Melissa Auclaire is an independent game developer. She began gaming over 25 years ago, and programming and designing her own websites at the age of 12, when she was first introduced to the internet. She has a variety of knowledge regarding the games industry from both the perspective of a consumer and a developer. She graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics at Central Washington University in 2014.
Since then she has worked in a number of positions doing both Localization testing and Quality Assurance for Microsoft on the Xbox 360 and Xbox One platforms. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the IGDA Seattle chapter and has attended gaming events and game jams such as Ludum Dare and Seattle VR Hackathon. Melissa brings together extensive knowledge of both the American and Japanese games industries. She is in the process of becoming an official Wii U developer, all while developing her own iPhone and Android game.
Andrew Augustin is an award-winning 2d illustrator, game designer, and founder of Notion Games LLC. He has created the characters for The Sims 3 Pets and is the creator of his own games such as Super Ubie Island, Up Up Ubie Remix, Team Notion, and more! Andrew was listed in Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 class of 2015 and has been published in various magazines including Pure Nintendo, Nintendo Force, Black Enterprise, The Source, and Advanced Photoshop magazine.
Augustin has won The Best Graphic Designer in Austin award from the Austin Chronicle and his game, Super Ubie Island, was listed in Clay.io’s Top 10 HTML5 games of 2013 list. Augustin received a full scholarship to attend the Denius-Sams Gaming Academy at the University of Texas under industry veteran, Warren Spector.
Enrique was born and raised in Paraguay. His love for game development began in the old days of GBA Pokémon game hacking. ROM editing and customizing graphics were his primary hobbies during teenage years. Over the years he became interested in working with engines like GameMaker and Unity. Finally, after finishing school, Enrique moved away from the programming aspect of game development to focus his efforts into improving his artistic skills.
Enrique is primarily a self-taught freelance illustrator and game artist. He also teaches drawing at Kike Olmedo's Art Institute. Currently Enrique is the lead artist on 2015 GMG grand prize winner, Interfectorem.
Austin Bodey Provansal
Bodey Provansal is a senior majoring in Computer Science: Game Design with a minor in Physics at the University of California Santa Cruz. Last summer, Bodey led a team of 4 middle schoolers at the Mountain View Girls Make Games summer camp and taught them game design as well as programming. He is primarily interested in researching how games can be used as a tool to further education. Excited for the opportunity to visit GDC, Bodey is thrilled to make the most out of it.
Veronica Flint is a Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Designer in the Los Angeles area. She started in the console gaming industry as a QA Tester and worked her way up into different roles as an Animator, Motion Capture Specialist and VR Technical Designer. Her last two projects were immersive journalism projects in the virtual reality realm which have been showcased at Sundance New Frontier program. Veronica has won a few awards for her hackathon projects using VR and Kinect technologies in Unity. She currently co-organizes the Virtual Reality Workshops meetup group taking place at The Third Floor's motion capture stage.
In 2011, Chitvan started her career as a Software Engineer in the IT industry. After months of working there, she realized that she wanted to work on something more challenging and fun. And since games were a major part of her life while growing up, she decided to pursue a career in game industry. She joined the Masters program for Computer Science at USC in 2013.
The course at USC helped her attain knowledge of various technical and design aspects of making a game. During her internship at Girls Make Games, Chitvan was responsible for designing the curriculum and creating a training module to be used in classes. She also led summer camps in Seattle, Austin, and Los Angeles. At her current job at GREE International, she works as an engineer on mobile games.
Veronica Carmen Hernandez is a User Experience Designer, UI Artist and Front-end Developer. She currently attends the University of Florida as a candidate for a Bachelor's in Digital Arts and Sciences at the Digital World Institute. At UF, she is conducting a research project developing an interactive, culturally-relevant, algebra learning system for inner-city Latinx middle school students.
Veronica has a passion for education, social justice, civil rights and health and uses media, design and technology to influence change. She has worked and interned for game studios, non-profits and startups like Games for Change, Immersed Games, Bandura Games and Interactable Inc among others.
On March 25th 2016, she will be speaking about design, identity and unlocking your inner superpower at TEDxUF.Veronica has a profound affinity for marital arts, musical theatre, ASMR, video games, singing and exploring new ideas.
Angie Hoffman created her first game at age five during the earthquakes that haunted Eureka, CA in the months before Mt. St. Helens erupted. It was called "Earthquake Surfers", and while it was fun, it's hard to replicate and extremely dangerous. Game-creation such as this kept Angie's shy personality from shrinking into non-existence while navigating the terrors of being a nerdy girl at school.
Angie got her start in the game industry in 2004 at Mythic Entertainment on Dark Age of Camelot, where she found enjoyment and success working on fun projects from MMOs, puzzle games, simulations (The Sims) and social/mobile games.
Angie's newest journey started in 2014 when she couldn't find a job after graduating with an MFA, and so she invented one. Having observed the lack of women in the industry and the dismal state of computer science education in high schools, she reached out to Zynga.org and proposed the formation of Game Design Academy. The GDA was launched at Balboa High School and Thurgood Marshall High School. Since launch, GDA enrollment has grown to 47% female students, become the most popular elective at both schools, and gained national recognition as a pilot program to get students interested in CS careers.
MJ is a designer and developer who has worked on a wide variety of games for different platforms, from PC and mobile games, to full-body Kinect and Wii games, to Virtual Reality and semi-holographic displays. MJ is passionate about creating deep immersive experiences that have an impact on the player, and strives to create the kind of games that will help shape the future, including health and fitness games, educational games, and games to promote social change.
Elise Kates is a freelance Audio Engineer and Sound Designer based in Seattle, WA. A graduate of the Art Institute of Seattle, she has created sound effects for a variety of projects, including The Hole Story by Girls Make Games, and international ad campaigns for the Norwegian foundation IOM. She is currently working on several indie games, including teaming up with The Hole Story composer Catherine Grealish once again on Alicorn Princess Blast, by The Gaming Colts.
Julia Lotzow is studying Game Design & Theory at the IT University of Copenhagen where she develops games within an international and vibrant environment and engages in academic research in Game Studies. Julia also holds a Bachelor in Media Informatics and worked as a QA-Tester and Event Manager in London, Cologne and Frankfurt. Her broad background allows her to contribute with skills in Game Design, Programming and Production within a game development process.
Julia likes to volunteer at local gaming events to get close to the insides of the industry and is excited to attend GDC, meet like-minded people, and get inspired by conferences and innovative games.
One of Julia's greatest passions is discovering avantgarde games that try to expand known standards and (genre) conventions. Video games as cultural artifacts can uniquely engage empathy and critical thinking. She is especially interested in games transferring meaningful messages, which have the potential to influence players’ views and emotions.
Jacqulyn MacHardy, educator and videogame sound designer, has her B.M. in Composition and is pursuing post-baccalaureate studies in Computer Science at the University of Utah. She believes in game developers working together to reconstruct the way we think about the role of women and gaming in our society.
Inspired by endless summers of waking up at 4 a.m. (as the youngest of three that was the only time when her brothers weren’t playing!) to the first melody notes in the Ocarina of Time title screen, she’s devoted herself to being a creator of those fond memories of music and sound in games for the next generation.
Jacqulyn teaches, volunteers, and collaborates with local games companies as a freelance audio artist, in harmony with the motto of her alma mater: Be the change you wish to see in the world.
Heather Mahan is a programmer from San Jose, CA, who enjoys working at the intersection of art, interaction, and code. She’s excited about diversity in tech and is proud to have served as Camp Coordinator at GMG’s SF 2015 summer camp. She loves helping people find their spark for technology. She also enjoys games of all kinds, her cats, and tea time. You can find her on Twitter @heatheramahan
Prior to joining GMG, Greg spent several years working as an intern and assistant in Hollywood. Upon leaving the world of movies behind, he joined up with the awesome folks at LearnDistrict as a writer on their first project. Since the start of GMG, Greg has taken part in four camps as well as various responsibilities including writing press releases, camp updates, and copywriting. Greg also mentored The Negatives, GMG 2014 Grand Prize winners on their game, The Hole Story. Following his time with GMG, he works primarily as a script critic for an international screenplay competition.
Greg’s love of gaming was born out of sweeping epic RPGS and local multiplayer games. Final Fantasy VII, Super Smash Bros, Mario Kart, and Mass Effect all rank amongst his favorite titles. Currently he’s playing League of Legends and Dark Souls 2. Having studied film at Northwestern, Greg has a deep passion for movies, screenwriting, and narrative design.
Jonathan Peros is a composer and sound designer for games, currently leading the audio for Night Dive Studio's remake of the 1994 sci-fi horror classic, System Shock. After graduating from Berklee College of Music, he went to become the audio lead for Cadenza Interactive. With a focus on technical aspects of audio, like acoustics simulation and sound implementation, his focus is to create as immersive a soundscape as modern technology will allow. He's also worked with Havok, Iocaine Studios, Serenity Forge, and Girls Make Games, to name a few.
Lisa Plokker is a Concept artist and Game Designer, currently studying Game Art at the HKU University of the Arts Utrecht. She is passionate about creating meaningful designs that tell a story. Lisa believes that pushing oneself to experience new things and to always keep learning and asking questions, makes you grow as a person and helps you make better games that can inspire others.
Lisa has had a chance to work on a several interesting game projects, cross language barriers and even end up first place at the Sino-Dutch applied game jam in Guangzhou. Additionally, Lisa gave a seminar on Meaningful Design, and got to work on the amazing project 'Horizon Zero Dawn' at Guerrilla Games. Her next stop is Austin, Texas, where she will be working on her Graduation project about immersive research and combining traditional and digital art.
Apart from making and playing games, she loves plein air painting and sketching, playing the guitar, traveling, learning Chinese, reading lots of books and eating delicious food.
Lisa is extremely exited about GDC, and can't wait to learn more about the industry and meet all of the awesome people there.
Rachel Sala is a Los Angeles based game artist who has been drawing since before she could talk. She set out at a young age to illustrate the world around her and craft stories and ideas based on the natural world. While she made a few minor games in college at UC San Diego, her first real attempt at making games was based on her love of the natural world and about the joy of discovery and the spirit of exploration, along with her friend and co-developer Jim Crawford. This resulted in the cult hit Frog Fractions, and she is currently working on the sequel. She hopes to continue making games for many years to come.
Garrett Savo is a game designer with a passion for elegance and simplicity in games. Garrett started his career as a game designer by enrolling in the Bachelor of Art in Game Design degree program at the University of Advancing Technology. Throughout the program the idea of working at a large studio never really interested him, so in his last semester he began to work on his own games. The fruit of his labor came to fruition in the form of the mobile game Merchant. Merchant was released on the Google Play app store on Dec 19th, 2014 and has since accumulated over 500,000 downloads. With the success of his flagship title, Garrett has continued to work on Merchant and other prototypes to continue his independant development career.
Anna Semenets is a recent graduate from DigiPen Institute of Technology in Redmond, WA. She found her passion for empathy games while working on one of her student game projects. So far, she has shipped two small empathy games, and is now thinking of new ideas for a March game jam. So far, she’s focused on creating empathy games about mental illness, exploring using different gameplay mechanics and in-game decisions as metaphor. Anna aspires to become a producer in the games industry.
Lindsey Tropf is the founder and CEO of Immersed Games, an indie educational gaming startup that is creating an online video game as a platform for deep, empowering learning experiences. She is also a doctoral candidate in School Psychology at the University of Florida, with a specialization in Program Evaluation and Research & Evaluation Methodology. Lindsey may one day find time to finish her dissertation, which is focused on a design-based iterative study on Immersed's own games.
Ngoc is a games artist currently based in Melbourne, Australia. Being one of three children to Vietnamese immigrants, her work is greatly influenced and driven by her experiences navigating though her bicultural upbringing. Ngoc's interests lie in creating characters that rouse, excite and sympathize with her audience. Upon graduating with a Bachelor of Game Design from RMIT, she now co-founded Route 59 a studio working to create original English language visual novels, where she also serves as Character Artist.
Jade Williamson is a cum laude graduate of Samuel Clemens High School in Schertz, Texas. Following an unplanned “gap year,” Jade will be matriculating this summer to join the class of 2020 at the University of Utah to study Film and Media Arts with an emphasis in Entertainment Arts and Engineering, i.e. video game design.
Though born in Virginia, Jade has spent the past 12 years in Texas. When not engrossed in video games and art, she works at a catering company and works out.
While the warmth of Texas has been nice, Jade is excited to buy her first pair of snow boots and move to Utah, where she will combine her love of art with her love of games.
Ivy Wooldridge, 18, grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is an artist and part of the Negatives, the GMG winning team in 2014. Ivy loves cartoons, kittens, and mentoring younger girls in game art and design. In 2015 she helped create art assets for 2 of the GMG Demo Day finalists. Ivy is excited to attend her first GDC and meet fellow artists and game developers.