The following line up of industry speakers for the 2008 IGDA Leadership Forum (listed alphabetically):
- Linda Bonanno – Head of Product Development, Emergent Game Technologies
- Tom Buscaglia – The Game Attorney
- Mike Capps – President, Epic Games
- Mark Cerny – Cerny Games
- Heather M. Chandler – Executive Producer, Media Sunshine
- Brett Close – President and CEO, 38 Studios
- Jason Coleman – Studio Technical Director, Big Huge Games
- J.C. Connors – Studio Head, Griptonite Games
- Scott Crabtree – Engineering Manager, Intel
- Curtis Creamer – Senior Producer, Bungie Studios
- Don Daglow – President and CEO, Stormfront Studios
- Martin de Ronde – Director, OneBigGame
- Jason Della Rocca – Executive Director, IGDA
- Torrie Dorrell – Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing, Sony Online Entertainment
- David Edery – Worldwide Games Portfolio Planner, Xbox Live Arcade
- Jamie Fristrom – Technical Director, Torpex Games
- Tim Gerritsen – Director of Product Development, 2K Boston
- Rodney Gibbs – Studio Head, Fizz Factor
- Kathy Gibson – Director of Human Resources, Threewave Software
- Karin Groepper Boosman – Localization Project Manager, Aspyr Media
- Mat Hart – Head of Production, Ninja Theory
- Michael Heilemann – CTO/VP Production, D2C Games
- Manveer Heir – Game Designer, Raven Software
- Richard Hilleman – Chief Creative Officer, EA
- Shaun Himmerick – Studio Head, Midway Newcastle
- Clinton Keith – agile coach
- Robert Khoo – President of Operations and Business Development, Penny Arcade
- Jen MacLean – Vice President, Business Development, 38 Studios
- Mike McShaffry – freelance developer
- Kane Minkus – Managing Partner, SomaTone Interactive Audio
- Andrew Oliver – Chief Technical Officer, Blitz Games Studios
- Patric Palm – CEO, Hansoft
- Stefan Posthuma – Technical Director, EA Black Box
- Michael Saladino – Senior Development Director/Senior Producer, Pandemic Studios
- Tobi Saulnier – CEO, 1st Playable Producions
- Curt Schilling – Founder & Chairman, 38 Studios
- Shonda Schilling – Founder, The Shade Foundation of America
- Tom Smith – Creative Manager, THQ
- Tim Train – Studio General Manager, Big Huge Games
- Rich Vogel – Co-Studio Director, BioWare Austin
- Michael Waite – Studio Head, Amaze Entertainment
- Kelly Zmak – President, Radical Entertainment
Linda Bonanno is currently the Head of Product Development at Emergent Game Technologies. Linda has worked at Emergent for over two years, successfully managing Emergent’s Professional Services and Customer Support organizations. Currently she is responsible for leading all Product Development, and IT. Prior to Emergent, Linda spent over 20 years in the software and computer networking industries, having worked in software development and architecture, marketing and management for companies such as Nortel Networks, Arris Interactive and Caspian Networks. Linda holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from Western Connecticut State University and a Master’s in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Tom Buscaglia, The Game Attorney, is a principal in the law firm Thomas H. Buscaglia, P.A. and is the President of Dev-Biz, Inc., with offices in the Seattle, Washington, area and Miami, Florida. www.GameAttorney.com Since 1991, Tom has assisted game developers in all aspects of business and legal matters. He has authored numerous articles, including the Game Law series of articles on Gamasutra.com. He is a perennial presenter at the Game Developers Conference, the Indie Games Con and numerous other industry conferences and events. Tom Chairs the IGDA charitable Foundation and heads the IGDA Employment Contract Quality of Life Certification task force. As FaTe[F8S] Tom is a founder and Supreme Warlord of FaTe’s Minions, an online gaming “clan” that has been competing in various online competitions since January, 1998.
Dr. Michael Capps is the president of Epic Games, creator of the multimillion-selling, award-winning “Unreal” series, 2006 Game of the Year “Gears of War” as well as the highly anticipated “Gears of War 2.” Epic’s Unreal Engine 3 is the current holder and three-time consecutive winner of Game Developer magazine’s “Best Engine” Front Line Award. Under Michael’s leadership, Epic has won Studio of the Year by Spike TV, Developer of the Year by Official Xbox Magazine and Large Company of the Year by the North Carolina Technology Association. Michael serves on the board of directors for the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) and the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS). Prior to entering the game industry, Michael served as a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., where he specialized in defense and entertainment collaboration, virtual reality and computer graphics. For his work in these areas, he was one of 50 graphics pioneers interviewed for the ACM SIGGRAPH documentary, “The Story of Computer Graphics.” While at the Naval Postgraduate School, Michael was also the producer, designer and lead programmer for “America’s Army,” the official military action game sponsored by the U.S. Army.
Mark has been working in game design and technology for 25 years. He designed and programmed 1984s MARBLE MADNESS for Atari coin-op, and at Sega he oversaw the creation of SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2. While president of Universal Studios game division, he worked in a variety of production and design roles on the CRASH BANDICOOT and SPYRO THE DRAGON series on the original PlayStation. In 1998, Mark established Cerny Games as a consultancy, and has since participated in the creation of the JAK AND DAXTER and RATCHET AND CLANK series on PlayStation 2 and the PlayStation 3 launch title RESISTANCE: FALL OF MAN. He has also been instrumental in the creation and guidance of the ICE team, a technology group based at Naughty Dog that specializes in graphics systems and tools for the PlayStation 3. In 2004 the IGDA honored Mark with its Lifetime Achievement Award, calling him a master collaborator and a jack of all trades.
Heather M.Chandler is a producer with over 11 years of experience in the video game industry. She’s worked in production at Activision, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, and SouthPeak Interactive, and has shipped over 35 titles, including Monster Madness: Battle For Suburbia, Two Worlds, Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter, Shanghai: Second Dynasty, and Apocalypse. In 2005, Heather founded Media Sunshine, Inc., a company that provides consulting services to game developers and publishers. She is the author of The Game Production Handbook and The Game Localization Handbook, and has published several articles on game production. Heather has lectured on game development at the Game Developers Conference, and has been a speaker at numerous colleges and universities. She’s also the chairperson of the IGDA Production SIG. Heather graduated with honors from Vanderbilt University and received an M.A. from the USC School of Cinema-Television.
Brett Close is a video game industry veteran with more than a decade of experience delivering highly successful entertainment products and leading multi-disciplinary teams of engineers, artists, game designers, and audio experts. Brett most recently served as the general manager and production director of Midway Games’ Austin, TX game development studio where he oversaw global production as well as managed the studio’s game teams on the BlackSite: Area51 and NightCaster product lines. Brett is an expert in the intersection of technology, game design, and software development after having held a number of technical and managerial roles in the software industry. Earlier in his career as a development director at Electronic Arts, Brett was responsible for all technical aspects of development and production for the award winning Medal of Honor game franchise, based out of EA’s Los Angeles studio. He honed his skills at Devil’s Thumb / VR-1 / Jaleco Entertainment in Boulder, Colorado, where he began his game career as a software engineer and technical director, and quickly worked his way up to senior producer for the NightCaster Xbox launch, and eventually became general manager of the Boulder studio. Brett holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science as well as a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Kansas. He also studied philosophy and chemistry at Universität Dortmund in Germany. An avid athlete, musician, and environmentalist, Brett is a respected industry leader known for both encouraging and establishing a true work-life balance in the game development environment.
Jason fell in love with the gaming industry while working at Microprose as a tester in 1994. Game development clearly being the coolest thing ever, he deferred a year from graduate school and took a job programming for Brian Reynolds on Civilization II. He went AWOL from his PhD shortly thereafter. In 1996, he left Microprose to become Firaxis’ first employee where he set up the network, managed the hardware, and coded the core engine for both Sid Meier and Brian Reynolds. This enabled the development of Sid Meier’s Gettysburg! (1997) and Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri (1999). With his vision of how a game company should operate, Jason founded Big Huge Games in 2000 with Brian Reynolds, Tim Train, and Dave Inscore. He was the Lead Programmer on Rise of Nations (2003) and Rise of Legends (2006). In 2008, THQ acquired Big Huge Games where Jason holds the position of Studio Technical Director. During the day, Jason hires people smarter than he and ensures they have what is needed to make the most fun games on the planet. When not working, he discovers what super-heroes his children have become and yes, on occasion, gets bruised in some mosh pit.
J.C. Connors is the studio manager of Griptonite Games, the leading handheld developer. J.C. began his game career at New York’s Wanderlust Interactive in 1996 working on the Pink Panther adventure game line, and then at the Avalon Hill Game Company, where he designed and produced board and PC games, including the GAMES Magazine nominated boardgame, Monsters Menace America. J.C. moved to Seattle to join Cavedog Entertainment, where he was a designer and producer in their online division, and worked on such diverse PC projects as Total Annihilation, Elysium, and the Humongous Family Network. Since joining Griptonite and Amaze in 2000, J.C. has produced and designed over a dozen bestselling handheld and console titles, including Shrek the Third, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Sims 2, The Lord Of The Rings: The Third Age; The Urbz: Sims In The City; The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King; The Sims: Bustin’ Out, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. J.C. holds a BA in theatre from Vanderbilt University, and enjoys writing and cooking Italian in his spare time.
Scott Crabtree joined Intel in 2005 as an Engineering Manager leading a team focused on the video game industry. He has been making video games for over 20 years, and professionally leading the design and development of games and game technology for over 10 years. Scott started as a Software Engineer and has served often as a Game Designer, Producer, Executive Producer, and Entrepreneur. Scott has spoken at the Game Developer’s Conference, been published on Gamasutra.com, and served as technical editor for Andrew Rollings and Ernest Adams on Game Design. Scott is proud to have worked on game development with companies including Microsoft, Mattel, Disney, and more. His most recent published games include Yourself!Fitness and NRL Rugby League for PS2, Xbox, and PC, and Gem Drop and Shape Shifter for mobile phones.
Curtis began working in games in 1997 at Microsoft. He joined Bungie in 2000. Where’d that 8 years go?
Don L. Daglow has served as president and CEO of Stormfront Studios since founding the company in 1988. In 2003 he received the CGE Award for “groundbreaking achievements that shaped the Video Game Industry,” and Electronic Games has called him “one of the best-known and respected producers in the history of the field.” Stormfront’s major titles include an unannounced game tied to an upcoming major motion picture, as well as The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (based on the film by Peter Jackson), EA Sports’™ NASCAR Racing and Madden NFL Football, and the original Neverwinter Nights on AOL. Prior to founding Stormfront, Don served as director of Intellivision game development for Mattel, as a producer at Electronic Arts, and as head of the Entertainment and Education division at Broderbund. He designed and programmed the first-ever computer baseball game in 1971 (now recorded in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown), the first mainframe computer role-playing game (”Dungeon” for PDP-10 mainframes, 1975), the first sim game (Intellivision Utopia, 1981) and the first game to use multiple camera angles (Intellivision World Series Major League Baseball, 1983). Don co-designed Computer Game Hall of Fame title Earl Weaver Baseball (1987) and the first massively multiplayer online graphic adventure, the original Neverwinter Nights for AOL (1991-97). He was elected to the Board of Directors of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences in 2003 and again in 2007. He also is a past winner of the National Endowment for the Humanities New Voices playwriting competition. Don holds a BA in Writing from Pomona College and an Ed.M. from Claremont Graduate University.
Martin started working in the games industry over 10 years ago as a PR manager and later as development manager in publishing. After this, he wanted to see what life was like on the other side of the game industry fence and founded his own development studio in 1998, which he sold to multimedia conglomerate Lost Boys a year later. Here, Martin became managing director of Lost Boys games, the company’s games division. Lost Boys games went independent in 2001 and was renamed Guerrilla Games when sold to cross media company Media Republic in 2003. At Guerrilla Games Martin was commercial director, witnessing the birth of PlayStation 2 hit KILLZONE for Sony Computer Entertainment and PlayStation 2, PC and Xbox hit SHELLSHOCK: NAM ’67 for Eidos. He left the company in 2004, moving to Guerrilla’s parent company Media Republic. Here, he was involved in a very broad range of high and low-end games projects, ranging from TV games, MMO apps to casual gaming and advergaming. Per the 1st of January 2007, Martin properly returned to the games industry through his involvement in OneBigGame. OneBigGame is a videogames industry charity organization that seeks to raise money for disadvantaged children around the world by creating videogames through a collaborative industry-wide effort.
Jason is the executive director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), a professional society committed to advancing the careers and enhancing the lives of game developers. Jason and the IGDA focus on connecting developers with their peers, promoting professional development, and advocating on issues that affect the developer community — such as quality of life, creative freedoms, workforce diversity and credit standards. As the spokesperson for the IGDA, Jason has appeared in countless news outlets (e.g., Wired, Nightline, LA Times, NPR, Wall Street Journal, G4, etc) and has spoken at conferences around the world (e.g., GDC, E3, TGS, SIGGRAPH, ChinaJoy, DiGRA, etc). Jason has been a member of the game development community for over a decade, and has spent time at Matrox Graphics, Quazal and Silicon Graphics.
Torrie Dorrell is Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing for Sony Online Entertainment. Ms. Dorrell is responsible for managing the company’s sales, marketing, web presence, corporate communications and public relations departments. Prior to joining SOE, Ms. Dorrell was General Manager of Black Label Games, a videogame studio under the Vivendi Universal Games. Ms. Dorrell is a seasoned entertainment industry executive with a wide range of experience across multiple mediums. She began her career in the music industry, where she created family record imprints for Disney, Warner Bros. and Rhino Entertainment. She moved into film and television to create the Licensing & Merchandising division for PolyGram Filmed Entertainment, and the Music Merchandising division for Universal Studios. Prior to that, Dorrell was a journalist, working as an editor and writer for various national and regional magazines and weekly newspapers. She has a B.A. in Journalism from Pepperdine University.
David Edery is the Worldwide Games Portfolio Planner for Xbox Live Arcade, and a research affiliate of the MIT Comparative Media Studies Program (CMS). David is also co-author of the book “Changing the Game: How Video Games are Transforming the Business World,” to be published by Pearson in 10/2008. Prior to joining Microsoft, David was the MIT CMS Program’s “Associate Director for Special Projects”. During that time, David co-founded the Convergence Culture Consortium (C3), a research partnership with corporations such as MTV Networks and Turner Broadcasting. David also managed Cyclescore, an exertainment project fusing original video games and stationary exercise equipment.
David received his MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management, where he concentrated on marketing and entrepreneurship.
Jamie Fristrom has worked on a lot of prototypes in his seventeen-year games industry career and shipped a few of them – which is as it should be. He currently is a partner, technical director, and designer at Torpex Games where they just completed the game Schizoid–”The Most Co-Op Game Ever”–available on Xbox Live Arcade. Prior to Schizoid, Jamie was a technical director and designer on Spider-Man 2, his biggest claim to fame being that he invented its dynamic, physical swinging system. Other games he’s worked on include Spider-Man 1 for PS2, XBox, and GameCube, Tony Hawk for the Dreamcast, Die By The Sword for the PC, and the Magic Candle series of RPGs. Jamie wrote the “Manager in A Strange Land” column for Gamasutra and holds the world record for writing game development post-mortems in Gamasutra and Game Developer magazine.
Timothy has been developing video games since 1992 when he got his start as a game designer at Dynamix, Incorporated working on flight and submarine simulation games. Since that time he’s been a designer and producer for over 30 titles for such companies as Sega of America, American Laser Games/ Her Interactive, and FASA Interactive until deciding to start his own studio nearly a decade ago. Until late 2006, he was Chairman and CEO of Human Head Studios, makers of several titles including the hit games Rune and Prey. Seeing new opportunities in the games industry emerging, he chose to leave the company he helped build to help found Big Rooster, LLC, an independent development studio based in Madison, Wisconsin. With a wide range of game credits on a such diverse platforms as home pc, arcade, location based entertainment systems and the latest generation video game consoles, Timothy remains active both in the creative and business aspects of games development. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee with a B.A. in History, and holds a Russian Language Degree from the Defense Language Institute at Monterey, California. Prior to his career in video games, he served in the United States Navy as a Russian Linguist and Cryptanalyst. He is Chairman of the IGDA Madison Chapter and sits on several advisory boards.
Rodney runs the Fizz Factor, a Foundation 9 studio, in Austin, Texas. Developing on handheld and console platforms, Fizz Factor specializes in licensed titles, such as WWE Smackdown vs. Raw, The Incredible Hulk and SpongeBob. After co-founding Fizz Factor in 2001, Rodney grew it from four to 50 employees. Prior to game development, Rodney wrote and produced animated and live-action television programs. Working in Los Angeles, he penned episodes for Godzilla, Beast Wars, Dead Man’s Gun, Woody Woodpecker and others. A highly active member of Austin’s gaming community, Rodney chairs the Digital Media Council, a non-profit devoted to improving educational opportunities for aspiring game developers. He co-founded Austin’s chapter of Dorkbot, a science fair with beer, and serves on the boards of the Austin chapter of IGDA, the Texas Motion Picture Alliance and SXSW Interactive Screenburn. In 2008 he was awarded the Austin Under 40 Award for Arts and Entertainment. Rodney has a B.A. in sociology from Rice University and a M.F.A. in screenwriting from UT Austin, where he was a James Michener Fellow. He lives in Austin with his wife and two children.
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Kathy has worked for many years in the game industry as a Human Resources Professional and has built an extensive repertoire of HR expertise. Since joining Threewave in 2006 as Director of Human Resources Kathy has quadrupled the studio size and proven to be a critical part of the success of Threewave Software Inc, a progressive Vancouver-based studio, specializing in AAA multiplayer content. She is charged with creating and implementing innovative HR programs & initiatives that support retention and employee growth. Prior to joining Threewave Software, Kathy also held a HR/Recruiting role with Relic Entertainment/THQ, having had a significant role in over doubling the size of the studio and gained considerable experience in maintaining a positive corporate culture, post-acquisition. Kathy also taught Team Management in the Game Design Program at VFS. Kathy holds a BA in Psychology & Education from Simon Fraser University. She also attended the BCIT’s HR Management diploma program, and numerous British Columbia HR Management Association seminars and courses as an active member. Kathy acquired an Instructional Skills Certificate from Douglas College and a Certificate in Liberal Arts from Simon Fraser University. Kathy is a member of the BC HRMA, WIGI, Wired Women, IGDA, BCTIA, and is a Board Member of ESHRA: Entertainment Software Human Resources Association.
Karin Groepper Boosman is a certified Project Management Professional currently working as a Project Manager for Aspyr Media, Inc., a video game publisher based in Austin, Texas. Karin has been involved in managing projects with internationally distributed teams for over 8 years. Her career in games started with SimBin AB and Blimey! Games, working on the award-winning GTR series before joining Aspyr as Project Manager in 2006. Her experience managing diverse and distributed teams while using formal project management methodologies has provided a solid foundation from which she could create and roll out a streamlined localization pipeline to Aspyr, insuring on time, high quality, and within budget international releases of Aspyr games. During her career, Karin has worked on a wide range of titles, including: GTR, GT Legends, GTR 2, The Sims series, Civilization IV: Warlords, Prey, Never Winter Nights 2, Quake Wars: Enemy Territory, Supreme Commander, Guitar Hero III , Call of Duty 4, and more. Karin is committed to improving the game industry from the inside out, utilizing the best of cutting-edge project management processes and philosophies.
Prior to entering the games industry Mat was a professionally trained project manager working for the UK’s National Air Traffic Services. He has worked on projects such as radar tower installations, roll-out of new radio communications systems and re-engineering of business software systems. He gave it all up to wear shorts to work… He spent a little over a year at LEGO, working as part of the project management team on great games, such as “Bionicle” and “LEGO Stars Wars”. He then joined Kuju Entertainment Ltd as the Project Manager on “Battalion Wars”, subsequently working on “Battalion Wars 2”, an unannounced Wii game and the final stages of “The Regiment”. Mat joined Ninja Theory in early 2006, taking the role of Producer on Heavenly Sword, a PlayStation3 exclusive published by SCEE. He is now Head of Production for Ninja Theory and is responsible for the project overall and works hard with his team of Leads to deliver the best quality game possible in the timescales permitted. When he’s not working Mat loves spending time with his family…and planting C4 next to unsuspecting snipers on Creek. He also plays lots of traditional roleplaying games and wargames. He’s probably a geek.
Michael Heilemann has over 25 programming experience and over 16 years experience in the interactive entertainment games industry. He entered the games business in 1992 as a Lead Programmer at New World Computing, where his work included the Might & Magic franchise. Michael was lead engineering on the first Medal of Honor game and Franchise Lead Engineer on EA Sports’ NHL Hockey. In 2001 Michael was named VP and Chief Technology Officer at Fox Interactive, where he supervised the development of two major hits in the Simpsons franchise. After Vivendi’s acquisition of Fox Interactive, Michael was named Sr. VP and Worldwide CTO of Vivendi Universal Games in 2003. Currently Michael is the CTO and VP Production at D2C Games, an industry-emerging digital publisher focuses on original sports and action games for APPLE, Microsoft, Nintendo and SONY platforms.
Manveer Heir is a game designer for Raven Software, currently working on the upcoming first-person shooter Wolfenstein. He currently writes a bi-weekly column for Gamasutra titled ‘Design Lesson 101′, which centers around the design choices games make and the impact these choices have. He has experience implementing agile development and has helped improve the development processes at Raven. He graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in Computer Science and started his career in the industry as a gameplay programmer. His favorite game of all-time is Fallout and he often wishes he could have his own set of Power Armor.
For the last 25 years, Richard Hilleman has soldered cables, copied disks, built copy protection, mastered and manufactured more than 200 titles, installed and ran the first Ethernet and Internet in the business, and then he started making product. Starting with Chuck Yeager’s Flight Simulator, through a broad range of simulators and driving games on the 8 and 16 bit computers. Continuing with the first Genesis titles for EA, culminating in the first Madden and NHL. He was then the GM of organizations in San Mateo, Origin Systems and the UK. Finally, the last product line he worked on was the Tiger Woods. Since 2000, Richard has been spending his time teaching master production classes inside of ea and contributing to university programs outside of ea. In 2008, he assumed the large shoes of Bing Gordon as the Chief Creative Director for the company.
Shaun Himmerick has been in the games industry since 2000 when he joined Midway Games after a few years working in the high tech security industry. Shaun has worked in many different divisions within Midway and has also worked in nearly all of Midway’s studios on various projects. The majority of Shaun’s time at Midway has been spent with the Mortal Kombat team, working on a variety of Mortal Kombat games. Shaun was Producer on Mortal Kombat’s venture into the adventure genre, Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks. Currently, Shaun is working as the Executive Producer and Studio Head in Midway’s Newcastle studio working towards the completion of an exciting project, the Vin Diesel vehicle, Wheelman. He’s also working with all of the Midway studios to build up the Midway core engine as part of their core strategy to share internal technology.
Over the course of 20 years, Clinton has gone from programming avionics for advanced fighter jets and underwater robots to overseeing programming for hit video game titles such as Midtown Madness and Midnight Club. He introduced the video game industry to agile development and is now an agile coach teaching teams how to adopt Scrum. Clinton’s website is www.ClintonKeith.com and his blog is located at http://www.agilegamedevelopment.com/blog.html
Building the business and operational model of Penny Arcade from the ground
up in 2002, Khoo also acts as the Managing Director for the Penny Arcade
Exposition (PAX), the largest gaming festival in the western hemisphere. In
addition, Khoo is the co-founder and chairman for the Child’s Play Charity,
a non-profit organization founded with the mission of aiding hospitalized
children through in-hospital game consoles and toys. The Child’s Play
network of hospitals spans over 50 worldwide and has raised nearly 4 million
dollars in toys and cash since 2003.
Jen is currently the vice president of business development for 38 Studios. Previously Jen was at Comcast, where she served as Vice President and General Manager, Games, responsible for management of all games products, strategy, and business development for the United States’ largest cable company. Her extensive and varied experience in online content and interactive entertainment began in 1992 at Microprose Software. She joined AOL in 1996, where she held numerous positions in the AOL brand programming division, including Programming Director for the Games Channel. Jen earned a BA in international relations from Johns Hopkins University and an MBA with a concentration in international business from the Columbia Business School. Jen was named one of the “Game Industry’s 100 Most Influential Women” by Next Generation, and is a frequent and much-requested speaker at game industry events.
Mike McShaffry has been working in the games industry since 1990 and has worked as a programmer or producer on the Ultima series including Ultima Online at Origin Systems and Thief: Deadly Shadows at Ion Storm. Mike built two studios in Austin: Compulsive Development and BreakAway Austin, and worked on projects as varied as a kid’s title for Mattel Media and a simulation of the deck of a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier for the US Navy. Mike is now a freelance consultant working to help his clients with business development, production workflow, and technology strategy with clients such as Arkane Studios, Emergent Game Technologies, NCSoft, and Red Fly Studios. Mike is the author of Game Coding Complete, now in its 2nd edition, originally published by Paraglyph Press in the spring of 2003. Mike holds a B.S. of Computer Science from the University of Houston.
Kane is one of the founding members of SomaTone Interactive Audio, one the largest audio production companies in the world today. He was one of the founding strategists for the design of Pyramind: Digital Production Arts Training Academy, a digital production school, COO and founding partner of Franklin Digital Properties, a web business management firm, EBIVE Entertainment, an artist production company, and executive coach for Fearless Wealth, an investment education company. Kane continues to consult with CEO’s & executive teams on leadership skills, as well as, leads workshops in the Bay Area. He also lectures frequently on organizational behavior, increasing communication effectiveness, customer driven leadership, sales team development and brand messaging. Kane holds an Associates Degree in Finance from the University of Illinois, a BM in Music Business and Music Production & Engineering from Berklee College of Music, and a Masters in Audio Production from Expressions School for New Media. He has also completed masters training in Neuro Linguistic Programming, is a Laban Bartenieff Movement Analyst and has extensively studied with Anthony Robbins (Personal Effectiveness Trainer), Landmark Education (Leadership and Communication Training Corporation), California Leadership Center (a Fortune 500 Executive Consulting Team) and Fearless Wealth (An Investment Education Group).
Andrew Oliver is co-founder and co-owner of Blitz Games Studios and took on the role of CTO when he and his twin brother Philip started the company in 1990, after 10 years of writing many popular games for the UK games market including the hugely successful Dizzy Series. He is now responsible for all aspects of the company’s cutting edge technology and game development direction as well as ensuring that the company’s reputation for high quality standards and prompt delivery is maintained. Andrew is passionate about education and training, both internally and externally. He regularly speaks at educational institutions about the skills needed to ensure the continued success of the UK games industry.
As CEO and co-founder of Hansoft, Patric discusses project management and QA best practices on a daily basis with clients in Australia, Asia, Europe and North America. Hansoft is a production management tool used for collaborative scheduling, tracking, instant communication, Agile, QA, resource usage, portfolio and document management used in game development and publishing as well as within IT, telecom and the space industry. Patric also serves as member of the jury of business plan competition Venture Cup. Patric serves as board member on a number of non-profit organizations and is an instructor within the Swedish Air Force.
Stefan wrote his first game on the Commodore VIC20 back in 1982 and never stopped working on games after that. He joined EA Canada in 1998 where he worked on a number of titles as a programmer before moving on to technical director and eventually CTO of the Sports studio. During his time at EA Sports he worked with teams of engineer from 5 as lead to more than 200 as CTO. He is currently working as Technical Director for a new IP title at EA Black Box in Vancouver, Canada.
Michael Saladino has been in the games industry for 15 years moving through multiple independent start-ups like Volition and Presto Studios and onto Microsoft Game Studio Publishing, EA and now Pandemic Studios. Saladino began his career as an engineer and quickly moved into leadership and production roles specializing initially in engineering but has since grown into cross-disciplinary development. Over the last few years, Michael has taken on large-scale team leadership as a senior development director / senior producer. Some of the games that he has had the pleasure of working on over the years include Medal of Honor: Airborne, Goldeneye: Rogue Agent, Whacked!, Psychonauts, Counter-Strike Xbox, Midtown Madness 3, and Myst III: Exiled. He is currently the senior producer on Lord of the Rings: Conquest.
As CEO and Founder of 1st Playable Productions, Tobi Saulnier oversees company operations and all aspects of product development at 1st Playable Productions. A veteran of both handheld and console games, she sees handheld game development as offering a unique blend of challenging hardware and fast pace, that complements the creative culture of a small independent studio. Prior to founding 1st Playable, she spent five years overseeing product development at Vicarious Visions, a role in which she was responsible for delivering over 60 game titles ranging from Blues Clues GBC to Doom III Xbox, including launch titles for the GBA, DS and PSP. Before joining the game industry, Tobi managed R&D in embedded and distributed systems at General Electric Research and Development, where she also led initiatives in new product development, software quality, business strategy, and outsourcing. She earned her BS, MS, and PhD in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling is a two-time World Series champion and six-time MLB All-Star who is equally passionate about video games as he is about baseball. When he’s not on the mound breaking curses, you can often find Curt playing an MMOG on his laptop. He first became involved on the business end of the industry over a decade ago in a relationship with Sony Online Entertainment. In 2003 and 2004 Curt served as the official spokesperson for the 3DO Company’s High Heat Baseball. Curt brought this love for gaming to life with the inception of 38 Studios in 2006. In addition to this industry experience, Curt also brings a unique instinct to recognize talent and lead a championship team. His relationship with McFarlane dates back to his days as a pitcher with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Respected worldwide for his dedication to winning and his commitment to philanthropic causes, Curt has assembled an All-Star team to create an extraordinary franchise of immersive entertainment products for 38 Studios. Curt and his wife Shonda are passionate philanthropists and have raised over $10 million to fight ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), through Curt’s Pitch for ALS (www.curtspitch.com), as well as encouraging awareness for sun protection through the SHADE Foundation (www.shadefoundation.org).
Shonda Schilling is the founder of The Shade Foundation of America. The wife of a successful major league baseball player, Shonda had a very public battle with malignant melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. As a result, she launched The SHADE Foundation of America in 2002 to promote sun-safety awareness. Shonda grew up in Maryland and graduated from Towson State College majoring in journalism. She worked in television production for Home Team Sports in Baltimore until marrying Curt Schilling in 1992.
Tom Smith is a creative manager at THQ’s corporate office, working with external developers on design and quality issues, including Conan, Drawn to Life: SpongeBob edition, and other unannounced titles. Previously, Tom was at High Voltage Software in positions ranging from level designer to design director, touching virtually all HVS products during his tenure there. Tom has also worked in the pen and paper industry at Mayfair Games.
As Studio General Manager, Tim Train heads up the internal development of Big Huge Games, recently acquired by THQ. With seventeen years of leadership and team experience on numerous landmark titles, Tim has worked in virtually every genre of computer games. Tim’s career began at Microprose in 1991, as a team member on the original Sid Meier’s Civilization. As co-founder of Big Huge Games, he has acted as Executive Producer and co-Designer of Rise of Nations and Rise of Legends, with Executive Producer credits on Catan XBLA and Age of Empires III: Asian Dynasties. Most recently, he developed the original concepts for Big Huge’s two next-gen titles. Secret Project #1 is a console RPG headed up by Ken Rolston, lead design of Oblivion. Secret Project #2 is a high-concept Wii title that brings something new to the table for the platform. Ken and the team have SP#1 well in hand, while Tim is happily working on the crazy prototype phase of SP#2.
Rich Vogel has been doing game development for 15 years. is first five years was doing console development for CD-I, Sega, and PS-1. He started his online career as Senior Producer of Meridian 59 where he helped launch and run the live service. He left 3DO to join Origin in 1997 as Senior Producer of Ultima Online where he helped launch and run the live service for two years. He is currently Co-Studio Director at BioWare Austin. Previously he was V.P. of Production at Sony Online Entertainment in Austin, and Executive Producer of Star Wars Galaxies. In 2000, Rich joined Sony Online Entertainment as Executive Producer and founded the Austin Studio. He shipped Star Wars Galaxies in 2003 and the first expansion Jump to Lightspeed in 2004. Rich speaks frequently on issues of online world design, online development process, and online community management.
Michael Waite is Studio Head of Amaze Entertainment, a Foundation 9 Entertainment studio based in Kirkland, Washington. His 17 years of experience in the entertainment software industry ranges across numerous platforms and genres. Michael’s contributions include Electronic Arts’ best-selling Need for Speed and Harry Potter series, and other top-tier franchises including titles such as Call of Duty: Roads to Victory, Shrek the Third, Lord of the Rings: Tactics, and Lemony Snicket’s ~ A Series of Unfortunate Events. Current projects include two unannounced Marvel superhero games and an unannounced Warner Bros movie game. Michael started in the game business as a writer-designer for Sierra’s Dynamix studio, working on award-winning classics such as The Incredible Machine and Lode Runner series. He was Senior Producer and Lead Designer of the internet’s first massive-multiplayer racing game, Motor City Online (Electronic Arts), which won Gamespy’s 2001 Gamer’s Choice Sports Game of the Year, and earned IGN’s “Best of E3” pick for 2001 in the racing category. Michael also has several years of experience in film, television, and children’s publishing. His most recent novel for young readers, The Witches of Dredmoore Hollow, will be released by Marshall Cavendish / Times Publishing this fall.
Kelly Zmak, is President of Radical Entertainment responsible for overseeing the studio’s operations and product development initiatives. Radical is a video game developer located in Vancouver creating and developing multiple games for all current and next generation platforms. Kelly joined Radical in July 2005. He brings with him over 20 years experience in the video game industry spanning across multiple roles ranging from production to operations and strategic management.