The following line up of industry speakers for the 2007 IGDA Leadership Forum:
- Mike Capps – President, Epic Games
- Heather Maxwell Chandler – Executive Producer, Media Sunshine
- Don Daglow – President and CEO, Stormfront Studios
- Jason Della Rocca – Executive Director, IGDA
- Bill Dugan – President, Torpex Games
- John Farnsworth – Studio Director, Destineer
- Jamie Fristrom – Technical Director, Torpex Games
- Tim Gerritsen – Executive Director, Big Rooster
- Catherine Herdlick – Director of Game Production, gameLab
- Clinton Keith – CTO, High Moon Studios
- Tim Longo – Creative Director/Senior Designer, Crystal Dynamics
- Mike McShaffry – freelance developer
- Ray Muzyka – CEO, BioWare Corp., Corporate VP and Director, BioWare/Pandemic
- Chris Natsuume – Creative Director, Boomzap
- Trent Oster – Project Director, BioWare Corp.
- Aaron Pulkka – Senior Director, Outsourcing, Vivendi Games
- Tim Schafer – President, Double Fine Productions
- Mike Swanson – Studio Art Production Manager, Gas Powered Games
- Tony Van – Executive Producer, Ubisoft
- Kenneth Yeast – Director of Engineering, Seven Studios
- Greg Zeschuk – President, BioWare Corp., Corporate VP and Director, BioWare/Pandemic
Michael is the president of Epic Games, Inc. Epic was recently awarded Studio of the Year by the Video Game Awards; Epic’s multi-million selling Gears of War was named Game of the Year by many publications and the Game Developers Choice Awards; and Epic’s game technology, Unreal Engine 3, was named best engine by Game Developer Magazine for the third straight year. Michael serves on the boards of the IGDA and of the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. Before joining Epic, Michael earned degrees at UNC and MIT, and served as a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. For his work in networked virtual reality, he was one of fifty graphics pioneers interviewed for the ACM SIGGRAPH documentary, “The Story of Computer Graphics.” While at the Naval Postgraduate School, Michael was the producer, designer, and lead programmer of the America’s Army computer game.
Heather Maxwell Chandler is a producer with over 11 years of experience in the video game industry. Sheâ€™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. Sheâ€™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.
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 â€œgroundbreaking achievements that shaped the Video Game Industry,â€ and Electronic Games has called him â€œone of the best-known and respected producers in the history of the field.â€ 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 Sportsâ€™ 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.
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.
Bill Dugan started in video games in 1986 as a scripter and designer on Interplay Productionsâ€™ Wasteland RPG, which has entered Computer Gaming Worldâ€™s Hall of Fame. He started working as a producer in 1991 on Interplayâ€™s first CD-ROM games. Since then Bill has worked as a vice president or executive producer at Wizards of the Coast (Hasbro); at Sierra Entertainment; and at Activisionâ€™s Treyarch studio, where he was the executive producer of the Spider-Man 2 and Ultimate Spider-Man console games. Bill and Jamie Fristrom founded Torpex Games, of Bellevue, Washington; they and their diverse team of talented game creators are about to ship the most co-op game ever, Schizoid, for Xbox Live Arcade.
John Farnsworth, Destineer’s Raleigh Studio Director, was formally studio manager at Red Storm Entertainment, and he managed the international teams for several of IBM’s award-winning ThinkPad laptop lines. John serves as an intelligence officer and commander in the US Army Reserves and has over 20 years of military experience. John is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute and holds a Master of Arts in International Affairs from the George Washington University.
Jamie Fristrom got his start in the industry, in 1991, working on the Magic Candle series of RPGs. Later he became a technical and creative director at Treyarch, where he worked on Die By The Sword for the PC, Tony Hawk for the Dreamcast, and the Spider-Man games for the PS2, Xbox, and Gamecube, his biggest claim to fame being that he invented Spider-Man 2′s dynamic, physical swinging system. 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. So if you’re one of those people who think that Game Developer post mortems are all the same–”What Went Right? Great Team. What Went Wrong? Overambitious.”–it’s probably his fault. Currently, Jamie is partner and technical director at Torpex Games in Bellevue, Washington, a startup game development company whose mission is games that are, simply, addictive.
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.
Catherine Herdlick is the Director of Game Production at NYC-Based Gamelab (creators of Diner Dash). In that role and as a Project Manager, she has worked on dozens of commercial computer games including titles like Egg Vs. Chicken, Ayiti: The Cost of Life, and Out of Your Mind. As the head of production at Gamelab, Catherine has extensive knowledge of the production processes and issues regarding online and downloadable games, particularly as they relate to a staff that works on multiple games at once. At Gamelab, Catherine also advocates for the constant improvement of team dynamics, company culture and morale, and company policies. Outside of Gamelab, Catherine’s collaborative games work includes co-founding the Come Out & Play Festival for street games. Her independent work includes Lawn Games For Life (an ARG); Bike Friendly City (a street game for bicyclists); and children’s play forts at The Kitchen gallery/performance space in NYC in Falls 2003 and 2004. Prior to Gamelab, Catherine worked for organizations like The Brooklyn Children’s Museum, The Boston Children’s Museum, MaMaMedia, and New School University. She has written articles and spoken extensively about best practices and processes for game production and design. She holds a BA from Wesleyan University and an MFA from Parsons School of Design.
Over the course of 20 years, Clinton has gone from programming avionics and other software for advanced fighter jets to overseeing programming for video game titles that put one of today’s hottest development studios on the map. In his video game career he has developed or directed development on titles such as Midtown Madness, Midnight Club, Smuggler’s Run and Darkwatch to name a few. He is currently the Chief Technology Office at High Moon Studios which has been at the leading edge of applying Agile Methods such as Scrum and Extreme Programming to the development of video games.
Tim Longo has been a game developer for over 11 years beginning with QA and moving through most areas of game design up to Creative Direction. Having worked at LucasArts for many of those years Tim has been involved with projects such as the Star Wars Starfighter series, Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine and Star Wars Republic Commando. After a bit of freelance game design and season of being a Wilderness Ranger for the US Forest Service Tim is now working as a Creative Director at Crystal Dynamics on an unannounced project as well as providing creative oversight on the Wii version of Tomb Raider Anniversary. Tim’s education is in Theatre Acting and Directing and he is currently living in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Mike McShaffry began his game programming career at Origin Systems in October of 1990 – making him a grizzled old timer in the game industry. While at Origin Mike contributed variously as a programmer, lead programmer, technology director, and producer to titles like Martian Dreams, Ultima VII, Ultima VIII, Ultima IX and Ultima Online. In 1997 Mike left Origin and founded Tornado Alley, a garage start-up whose goal was to create MMP’s for children. Mike co-founded Compulsive Development in 2000, serving as Head of Studio, which employed 20 developers and completed four casual games for Microsoft. In August, 2002 Compulsive was acquired by Glass Eye Entertainment. Craving the console life, Mike found a position at Ion Storm Austin on Thief Deadly Shadows working on the 3rd person camera technology. Mike is currently Head of Studio for BreakAway Games Austin, working on serious games and next-gen console titles. Mike is the author of Game Coding Complete now in its 2nd edition, published by Paraglyph Press. Mike holds a B.S. of Computer Science from the University of Houston.
Dr. Ray Muzyka is the Chief Executive Officer and a Co-Executive Producer at BioWare Corp., with studios in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and Austin, Texas. Ray is a Corporate Vice President and Director at BioWare/Pandemic Studios (bioware.pandemicstudios.com). He co-founded BioWare in 1995 with Dr. Greg Zeschuk. Ray and Greg have been Co-Executive Producers on all of BioWareâ€™s games including the Baldurâ€™s Gate series, the Neverwinter Nights series, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire. Ray and Greg are also Co-Executive Producers of the highly anticipated Xbox 360 title, Mass Effect, a story driven science fiction game being published by Microsoft, and the fantasy epic Dragon Age. BioWare is also working on a Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) title at its Austin studio, a handheld title for the Nintendo DS, and its Technology Architecture group in Edmonton is creating a next-generation game engine called the BioWare Eclipse Engine. BioWare also sells content directly to its fans all over the world through the BioWare Community Store at store.bioware.com. More information on BioWare and its products is available at www.bioware.com. In addition to his development role, Ray co-manages the financial, human resources, operations, marketing and legal aspects of BioWare, and has completed his executive MBA program at the Ivey School of Business, UWO. Ray is a board member of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, and serves as a Director and Co-Chairman of CodeBaby Corp. (www.codebaby.com), a software company developing a next generation interface for digital media and the Internet.
Christopher Natsuume is a 12 year game industry veteran, with experience in design and production on PC, Xbox, Playstation 2, PC, and casual downloadable entertainment. His products have shipped millions of copies and won numerous industry awards. Recent experiences include serving as lead producer for the international hit Far Cry from Crytek and recently founding Boomzap Entertainment (www.boomzap.com), a leading downloadable casual game developer headquartered in Singapore. Boomzap has shipped three games to date, including the top-ten hits Magic Lanterns and Jewels of Cleopatra. Chris holds a BA from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from the University of Washington, Seattle.
Trent Oster is a twelve year veteran of the computer game industry. Through that period he has worked as a Studio Owner, Artist, Programmer, Project Director and Director of Technology. After working at BioWare on the titles: Shattered Steel and Baldur’s Gate he led the development of Neverwinter Nights from concept to completion. Following NeverWinter Nights, Trent completed two expansion packs and moved into the Project Director role on the next generation BioWare Eclipse Engine.
Aaron Pulkka began working in the game industry in 1995 after receiving his Masters in Computer Science & Engineering from the University of Washington, where he focused on robotics, artificial intelligence, and networked virtual reality. Aaron has performed a variety of production related jobs within the industry, including designer, programmer, technical director, project manager, and development director. Over the last few years he has begun to walk the line between production and business development, focusing primarily on art outsourcing. Aaron has worked directly for Disney, Sony and THQ, as well as indirectly for others including EA, Activision, and Midway while working for an outsourcing firm. At Vivendi Games, Aaron is directing the company’s global outsourcing efforts to enhance the abilities of internal production teams.
Tim Schafer is the president of Double Fine Productions, a San Francisco-based development studio whose games — including the action/adventure Psychonauts — emphasize strong story and character. Prior to Double Fine, Tim was a Project Leader at LucasArts, where he was responsible for several award-winning games, including Grim Fandango and Full Throttle. Tim also co-designed Day of the Tentacle, and was a writer and assistant designer on The Secret of Monkey Island 1 & 2.
Mike Swanson has been in the games industry for 18 years. Working for several major publishers; Electronic Arts Canada, Lucasarts Entertainment and Take Two Interactive. Game Credits include Supreme Commander, SSX, Armed and Dangerous, Triple Play Baseball, FIFA Soccer and NHL Hockey. Mike has also lectured extensively on game art and animation creation throughout China, Taiwan, Scotland and North America. Mike is currently the Studio Art Production Manager at Gas Powered Games in Seattle, Washington.
Tony Van has produced and/or designed over 60 games the past 19 years: console & PC; single player, multi-player & MMO; for hardcore gamers, casual adult gamers and children. He has worked with top industry licenses/licensors such as Star Wars/Lucasfilm, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation/CBS/CSI Productions, America’s Army/U.S. Army, Die Hard/20th Century Fox, Road Runner/Warner Bros., BattleTech & Shadowrun/FASA and many others. He is currently an Executive Producer for Ubisoft.
Kenneth Yeast, Director of Engineering at Seven Studios, has been in software development since the early eighties, writing software and managing people in game development and new technology. His credits include Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle-Earth, the Starfleet Command series, many movie games, video editors, film industry software, and new console development (CD32 tools/support, ED OS).
Dr. Greg Zeschuk is the President and a Co-Executive Producer at BioWare Corp., with studios in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, as well as Austin, Texas. Greg is also a Corporate Vice President and Director at BioWare/Pandemic Studios (bioware.pandemicstudios.com). He co-founded BioWare in 1995 with BioWareâ€™s other co-founder, Dr. Ray Muzyka. Greg and Ray have been Co-Executive Producers on all of BioWareâ€™s games including the Baldurâ€™s Gate series, the Neverwinter Nights series, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire. Greg and Ray are Co-Executive Producers of the highly anticipated Xbox 360 title Mass Effect, a story driven science fiction game being published by Microsoft, and the fantasy epic Dragon Age. BioWare is also working on a Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) title at its Austin studio, a handheld title for the Nintendo DS, and its Technology Architecture group in Edmonton is creating a next-generation game engine called the BioWare Eclipse Engine. BioWare is also sells content directly to its fans all over the world through the BioWare Community Store at store.bioware.com. More information on BioWare and its products is available at www.bioware.com. In addition to his development role, Greg completed his executive MBA program at the Queenâ€™s School of Business and serves as a Director and Co-Chairman of CodeBaby Corp. (www.codebaby.com), a software company developing a next generation interface for digital media and the Internet.