In a world where heroes are few and far between, and promises are plentiful, it can be easy to lose faith. And yet, even in the most difficult of times, there are always a few guardian angels floating around, reminding us to hold on to hope. One such person is Giselle Rosman, IGDA Melbourne Chapter Leader and the winner of this year's MCV Pacific Woman of the Year award.
Earlier in the year MCV Pacific had unveiled a list of fifty Women in Games, highlighting the most influential females in the industry throughout New Zealand and Australia. There was so much enthusiasm for the venture, however, that the games media publisher opted to expand its list of award nominees to seventy-five. What's more, the nominees for this prize also chose its recipient. When asked, Rosman expressed that the peer-reviewed aspect of the award was particularly meaningful to her. Rosman also commented that she'd never expected to win: "I thought I would be the bridesmaid before the whole thing," she said. In addition to winning Woman of the Year, Rosman was notably a finalist in all four of the award categories.
Having broken into the industry by working in video game education, public service and community relations have always been near and dear to Rosman's heart. "I do the people aspect of things," she said. When the Australian games industry took a turn for the worst back in 2009, a lot of studios had to close up shop, and as a result many local developers found themselves suddenly out of work. It was in this atmosphere that Rosman decided to start really getting involved, feeling that "at the very least people needed to get together at a pub and have a bit of a moan." Thus IGDA Melbourne was reforged, and has since grown to be one of the largest and most active chapters to date, predominantly populated by indie developers.
Rosman has also been heavily involved in Global Game Jam, and is currently a member of its board. What's really keeping her busy lately, though, is her work as Business Administrator for the indie studio Hipster Whale, creators of the hit mobile game Crossy Road. Much like Rosman's other pursuits, Crossy Road is a free-to-play game that was designed around the concepts of share-worthiness and word-of-mouth promotion. And the strategy seems to be working, too: Crossy Road has been downloaded more than 80 million times since it was first released, and has gone on to win numerous honors throughout the industry as well, including a 2015 Apple Developer Award.
When asked what wisdom she might share with aspiring, new developers, Rosman noted that the business of game production required three essential elements: "To make a game you need the idea, the skill, and the money. If you can't bring any two of those three things to the table then your game isn't likely to get made." In the end, Rosman's advice was simple: Make games, and finish them. "It's easy to start a game" she noted, "but finishing them is the real trick. Even if they're tiny little experiences, if the game is well made and polished then it will get you where you need to go."
If you're interested in keeping up with Rosman's new and exciting exploits then follow her on Twitter @jazzrozz.