Conference Keynotes

 

Auriea Harvey & Michaël Samyn

Auriea Harvey & Michaël Samyn

Tale of Tales

Auriea Harvey (1971, USA) and Michaël Samyn (1968, Belgium) met online in 1999 and collaborated for several years as Entropy8Zuper! creating sensuous, personal and political web-based art works like “Skinonskinonskin” (1999) and “The Godlove Museum” (1999-2006) and “Wirefire” (1999-2003) and designing web sites for various clients. In 2002 they founded independent development studio Tale of Tales with the purpose of exploring the artistic potential of videogames. Between 2002 and 2015, Harvey and Samyn released 8 videogames: “The Endless Forest” (2005), “The Graveyard” (2008), “The Path” (2009), “Fatale” (2009), “Vanitas” (2010), “Bientôt l’été” (2012), “Luxuria Superbia” (2013) and “Sunset” (2015). All unique explorations of the potential of the medium used by videogames, often winning awards for originality while being attacked for non-conformism. The couple have now stopped producing commercial titles to focus on Virtual Reality and artistic uses of computer technology with a new projects like “Cathedral-in-the-Clouds” (2015-…) and “Cricoterie” (2017-…). They live and work in Ghent, Belgium.

Zuraida Buter

Zuraida Buter

Playful Arts Festival

Zuraida Buter is a playful culture curator based in the Netherlands. She curates, initiates, consults and documents events focused on playful culture and games. Her work revolves around bringing people together for creation, inspiration and playfulness. She runs playful culture organisation zo-ii where she has curated projects such as Incubate Arcade and Screenshake Game Expo, showcasing a wide range of different game projects and artists throughout the years. She’s also run several local game jams such as Molyjam, Playful Jam and a Beach Jam. She is co-founder of Playful Arts Festival in the Netherlands, which explores the intersection of interactive performing arts, visual art and playful design. Previously she initiated Dutch indie game showcase INDIGO in the Netherlands as project manager at Dutch Game Garden. She was worldwide Executive Director of the Global Game Jam until 2014 and founding board member of Global Game Jam, Inc. In the past she has been a lecturer at different universities. For 8 years she taught game design and media theory at Interactive Performance Design at the HKU University of the Arts. In 2013 she received the European Women in Games Award for Achievement and Innovation.

Conference Speakers

 

Tim Colwill

Tim Colwill

Tim Colwill is currently a trade union officer working in Australia’s food manufacturing industry. He is also the creator and editor of the satirical gaming news website Point & Clickbait, former editor-in-chief of games.on.net, and former world designer at the now defunct Interzone Games in Perth, Western Australia. His interests include building worker co-operatives, being a tank main, and spilling food on himself in public. He cannot, and will not, log off.

Yoko Akama

Yoko Akama

Yoko is a design researcher at RMIT University, Australia. She co-leads the Design and Social Innovation in Asia-Pacific network and has recently published a co-authored book Uncertainty and Possibility as part of the Design+Ethnography+Futures research program. Her Japanese heritage has embedded a Zen-informed relational practice to carve a path (道) in design and has published extensively on this topic. This practice is shaped by working with regional communities in Australia in strengthening their resilience for disaster preparedness, and with Indigenous Nations enact their sovereignty and self-determination.

Alayna Cole

Alayna Cole

Alayna Cole is the founding director of Queerly Represent Me, a resource hub and research organisation championing queer representation in games. Alayna works as a sessional lecturer in the Serious Games department at the University of the Sunshine Coast, and is an award-winning games journalist and game developer. She was featured on the 2016 and 2017 MCV Pacific 30 under 30, and the 2017 MCV Pacific Women in Games lists.

Jess Zammit

Jess Zammit

Jess Zammit has worked with Queerly Represent Me as a data analyst and content producer since 2016. In addition to writing for QRM, she writes for Select Start Media and freelances for other games publications. She has spoken at numerous events and conferences—including PAX Australia, GX Australia, and DiGRA—and is passionate in her fight for improving representation in games, particularly of bisexuality and mental health.

Bennett Foddy

Bennett Foddy

Bennett Foddy is an indie game designer best known for his web game QWOP and his recent masochism game, Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy. His multiplayer festival games have been shown around the world, at festivals like XOXO and Fantastic Fest, and at museums like New York’s Museum of Modern Art, SFMOMA and the Australian Center for the Moving Image. Originally from Melbourne, he now teaches game design at New York University.

Lee Shang Lun

Lee Shang Lun

Lee Shang Lun (李尚倫) is an antidisciplinary artist with a background in medicine and commerce. He is the director of PlayReactive, a Melbourne-based studio making bold interactive experiences, from museum exhibitions to immersive theatre. His artistic practice centers games and play as a way to explore complex systems, transform public space, and strengthen communities. Shang Lun’s interests include ecological economics, freestyle wrestling, a cappella vocal ensembles, hiking, and tea.

Arika Waulu

Arika Waulu

Arika Waulu, Brayakaloong, Yigar and Tjapwurrung woorcut – djeetgun garawangoo, borun garawangoo
Ngatanwarr Kooloyn Meerta Ma-na weein Keerna Poopoop Alam meen Wayok Leekatyoong Paleep
Arika Waulu a sovereign multimedia experimentalist and community activator based in Narrm-melbourne. They’ve organised with Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance for 5 years, with crowds of over 60,000 people. In 2017 Arika worked with Real Blak Tingz collective to produce and co-curate Unnaturaized for the Yirramboi festival and The Blak Matriarchy at Fed Square for the Anniversary of the 1967 referendum. More recently Arika has been co-curating and co-producing exhibitions and shows for this year’s NAIDOC theme – Because of her we can.

Ngoc Vu

Ngoc Vu

Ngoc is a games artist currently based in Melbourne, Australia. With 3 years experience in developing games, her work is greatly influenced and driven by her experiences navigating through her bicultural upbringing. Ngoc’s interests lie in creating narratives that rouse, excite and empathise with her audience. Graduating from RMIT’s Bachelor of Game Design she now works as character artist and cofounder of Route 59, a studio working to create cinematic visual novels for a global audience.

Azja Kulpińska

Azja Kulpińska

Azja Kulpińska is an immigrant from Poland currently based in Narrm on the land of the Kulin Nations. Azja is a writer, zine-maker, Theatre of the Oppressed practitioner and community mental health worker. Azja is a co-founder of Wild Tongue zine. The latest edition of Wild Tongue, which focuses on critiquing the mainstream arts industry has just been launched at Next Wave Festival 2018.

Ripley Kavara

Ripley Kavara

Ripley Kavara is an artist, musician and event producer based in Naarm. They are interested in disrupting normative space through augmenting sound, vision and narrative. They are a a co-founder of Alterity X, perform in the duo Kandere. They also work in youth work focusing on digital arts as a tool for empowerment for black, brown & queer youth.

Gemma Mahadeo

Gemma Mahadeo

Gemma Mahadeo is a Melbourne-based writer and musician. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Concrete Queers, Going Down Swinging, Peril, Plumwood Mountain, Rabbit, and she has performed as part of the Quippings troupe. She currently writes for Froth, and is reviews editor at Melbourne Spoken Word. She recently completed a ‘Women Writers of Colour’ commission on the theme ‘collaboration’ for Writers Victoria, and wrote a suite of poems based on games exhibited at Bar SK for WV’s April membership magazine.

Rory Green

Rory Green

Rory Green is a poet and honours student from the Central Coast. They have been published in Malevolent Soap, For Every Year and were selected for Express Media’s inaugural Toolkits:Poetry program in 2016. Their work explores memory, place and longing through filters of pop culture. They are currently publishing a poem for every pokemon.

Troy Innocent

Troy Innocent

Troy Innocent is an artist, academic, designer and educator. His public art practice combines pervasive game development, augmented reality, and urban design supporting a long-term investigation of relationships between wayfinding and play in the city. Innocent’s visual arts practice explores the language of digital code in works of works of design, sculpture, animation, sound and installation. Innocent is a current Melbourne Knowledge Fellow researching playable cities in the UK and Europe.

Hugh Davies

Hugh Davies

Hugh Davies is an interdisciplinary artist, academic and media researcher. He is currently a postdoctoral researcher at RMIT studying experimental and independent games in the Asia Pacific region. With creative output spanning sculpture, installation, image and video production, games and participatory practice, Hugh’s works as an artist and game designer have been presented in Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Oceania. In 2014, Hugh received his PhD studying transmedia games mixed reality experiences.

David Harris

David Harris

David Harris is a theatre maker and game designer who lives in Melbourne, Australia. He has performed across Australia in various companies including The Dig Collective, and City Pigeons. His work has featured in the Melbourne Fringe Festival, Mudfest, FAST, Fresh Air Festival and Harvest Festival. Harris completed a graduate degree with honours at the Victorian College of the Arts, writing a thesis on interactive theatre, ethics and discomfort.

Jody Toomey

Jody Toomey

Jody started producing music electronically in 1999 before making the move in to games audio in 2015. She is a regular speaker on such topics as diversity and LGBTQIA representation in games as well as games audio, especially the concept of the sonic palette. In her spare time she runs a record label dedicated to supporting other transgender artists. She formed Strange Band Audio last year to provide comprehensive audio solutions to the games industry.

Jim Fishwick

Jim Fishwick

Jim Fishwick is an award-winning theatremaker and experience designer. He specialises in interactive, intimate and immersive performance, and is the General Manager of Jetpack Theatre Collective. A national champion improvisor, Jim performs and teaches improvised theatre around Australia and the world. He is currently an Assistant Curator at ACMI, thinking about how to exhibit video games and digital media, among other stuff. Writing in the third person is weird.

Hien Pham

Hien Pham

Hien is a comic creator and game developer specialising in optimistic queer games and comics. He strives to create respite in stories that revolve around being caring and loving, and being loved and cared for. His work has been published in Gothic Tales of Haunted Love, The Annual Ledgers Award, and his first interactive graphic novel – It Will Be Hard – is set to be released in 2018.

Rose Katic

Rose Katic

Rose is a Sydney expat who has been working in the fashion industry for seven years. She once only wore purple for a whole year and has never worn the colour since. She is a stylist and pattern maker, and with a specialised interest in how individualism is expressed through fashion.

Paul Callaghan

Paul Callaghan

Paul is a creative producer, educator, speaker and writer based in Melbourne, Australia. His work focuses on cultural infrastructure and the relationship between arts practice, creative technology, and education. With a background in games development, he has collaborated with cultural organisations, directed festivals and public events, designed education and university programs, and worked on digital, physical, and real-world playful projects.

Mohamed Chamas

Mohamed Chamas

Mo is a multidisciplinary artist currently exploring synergies/reflections between mysticism and modern technology. These manifest as artgames, illustrations and digital art. He is a self confessed selenophile and chronic conceptualizer. As a community arts worker he aims to highlight his intersections and those of others to keep the spheres of art, games and new media an unorthodox and plural space.

Jennifer Reuter

Jennifer Reuter

Just like she’s between three cultures (German, Polish and Australian), Jennifer Reuter is also between the mediums of illustration, comic art, animation and games. Unsurprisingly, she is fascinated by overlapping odd personalities and flipped story tropes, and especially sneaks monsters, skeletons and powerhouses in everything she makes. Her online moniker is “Jar O’ Dragon”. Yes, there’s a pun and allegory in there somewhere.

Erika Verkaaik

Erika Verkaaik

Erika Verkaaik is a queer, non-binary Brisbane based game designer. Known for creating trash games and exploratory digital spaces, they like to experiment and create small, weird things. They are extremely passionate about tiny, experimental games and run a blog on which they curate and analyse such games.

Alexander Bennetts

Alexander Bennetts

Alexander Bennetts is a writer and editor from Hobart, Tasmania. In 2017 he curated Bonfire Park, an exhibition which brought together artists, poets, fiction writers and essayists to respond to Australian videogames. Both the games and the creative responses were exhibited side by side. Alex is the author of “Driving Across”, a Twine game about roadtripping over Australia. His essays and fiction can be found in Stilts, Meanjin, The Lifted Brow and The Grapple Annual.

Jess Reddi Coronell

Jess Reddi Coronell

I’m a digital artist/biracial brown babe/wannabe renaissance woman in love with all things magical. I’m currently studying Games Design at RMIT. I know a little bit of everything and forget everything else. I’m the person you call if you need someone to finish your leftovers. Reviews about me can be summarised as, “I wish I was good at everything, like Jess.”

Olivia Haines

Olivia Haines

Olivia is an artist and game developer with a love for drawing, making personal games and bringing warmth and inclusivity into the games industry. She works as a 3D artist alongside her own projects, and she’s previously worked with Girls Make Games and ACMI’s Games Net to give children more opportunities to try game development. She aspires to create games inspired by nostalgia and personal experiences, and hopes to continue building a seamless connection between her art and games.

Alison Huang

Alison Huang

Equipped with skills ranging from Art to Design to Programming to Writing, Alison “Draz” Huang is a Melbourne-based developer on a mission: to experiment and innovate on the way story is conveyed in games. A long time admirer of the genre, Alison has more recently started developing visual novels. Though a more straightforward way to deliver narrative, she admires the bluntness with which visual novels can deliver more marginalised stories.

Sofie Mather

Sofie Mather

Sofie Mather co-runs Perth’s gamedev co-working space ‘Loading Space’. Helps coordinate Playup Perth and is enjoying exploring what community means to her. She was inspired by her time as a producer with SK Games [Bar SK] and its relocation to Melbourne to co-found Potluck Collective, a space for creative people to show off works and explore alternate mediums in a *very* relaxed environment [and she *really* loves it a lot]. Sofie appreciates time with her plants.

Ruth Bosch

Ruth Bosch

Ruth is an artist and illustrator currently working for League of Geeks. She develops 2D in-game content and creates update branding as well as UI, social media and store content for Armello. Ruth began her career at a Berlin based indie studio and supported and participated in game jams and events in the local indie scene. She then packed her bags and moved to Melbourne to start her job at League of Geeks. In addition to being a game artist Ruth is a classically trained violinist and enjoys exploring Australia through various concerts and music gigs around the country.

Farah Khalaf

Farah Khalaf

Farah Khalaf is a kiwi from Auckland who recently moved to Melbourne to pursue a career in game development, where she works as an associate producer at the Game Developer’s Association of Australia. Her previous work includes working on the NZGDA Board, co-organising conferences such as NZGDC and volunteering at GCAP. In her spare time, Farah likes to make digital art, and is passionate about game environments and animation.

Lexie Mason-Davis

Lexie Mason-Davis

Lexie is a multidisciplinary artist and game developer most known for their work as a 3D artist on Fullbright’s Tacoma. They are currently working as a background painter for a new animated series, and as an environment art lead and designer for an unannounced VR project. Queer representation and thoughtful world building are two of the passions that inform their work. They enjoy cooking, makeup, true crime, cryptids, and long form media critique.

David Kalina

David Kalina

David is an independent game developer who recently moved to Australia because the proverbial grass appeared to be greener.  But what is color, anyway?  Before crossing the pond, David spent much of the last decade running Tiger Style with Randy Smith in Austin, Texas — together they made Waking Mars and the Spider games.  Currently, David is working on gameplay for Subnautica with Unknown Worlds Entertainment.

Cecile Richard

Cecile Richard

Cecile is a graphic designer, illustrator and comic artist hailing from cloudy, cold, mountainy Switzerland. They’re primarily known for not being really known. They have not won any sort of awards, and they haven’t worked on anything really noteworthy…*yet*. They love magpies (but not the AFL team), public transport (but not buses), and the dull, quiet pain that comes with having a daily routine. Their favourite train station in Melbourne is Parliament.

Su-Yiin Lai

Su-Yiin Lai

Su-Yiin is an architecture graduate whose practice floats somewhere within the intersections of architecture and games. Her work usually ends up taking the form of deceptively palatable dystopias that look at the physical artefacts of the digital. This is probably because she spends time equally fascinated and horrified by issues of cybersecurity, cyberwarfare and privacy.

Brendan Keogh

Brendan Keogh

Brendan Keogh is a Discovery Early Career Research Fellow in the Digital Media Research Centre at Queensland University of Technology. He writes and researches about videogame cultures and development, and is the author of Killing is Harmless and A Play of Bodies.

Alexander Muscat

Alexander Muscat

Alexander Muscat is a PhD candidate and teacher at RMIT University, with a background in game and level design, unconventional game interfaces, and alternative digital game applications. His research investigates designing for ambiguity within explorable game environments, building upon his previous research in narrative and game environments. His work has been published internationally, including the Digital Games Research Association, and as an IGDA Scholar at the Game Developers Conference Europe.

Gabriella Lowgren

Gabriella Lowgren

Gabriella Lowgren (Ella, please) is passionate about mental health, video games, and how they can intersect. She recently released her first game, Shrinking Pains, which explores anorexia and how it affects both the sufferer and the people they have relationships with. When not making games Ella can be found writing non fiction and working as a social media and community manager at Infinity + 2.

Sav Ferguson

Sav Ferguson

Sav Ferguson is a Melbourne based games developer. He primarily does writing and design, but also does Journalism for Checkpointgaming.net and will program if pressed. A queer trans man, he has roots in LGBTQIA+ activism and organisation, and uses these skills in relation games dev communities. Virtually all of his work has LGBTQIA+ characters, and he makes it his mission to bring more trans, non binary and gender diverse people to greater visibility in the games industry.

Charlie Francis Cassidy

Charlie Francis Cassidy

A self proclaimed queer (cyber)punk with ever changing hair and 29 piercings, Charlie Francis Cassidy is a queer non-binary trans masc programmer and game developer with bipolar. Charlie currently works for Mighty Games in Melbourne across a number of super cute titles. They also spend their spare time working on games that cover and promote mental health, queer and trans experiences.

Jonathan Swanson

Jonathan Swanson

Jonathan Swanson is an illustrator and IGF nominated game artist from rural Victoria. Jonathan brings his experience from advertising, pre-production and editorial illustration to his work within the local independent games industry. He is currently working as the lead artist on his debut games project with The Voxel Agents.

Alexander Swords

Alexander Swords

Alexander Swords loves creators and their audiences and has made a career of helping them love each other. For almost two decades he’s worked across the screen arts, organisations and events to build a culture of diversity and innovation. His most recent experience has been with AAA and Indie games titles working on narrative systems that allows player care to be placed at the core of its critical success.

Lucy Mutimer

Lucy Mutimer

Lucy Mutimer is a Concept Artist and Graphic Designer at Ultimerse. Her life has a killer soundtrack and too much caffeine. She has been working at Ultimerse for the past year creating paper shenanigans in their debut title Paperville Panic. Prior to this, Lucy worked as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator creating work for brands such as World Vision Australia and Lush Cosmetics.

Georgia Symons

Georgia Symons

Georgia Symons is a theatre maker, game designer and installation artist. She is interested in using playful, interactive forms to “play through” complexities. She also works extensively in youth arts, most frequently with St Martins Youth Arts and Western Edge Youth Arts. Georgia is an associate of the Agency of Coney in London, the co-founder of the “Small and Loud” scratch night at Arts Centre Melbourne, and the creative director of PlayReactive Theatre. She’s currently writing a video game called Wayward Strand, due for release in 2019.

Louis Roots

Louis Roots

Louis Roots is a curator and game developer from Perth, Western Australia, who moved to Melbourne in 2016 to open Bar SK, the first gallery space dedicated to interactive art in Australia. Louis has previously curated and run events in South Africa, England, the USA and all around Australia. His interest lies in the social aspect of videogames, and he is known for quickly creating bespoke controllers that add a tactility and accessibility to the games he exhibits.

Katie Gall

Katie Gall

Katie is a jargon filled monster made of marketing KPIs. She is the co-founder of Lumi Consulting, a games marketing agency, and Blushbox Collective—a collective of devs making and hosting events on love, romance and sexy sex, most recently Heartbeat and XXXhibition: a showcase of sexy videogames. She is a hurricane of marketing, designer of weird art and physical games, and lover of David Mitchell.

Andrew Brophy

Andrew Brophy

Andrew Brophy is a game designer from Melbourne. He is ½ of Hovergarden and ⅞ of the videogame Knuckle Sandwich.

Madeleine Mackenzie

Madeleine Mackenzie

Madeleine is an indie developer and sometimes-scholar with a Masters degree in Media Studies, a few years’ experience in making narrative games, and a passion for all things Gothic. Their past research has been focused on how spatial design conveys cultural concepts within a game’s setting, with particular interest in how the history of a space is shown to players as they explore it. The intersection of the Gothic and spatial design is — as a result — right up their poorly-lit alley.

Nicola Best

Nicola Best

Nicola is a programmer based in Sydney who loves working in Mixed Reality. She started out with an Industrial Design degree, decided that career path was boring and had adventures instead. Eventually she discovered you could study game programming and signed up. She graduated, got an award for high achievement and a job in an art focused VR research lab at a University. Now Nicola works freelance doing museum and art mixed reality pieces and consulting, as well as game development.

Alan P Robinson

Alan P Robinson

Alan is game designer, artist and RMIT alumni based in Melbourne. He draws on his multicultural heritage and his childhood spent in Asia in his approach to his work. You can usually find him tending to his plants or hugging random cats on the street.

Kate Inabinet

Kate Inabinet

Kate has been teaching Animation through RMIT since 2012. Prior to teaching, Kate enjoyed an extensive career in animation for the Games Industry, providing in game and cut scene animations for both AAA and Indie titles. She keeps her hand in the game through ongoing freelance gigs, and has a passion for starting projects that she’ll get around to finishing one day.

Online Session Speakers

 

Pritika Sachdev

Pritika Sachdev

Pritika is a community manager with a passion for all sorts of narrative. She loves writing and telling stories, and believes that extends to how developers engage with their players. Therefore she’ll always encourage an open dialogue from all parties, and strive to create thriving community. Pritika’s worked in all sorts of areas of games, from 3D artist to producer, and is currently the social media manager for CheckPoint, and co-producer for Contours. Outside of work, Pritika has a passion for video games academia, specifically within feminine and character representation within games.

Barbara Kerr

Barbara Kerr

Barbara Kerr is a narrative designer and writer whose works include Miss Fisher and the Deathly Maze, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain and her own superhero creation Queen Cobra. Before becoming a game writer she worked as a public servant, website manager, call centre agent, waitress and kitchenhand. Her favourite visual novels are Dream Daddy, Speed Dating for Ghosts, and Cute Demon Crashers.

Cassiel Merricat

Cassiel Merricat

Cassiel is a translator who focuses on translating Japanese visual novels and romance games. She learns a lot from this about both what she loves and hates in visual novels! She is chronically ill and spends most of her spare time at home playing video games, playing fetch with her dogs, or snuggling with her cat. She loves anything sparkly.

Abigail Adel

Abigail Adel

Abigail Adel has a head for numbers and a heart for the arts. They’re currently pursuing a degree in accounting. But before they loaned their soul to corporate, Adell co-wrote The Letter: A Horror Visual Novel. Likes the accessibility visual novels offers to the underrepresented such as LGBTQIA+ and POC. They hope to create more content in their spare time for people to enjoy. Loves skeletons.

Alison Huang

Alison Huang

Equipped with skills ranging from Art to Design to Programming to Writing, Alison “Draz” Huang is a Melbourne-based developer on a mission: to experiment and innovate on the way story is conveyed in games. A long time admirer of the genre, Alison has more recently started developing visual novels. Though a more straightforward way to deliver narrative, she admires the bluntness with which visual novels can deliver more marginalised stories.

Tristan Barber

Tristan Barber

Tristan Barber, otherwise known by his online pseudonym Wolf, is the Studio Director of Watercress, an English Visual Novel studio that’s released seven games so far, with a membership of around 40 members. When he’s not developing games with the community, he consults with other studios on management and production, and he’s also a college student working towards a Psychology degree. When he isn’t leading, he’s writing for Visual Novels.

Elie Abraham

Elie Abraham

Elie is a composer, sound designer, voice actor, and unyielding game jammer who holds the world record for Most Games Soundtracked at a Single Jam (17). In Helsinki, Elie is a queer activist and featured in the new book Näkymätön Sukupuoli (“Invisible Gender”). Elie also works as an escape designer and was a part of the 13-hour Murder on the Orient Express-themed escape that took place on a moving train. Elie can be caught performing stand-up comedy and DJing under the name Meduusa.

Laura E. Hall

Laura E. Hall

Laura E. Hall is an artist, writer, puzzle-maker, and environmental narrative designer living in Portland, Oregon. Her work focuses on the intersections between arts, culture, and technology, especially in gaming. She is a co-founder of Portland’s first escape the room game company, the award-winning 60 Minutes to Escape, and the author of Katamari Damacy for Boss Fight Books. She proudly serves on the board of the Portland Indie Game Squad (PIGSquad), a non-profit organization supporting game development and indie game enthusiasts in Portland.

Louis Roots

Louis Roots

Louis Roots is a curator and game developer from Perth, Western Australia, who moved to Melbourne in 2016 to open Bar SK, the first gallery space dedicated to interactive art in Australia. Louis has previously curated and run events in South Africa, England, the USA and all around Australia. His interest lies in the social aspect of videogames, and he is known for quickly creating bespoke controllers that add a tactility and accessibility to the games he exhibits.

Tatiana Vilela dos Santos

Tatiana Vilela dos Santos

Tatiana Vilela dos Santos is a multi-award winning (Connext, Maker Faire, EIGD…) game designer and digital artist based in Paris, France. She designs, develops and builds installation-games: games based on custom control and render devices. Her creations include weirdly shaped arcade pads, tangible electronic light installations, and interactive immersive rooms. Most of her work has been made in artistic residencies and exhibited around the world, from art exhibitions in London and Abu Dhabi to game related events in Johannesburg or Parisian clubs.

Ramsey Nasser

Ramsey Nasser

Ramsey Nasser is a game designer who puts people in situations they’ve never been been in before. He’ll make you rub crotches with strangers, wake up bears, shoot your friends, play golf through Twitter, and get scolded by a cartoon condom, all in the name of good clean fun. When he’s not making games, he’s designing programming languages or rebuilding his motorcycle, which – he swears – is so close to running this time.

Robin Baumgarten

Robin Baumgarten

Robin Baumgarten is a German interaction artist and experimental game developer based in London. Coming from an Artificial Intelligence and commercial game development background, he is now building interactive installation art and experimental custom controller games such as Line Wobbler and Wobble Garden.

Robin Vilain

Robin Vilain

Robin is a designer with a strong focus on achieving a coherent vision throughout his work. He started his career working on big AAA franchises for a couple years, then moved to Melbourne and committed to more meaningful, authorial projects. Robin believes games are embedded within contemporary social and cultural contexts, and constructs his work and his life around that idea. He is now based in Canada, eager find out what happens next.

Sybil Collas

Sybil Collas

Sybil is a freelance narrative designer and writer who’s worked with clients ranging from video game developers to advertisement firms. As a designer, she investigates the stakes of interactive storytelling, and as an activist, she instigates the normalized representation of women and queer people in games. She likes otters.

Jason Imms

Jason Imms

Jason is a freelance games and tech journalist, host of the Game Hugs podcast, and managing director of The Machine QA. He lives in Tasmania, has five kids, an amazingly gracious and supportive wife, and loves to BBQ. And that’s it! At least, that’s what social media would have you believe. He also struggles with impostor syndrome, stress and burnout, the fear that everything he has built could crumble at any moment, and the inability to share those feelings with others.

Tj Hughes

Tj Hughes

Tj is a self-taught technical artist and all-round game developer from St. Louis who attempts to bring a colorful, flashy aesthetic into the interactive games space. He is currently working on a food art game designed to make you hungry entitled “Nour”. With no goals of objectives, Nour challenges the conventions of what it means to be a “game”.

Emma Siu

Emma Siu

Emma is a geneticist turned Community Manager in the Games Industry, from Melbourne, Australia but currently based in Seattle, USA. In a world of crunch, long hours and career progression finding that balance between personal, professional development and career growth while still keeping one’s sanity is something Emma feels strongly about. Emma also is passionate about communication and engagement both on an individual level but also to wider communities and groups.

Brianna Shuttleworth

Brianna Shuttleworth

Brianna is exploring how humans are built through play. She finds play a fundamental part of who we are and how we develop. She aims to create Art that better understands the projected identity we take while entering game spaces. There is a certain freedom found in play that she continues to chase, as she has found the act of creating play pulls together many abstract systems in the creation of a pure experience.
Izzy Gramp

Izzy Gramp

Izzy is a game developer and photographer based in Melbourne, Australia. She’s currently working on the game Intergalactic Space Princess as a solo indie. She travels a lot because of that. Her favourite things to take photos of are depressing landscapes and the Independent Games Development Scene. She’s was named runner up of Capture Magazines Emerging fine art photography, and has worked with editors appearing in Polygon, Develop, Giant Bomb, VentureBeat, KillScreen, CNET and Pocket Gamer.

Myriame Lachapelle

Myriame Lachapelle

Myriame is a producer, does project management, business development and eat a lot of ice cream. Her biggest strength is wearing many hats at once as well as taking care of her team and making sure they are both efficient and happy. She helped on games like Celeste and is currently based in Montreal, working at Sauropod Studio. She really likes Samoyeds.

EMiSpicer

EMiSpicer

EMiSpicer is a thirty-something good-for-nothing video game vagabond based out of New York. She is best known for her work as a documentarian photographer, events organizer, and social media manger. She has been affiliated with groups such as Feminist Frequency, GameTheory, Babycastles, Pulsewave, Fantastic Arcade, Different Games, IndieCade, and more. Sometimes she talks too much.

Liam Wong

Liam Wong

TBC

Brian Kwek

Brian Kwek

Brian Kwek is the founder and managing director at Ysbryd Games, a game micro-publisher based in Singapore and the UK. Driven by a belief that games should bear a timeless quality that lingers on years after the end credits roll, Brian has curated unusual and emotive narrative-driven titles such as Masquerada: Songs and Shadows, YIIK: A Postmodern RPG, and the best-selling VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action.

Gwen Foster

Gwen Foster

Gwen Foster is the director for technology at ritmo learning lab, a social impact game studio based in the Philippines. After working in both the PC and the mobile space, it was time to explore mixed reality and create experiences with social relevance and cultural impact. She is also a current board member of the IGDA Chapter in Manila, Philippines.

Hilmy Abdul Rahim

Hilmy Abdul Rahim

Hilmy Abdul Rahim is a game design/development lecturer at KDU University College, Malaysia. He has been teaching game development for 15 years in 3 Malaysian universities, was a producer for 4 years in two game development companies and was onetime the IGDA Chapter Coordinator for Malaysia. He is currently focused on figuring out how to best train game design graduates.

Kris Antoni

Kris Antoni

Kris Antoni is the founder and supreme leader of Toge Productions, an independent game development and publishing studio based in Indonesia. Kris has more than 9 years of experience in making and releasing quirky and unusual independent games, including award-winning titles such as Infectonator and My Lovely Daughter.

Tidarat Thanapakpawin

Tidarat Thanapakpawin

Tidarat joined Novaleaf 8 years ago. During this time, Novaleaf has transformed from an IP developer to an outsource provider. With her strong interest in serious games, Tidarat participate in many interesting projects that help people to have more enjoyable lives. She has been elected to be the president of Thai Software Game Industry Association (TGA) twice to help give opportunities to local developers to learn and sell their products/ services.

Steve Dee

Steve Dee

Steve Dee has been working in games for twenty years as a journalist, columnist, consultant and critic. He has worked on scores of roleplaying games including Vampire: The Requieum, Doctor Who and Shadow of the Demon Lord, and has won several awards for his work on Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. He’s also contributed to several popular board games such as Betrayal at House on the Hill and Letterhead. He publishes his own roleplaying games and card games under the imprint Tin Star Games.

Carl de Visser

Carl de Visser

Carl de Visser is a designer of boardgames and computer games. He is currently a producer and game designer for Grinding Gear Games working on Path of Exile (PC and Xbox). He co-designed the boardgame Endeavor, originally published in 2009 by Z-man games. It is being re-released with improvements as Endeavor: Age of Sail by Burnt Island Games, it had a successful Kickstarter, raising over CA$680000.

Phoebe Wild

Phoebe Wild

Phoebe Wild is a game developer, board game reviewer, and marketer. She currently works for Bézier Games as their social media manager, and runs the website Cardboard Vault. As an avid gamer for 15 years, she’s passionate about welcoming new players into the hobby and creating an inclusive community. When she’s not pushing wooden cubes around, she can be found searching under rocks for that 900th Korok or glued to her sewing machine.

Kristín Guðmundsdóttir

Kristín Guðmundsdóttir

Kristín Guðmundsdóttir is a game designer based in Reykjavík, Iceland. She co-designed the tabletop games Mussades and Wanted: Igor – self-publishing the latter – with her partners in Kvasir Games. Enjoys organising and participating in game-jams and other game related events. Currently working on several small tabletop projects and a viking inspired point-n-click called Hulda. Never wins at tabletop games or multiplayer video games, but enjoys them immensely all the same.

Tim Snowdon

Tim Snowdon

Tim Snowdon is a play-maker from Melbourne, Australia and a member of PlayReactive. After graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2010 with a Bachelor of Dance, he completed a Bachelor of Design (Games) with a Bachelor of Media and Communication (Hons) at RMIT in 2016. Tim is interested in physical intimacy, performance and taboo and is currently undertaking his PhD at RMIT, researching the creation and experience of dance within games.

Sherveen Uduwana

Sherveen Uduwana

Sherveen is the lead producer at Faffinabout. They are currently working on From Light, a a 2D puzzle platformer that uses photography-inspired mechanics to light-paint your own platforms and rescue your lost penpal. While studying games at USC, Sherveen also pursued a minor in dance.

Bilqis Hijjas

Bilqis Hijjas

Bilqis Hijjas works in contemporary dance in Malaysia and the Southeast Asian region, writing, producing and organizing. She is currently the President of MyDance Alliance, a non-profit organisation supporting dance in Malaysia, and the Vice-President for Southeast Asia of World Dance Alliance Asia-Pacific, a networking organisation for the dance community in the region. She directs the dance program at private arts centre Rimbun Dahan, which offers residencies for contemporary dance choreographers, and is the founding editor of Critics Republic, an online platform encouraging the growth of critical discourse in the Malaysian performing arts community.

Adriaan de Jongh

Adriaan de Jongh

Adriaan is a game designer best known for the indie game hit Hidden Folks, a hand-drawn interactive searching game, and for experimental games like Bounden and Fingle, which move people out of the normal space of videogames by challenging players to dance, hold hands, and share physical interactions. He also has an awkward signature dance which he’ll perform with every opportunity presented.

Marigold Bartlett

Marigold Bartlett

Marigold Bartlett currently works in the games industry as art director on Wayward Strand, and is passionate about localisation in game worlds as well as minor historical narratives in games spaces. She has a background in traditional illustration, and has worked on games such as Florence, Killing Time at Lightspeed, Magister Ludi, and Movement Study 01. Marigold is one of four Film Victoria Women in Games fellows in 2017.

Vanessa Berry

Vanessa Berry

Vanessa Berry is a writer and visual artist who works with history, memory, archives and the urban environment. She is the author of Mirror Sydney, a book of essays and hand-drawn maps which investigates overlooked, hidden and unusual stories of the city and suburbs in Sydney, Australia.

Rosa Carbo-Mascarell

Rosa Carbo-Mascarell

Rosa Carbo-Mascarell is a producer at Digital Liberties, a co-op using play to subvert and impact society. Currently she is working on a game around engendering empathy to better integrate immigrants in the UK. Her paper on psychogeography in games was published in the games studies journal DiGRA in 2016. She has worked with The Chinese Room, mapping the island of Dear Esther, and mapped Proteus for the architecture and games zine, Heterotopias.

Sarah Brin

Sarah Brin

Sarah Brin is an art historian and curator based in Copenhagen. She currently participates in the Creative Producers International Fellowship, where she researches strategies for visiting creative practitioners to work sustainably, ethically, and meaningfully in cities they have temporary relationships to. As part of her teaching practice, she recently led a course focused on technology, public space, power, and creative practice. You can learn more about her work at sarahbrin.com

Workshop Hosts

 

Georgia Symons

Georgia Symons

Theatre Workshop

Georgia Symons is a theatre maker, game designer and installation artist. She is interested in using playful, interactive forms to “play through” complexities. She also works extensively in youth arts, most frequently with St Martins Youth Arts and Western Edge Youth Arts. Georgia is an associate of the Agency of Coney in London, the co-founder of the “Small and Loud” scratch night at Arts Centre Melbourne, and the creative director of PlayReactive Theatre. She’s currently writing a video game called Wayward Strand, due for release in 2019.

Josiah Lulham

Josiah Lulham

Theatre Workshop

Josiah Lulham is an actor, theatre maker, and amateur anthropologist. Josiah has worked primarily as a deviser/contributor to works such as Grub Theatre Collective’s Planning Atlantis (2015 – 2016), and Union House Theatre’s The Fury (2012). He has created two short solo works with the assistance of mentors: an untitled work about anxiety and loneliness with The DIG Collective in 2013, and another entitled The Dog Show with Penelope Bartlau of Barking Spider in 2014. Recently he undertook improvised ensemble physical theatre training with John Britton’s Duende Ensemble in Greece. Josiah is a member of Melbourne Playback Theatre Company.

Snow McNally

Snow McNally

Twine Workshop

Snow is a freelance writer, independent narrative designer and occasional educator with a passion for queer narratives. Their award-winning project Little Witch Story is in the process of being rebuilt into something shiny and new, and in the meantime they’ve run a variety of workshops, worked on a number of popular romance titles, maintained a two-and-a-half year weekly serial fiction and spoken on too many panels at gaming conventions.

Gemma Mahadeo

Gemma Mahadeo

Zine Workshop

Gemma Mahadeo is a Melbourne-based writer and musician. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Concrete Queers, Going Down Swinging, Peril, Plumwood Mountain, Rabbit, and she has performed as part of the Quippings troupe. She currently writes for Froth, and is reviews editor at Melbourne Spoken Word. She recently completed a ‘Women Writers of Colour’ commission on the theme ‘collaboration’ for Writers Victoria, and wrote a suite of poems based on games exhibited at Bar SK for WV’s April membership magazine.

Louis Roots

Louis Roots

Alt Control Workshop

Louis Roots is a curator and game developer from Perth, Western Australia, who moved to Melbourne in 2016 to open Bar SK, the first gallery space dedicated to interactive art in Australia. Louis has previously curated and run events in South Africa, England, the USA and all around Australia. His interest lies in the social aspect of videogames, and he is known for quickly creating bespoke controllers that add a tactility and accessibility to the games he exhibits.

Boardgames Up Late

 

Douglas Wilson

Douglas Wilson

Douglas Wilson is a co-owner of Die Gute Fabrik, a small games studio based in Copenhagen, Denmark. He was the Lead Producer on Sportsfriends, a compendium of local multiplayer games published in 2014 for PlayStation 3&4 and home computers. Douglas now lives in Melbourne, Australia, where he is an Assistant Professor (“Lecturer”) at RMIT University, teaching and researching game design.

Aaron Lim

Aaron Lim

I’m Aaron Lim. I make tabletop games sometimes. I help run a monthly playtesting event for board games in Melbourne. I’m Aaron Lim. I make tabletop games sometimes. I help run a monthly playtesting event for board games in Melbourne. I’m Aaron Lim. I make tabletop games sometimes. I help run a monthly playtesting event for board games in Melbourne. Chad said 70 words but here’s 69 words. Nice.

TBC

TBC

TBC

Ben McKenzie

Ben McKenzie

Ben McKenzie is an actor, comedian, writer and game designer. Ben is one of the core team behind Pop Up Playground, Australia’s premier live games company. He’s designed, written and produced dozens of live games, including the hit bank heist adventure Small Time Criminals. He’s also lead writer on a Tin Man Games new VR game, and runs digital and non-digital game workshops, independently and with arts centres.

Freeplay acknowledges and pays respect to the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation, the Traditional Custodians of the Land upon which the festival takes place.
We pay respect to their Elders past and present.