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SIEGE 2016 Speakers

 

Rand Miller

Rand Miller comes from the trailblazer end of the video game industry - meaning he has gray hair. He co-founded Cyan with brother Robyn about 30 years ago with the release of The Manhole - an award winning world for kids. Since then he's managed to create everything from small mobile apps to massively multiplayer online games, including the bestsellers Myst and Riven. His passion is discovery, and when he's not exploring the real world with his wife he concocts ideas of strange places that can only be explored virtually. His latest project Obduction was released this year to wonderful reviews, and even though Myst is now officially a museum-piece, he optimistically feels that his best years are ahead.

Nick Laing

Back in 1999 Nick started at his first games job after a brief stint in comic book books. Since then, he’s worked on all kinds of games, from award-winning "edu­tainment" games to massive AAA blockbusters. His publishers have included EA and Microsoft while he worked on teams of two up to teams of more than 200. In his career, he moved from art to design then on to production. Nick currently works as a senior producer for Turn 10 on the Forza Motorsport franchise. In 2015 he gave the second highest rated talk at GDC Europe on the hard life of being a great producer. (Rumors still abound as to whether he pulled some punches to grab the number two spot and not outshine the keynote which landed at number one...) In his spare time, he prowls the mean streets of game development everywhere fighting inefficiencies of all kind when they rear their bloated heads.

We are good. We can be better. Nick can help.
@VigilantRex | https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicklaing

April Arrglington

April is a multidisciplinary expert, with a unique background in film, publishing, new media, and transmedia. She is the co-founder of ARchimeral Inc. and producer of the Alternate Reality Games 'The Miracle Mile Paradox' & 'The Age of Turing'. Currently she is developing a full slate of VR titles focusing on room to scale immersive storytelling fused with mixed reality elements.

Jami Becker

Jami Becker is the Innovation Director at nektr.io - virtual and augmented reality studio in Atlanta. Previously Ms. Becker worked on top video game titles including The Sims, Star Wars Pod Racer and Mech Warrior. Her work from The Sims is on permanent display at The MOMA in NYC and was the first video game acquisition of the museum. Her combined background both as a Producer and on the game and mobile production side in Design, Architecture and Development with numerous enterprise companies provides insight into the entire production process. Nektr.io is beginning engagement on multiple arenas with a gaming AR + VR component in the human rights and civic space as well as in the audience participation arena both for bands, sports, enterprise, real estate and news organizations. Outside of our consulting projects we have multiple VR/AR Products we offer including nektr.io Riff for recording bands, nektr.io Story using 360 story telling and nektr.io Me an information deep dive presented in the AR Format.

Stephen Borden

Stephen Borden is a game designer and software engineer at Cogent Education. At Cogent Stephen makes educational games to teach students the principles of biology. He was the lead programmer on the games Osy Omosis and Against the Gradient, and is currently working on Nurbits, a music puzzle game designed to teach neuroscience. He also worked on I'm Positive, winner of the 2014 CDC & HHS Games for Health Game Jam. Stephen is the president of the Athens chapter of the GGDA and organizes the annual Athens Game Jam.

Asante Bradford

Asante Bradford is Project Manager for Digital Entertainment and Media for the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the sales and marketing arm of the State of Georgia.

The Global Commerce Division conducts extensive business development, sales, marketing and promotional activities in order to attract entertainment projects and businesses to the state. The division’s team also assists the local, national and international entertainment industries with information, expertise and resources.

Asante helps promote the growth of the digital media industry as well as identify initiatives that will help grow businesses for the state of Georgia in interactive entertainment. He also helps educate potential prospects and provide clients with information about the Georgia Entertainment Industry Incentives Act.

His area of concentration with the Global Commerce office is to increase the impact of interactive entertainment for the State of Georgia as well as being a dedicated liaison to assist with promotions, logistics and business development for attracting digital media companies outside the state to relocate in Georgia.

Asante was the Digital Entertainment Liaison for the Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development from 2007-2010 which helped Georgia become known as a center for video game development, animation and digital media. The economic impact of the entertainment industry in Georgia jumped from $413 million to $2.4 billion in that time span.

Bill Bridges

Bill Bridges is a writer and game designer, most known for developing White Wolf’s World of Darkness setting and HDI’s Fading Suns science-fiction universe. He is currently creating a new dark fantasy setting to be featured in novels and RPGs. Bill lives near Atlanta, GA, wondering how in the world he survives the humidity. When he’s not playing RPGs or reading comics, he serves as a Fellow at Atlanta’s Mythic Imagination Institute, and sits on the boards of the C.G. Jung Society of Atlanta and the Broadleaf Writers Association.

As one of the original crew behind the landmark World of Darkness property, Bill helmed the Werewolf: the Apocalypse line of books and games. He served as Senior Content Designer on CCP Games’ World of Darkness MMO, and was the lead designer of the award-winning Storytelling system rules for White Wolf’s Chronicles of Darkness. He created the Mage: the Awakening and Promethean: the Created settings, and developed numerous books in the Mage: the Ascension game series. Bill also serves as the lead developer for HDI’s Fading Suns setting, featured in Segasoft’s Emperor of the Fading Suns computer game, a line of RPG books, fiction anthologies, miniatures games, as well as the forthcoming tablet and phone app, Noble Armada.

Parker Cain

Parker Cain speaks fluent Mandarin as well as read basic French and Spanish. He started with Hirez as a translator and interpreter for the Smite project. He has facilitated numerous trips to China for meetings with Tencent and currently works in the international team on both Smite and Paladins.

Matt Canei

Matt Canei has worked in the game industry for the past 7 years. He serves as Creative/Art Director on local Indie Game Hanako: Soul of the Samurai driving the vision and art of the pre-alpha title that's been in the works since 2013 (or 2008 if you count the "college project times"). Matt also has worked as a Senior Artist and Level Designer on the Hi-Rez Studio's Titles: SMITE, Paladins & Tribes: Ascend. Presently, time is spent at Hi-Rez as a Technical Artist analyzing performance, optimizing art assets and making sure their various projects can run on less powerful rigs. When not developing games, leisure time is spent at Falcon's games, practicing Wing Chun and still throwing down in the pit at concerts.

Chad Carter

Chad Carter has over two decades of experience in professional software development. He started GlobalCove Technologies to help small and medium size businesses who have processes in place they have outgrown. As a consultant, custom software developer, and systems integrator he helps business streamline their processes by utilizing the right technology so they can reduce costs and increase profits.

He currently focusing on helping companies who want to make a mark in the world by using virtual reality, mixed reality and augmented reality. He also creates training material for other developers who want to get a kick start into this new reality.

When Chad isn't working with clients, or teaching other developers, or lost in some alternate reality, you will find him spending time with his beautiful wife and two precious daughters.

Joe Cassavaugh

Joe is the CEO/Designer/Engineer of Puzzles By Joe and the creator of the successful Clutter franchise which has now surpassed $2 million in sales. 2016 has been the year of collaboration as Joe has added two members to his team to do the Story/Sound (the formidable Brigid Choi) and Art (the exceptionally talented April Borchelt) for Clutter VI: Leigh's Story. Clutter V shattered all prior records in the Clutter series by busting into the top-10 on Big Fish and staying there for over 10 days. It was also the #1 game at iWin for over a week as well. Joe is arguably the most successful semi-solo indie in Atlanta (since moving here in 2010) but says he often feels like the Rodney Dangerfield of GGDA because his games are for a Casual Audience and doesn't cater to the hard-core FPS, MMO, RPG - Steam crowd. Like Rodney, he'll tell you he gets no respect, no respect at all. Pop in to the 2nd annual Indie Rants and he'll tell you more.

Orion Cherry

Orion began his career thinking that he would never write about himself in the third person. But there he was, doing just that. He tells us that after a year of "professional" level design for console games Orion was brought on to start the content creation department at Pulseworks; a motion simulator company. Pulseworks creates and operates ticketed entertainment sites at Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Broadway at the Beach, Chicago Museum of Science and Industry and many more venues across the United States. Most recently Pulseworks has released "Spacewalk". A motion VR experience at the National Museum of the USAF in Dayton, Ohio.

Shira Chess

Shira Chess (PhD, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) is an assistant professor in the Department of Entertainment and Media Studies. Her work has been published in several academic journals. Her forthcoming book on video games designed for women audiences (published by University of Minnesota Press) will be out in 2017.

Jose Delgado

JD  is the co-founder of ARchimeral Inc. and co-producer of "The Age of Turing." In addition to developing for VR, JD works on developing models of attention and prediction in artificial intelligence inspired by neuroscience, and researching emotional dynamics between humans and AI systems, as he pursues his Ph.D. in Human Centered Computing in Georgia Tech.

Luke Dicken

Luke Dicken is Chair of the IGDA Foundation, a charity for game developers, by game developers, works as a Senior Data Scientist at Zynga and was the first person to be elected to the Board of Directors of the International Game Developers Association from outside of North America. He holds degrees in computer science, artificial intelligence and bioinformatics and is completing a PhD program in AI specifically for games. Luke has written a range of articles and given sessions at conferences around the world, as well collaborating on a number of game projects. Luke has been passionate about AI since playing “Creatures” as a teenager, and is a member of the AI Game Programmers Guild. He was named as one of Develop magazine’s “30 Under 30” for 2013, but hasn’t yet found a subtle way to work that into a bio.

Sandy DiCocco

Sandy DiCocco, Chief Administrative Officer for Tripwire Interactive, has spent over 15 years in Human Resources and Administration. She joined Tripwire Interactive shortly after the release of Killing Floor to help manage the growth of the company from 12 people in 2010 to now over 50. During that time, Sandy has managed all back office functions including Human Resources, Recruiting, Bookkeeping, and all of the event planning, including shows like SIEGE. Remember to thank Sandy for organizing the party on Friday night.

Richard Dillio

Richard Dillio is the Director of Membership and Research at the Entertainment Software Association, the US trade association that represents the video game industry. In this capacity, Richard develops, deploys, and directs ESA’s various research initiatives, aimed at discovering new insights and data points that are both beneficial to ESA members, and the video game industry as a whole. ESA regularly conducts research on such varied topics as consumer attitudes and behavior, e-Sports, Virtual, Augmented and Mixed reality, commuter gamers, political identities of video gamers, PC gaming, and gamers aged 50+. In addition to Research, Richard directs membership efforts to retain and recruit video game developers and publishers, by showcasing the ESA’s continued efforts to promote, protect, and grow the video game industry in the United States. Prior to joining ESA, Richard served as the Lead Writer for iVEDiX, a mobile analytics company in Rochester NY.

After serving six years in the United States Navy, Richard returned to his hometown of Rochester, NY to attend school. He holds a BA in English from the University of Rochester, and an MS in Communication and Media Technology from RIT. He has been published in the journal First Amendment Studies for his writing on the use of scientific evidence in the various video game court cases over the last 20 years, and also published by the War Writers Campaign regarding his time in the US Navy. He currently lives in Northern Virginia with his wife Maria, and an irascible hound dog named Biscuit.

Gaspar Ferreiro

Gaspar Ferreiro is not your typical game developer. He developed his first VR app at Oculus share “VR Boat Adventures”. Later, he developed a demo for GearVR called “Islands in the Sky” (for the Oculus Mobile Jam), which later evolved into “Islands in the Sky V2” (for Archiact Global Jam), for which he won 1st place. His abilities in VR Game content creation have attracted the support and sponsorship of several high profile entities including HTC Vive. He also has been invited to organize and present VR content demos at many high profile events like Quakecon2015, TigerTechBash, PaxSouth, GDC 2016, Upload VR Launch Party, The East Coast Gaming Conference, Fox South Sports Network, and recently at Microsoft innovation Centers in Atlanta. He is also collaborating with Jaibana Studios in South Florida, and more recently with Dispersive Studios in Atlanta (from Candice Alger fame, creator of the motion Capture technology used in Avatar, LOTR, Ironman Halo and other games & films).

Daniel Flores

Daniel Flores (DTM, DaCreativeGenius) is a Mexican-American (Chicano) multidisciplinary Artist with 20 years experience in Graphic Design, Web Development, Concept Artist, Vector Illustration and Traditional Arts in Pencils and Acrylic. One title: A Creative Genius. Ever since arriving in Atlanta in 1994, DTM has been involved in the art community starting with group art shows as Curator of the Mano A Mano Art Exhibit Series. DTM won Creative Loafing’s Best of Atlanta award in 2002 and been featured in magazines and online interviews including a bit on the 2012 July issue of ImagineFX Magazine. Since 2004, DTM has participated in over 25 group artshows in the Atlanta Area. He's a founding member of Art Is King and current curator of the free monthly meetups designed to bridge the gap between creative skills and business education to empower the artist to thrive. DTM supports the Arts Community worldwide!

Charlotte M. Ellett

Charlotte M. Ellett is a computer programmer that co-founded C63 Industries.  She is also a lifetime IGDA member and head of the emerging chapter in Huntsville, AL.  Charlotte has been developing games since the days of playing MUD's over telnet and has worked on several games on Steam, including Pixel: ru² which is currently available on Early Access.

Tom Foulkes

Tom Foulkes serves as the Vice President of State Government Affairs for the Entertainment Software Association (ESA).  ESA is the national trade association exclusively dedicated to serving the public affairs needs of companies that publish computer and video games for video game consoles, personal computers, mobile devices, and the Internet in the United States. In this role, Tom oversees all aspects of the Association’s state and local government affairs efforts in all 50 states. In 2011, he coordinated the industry’s strategy in communicating with state elected leaders following United States Supreme Court’s landmark First Amendment decision in favor of the Association’s position in Brown v EMA/ESA. Tom is the Immediate Past Chair of the Media Coalition, an organization dedicated to the protection of the First Amendment and currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL) Foundation for State Legislatures as well as the State Government Affairs Council (SGAC).   

Prior to joining ESA, Tom held various executive communications and government affairs positions in prominent state and national trade associations, including the Restaurant Association of Maryland, the Direct Marketing Association and the National Restaurant Association. Within each of these organizations he was responsible for a number of high-profile public affairs campaigns.   

After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Iona College in New Rochelle, NY, Tom began his career on Capitol Hill in the offices of Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Richard Bryan (D-NV).  

Tom currently resides in Potomac, Maryland with his wife Sara and their three children.

Matt Franklin

With backgrounds in theater and game development, Matt Franklin is a freelance multimedia producer, writer, and voice actor. Formerly with CCP Games, he also volunteers for conventions like SIEGE, and ACM SIGGRAPH. Find him on YouTube alongside wife and creative partner Pauline Lu on their channel, "Most Uniquest".

Morgan Godat

Born out of a romantic encounter at an all-you-can-eat restaurant in Northern California, I’ve spent the majority of my life submerged in the land of video games. I got my start as an artist at Atari/Midway porting coin-op games to the Playstation and N64. We crunched, slept on couches in the office and generally smashed our faces into brick walls to solve our problems. Later in my career, I learned a lot about big teams, sandboxes and women’s shoes as the Art Director for The Sims 3 at Electronic Arts. Over the last 7 years with CCP Games, I’ve circled the earth working with our development studios in Shanghai, Atlanta, and Newcastle on DUST 514, World of Darkness, and Valkyrie. Now, I run the team working on Project Arena as the Executive Producer for CCP Atlanta.

Travis Hamrick

Travis Hamrick is the tracking software R&D team lead for Motion Reality, inc., where he has spent nearly 15 years creating real-time optical tracking engines and applications for motion capture, training, and immersive simulation. When not exploring new tracking algorithms and software optimization methods, Travis enjoys watching Clemson football, playing the trumpet, and spending time with his wife Jamie and their two children, Audrey and Andrew.

Rob Hassett

Rob Hassett is a lawyer in Atlanta who helps creative people start and grow businesses. He is with the law firm, Gilson Athans P.C.  He is also:

  • General Counsel of the Georgia Game Developers Association,
  • A Co-Founder and a current Co-Chair of the Investment Day at SIEGE
  • A Co-Author of volume 5  of LEXIS-NEXIS’ 10 volume treatise entitled  “Entertainment Industry Contracts. “ Volume 5    is about Agreements involving Internet and  Interactive Media
  • A former  teacher in the Professional Education Program at GA. Tech
  • A Co - Founder of the  Intellectual Property Law Section of the Atlanta Bar Association.                                  

He is listed as a top rated lawyer in Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers and Martindale.com.

Troy Hipolito

Founder of ISO Interactive and Consultant to many. ISO is a small specialized interactive group that works with individual and teams around the world to produce award winning work in the realm of Mobile Buisness Apps, Facebook Games, 3D Simulations, Multiuser Applications, Web Development and all things Interactive. See White Paper for extended Bio at: www.isointeractive.com/pdf.

Thomas Holt

Thomas is an Art Director at Hi-Rez Studios and is responsible for managing and directing the levels team for both SMITE and Paladins. He began his game career with Electronic Arts at Visceral Games in the San Francisco Bay Area. While there he worked on popular licenses like James Bond, Lord of the Rings, The Simpsons, and Tiger Woods. Thomas was also part of the core team that created and launched the Dead Space franchise. After art directing Dead Space: Extraction he left EA and went to Seattle to develop an original game for Square Enix before being recruited to the Atlanta area by CCP Games where he art directed the World of Darkness MMO. Since joining Hi-Rez he and his team have been responsible for the studio's environment art growth, development, and improvements. Twitter: @loki_diego LinkedIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/thomas-holt-0792742

Annick Huber

Annick worked as an artist for various animation and game studios in Atlanta from 2012 to 2015, with her most recent role as art director for the game PrinceNapped at Ker-Chunk games. She is currently getting her Master's degree in Human-Computer Interactions at Georgia Tech.

Brandon J. Huffman

Brandon (@brandonjhuffman) is an attorney with Hutchison, PLLC. His practice focuses on counseling interactive media and corporate clients on issues related to business formation, cyberspace law, intellectual property and corporate growth. His clients include new and traditional media companies, game and software developers and others at the intersection of technology and creativity. Brandon serves as general counsel to the International Game Developers Association and sits on the Sports and Entertainment Council of the North Carolina Bar Association.

Blane Humphries

Blane has an established background in video games, journalism, and professional communications. He began his gaming adventures in the mid ’90s with games such as Westwood’s Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun. Since then, his gaming tastes have ranged from Triple-A to the most obscure indies on the planet. After graduating with honors from Georgia Southern University with a degree in Public Relations, Blane became an active member of the game industry by writing about indie games professionally and freelancing as a PR professional. He is now an Account Manager at Novy Unlimited where he oversees the execution of client campaigns and day-to-day operations of the agency. https://www.linkedin.com/in/blanehumphries

Mona Ibrahim

Mona has spent the better part of the last decade representing indie developers in the video game industry. In 2014 she joined Interactive Entertainment Law Group with her mentor and friend Patrick Sweeney. IELG has grown to become a leading firm in the game space, with the largest practice in North America that exclusively represents the industry. Mona has worked on literally hundreds of deals during her time at IELG. Notably, the firm represented Double Helix in its acquisition by Amazon. They also represented Lions Gate in its deal with Kabam for the mobile rights to The Hunger Games. Other clients include GameStop, BANDAI NAMCO, D3Publisher of America, Nexon America, Havok as well as independent studios such as Cryptozoic, Bartlet Jones Supernatural Detective Agency, Double Fine, Iron Galaxy and Finger Food Studios.

Dov Jacobson

Jacobson is a pioneer in the field of game based learning. In 2001, he exploited success as the Studio Head of Turner Interactive to launch GamesThatWork. The studio develops digital games that help players acquire knowledge, develop skills and. most importantly, adopt new behaviors – in domains as diverse as Intelligence Analysis, Civic Leadership, Close Air Support, Market Segmentation and Toothbrushing. Government clients include the Air Force, Army, Navy, OSD, DARPA, IARPA, NSF and NIH. Jacobson writes and speaks at numerous conferences: GameTech, mHealth, I/ITSEC, Training, SALT, Online Learning, SIEGE. This is his sixth talk about game design at SIEGE. Previous topics were the Art of the Videogame, Biomimetic Crowdsourcing, Song as a Learning Vector, Constructive Failure and Hands-On Learning.

Paul Jenkins

Paul Jenkins has been creating, writing and building franchises for over 20 years in the graphic novel, film and video game industries.  Over the last two decades Paul has been instrumental in the creation and implementation of literally hundreds of world-renowned, recognizable entertainment icons.

From his employment with the creators of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at the age of 22 to his preeminent status as an IP creator, Paul has provided entertainment to the world through hundreds of print publications, films, video games, film and new media.  With 6 Platinum selling video games, a Number One MTV Music Video, an Eisner Award, Five Wizard Fan Awards, and multiple Best Selling Graphic Novels, Paul Jenkins is synonymous with success.  He has enjoyed recognition on the New York Times bestseller list, has been nominated for two BAFTA Awards, and has been the recipient of a government-sponsored Prism Award for his contributions in storytelling and characterization.

“I would trust Paul Jenkins with any Marvel character. Let me repeat that a bit louder: any Marvel character.” —Marvel Editor-in-Chief, Joe Quesada

Abby Joslin

Abby Joslin is an Atlanta business coach who specializes in creative and tech startups in their first few years of business. She helps to organize and run SIEGE, has run the SIEGE business track for several years, and is the former Atlanta chapter president for the Georgia Game Developers Association. She offers business strategy services as well as skills coaching in pricing, business promotion through events, and negotiation theory and practice. She has an MBA from Georgia State University and gets weirdly enthusiastic when talking about business.

Leah Knighton

Leah is the Co-Founder and Narrative Director of the Atlanta based company Ker-Chunk Games. She has a B.F.A. in Animation from the Savannah College of Art and Design and has worked for companies such as Aberle Films, Left Hand Productions, and Kooler Ice. She works on animation, character design, and narrative writing for Ker-Chunk Games along side her fellow co-founders Annick Huber and Molly Proffitt. https://www.linkedin.com/in/leah-knighton-83a08a65.

Robert Lane

Rob races automobiles for a living, and in his spare time, he designs network infrastructure and hardware for Motion Reality. Rob got his start in the computing world on his fathers hand-me-down Commodore 64, programming simple games in Basic. Attending a small community college in Georgia, Rob would stay late after class and design levels for Quake. His career has been mostly in network design for large corporations, in 2013 he jumped at the chance to be involved in VR at Motion Reality. Rob has always been fascinated by the challenges of extracting the most performance out of a given hardware platform, and has been able to use this hobby to further the performance of Computers in the VR space.

Allyssa A. Lewis

Animator, Recruiter and Consultant Allyssa A Lewis, although born in Brooklyn, New York, has spent the last two decades expanding her creative reach in Atlanta, Georgia, where she uses her BFA in animation from Savannah College of Art Design - Atlanta toward experimental animation and mixed media illustration. Most noted for her animation on over 75 episodes and promos of FX's Emmy nominated series "Archer", she has also produced content for NBC's "30 Rock", i am OTHER, Animation Domination, ComicCon San Diego, and Captain Planet's Planeteer Movement.
As the CEO and Founder of the animation resource and staffing agency, My Animation Life (MAL), she primarily focuses on the career placement and portfolio enhancement of artists within animation-related industries. Creating Georgia's most inclusive animation map and calendar are just a couple of the popular assets MAL provides to strengthen Georgia's animation industry. Lewis also is the Animation Director of re:imagine/ATL where she develops media projects with diverse teams to expand the boundaries of creation and encourage industry equality, and sits on the Advisory Board of ASIFA South, one of the largest animation societies in the southeastern United States.

Mark Mandel

Mark Mandel is a Developer Advocate for Google Cloud Platform and one half of the Google Cloud Platform Podcast. Hailing from Australia, Mark built his career developing backend systems for over 15 years and authoring and contributing to several widely adopted open source projects. When he’s not building infrastructure in the cloud, he’s constantly looking for new and interesting things he can do with Docker containers, playing with his dog and reading too much fantasy literature."

Kelly Marble

Kelly Marble joined TAG July 2016 as Director of Executive Engagement. In her role, Kelly is responsible for the development, marketing, and execution of entrepreneur, innovation, and professional development programs for our members as well as connection programs for c-level executives. Prior to TAG, Kelly was the Program Manager of Band of Coders| Girls Academy, a social enterprise dedicated to empowering girls to excel in technology careers. Under Kelly’s leadership, Band of Coders |Girls Academy grew to serve more than 475 girls in and around the Atlanta community and logged over 17,000 hours of coding. Kelly also worked at Microsoft, in community development and sales where she created several workshops, K-12 education programs and social impact initiatives.

Adam Massingale

Adam started his career contributing to a Half-Life 2 Deathmatch mod while obtaining his bachelor’s degree in game programming. He landed his first game industry position developing web and mobile K-12th grade educational games and applications. Over the years, Adam has worked primarily in serious games contributing to several games related to warfighter training; utilizing game engines including CryEngine, Unity, Source, and Unreal. Adam is currently a Senior Software Engineer at Motion Reality.

Michelle Menard

Michelle Menard is an award-winning game designer, author of Game Development with Unity, and founder of Artemic Games. Michelle has previously worked in the casual, mobile, and AAA market, including at Firaxis Games and Zynga, and once was invited to the White House to blabber about game design. Originally from Louisiana, Michelle now lives outside of Baltimore with husband James, daughter Ciara, and 200 lbs of assorted sheep wool.

Ashish Mistry

Ashish Mistry is the President and CEO of KontrolFreek. Bringing more than 15 years of experience, Ashish has been with us since KontrolFreek begain as an industrial design project. Ashish earned his degree from Emory University and has been a leader and mentor in the Atlanta entrepreneurial scene ever since. Under his leadership, KontrolFreek has experienced some crazy growth from its humble beginnings in 2009, and has emerged as one of the fastest growing brands in the video games industry. Ashish is also a managing partner at BLH Venture Partners, a private venture capital firm specializing in early-stage companies. When he’s not killing it as our CEO or Venture Capitalist, Ashish loves to work with non-profits, local ATL start-ups, and hang out with his two awesome kids and lovely wife.

Dave Montes

Dave Montes, Lead Artist, Blue Mammoth Games. Dave was an illustrator at the Disney Design Group in Orlando before joining Blue Mammoth. He has a degree in Sequential Art from the Savannah College of Art and Design. He enjoys music, martial arts, and his favorite game is The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. Fans can follow his work at www.oddling.com.

Samantha "Tyger" Moody

Samantha "Tyger" Moody is an E-sports commentator for community events surrounding Hirez Studios 'Smite.' Starting her gaming addiction with a PS1, Tyger pressed on and evolved to a gaming PC. Radiologic Technologist by day and Caster at night. Her guilty pleasure includes Chinese food, memes, and World of Warcraft, as well as casting until her family yells at her so they can sleep.

Lee Morin

Attorney Lee Morin is principal of MORIN Entertainment Law. She is a member of the Georgia Game Developers Association and represents indie developers, sound designers, and composers. Lee is a frequent public speaker and author. She has presented at SIEGE since 2013 for Intellectual Property 101 and other business & legal panels. Other presentations include “The Fine Line of Fair Use,” for GameVidExpo, “Arts Applications in Games,” for Georgia Lawyers for the Arts, and “Music in Games,” for NARIP. She is the legal blogger for The Needy Animator where she published blogs about copyright for the freelance artist and animation workers antitrust litigation.

Lee specializes in art & entertainment, business, intellectual property, and nonprofits. With these practice areas, she holistically approaches matters to achieve desired results. Her art & entertainment practice pairs a range of industry knowledge with experience in contract drafting, review, and negotiation. Her business practice advises clients how to establish and manage a business, retain talent, protect ideas, creations, & brands, effectively collaborate with others, meet growth objectives, and set exit strategies. Her intellectual property practice provides clients with access to national and international copyright and trademark advisement, prosecution, and enforcement, and trade secret counseling. Lee’s nonprofit practice guides organizations through the process of achieving and maintaining state permits and federal tax-exempt status. She is a member of the Entertainment & Sports, Intellectual Property, and International Law sections of the Georgia Bar and several arts & entertainment trade associations. For more information, please visit her at morinentlaw.com.

In October, Lee announced her new business venture providing music supervision and producer services to the film, television, and digital entertainment industries, Counterintuitive Consulting, LLC.

Brandon Moulton

Brandon Moulton is a senior animator at AGS with Four years of experience in the casino game industry. His skill set includes Animating in Maya and after effects with 30+ shipped casino titles.

Gabe Mughelli

Gabe landed his first game industry job in 2008 working for Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment in Arizona. In 2011 he moved to Atlanta to work for Hi-Rez Studios as a PR Specialist. In his time at Hi-Rez Gabe has built relationships to aid in the promotion of multiple online games including SMITE which now has over 20 million players worldwide. Gabe has had the pleasure of interacting with gamers at various industry events such as PAX, E3, RTX, Gamescom, and SIEGE.

Rodrigo R. Obando

Rodrigo R. Obando (he prefers to be called Rod) is the President of the Middle/South Chapter for the GGDA and the Director of CIMFest. He currently works for Columbus State University as the Student Records Specialist in the Registrar’s Office. He helped start the Columbus State University GGDA Student Chapter. He has a web design company called R.R.O. Design Inc (www.rroweb.com). He is an avid streamer on Twitch (Ringtuple) and has been streaming for a year and mainly streams Destiny (also has been known to stream SMITE, Lichdom Battlemage and Rocket League). He graduated from Columbus State University in 2014 with a degree in Applied Computing (which focuses on Web Design and Mainframe). He is contracted by Ringtuple, Inc. to design and maintain their website. He plans to get his Masters in Computer Science in Fall 2017 at Columbus State University.

Harrison Pink

Harrison Pink entered the game industry in 2008 at the boutique game studio Thrust Interactive in Atlanta, GA. In 2011, he joined Telltale Games, working on the acclaimed The Walking Dead Game, winner of over 90 Game of the Year awards. He then worked on the DLC episode "400 Days" as well as Season Two of The Walking Dead Game.Harrison co-created and led the initial concept design for Tales from the Borderlands before accepting a position at Hangar 13 Games, where he is currently working on Mafia 3.Harrison holds a BFA in Interactive Design and Game Development (with additional Minors in Animation and Film & Television) from the Savannah College of Art & Design.

Burton Posey

Burton Posey is a game developer and founder of Atlanta-based Action Figure Games, a studio currently focused on creating a new game property with virtual reality. Through his studio, Burton does consulting and contract project work for a variety of entertainment, interactive, and gaming companies. Before starting Action Figure Games, Burton worked at Hi-Rez Studios and founded the studio Addo Games where he created the Robots Love Ice Cream property. Burton drinks way too much coffee, tries to appreciate each day more than the last, and loves that life never stops teaching him new things.

Chris Rickwood

Chris Rickwood is an award winning composer known for creating dramatic musical scores for video games. Rickwood’s work can be heard worldwide on a variety of mediums for clients such as EA, Activision, THQ, Microsoft, Cartoon Network, Capcom, and Nintendo. Past credits include Madden NFL 12, Paladins, Smite, Orcs Must Die!, Tribes: Ascend, Evil Dead: Hail to the King, Ghostbusters: The Video Game, Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom, Rising Storm, and Age of Empires Online.

Jesse W. Schirmer

Jesse W. Schirmer has always wanted to develop video games.  It is this passion that taught him skills like computer programming at an early age.  For as long as he can remember, he's been working on games of some kind.  One of the first things he can remember making was a Space Invaders clone in Prolog on an 8086.  Jesse is currently co-founder of C63 Industries and one of the developers behind Pixel: ru² (which is available on Steam Early Access).

Zack Schneider

Zack Schneider is the lead programmer at Virtually Better Inc., making virtual reality environments which are used by clinical psychologist in exposure therapy treatments, Co-Host of The Debug Log podcast, and Indie game developer. He received his B.S. of Game Design and Development from Southern Polytechnic State University, Minoring in Computer Science. He has work with many prestigious organizations such as CDC, Harvard Medical School, Emory University, Brown University, United States Air Force, United States Armed Forces, and many others.

Ian Schreiber

Ian Schreiber has been in the industry since the year 2000, first as a programmer and then as a game designer. He has worked on six published game titles and two serious game projects, and is a co-founder of Global Game Jam. Ian has taught game design and development courses at a variety of two-year and four-year schools, and is currently an assistant professor at RIT.

Matthew Schwartz

A veteran of MTV Animation, Cartoon Network, and Adult Swim, Matthew Schwartz has twenty years of experience as a professional writer, producer, director, and digital media expert. He has shipped independent video games, developed animated cartoons for kids, and has written everything from television commercials to jokes for MAD Magazine. Some of his credits include “Calling Cat-22!” for Cartoon Network and the Batman/NWA music video mashup parody “Straight Outta Gotham."

Tobe Sexton

As the Business Development Associate for Games Scribes (a localization & testing company), Tobe Sexton has the privilege of witnessing the next evolutionary advances in entertainment technology. During his tenure he has solved hundreds of localization challenges. By utilizing his unique experience, he helps companies find solutions so they may extend their global reach. His client list crosses all platforms and includes: 505 Games, Atari, Capcom, FaceWare, GameStop, Gravity, Insomniac, inXile, MobilityWare, NIS America, Nickelodeon, Pokémon International, SGN, Survios, Stardock, and Storm8.

Shaun Sheppard

I picked up programming by reading a thick Borland C book my dad had around the house when I was in high school. Games interested me the most, so I started with a variation of Pong. Enjoyed it and continued from then working independently as a hobby in game development. From there I joined the Army. Got out 5 years later to attend college at Southern Tech. Held various roles as a software developer since 2002, mostly in web development, but continued with the passion for game dev with lots of side projects. Started developing games professionally in 2011 as a serious games developer. Though more of a game framework developer, thoroughly enjoy being engaged across the full spectrum of game development, especially in the VR space these days! I currently serve as Lead Game Developer at Motion Reality, Inc. in Marietta, GA.

James Simpson

James Simpson has been dreaming of creating games since his first glimpse of an Atari 400. He has earned a B.S. in Computer Information Systems from DeVry University and B.F.A. in Game Art and Design from the Art Institute of Atlanta. James earned the nickname "Doctor Unity" for his mastery of the Unity 3D game engine. He has shared his expertise as an instructor in Unity and game development at the Art Institute of Atlanta since 2009. Titles that James has worked on include: Wasteland 2, Elf on the Shelf Snowball Fight, SnarfQuest Tales, AutoTrader InnerStruggle Multiplayer, Congo Coin Pusher, Larry Elmore Series 1, Balloon Bliss, Invasion: The Last Stand, Silly Beans Jump, Silly Beans Tic Tac Toe, Mad Bowler, United States Air Force Academy Virtual World, Dark Orbit, Devil Whiskey, NASA Gas Flow Simulator, Chubby Pixie, Subaru Advertisement, Sunkist Advertisement, Dungeon Crawlers, Giving Back App, Wounded Warriors App, Bobbers World MMO, Letters Alive, Math Alive, Amos the Alligator Airport Adventures, Ima Iguana Treasure Hunter, Prizewagon Casino: The Boardwalk.

Josh Skelton

Josh Skelton is an Interactive Media Developer for the Educational Resources Center, housed within the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia, where he makes games and apps for vet students all over the globe. He received his B.S of Game design and Development from Southern Polytechnic State University, Minoring in Computer Science and Software Engineering. Before working at ERC, Josh created his own game design/software development and consulting company, Tilted Wheel Interactive, where he worked with various clients to help achieve their individual goals. Josh’s research interests include game design, mobile gaming, motion capture technology, and augmented & virtual reality experiences. When not making, and playing games and apps Josh enjoys watching everything Star Wars, going to concerts, cooking BBQ, and spending time with his family. He currently resides in Athens, GA with his wife Emily, son Riker, and their two cats, Maggie and Cleo.

Peter Stolmeier

Peter has been a VR enthusiast for almost 30 years. That time has been spent preparing for its advent as he held positions in video production, graphic design, and interactive game design. He has a BS in Digital Arts and Design he earned from Full Sail University in 2009. He is currently the CTO of Futurus providing consulting and technical advice as well as being lead project designer.

Marcus Strickland

An Aircraft Mechanic with a degree in Animation, who has been the competition cameraman for the GA Tech 4 way skydiving team for several years, who has worked tech support for accountants, does data integration for an oil company, and User Experience and UI design for a consulting firm, but most importantly, 8 year veteran Conference Associate for GDC and 9 year veteran volunteer of SIEGE. Raised a hand to help and have managed to do everything from calling high schools to let them know about the college fair and helping get program books printed to helping lead the Art Track, which has been by far the most fun. The most rewarding part of life is helping game developers find each other, learn new skills and ideas, and provide a forum for experienced game developers to share what they know to inspire the next generations, ESPECIALLY right around home in Georgia.

Eddy Webb

Eddy Webb (with a “y,” thank you) is a writer, game and narrative designer, executive producer, and design consultant for video games and RPGs. He has worked on over a hundred products, including some based on Futurama, Firefly, Red Dwarf, the WWE, Vampire: The Masquerade, and Sherlock Holmes. His career spans over a decade and across dozens of respected companies, and he’s even won a few awards along the way. Today he lives a sitcom life in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife, his roommate, and a sleepy old pug. More information and mad ramblings can be found at eddyfate.com.

Cat Wendt

Cat Wendt is the marketing and public relations manager for Greenheart Games and has worked with indie game developers for the better part of a decade. She is also the program manager of the IGDA Foundation Women in Games Ambassadors Program (foundation.igda.org), has served as co-chair of the IGDA Women in Games SIG for more than five years (women.igda.org), and was honored to receive an IGDA MVP award in 2015. Cat has worked with companies like Playdom, Jelly Belly Candy Company, and UCLA.

Corey Wilder

Corey is a senior software engineer for the Tracking R&D team at Motion Reality, Inc. where he helps develop a real-time optical MoCap engine for VR applications. Corey contributes to several open source efforts related to networking, graphics, and mathematical computing. When not doing nerdy computer stuff, Corey likes to spend his time creating his own games and playing games other people make. He currently resides in Atlanta, GA with his partner Caitlyn and their two cats, Luke and Leia.

Ron Williams II

Ron is a Chicago native who attended Georgia Southern University to attain a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. During his time at GSU, Ron founded the Aurora Game Development Club – an organization designed to teach students both hard and soft skills that will help prepare them to make a more seamless transition from student to professional by fostering collaborative game development projects. Ron currently resides in Atlanta, GA and serves as CEO for Aurora, and Lead Producer for AGS. In his 6+ years of game development experience, Ron has managed the development of and shipped over 35 slot games and two independent mobile titles.

Edie Woefle

Against my parents' better judgement, I dreamed of a career in game development at an early age. My love for technology and mathematics drove me to focus on programming while studying Game Design and Development at Rochester Institute of Technology. After graduating with highest honors, I relocated to the Atlanta area in pursuit of my dreams. I have already been a part of web, console, and mobile games for several indie studios.

Matt Woomer

Matt is the Co-Founder of Blue Mammoth Games, the maker of the popular fighting game Brawlhalla. Brawlhalla is out now on Steam and coming soon to Playstation. His other credits include City of Heroes, City of Villains, and Global Agenda. His real love is for quirky 2D games like Castle Crashers and Monkey Island, classic animation, and board games. Other programmers make fun of him because his degree is in history.

MORE TO COME!