Speakers

Jason Rohrer
Independent Game Artist, Programmer and Critic

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With game designs that explore complex and subtle aspects of the human condition, his work has bolstered the acceptance of games as a serious art form. Rohrer’s games have been shown at festivals and art exhibitions in Park City, Toronto, Montreal, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Lleida, Spain. His 2007 release, Passage, received widespread industry and critical acclaim, with God of War creator David Jaffe calling it “one of the most emotional video games I’ve ever played” and Wired’s Clive Thompson writing, “More than any game I’ve ever played, it illustrates how a game can be a fantastically expressive, artistic vehicle for exploring the human condition.” His 2008 release, Gravitation, won the Jury Prize at IndieCade. Rohrer was selected, along with 27 other innovators, for inclusion Esquire’s December 2008 “Genius Issue.” Rohrer lives with his spouse and two children in the rural town of Potsdam, New York, where they pursue a simple, frugal lifestyle.

Play Passage or Gravitation.

Read the Esquire article about Rohrer’s work.

The Fat Man – George Sanger
Team Fat

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Since 1983, The Fat Man and Team Fat have created high quality music, sound effects, voice, and atmospheric pieces for games, film, and television.  Additionally, The Fat Man’s participation in technical and aesthetic innovations has helped his clients advance the boundaries of game audio. With such groundbreaking scores as those for Wing Commander, The 7th Guest and Putt Putt Saves the Zoo, and his unmatched body of work encompassing hundreds games on almost every platform, The Fat Man has become one of the most respected and influential forces in audio for games.

Ian Bogost
Persuasive Games, LLC
Assistant Professor, GA Tech

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Ian Bogost, Ph.D., is author of “Unit Operations: An Approach to Videogame Criticism” (MIT Press, 2006), recently listed among “50 books for everyone in the game industry” by Next Generation magazine, and “Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Videogames” (MIT Press, 2007), along with several other books and many other writings. He is a popular speaker and is widely considered an influential thinker and doer in the video game industry and research community.

Richard Dansky
Game Designer and Writer, Red Storm Entertainment

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Self-titled: “The ugliest shirt in the world”

The Manager of Design for Red Storm Entertainment and the Central Clancy Writer for Ubisoft, Richard Dansky has contributed to well over thirty published titles, including games in the Splinter Cell, Far Cry, Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon series. He is the author of five novels, including the critically praised Firefly Rain. Richard also spent four years working at White Wolf Game Studios, where he helped design and write over 120 roleplaying game books.


Chris Dodson
Game Designer, Savannah College of Art and Design

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Chris Dodson has been designing games as hobby since he was twelve. He has a BFA in Illustration from GSU, and an MFA in Interactive Design and Game Development from Savannah College of Art and Design. Chris began his game career as an artist and game designer for Imagine Role Playing, and in 1999 became an owner and lead game designer for Legynds Atlanta. He is currently a professor of Interactive Design and Game Development at SCAD Atlanta and his design work now focuses bringing concepts from non-digital games and LARPs into video games.

Clint Hocking
Ubisoft

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Clint Hocking has been working at Ubisoft Montreal since July of 2001, when he began his career in the game industry as a Level Designer on the original SPLINTER CELL. During development he also took on the roles of Game Designer and Scriptwriter. Splinter Cell was nominated for seven Game Developer’s Choice Awards (including nominations for Excellence in Level Design, Game Design and Scriptwriting). Along with writer JT Petty, Clint was honoured for his writing work on the title with the first-ever Game Developer’s Choice Award for Excellence in Scriptwriting.

Clint continued to develop the Splinter Cell franchise as Lead Level Designer, Scriptwriter, and Creative Director on SPLINTER CELL: CHAOS THEORY – the highest rated Splinter Cell to date with an aggregate review score of 94%. Clint next took on the role of Creative Director on FAR CRY 2, a controversial title that took players into the ‘Heart of Darkness’ of a fully realized African state torn apart by civil war. Both innovative and acclaimed, Far Cry 2 was another hit for Ubisoft.

In addition to working as a game developer, Clint is also active in the game development community, and is a vocal proponent of games as an emerging medium and art form. Clint is on the Advisory Board of the Montreal IGDA Chapter, and is a frequent speaker at the Game Developers Conference and other conferences around the world. He maintains a blog at http://www.clicknothing.typepad.com.

Before games Clint worked as a writer in the web industry and experimented in independent filmmaking as a writer and a producer. Clint has a diploma in Visual Fine Arts from Langara College in Vancouver , Canada , and holds a B.F.A. and an M.F.A in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia . He lives happily in Montreal with his wife and their dog.

Victor Jimenez
Senior Engineer, Northrup Grumman

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Victor is a Senior Engineer working at Northrup Grumman. He has long been involved in military development, but can’t tell you anything more without a top secret clearance.

Jon Jones
Outsourced Art Production Manager, Anonymous Startup

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Jon’s Caption: “My face can express two or three more levels of joy than most people’s can.”

Jon is a seven year game industry veteran and has been a contract artist for ten years. Recognized as an expert on the topic of art outsourcing, Jon is a speaker at industry events and maintains a popular blog devoted to helping other studios build and manage successful outsourcing departments. Most recently, Jon was the Art Production Manager at NCsoft on the critically acclaimed free-to-play casual MMO, Dungeon Runners, where he singlehandedly established a new art pipeline and built an entire art department on outsourcing, turning around a troubled project and helping the game garner an 89% review score from PC Gamer. Prior to joining NCsoft, Jon was one of the key members of the art team at Ready at Dawn on the award-winning, multi-million selling PSP title, Daxter.

Suzanne Meiler
Lead Environment Artist, Destineer Studios

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With over 8 years experience in the game industry, Suzanne has spent most of her career at Red Storm Entertianment before joining Destineer Studios. She has created environments on AAA titles such as the Ghost Recon series, Rainbow Six, and Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2. Currently, Suzanne is working on an undisclosed next gen 3rd person shooter.

Mark Nelson
Senior Designer, Big Huge Games

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After graduating from Duke University in 1993 with degrees in English and Spanish, Mark Nelson quickly realized he had achieved the rare distinction of being unemployable in two languages. After conning his way into some fairly crappy jobs, Mark pulled the wool over the collective eyes of Bethesda Softworks in 2000, becoming a designer on The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.

As it turned out, being a gifted liar was actually a benefit to a game design career, and he remained with Bethesda for the next six years. His design credits include the Morrowind expansions Tribunal and Bloodmoon, and the award-winning The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Most recently, Mark served as the Lead Designer on the Shivering Isles expansion.

Mark is very proud of the fact that one of his designs was named the #36 Greatest Gaming Moment Ever by PC Zone magazine. No one knows why, or cares. At all.

In 2007, Mark joined Big Huge Games’ ever-growing stable of Internationally Celebrated Game Designers to be the Lead Narrative Designer on their upcoming RPG. His commute is long, but well worth the effort to work with the talented people at BHG and to inflict his twisted imagination upon an exciting new world.

In his spare time, Mark can often be found playing his guitar, reading, playing poker, or losing to his wife at Scrabble. Mostly, though, he spends his time playing with his young son Nicholas, who he’s infinitely more proud of than that silly PC Zone thing.

Chris Rickwood
Rickwood Music

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Chris received his Bachelor’s of Music in Music Theory from Furman University. He later received his Masters of Music in Music Composition from the University of North Texas. In 2006, Chris was hired by Associated Production Music to be on the team of composers to write a new version of The Monday Night Football Theme, Heavy Action. Chris currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Game Audio Network Guild (G.A.N.G.). He also serves on the Advisory Board of the International Game Developers Association Atlanta Chapter and the Board of Directors for the Georgia Game Developers Association. Chris also takes an active role with education in the community and serves on the Advisory Board for Atlantic International University’s (AIU) Game Design program and the Advisory Committee for the Art Institute of Atlanta’s Game Art and Design Program.

Chris is currently working on several projects including unannounced titles from Atari and Cartoon Network.

Ian Schreiber
Game Designer, Free Rule Design

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Ian’s caption: “Ian was 1337 before there was such a thing.”

Ian Schreiber is a game designer and programmer who has spent more than a decade in the game industry and a lifetime playing games. He has worked on numerous games including titles for the Marvel Universe, Star Trek, WWE and Playboy brands. Schreiber also worked on Chron X, the first online collectable card game ever, and has developed serious games to train salespeople at two Fortune 500 companies. Schreiber is active in both the digital and non-digital design worlds, and works with academia through the IGDA’s Education SIG to build bridges between the development and academic community. In August 2008, Schreiber’s first book “Challenges for Game Designers”, co-authored with Brenda Brathwaite, was released through Cengage Learning. He presently consults through Free Rule Design, a game design concept house, and teaches game design at both the Savannah College of Art and Design and Columbus State Community College.

Lee Sheldon, Game Writer

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Lee Sheldon has written and designed 18 video games including a successful recent series based on Agatha Christie novels. Other titles include the award-winning The Riddle of Master Lu, Dark Side of the Moon, and Wild Wild West: The Steel Assassin, and the early ARG (Alternate Reality Game), The Light Files. He has worked on massively multiplayer worlds for companies such as Cyan (URU: Ages Beyond Myst) and Disney (Disney’s Virtual Kingdom), as well as an experimental multiplayer X-Box project for Microsoft. His book Character Development and Storytelling for Games, published by Cengage/Thomson Learning in 2004, is being used as a primary text book in game design programs at some of the world’s most distinguished universities. He is a contributor to the recent books Game Design: A Practical Approach from Charles River Media, Second Person from MIT Press and Visual Storytelling from Cengage/ Wadsworth. Before his career in video games Lee wrote and produced over 200 popular television shows, including Star Trek: The Next Generation, Charlie’s Angels, and Cagney and Lacey. As head writer of the daytime serial Edge of Night he received a nomination for best writing from the Writers Guild of America. Lee has been twice nominated for Edgar awards by the Mystery Writers of America. His first mystery novel, Impossible Bliss, was re-issued in 2004. Lee has been a consultant on an online multiplayer world recreating jazz clubs of the 1940s and 50s in Oakland, California for the University of California at Berkeley, and a single-player game teaching Iraqi Arabic to soldiers for the University of Southern California. He is currently a professor at Indiana University where in addition to teaching he is leading the design of his own narrative-driven virtual world Londontown; and wrote and designed The Skeleton Chase, an ARG under a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that ran from September 24th through November 12th, 2008. He was also Creative Consultant on Danger Game, a new TV show in development for the Sci-Fi Channel; writing and designing his fourth Agatha Christie videogame; and writing his second novel The Keys.

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