Robin Hunicke is the co-founder of Funomena, an independent game company located in the heart of San Francisco. A computer scientist and artist by training, she has been designing and producing commercial games since 2005. Executive Producer of the award-winning PSN title Journey, her prior work includes The Sims 2, MySims, and Steven Spielberg’s Boom Blox series for the Nintendo Wii.
Recognized as an influential Woman in Games, Robin is an evangelist for diversity of thought and participation in game design and game culture. She co-organizes the annual Experimental Gameplay Workshop, has chaired the IndieCade Festival of Independent Games, and lectures extensively on the MDA framework for game design. She believes that developers can create novel, experimental designs by focusing on the feeling.
Raph Koster is a veteran game designer who has been professionally credited in almost every area of the game industry. He’s been the lead designer and director of massive titles such as Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies; a venture-backed entrepreneur heading his own studio;and he’s contributed design work, writing, art, soundtrack music, and programming to many more titles ranging from Facebook games to single-player games for handheld consoles.
Koster is widely recognized as one of the world’s top thinkers about game design, and is an in-demand speaker at conferences all over the world. His book A Theory of Fun for Game Design is nearing its tenth anniversary as one of the undisputed classics in the games field. In 2012, he was named an Online Game Legend at the Game Developers Conference Online. Visit his blog at www.raphkoster.com.
Vander Caballero is a leading member of the Canadian video game community. As Design Director at EA Montreal from the studio’s inception in 2004 through his departure to co-found Minority in 2010, Vander created 2 IPs for EA, Army of Two & Boogie. He also worked on many of EA’s major franchises including FIFA, Need for Speed, The Sims and Spore. As the Creative Director at Minority, Vander is exploring new directions in game concept and design in a way that’s only truly possible at an independent studio.
Ian Bogost is an author and game designer. He is Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in Media Studies and Professor of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Founding Partner at Persuasive Games LLC. As an author, he writes about technology and culture, particularly on videogames as a medium with many uses. As a game designer, he makes games for political, social, educational, and artistic uses. Bogost is author or co-author of seven books: Unit Operations, Persuasive Games, Racing the Beam, Newsgames, How To Do Things with Videogames, Alien Phenomenology, and 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10. Bogost’s videogames cover topics as varied as airport security, disaffected workers, the petroleum industry, suburban errands, and tort reform. His games have been played by millions of people and exhibited internationally. His game A Slow Year, a collection of game poems for Atari, won the Vanguard and Virtuoso awards at the 2010 Indiecade Festival.
Tom Hall has a long history of successful game development, having co-founded two of the industry’s most well known software development studios, id Software and ION Storm. Tom’s games have been enjoyed by millions of game players worldwide and have consistently received high praise, excellent reviews, and numerous awards from the gaming press. Among Tom’s 50+ published games in the last 26 years, his flagship titles are the Commander Keen series, Wolfenstein 3D, Spear of Destiny, DOOM, Rise of the Triad, and Anachronox. A movie of Anachronox’s cinematics also won three Machinima awards, including Best Picture. His recent social game, Pettington Park, received positive reviews. His work continues at PlayFirst with work on the well-reviewed Diner Dash Rush and Cloudy 2: Foodimal Frenzy, along with other titles. He is still receiving fan mail for Commander Keen–over twenty years later!
Tom has a B.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Computer Science, is a Guildmaster of The Guildhall at SMU, and has taught Game Design at the University of Texas-Dallas and Clarkson University.
Tony Barnes is a veteran game designer, with nearly 30 years of game development experience, spanning all the way back to the Apple II computers, up to the most current consoles and mobile platforms. Beginning his career in 1982, he designed, programmed, composed music, animated and pixel-arted many games during the 8-bit era, eventually landing a full-time development position at Antic Publishing in San Francisco. During this time, he utilized his diverse talents to create products for the Atari 8-bit, Atari ST and Amiga computers, not limited to games, but also tools like, GFA BASIC, AMOS and Zoetrope.
During the height of the 16-bit era, Tony helped create and maintain many games, such as The Strike Series for Electronic Arts, as well as providing assistance for games like; Madden Football, Crue Ball and Mutant League Football. Tony has remained prolific throughout the years, working for companies such as; Crystal Dynamics, The Collective and Rockstar. He has helped to create many award-winning products, including; Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Legacy of Kain, Medal of Honor and Strider (2014).
Tracy Fullerton is an experimental game designer, associate professor and chair of the Interactive Media & Games Division of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, where she directs the Game Innovation Lab. This design research center has produced several influential independent games, including Cloud, flOw, Darfur is Dying, The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom, and The Night Journey, a collaboration with artist Bill Viola. Tracy is the author of “Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games,” a design textbook in use at game programs worldwide, and holder of the Electronic Arts Endowed Chair in Interactive Entertainment. Recent projects include Collegeology, a suite of college preparation games funded by the Department of Education, the Gilbert Foundation and the Gates Foundation; Participation Nation, a history and civics game funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and developed in collaboration with Activision-Blizzard and KCET; and Walden, a simulation of Henry David Thoreau’s experiment at Walden Pond. Prior to entering academia, she was a professional game designer and entrepreneur making games for companies including Microsoft, Sony, MTV, among many others. Tracy’s work has received numerous honors including an Emmy nomination for interactive television, Indiecade’s “Sublime Experience” and “Impact” awards, and Time Magazine’s Best of the Web.
Chris Jurney is a rock and roll experimental engineer with 14 years of experience in games and simulation. He has shipped a number titles in the games industry, including Company of Heroes, Dawn of War 2, and Iron Brigade. Chris frequently speaks on the topic of game AI, having presented at GDC, GDC China, Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, and chapters of the IGDA. He has also written 2 articles published in AI Game Programming Wisdom 4 and patrols his neighborhood nightly for incursions from a nearby chaos dimension with a ragtag group of highly skilled adventurers.
Brian Upton began designing games when was a teenager. He joined the game industry in 1995 as the lead engineer on a game team that eventually went on to form the core of Red Storm Entertainment. At Red Storm he was the lead designer on the original Rainbow Six and the original Ghost Recon. He was also the studio’s Creative Director, overseeing numerous other projects.
In 2002 he left Red Storm to become a Senior Game Designer at Sony’s Santa Monica studio. There he provides design support and critique for third-party teams working on smaller independent titles. In his time with PlayStation he’s worked on a number of titles for PS3, PSP, PS Vita, and PS4 including Warhawk, Fat Princess, Escape Plan, and Sorcery.
In his spare time, he designs board games and pen-and-paper roleplaying games. He’s also currently writing a book on the aesthetics of play.
Anna Kipnis graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and minors in Philosophy, Cognitive Science, and Psychology. She is a Senior Gameplay Programmer at Double Fine Productions, where she has worked since 2002. At Double Fine, she has contributed to various unreleased and top secret projects as well as Psychonauts (2005), Brütal Legend (2009), Costume Quest (2010), Once Upon a Monster (2011), The Cave (2012), and more recently, Broken Age (2014). She is active in the indie game community and has collaborated with Santa Ragione on Final Candidation (2013), a game about the recent Italian elections. She is also the founding organizer of Molyjam, a game jam inspired by Peter Molyneux and his fake Twitter account, @petermolydeux.
Ben Prunty is the self-taught musician who wrote and produced the music and sound for FTL: Faster Than Light. He used to work at Google where he diagnosed computer hardware problems and ripped apart machines for fun. He once beat God Hand, and now as a result can only solve problems with punching. He is currently punching music into shape for Gravity Ghost, Scale, a Robot Invader game, and a couple of super-secret projects.
Graeme is a 30 year industry veteran who has worked on everything from a TRS-80 to a Xbox 360. In the early nineties he pioneered CD-ROM gaming with the breakthrough title The 7th Guest, he went on to become the lead designer on Quake III Arena and Halo Wars. Graeme started GRL Games in December 2010 to focus on bringing entertaining titles to the iPhone, iPad and Mac Desktop.
Brandon Byrne last gig was at Curse where he joined in 2011 as the Vice President of Finance and Administration where he is responsible for accounting & finance, legal, administration and human resources.
Brandon was tasked with helping the organization grow to accommodate the state of its business, wherever it may go, or whatever size and shape it may take. This led Brandon to transition to Curse corporate headquarters and to secure $250k in incentives to relocate. He implemented the Curse recruiting program that doubled the size of the staff in eight months, transitioned Curse off of a PEO HR model at considerable savings, opened international offices in Dublin, the U.K., Germany and Australia and secured a term loan ($1.5m) and revolving line of credit ($4m) with Silicon Valley Bank.
In addition, he revised our corporate reporting to comply with GAAP, implemented the first audited financial statements at Curse in conjunction with PwC, and worked with the board of directors in France to create and implement a departmental budget and reporting infrastructure. He also created a financial model for website acquisitions that assists in finding potential targets for Curse.
Brandon ensures Curse’s infrastructure can handle any employee, technical, financial or legal demands generated by Curse’s massive growth. The always evolving games industry consistently presents new challenges and opportunities and Brandon makes sure Curse is ready to capitalize.
Brandon doesn’t play as many games has he used to, but he remembers fondly the days of raiding in World of Warcraft. He still occasionally plays other games such as League of Legends, SimCity, Diablo III and Civilization as well.
Brandon has a bachelor’s degree from Pepperdine University in Business Management.
Drew Davidson, Carnegie Mellon
Drew Davidson is a professor, producer and player of interactive media. His background spans academic, industry and professional worlds and he is interested in stories across texts, comics, games and other media. He is the Director of the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University and the Founding Editor of ETC Press and its Well Played series and journal. http://waxebb.com/
Evelio Martínez obtained his degree in Computer Science at the Science Faculty of the Autonomous University of Baja California (UABC) in Ensenada, Baja California, México, in 1991. He has a master degree in Telecommunications and Information Networks. He has been speaker in national & international conferences, symposiums and forums.
He has published more than 100 articles in several printed and electronic journals. He is co-author of 4 books: The digital divide: myths and realities, first (2003) and second editions (2008), Digitization and Global Convergence (2010) and Telecommunications and Networking Fundamentals (2013).
He is full-time professor & researcher at the UABC´s Faculty of Sciences in Ensenada, Baja California. Additionally, he also has a column on Science and Technology in a local newspaper.
Areas of interest are: – Networks and telecommunications – Internet technologies – The social impact of technology – Educational Video games – Social Networks
Hobbies: photography and cooking.