, Director of Communications & Connections
In the business of community building for two decades, Troy’s passion for uniting people began as the Community Connections Director for the YMCA. An avid gamer, he transitioned to the digital world, where he’s served as Director of Communications for Motiga, Producer and Director of Community at NCSOFT’s Carbine Studios, Director of Community at Flying Lab Software, and Online Community Events Manager for Monolith/Warner Brothers. Troy is now co-founder and Director of Communications and Connections at new startup uGen World.
Trond is a researcher, software engineer, and game designer. His interests include virtual and augmented reality game design, the use of games for learning, social change, and problem solving, and much more. He is a founding member of Seattle MegaGames and a veteran designer of large scale live role-playing and grand strategy games.
Schnoodle Media, LLC
Narrative Designer / Game Writer / Game Designer / Editor
Wearing several hats, Toiya Kristen Finley is a writer, editor, game designer, and narrative designer/game writer from Nashville, TN. She’s worked as a game designer, narrative designer, and game writer (or some combination of the three) on social, mobile, VR, and kids’ games. She co-authored The Game Narrative Toolbox (Focal Press, 2015) with Jennifer Brandes Hepler, Ann Lemay, and Tobias Heussner. For the past 3 years, she has served on the IGDA Game Writing SIG’s executive board.
Tobiah Zarlez has been an independent game developer since 2009, and is most famous for the physics based puzzle game ““Blast Monkeys”“.
Tobiah started working for Microsoft in 2013 as a Game Evangelist, helping developers make better games.
Temple Gate Games
Theresa Duringer is the CEO of Temple Gates Games, maker of the multi-award winning VR game Bazaar. This game has been a featured launch title on Gear and Rift and has recently released on Vive. Before hopping aboard the hype-train of futurism, she co-founded Turtle Sandbox, the San Francisco-based game studio behind the hit multiplayer artillery RTS, Cannon Brawl. Her decade of experience working in AAA on games like Spore, Sim City, Godfather, and The Sims has given her the experience to build the top VR game studio in Silicon Valley.
Bay 12 Games
Tarn Adams is the co-founder of Bay 12 Games. His main project is Dwarf Fortress, a fantasy simulation game which he works on with his brother Zach. The game is distributed free of charge and has developed a strong niche following, but it is also known for its difficult interface and text-based graphics. The brothers work on game design together, while Tarn does most of the programming.
Tadhg Kelly is a games industry veteran with specializations in production and design. In the last 17 years he has held multiple roles including external producer, lead game designer, creative director, startup founder, consultant and developer relations. A well-known personality in the industry, Tadhg writes columns for major publications, game design blogs, teaching and speaking. He regularly speaks about VR and game development at conferences like GDC and Casual Connect, and has been a panelist for PAX and PAX Dev in recent years. Tadhg currently works with studios all around the world on exciting VR projects as the Director of Developer Relations at local Seattle startup VREAL, a platform for livestreaming VR games.
Swen (44) is the founder and CEO of Larian Studios. He’s been active in the games industry 1997 and has produced multiple critically acclaimed and commercial hit titles, including the Divinity series and the MEDEA award-winning Monkey Tales series. In a previous life Swen was the lead software engineer on all of Larian Studios’ titles, but since 2007 his focus is the creative direction of the Larian team. His latest game is Divinity: Original Sin 2.
Spencer Bambrick Music & Serial Lab Studios
Composer / Sound Designer
Spencer Bambrick is a composer and sound designer for games, media, and the concert stage. He received a Day Time Emmy Award Nomination for his work with Nickelodeon in 2014, and has since worked on projects on multiple game platforms including iOS, android, PC. He is currently working on a full length soundtrack for PS4 and XBOX One.
DigiPen Institute of Technology
Sonia Michaels earned her B.A. and M.A. in English from the University of Washington. She has taught English and Communication for 25+ years, and has also worked extensively in admissions and career services. In her current position at DigiPen, she helps students create outstanding career search materials, develop their professional networking skills, and launch their careers in the game industry. Under her guidance, DigiPen students and alumni have earned positions at Blizzard, Riot Games, Bungie, Microsoft, Amazon, and many more.
Three Donkeys Consulting
Skaff Elias is a partner at Three Donkeys, a game design and consulting business. Skaff was a Senior Vice-President for Wizards of the Coast. Skaff helped design and develop many of Wizards’ games. He was the primary architect of the Magic Pro Tour and organized play system, giving out millions of dollars in prizes yearly and running thousands of tournaments weekly. Skaff was the brand and business manager for Magic in its formative years, taking it to a $300 million brand.
A computer, sci-fi, and video game geek, Seth is really just passionate for all things nerdy. A graduate from Eastern Washington University with a BS in Computer Science (and an often shunned upon minor in Philosophy), he likes to bring in deep conversations about computing, programming, gaming and ‘existentialism’ to his work. He’s a strong believer in what the web can bring to modern gaming and advertising, and what the industry can create with new exciting web technologies.
Sarah Grissom has been a VFX artist since graduating from DigiPen in 2010. She got her start at The Amazing Society working on a children’s MMO called Super Hero Squad Online. From there she moved onto Gas Powered Games working on Age of Empires Online and Hex TCG. She now works at FXVille, the industry’s premier real-time VFX studio. Her more recent titles include Shadow of Mordor and State of Decay HD. Her current project is unannounced.
Ryan graduated from Eastern Washington University with a degree in Computer Science. He has a background in 3D graphics programming and over 10 years of web development experience. As a Technical Director and Frontend Developer at 14Four, Ryan is responsible for leading a team of developers on projects for brands such as Pepsi, Toyota, Nike, Fitbit, Sony, and others.
Alderac Entertainment Group
Ryan is a director at Alderac Entertainment Group with responsibility for finance and marketing. His previous jobs included CEO of Goblinworks, developing the next-generation fantasy sandbox MMO Pathfinder Online, Chief Marketing Officer at CCP where he oversaw the global sales & marketing for EVE Online, and VP of Tabletop RPGs at Wizards of the Coast where he managed the release of the 3rd Edition of Dungeons & Dragons and created the Open Game License.
Rodney Thompson is a Senior Designer on the Destiny franchise at Bungie and has been designing games professionally for over 15 years. Rodney’s previous design credits include the core rulebooks for the fifth edition of the Dungeons & Dragons tabletop roleplaying game, as well as the Lords of Waterdeep and Tyrants of the Underdark board games. Rodney is also one of the designers of the upcoming Thornwatch tabletop game from Penny Arcade and Lone Shark Games.
Richard Weschler is a game designer at Oculus who helped work on the design for the launch title Farlands. Specializing in experimental design, Richard has worked on a number of independent games and projects that have received various forms of recognition including a spot in the PAX10.
Senior Vice President Global Operations
Rich Weil is the Senior VP of Global Operations at ModSquad, where he is responsible for international business development, project startup and management, client services. Prior to joining ModSquad, Rich held positions building and managing Community Relations and Customer Service teams at NCsoft, Kaneva and Cartoon Network. A long-time MMO enthusiast, Rich is a consistent advocate of new ways to engage online communities that blend Community Relations and Customer Support. He is a frequent speaker at major industry events, including the Game Developers Conference, PAX and Game Connection.
Rhys Dekle is Partner at Strategic Alternatives, an acquisition-focused strategy consulting firm in the game industry. Rhys was a senior executive running business development for Microsoft Studios for 11 years. He managed a team that found and negotiated deals for games large and small. He’s owned a large P&L, worked in start-ups, and been an Engagement Manager for McKinsey & Company and an Associate for Goldman Sachs. He has a BA from Yale University and an MBA in Finance from Wharton.
“Renee is a multi-disciplinary leader with expertise in software engineering and creative direction. She currently leads the development of Potions: A Curious Tale as the Creative Director and CEO of Stumbling Cat. Previously, she’s led software development teams, designed and developed cognitive evaluation mini-games, and built HIPAA-compliant health management tools. She is a passionate advocate for diversity in games, and loves connecting developers by organizing game-jams, panels, job fairs, and other developer events as a board member of IGDA Seattle.”
CEO / CTO
Rebecca Heineman is an American video game designer and programmer. In 1980, she was the National Atari 2600 Space Invaders Champion and some of her best known works include The Bard’s Tale III, Dragon Wars and Out of this World (SNES), and has single-handedly programmed many games. In 1983, Rebecca was one of the founders of Interplay Productions and currently is the CEO of Olde Sküül. In total, Heineman has programmed over 200 video game titles.
Take This, Inc.
Dr. Boccamazzo is the clinical director of Take This Project – a mental health nonprofit which seeks to inform our community about mental health issues, to provide education about mental disorders and mental illness prevention, and to reduce the stigma of mental illness. Additionally, he has a private practice in the Seattle area and is a social skills coach with Aspiring Youth in Seattle, often using tabletop role playing games (like Dungeons & Dragons) as a vehicle for teaching.
Pavel Curtis is the chief designer and sole proprietor of Pavel’s Puzzles, which creates high-quality mechanical and logic puzzles for retail, wholesale, and commission sales. Along with Lady Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, he creates the popular monthly Adalogical Ænigmas series of Japanese-style logic puzzles, ranging from challenging to exceedingly difficult. Pavel has been an invited attendee at the International Puzzle Party since 1999 and is an active member of the National Puzzlers’ League.
Senior Game Designer
Paul Peterson has spent his career as a game designer with one foot in digital games and one in hobby games. He has worked on collectible card games, MMOs, mobile games, board games, and games for kids at companies such as Wizards of the Coast, Zynga, and Popcap. He is currently a Creative Director at Popcap Games, with a heavy side of board game design with games like Smash Up and the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game.
Tomorrow Today Labs
Software engineer Nick Abel believes that virtual reality is the medium of the future. Working alongside his fellow mad scientists at Tomorrow Today Labs, he crafts elegant systems to empower creators, so they can build the best VR experiences in the world. Systems like NewtonVR, a physics based interaction system built in Unity for SteamVR, which delivers realistic and satisfying object interaction through utilizing the PhysX library, all in a portable and bite sized package. Yummy. He also climbs rocks.
Studio Wild Card
Producer on ARK: Survival Evolved. Over the last couple of years, Navin has been working in fast-paced environments with multiple external and internal development teams to ship content on games for various platforms. Navin is a huge supporter of agile development and is always on the look out for ways to smooth iterative design and increase team efficiency.
Creator Talent Lead - Gaming
Nathan Stanz leads the charge to expand gaming on Patreon. Formerly a wanna-be professional gamer and the Director of eSports at Team Curse; Nathan has a passion for helping gamers and developers monetize their talents.
The Tiniest Shark
Mitu Khandaker-Kokoris is a game designer and programmer, founder of indie microstudio The Tiniest Shark. She is also an Assistant Arts Professor at the NYU Game Center. In 2013, she released Redshirt, a critically acclaimed satirical social simulation game. She is also CCO of Mobius AI, making tools to help developers create rich autonomous characters & procedural narratives.
Mike is a studio lead and creative director with independent developer Harebrained Schemes in Kirkland, Washington. He directed the studio’s critically-acclaimed cRPG Shadowrun: Dragonfall, and is currently heading up the development of BATTLETECH. He’s also contributed art and art direction for Strikefleet Omega, Shadowrun Returns, and Harebrained’saction-roguelike NECROPOLIS. In his 7 or so years in the game industry, Mike has painted many things and contributed concept art, illustration, and graphic design work to a range of indie projects.
Mike Laidlaw is the Creative Director for the Dragon Age franchise. After three years as a game reviewer, Mike moved to BioWare as a writer in 2003 and has contributed to Jade Empire, Mass Effect, and all of the Dragon Age games and related products over the past 14 years. Recently, streaming on Twitch.tv has become a hobby, giving Mike an excuse to fiddle with arcane settings and temperamental hardware for hours on end.
Social Media Manager
Mikey Dowling has been working with Obsidian Entertainment for eight years. Starting off as a QA tester he then moved into audio production where he worked as the voice over producer/implementer on projects such as Fallout New Vegas, South Park: The Stick of Truth and Pillars of Eternity. He then began his current role of Social Media Manager for Obsidian where he brings his passion for the company and his want to engage with fans into the world of Twitter.
Melanie Fleming has been a project manager at BioWare Edmonton for close to 9 years. Starting in English Voice Over Production, she moved into Localization four years ago. Her credits include Mass Effect, Dragon Age: Origins, Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and now Mass Effect: Andromeda.
Front Towards Enemy
“Matt Wagner is a media military technical advisor and retired Army Ranger. A veteran of deployments spanning six continents over the last two decades, Matt is a decorated Sergeant First Class, combat leader, and close combat and marksmanship instructor. In civilian life he’s been an advisor and armorer for shows including Stargate SG-1/Atlantis and Battlestar Galactica, and consulted on numerous books and games. His current focus is working with non-profits regarding veteran suicide prevention and is a sponsored endurance athlete.
Environment Lead Artist
Matt is currently heading up the environment team on NECROPOLIS at Harebrained Schemes. His first project as an environment artist was working on Swat 3: Elite Edition for Sierra On-Line and has since gone on to be a key contributor to games like Evil Dead: Regeneration for THQ and M.A.G for Zipper Interactive/Sony. Before joining Harebrained Schemes Matt also played a critical part in building environments for Microsoft’s Project Spark including Conker’s Big Reunion and Linkin Park’s interactive music video.
Prettiest Princess Games
Matt Fantastic makes games. He currently does consulting on all manner of game projects, handling manufacturing, prepress, logistics, and whatever else needs doing. He also publishes weirdo indie stuff as Prettiest Princess Games, designs games for other publishers, owns a game cafe (Elm City Games in New Haven CT), talks too much about games to whoever will listen, organizes designer events, and loves unicorns & weed. If you see him around, you should totally buy him a beer.
Veteran Game Developer
Matt “The Optimizer” Pritchard is a longtime industry veteran, having gotten started in the early ‘90s distributing free graphic libraries and writing for Game Developer Magazine in its earliest days. Joining Ensemble Studios in 1996 he was instrumental in launching the Age of Empires franchise, as well as reviving it for Steam in 2013. His career has numerous accomplishments including tenures at Gearbox, Valve and most recently leading up software development on the Playmation line of toys for Disney.
Luke Peterschmidt turns down for what. He has 22 years in the tabletop industry doing lots of things like designing games (Bakugan and more), teaching (Harrisburg University – Critical Game Analysis), consulting with fortune 500 companies through his company Geek Dynasty, and publishing games and more through his side project Fun to 11. He also writes the songs that make the whole world sing.
Lone Shark Games
Liz Spain devises new ways to sell cardboard for Lone Shark Games. People like small pieces of cardboard with numbers and words on them. She puts these words and numbers into spreadsheets that artists take and make pretty. Projects she’s designed include the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, the Widow’s Walk Expansion for Betrayal at House on the Hill, Incredible Expeditions, and the Apocrypha Adventure Card Game.
Director of Community Relations
Linda is a veteran of the online game industry, and often better known as her alter-ego Brasse the Dwarf. Her passion is the support and evolution of game communities. She believes that players are key to bringing game worlds to life, and that the unique environs they engender create are the foundation of a new facet of human society. Linda is the Director of Community Relations at Trion Worlds.
My name is Kyle Parker-McGlynn. I have loved building worlds and mapping places since I was a child. As I grew older this did not change. I decided to become a cartographer early on in college, getting my bachelors and master’s degrees in geography. I have now been a professional cartographer/archaeologist for the last ten years. I have worked for various different agencies, and now my own fantasy mapping business, Atlas Imaging mapping this world and those from our minds.
Senior Concept Artist
Kristina Ness is currently a concept artist at Runic Games working on Hob, but has also lent her stylus skills to League of Legends at Riot Games, unannounced titles at both Glu Mobile and Microsoft Studios, various app games, and the NASA ICESat-2 mission. In another life she worked as a comic artist writing and drawing shorts for Adventure Time and The Regular Show. Life goals include artistically documenting the Mars mission as a space colonist and stealing small dogs.
Keith Baker is best known for creating the Eberron Campaign Setting for Dungeons & Dragons and the storytelling card game Gloom. He’s produced a host of games, novels, and RPG supplements, and has a decade of experience developing MMORPGs. His latest game is the card-based RPG Phoenix: Dawn Command. Keith can be found online at Keith-Baker.com, or on Twitter as @HellcowKeith.
Keir Miron (@KeirMiron) is a generalist coder who has been making games full-time for 5 years since going to school for game programming. In those 5 years he has worked on 5 released games across 7 platforms—most recently “Nitro” (IOS) and “HOARD” (Steam/PS3). He enjoys gameplay programming the most, but jumps in wherever is needed. He also hosts a developer interview podcast called “The Question Bus”.
Katie is a game designer at Oculus, where she helped design Farlands, a launch title for the Oculus Rift. Previously, she has worked as a game and narrative designer at companies such as Microsoft Studios, Her Interactive, and Electronic Arts.
Katherine Harris is a Microsoft Technical Evangelist with expertise in game dev and virtual and augmented reality development based out of Los Angeles. As an evangelist, Katherine is a frequent public speaker and runs a developer blog about how to develop interactive 3D applications with the Microsoft Platform. She is the co-host of ImagineThis, a web series for students to learn about the tech industry, and The Game Dev Show on MSDN’s Channel9 network. Katherine was the first woman in the world to become a Unity Certified developer, and has been developing games since college. Before becoming a game and VR/AR evangelist, Katherine worked with several Microsoft partners to port iPhone and Android applications to Windows.
Katherine Cross is a weekly columnist at Gamasutra who is currently completing her Ph.D in Sociology at the City University of New York. She has written extensively about videogames for Kotaku, Polygon, Paste Magazine, Offworld, and other outlets. She has also been interviewed as an expert in online harassment and virtual communities by ABC Radio National, Dagens Nyheter, Le Monde, NPR, among many others.
Kate Edwards is the Executive Director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), appointed in December 2012. She is also the founder and principal consultant of Geogrify, a Seattle-based consultancy for content culturalization, leveraging her expertise as an applied geographer, writer, and corporate strategist. Formerly as Microsoft’s first Geopolitical Strategist in the Geopolitical Strategy team she created and managed, Kate was responsible for protecting the company against political and cultural content risks across all products and locales. Since leaving Microsoft, she has provided guidance to many companies on a wide range of geopolitical and cultural issues and she continues to work on a variety of game franchises. Kate is also a regular columnist for MultiLingual Computing magazine. In October 2013, Fortune magazine named her as one of the “10 most powerful women” in the game industry and in December 2014 she was named by GamesIndustry.biz as one of their six People of the Year in the game industry.
Director of Integration Success
JT Gleason is the Director of Integration Success on the Developer Success team at Twitch. He has been writing software and managing software engineering for 20 years. He started at Twitch in 2011 soon after its official launch as one of the company’s first full time Engineers focused only on the Twitch platform. He helped Twitch integrate with key partners such as ESL, Valve, Blizzard, and many others. He leads the Integration Engineering team for Twitch’s Developer Success division, helping developers use the tools that the Twitch platform provides. JT Gleason lives in San Francisco, California.
Tomorrow Today Labs VR
Joshua is a composer, sound designer, vocalist, voice actor, multi-instrumentalist, and audio chameleon with a passion for VR and immersive audio experiences. Game composition and sound design projects include two unannounced VR titles, Potions: A Curious Tale, Ashes of Eden, Bit Ball, and Small Sacrifices. Joshua is also performing guitar and vocals for Where the Water Tastes Like Wine, voice acting for Starr Mazer, and providing vocals, guitar, and mandolin for numerous metal, EDM, and folk artists.
Jordan is a Gameplay Engineer at Oculus VR. He is part of a team that focuses on rapid prototyping – creating small software experiences to answer questions about interactions in VR and to evaluate potential hardware features. His previous work at Oculus includes Toybox and Farlands. Jordan formerly worked on the Gameplay Programming team at ArenaNet, contributing mostly to World vs World and Guilds. He graduated from the RTIS program at DigiPen Institute of Technology in 2009.
Marketing and Community Manager
John is the Marketing and Community Manager for ThinkGeek, creating officially licensed merchandise & online stores in partnership with video game studios. He is also the volunteer Social Media Manager for TakeThis.org.
John E. Williamson is has served as a Writer, Designer and/or Producer on over three dozen titles, in nearly every genre, on nearly every platform (Hawken, Super Nova, the original Spec Ops series, Rainbow Six, Alone in the Dark, Frogger). John understands the value of a good tale told well, appreciates the challenges of working within the budget constraints of time, money, assets, and RAM, while valuing the joys and wonder that come with interactive story telling.
Director of Launchpad
John Cooney is the Director of Launchpad, Kongregate’s incubator for emergent game design and innovation. He’s also a developer, creating and publishing over 100 games culminating in plays in the hundreds of millions. Prior to Kongregate, John was the Head of Game Development at Armor Games, developing several titles including Achievement Unlocked, Exit Path, This is the Only Level, and Elephant Quest. He was named Game Developer of the Year in 2009 (Ecrans).
John Comes has been the Design Director for Uber Entertainment since its inception in 2008 and is a husband and father of two. He started in the industry in 2001 and have worked on well known franchises such as Command & Conquer, Battle for Middle Earth, Supreme Commander, Monday Night Combat, and Planetary Annihilation. He has also built games on iOS, Android, PC, Mac, Xbox, and VR titles in his career.
Flying Helmet Games
Joey Wiggs: Lead Programmer is one of many hats Joey Wiggs wears at Flying Helmet Games, among designer, tester, forum moderator, troubleshooter, editor, project manager, and internet culture advisor (okay, we’re stretching on that last one). Formerly a Microsoft employee in the Office organization, he’s been loving the indie game dev life for the past two years.
Jesse is a software engineer, game designer, and fledgeling improv comedian. His love of games is matched only by his love of people… so in 2012 he crammed 15 of his closest friends into a room and made them playtest his first MegaGame. Somehow it wasn’t a disaster, so he co-founded Seattle MegaGames and now runs games for 60+ players at PAX, Gen Con, and just about anywhere else that will let him.
Microsoft Global Publishing Xbox
Community Strategy Lead
Jennifer began her adventure into the world of online community management when she stumbled onto one of the first major MMOs “Ultima Online” back in 1997. Since that time she has built a career around bringing people together online for companies such as Wizards of the Coast, Big Fish Games and currently as Head of Community for Global Publishing, XBOX at Microsoft Studios.
Capcom Game Studio Vancouver
After a decade in customer service for Canada’s largest wireless company and several years as a freelance tech journalist for publications including IGN, Jeffery Simpson made the transition into the games industry. Currently the Community Manager for Capcom Game Studio Vancouver Jeffery has previously worked at Electronic Arts, SEGA, Relic Entertainment and THQ as well as a stint at indie startup Horrible Unicorn Game Studio. Previously Simpson has been a speaker at conferences for the Canadian University Press.
Power Up Audio
Jeff Tangsoc is the studio director for Power Up Audio, a sound studio in Vancouver, Canada that specialises in sound effects, music, voiceover, and implementation services for independent video games. Some notable titles his company has designed includes: TowerFall Ascension, Crypt of the Necrodancer, Mushroom 11, Tooth and Tail, Death’s Gambit and Battle Chasers: Nightwar.
Hidden Path Entertainment
Jeff leads Hidden Path Entertainment, the studio responsible for development of the Defense Grid series, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Age of Empires II HD on PCs, consoles and in VR. In over 20 years, Jeff has shipped over 30 games, was a lead on the Xbox platform team, and was involved in the Half-Life, Homeworld and Lord of the Rings franchises at Sierra On-Line. Before game development, Jeff earned a doctorate in Aerospace Engineering and was also a film student.
The Alacrity Group
Alchemist of Fun
Jay is a massively parallel entrepreneur who thrives on building successful new ventures in the gaming sector. He’s passionate about building strong business teams and advising on brand, business & corporate development and community. Jay works mostly with startups that have the resources for growth. As the Alchemist of Fun at The Alacrity Group (TAG), Jay provides community brand development, revenue generation, business coaching, crowd building and authentic connection to fans.
James Ernest is a tabletop game inventor and instructor, best known as the president of Cheapass Games. He specializes in traditional games like abstract games, casino games, and pub games, as well as humorous board and card games including “Kill Doctor Lucky,” “Unexploded Cow,” and “Before I Kill You, Mister Spy.” His latest project is “Tak,” a classic-style abstract board game based on the works of Patrick Rothfuss.
Jacob started gaming around the age of 3 and hasn’t stopped yet. He graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science from Eastern Washington University in 2011. He started his career working on real money electronic casino games, briefly stepped into banking software, and now works on web and Unity3D projects for advertising clients. Jacob’s passion is virtual reality and he’s very excited about bringing VR to advertising.
Co-Founder, Composer/Sound Designer
Jacob Pernell is a composer, sound designer, and developer for games and VR. He has traveled the world to pursue his passion for audio, and received his master’s in Composition for Screen at the University of Edinburgh in 2013. While abroad, he co-founded the Edinburgh Game Symposium. In spring of 2016, he co-founded AudioVR.com.
Father of two, husband of one, brother of five, uncle of eight. I’ve also shipped some video games. I have extremely strong opinions about orange juice and double jumps. My favorite Gundam is the Hazel Custom. My Favorite Mr. Driller game is Drill Land. My favorite Transformer is Optimus Prime. I do not have a favorite color, but that’s hard to explain to people, so I say green. If anyone wants some Korean food, I’ll get Korean food with you.
Greg Spyridis believes adding career skills is reality’s version of leveling-up, and so has lived a somewhat eccentric, Swiss Army Knife of a life. Greg's a writer who works in the games industry as a narrative designer, world-builder, and tabletop mechanics and game developer. He’s also been an actor, improv comedian, stuntman, fight coordinator, high-risk security contractor, and a martial arts, firearms, and close combat instructor. He cooks, dives, fights, games, tells crazy stories, and keeps dwarf bunnies as pets.
Amazon Web Services
Greg McConnel has worked with some of the largest gaming companies using the cloud over the last few years in AWS Support. He recently became as AWS Solutions Architect as a gaming specialist. At AWS 2015 re:Invent he was part of the team that presented a bootcamp on Mobile Gaming using AWS. He currently resides in Seattle where he loves to bike, read and of course play video games. Greg can be found at https://www.linkedin.com/in/gregmcconnel.
SVP and General Manager
Greg Canessa joined GSN Games as SVP in 2014 to lead the GSN Skill Games business, which offers players skill-based casual game competitions. Greg brings a history of professional achievements that few could top. At Microsoft, Greg created the first console-based digital games ecosystem in history, Xbox Live Arcade. He later grew PopCap Games’ biggest casual brands to home consoles and mobile platforms and led development on Blizzard’s Battle.net for several years.
A Shell in the Pit Audio
Gordon runs A Shell in the Pit Audio, an SFX & Music company in Vancouver, BC. A Shell in the Pit’s VR titles include Fantastic Contraption & Universe Sandbox^2, as well as several commercial VR projects. Non-VR titles include Rogue Legacy, Duelyst, Parkitect, Viking Squad, Bunker Punks, with contributions to over a dozen titles with Klei and Power Up Audio. Gordon has long held a passion for VR and binaural audio and loves chatting about his findings in an applicational context.
As a child growing up in Manila, Giovanni Nakpil was greatly influenced by the magic of sci-fi and horror films. As a digital model supervisor for Industrial Light and Magic, Giovanni worked on principal creatures for ““Star Trek”” and ““The Avengers,”” amongst other notable Hollywood films. He then switched gears by designing and building video game assets for Valve Corporation.
Giovanni currently works at Oculus, where he is pushing himself even further, helping to define the look of VR.
Serial Lab Studios
Composer / Sound Designer
Gina Zdanowicz, founder of Serial Lab Studios, is a composer and sound designer for games, film, TV and other media. Her work can be heard on over 85 games from AAA to Indie titles across multiple platforms. In 2014 she received a Day-Time Emmy Award Nomination for her work with Nickelodeon. Gina also teaches a game audio course at Berklee Online.
Geoff is a Lead Animator at Oculus. He has previously worked as an Animator at companies such as Turtle Rock Studios and Industrial Light and Magic.