The IndieCade festival is a tremendous team effort. We are so grateful to have some of the most creative minds in the industry and beyond join us each year to grow and create IndieCade.
IndieCade truly is the people. The amount of effort and thought it takes to put on this event cannot be denied. Thank you to all of our chairs, coordinators, curators, staff and volunteers for building something so special.
It has been a joy to work with each and every one of you!
It has been a joy to work with each and every one of you!
CEO & Founder, IndieCade
Founder & CEO
Stephanie Barish is an award-winning producer and a prominent figure behind leading initiatives that are guiding the direction of the digital media, interactive arts, and multimedia community in the twenty-first century.
In 1999, she founded and created the blueprint for the Annenberg Center for Communications’ Institute for Multimedia Literacy (IML), urged by George Lucas. Previously, Ms. Barish worked as producer and director of multimedia publications and creative director of Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation. In these positions she designed and produced the Foundation’s acclaimed multimedia publications, research interface, and award-winning CD-ROMs and websites, and participated in Emmy- and Academy-Award-winning documentary films.
Between her work at these two organizations, her programs attracted nearly $20 million in support. She continues to foster innovations in multimedia expression as Founder and President of Creative Media Collaborative.
Festival Director, Jury & Night Games Co-Chair
Sam Roberts has worked as a creative director in the entertainment industry for 10 years. He has directed, designed, written, and produced digital and live entertainment and events. For over 5 years, he has organized and directed the IndieCade Festival of Independent Games. He now serves as the Assistant Director of the Interactive Media Division at USC, where he continues to work to promote the medium of games and the next generation of talented gamemakers. This year, he helped design, write, and vocally direct FREEQ, an audio centric smartphone game. He hopes to continue working as a Creative Director on large, collaborative projects, and to continue supporting and creating opportunities for independent artists.
Celia Pearce is a veteran interactive media designer, researcher and writer and Associate Professor of Digital Media at Georgia Tech. She has produced three published books and numerous papers and book chapters on video game culture and design. She has also curated new media exhibitions, including XYZ: Alternative Voice in Game Design, the first exhibition devoted to celebrating women in game development. She is co-founder of Ludica, a woman’s game collective, and also co-founder and Festival Chair for IndieCade, the international independent games festival and showcase series.
Drea Clark produces live television events, music videos, festivals and feature films including The Last Time You Had Fun and the international award winning Lake Los Angeles. She produces for Dick Clark Productions, previously served as Executive Director of Slamdance Film Festival where she continues to program, is a programmer with the LA Film Fest, and has taught Music Video Production at USC since 2009. She also serves on the board of directors for OMG Cameras Everywhere, a non-profit dedicated to teaching kids the art of filmmaking and importance of creative collaboration.
Festival Experience Co-Chair
Elizabeth Swensen is a game designer, writer, and paper-tearer. She received her M.F.A in Interactive Media from the University of Southern California and her B.A. in Classics from Willamette University. She is very interested in shaping narrative for interactive experiences, playing with glue guns, trying to remember how to translate Latin poetry, and increasing college access through play. She's serving as Activities Co-Chair at this year's IndieCade Festival.
Festival Experience Co-Chair
Sean Bouchard is a game designer and programmer. He's a fan of storytelling, critical thinking, collaboration, and cooperative play. He received a BA in Computer Science from Pomona College and an MFA in Interactive Media from the University of Southern California. He's a founding member of an indie studio called Crater House and works as a game designer at the USC Game Innovation Lab. His work has been featured at the IGF and IndieCade in previous years, and this year he's thrilled to be serving as Activities Co-Chair for the IndieCade Festival.
Chair of Education and Advancement, IndieXchange Co-Chair, GameU Co-Chair
Jeremy Gibson Bond is a lecturer teaching game design and development at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor and an independent game designer/developer. He is the founder of ExNinja Interactive and the author of Introduction to Game Design, Prototyping, and Development, and book on game design and prototyping using Unity that will be released in the summer of 2014.
From 2009-2013, Jeremy was an Assistant Professor teaching game design for the Interactive Media and Games Division of the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts, which was named the #1 game design school in North America throughout his tenure there. Since 2013, Jeremy has served IndieCade as the Chair for Education and Advancement where he is responsible for the IndieXchange and GameU tracks.
Jeremy also apparently has the distinction of being the first person to ever teach game design in Costa Rica.
Joju Games Founder and Studio Manager Juan Gril has more than 16 years of experience developing casual games. Joju Games produces casual games for international clients including Atari, MTV Networks, and Disney.
Juan is Advisor for the Free2Play Design and Business Summit at GDC, and judge for the ""Sense of Wonder Night"" Game Festival at Tokyo Game Show. The former head of Yahoo! Games Studios and a founding member of the team, he thinks video games are the coolest thing ever.
Chris DeLeon is a Los Angeles-based developer, speaker, and independent trainer. He specializes in helping people with learning transitions from zero experience up to leading small teams for multi-month original projects.
DeLeon's professional background includes design work at Electronic Arts, PopCap San Francisco, and Will Wright's R&D company. Non-commercially he has made more than 80 games, hundreds of daily prototypes as the InteractionArtist series, and established game development clubs at Georgia Tech and Carnegie Mellon. Games on which he served as a lead programmer and designer, Topple and Vision by Proxy: Second Edition, have reached millions of players worldwide. Chris speaks at both business and research conferences, and gives talks for student clubs about practical strategies.
John makes a living biting off more than he can chew. Sporting a PhD in Art History, a former career as a DJ, and ongoing work in game scholarship, media design, and game development, John is a proud workaholic. He is the Associate Professor of Games and Learning in the School of Art, Media and Technology at Parsons The New School for Design where he co-directs PETLab (Prototyping, Education and Technology Lab). He also is a member of Local No. 12, a social network game collaboration; a member of The Leisure Society, an artgame collective; and a partner in Supercosm, a digital media consultancy.
Cara Ellison is a Scottish writer, game critic and video game narrative designer. She has written for The Guardian, VICE, Kotaku, PC Gamer, Paste Magazine and the New Statesman, wrote the best-named column in the world, S.EXE, at Rock Paper Shotgun, and had a regular opinion column at Eurogamer. She was also co-writer on Charlie Brooker’s How Videogames Changed The World for Channel Four television in the UK. Her writing and game narrative work has been featured in The New York Times and Wired, and she was one of The Guardian’s Top Ten Young People In Digital Media 2014. Currently she designs the narratives for video games.
To see regular updates on her work, you can join this public page on Facebook.
Richard Lemarchand is a game designer, a writer, a public speaker, a consultant and an educator. He is an Associate Professor in the Interactive Media and Games Division of the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, where he teaches game design to graduates, undergraduates and doctoral candidates, and has begun work on the development of a series of experimental research games.
Between 2004 and 2012, Richard was a Lead Game Designer at Naughty Dog in Santa Monica, California. He led the design of all three games in the Uncharted series including Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, winner of ten AIAS Interactive Achievement Awards, five Game Developers Choice Awards, four BAFTAs and over 200 Game of the Year awards. Richard also worked on Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, Jak 3 and Jak X: Combat Racing for Naughty Dog, and helped to create the successful game series Gex, Pandemonium and Soul Reaver at Crystal Dynamics in the San Francisco Bay Area.
A passionate advocate of indie and experimental games, Richard has been involved with the IndieCade International Festival of Independent Games for several years. He organizes the annual GDC Microtalks, a session that celebrates games and play with short talks by diverse speakers, and he is a faculty member of the GDC Experimental Gameplay Sessions.
Richard grew up in a small town in rural England, dreaming of ancient civilizations and outer space. Perhaps as a result, he has a degree in Physics and Philosophy.
Akira Thompson is a Game Designer, a member of Glitch City, and an Indie Games Evangelist that has worked with IndieCade since 2010 in various capacities. He has also worked at the University of Southern California, Creative Artists Agency, and Walt Disney Imagineering within Research & Development.
Teddy Diefenbach is an independent game maker currently developing Hyper Light Drifter and his solo project Kyoto Wild. He co-founded Los Angeles game collective Glitch City, and previously made The Moonlighters and Shove Pro with Rad Dragon, Kinect toys at Microsoft, and MMOs at Disney. Teddy has a Masters in Interactive Media from the University of Southern California, and a Bachelors in Music & Computers from Columbia University. Prior to that he mostly played JRPGs and ate Chex Mix.
Simon Ferrari is a researcher and adjunct professor in the NYU Game Center. For four years Simon worked on the UCSC/GaTech Journalism & Games project, culminating in the release of the arcade remix engine Game-o-Matic. Along with Ian Bogost and Bobby Schweizer, he is the co-author of Newsgames: Journalism at Play (MIT Press, 2010). Ferrari's present writing focuses on the people who record, live-stream, and publicly perform high-level videogame play. He currently serves as IndieCade's eSports Curator, organizing a special selection of multiplayer games for the festivals in LA and New York.
Chloe Lister is a game designer and programmer in her senior year studying Interactive Media & Games at USC and a previous IndieCade jury intern. She has done game and web development work for clients like Nickelodeon and Sony and in her spare time makes small games about her feelings. Otherwise she can be found making bad jokes on her twitter (@chlolist) or yelling about professional League of Legends.
VR Selects Co-Chair
Nonny de la Peña has been called “The Godmother of Virtual Reality” by Engadget and The Guardian, while Fast Company named her “One of the People Who Made the World More Creative” for her pioneering work in virtual reality. As CEO of Emblematic Group, she uses cutting edge technologies to tell stories—both fictional and news-based—that create intense, empathic engagement on the part of viewers.
A graduate of Harvard University, a former correspondent for Newsweek and television drama writer, de la Peña has more than 20 years of award-winning experience in print, film and TV. Her virtual reality work has been featured by the BBC, Mashable, Vice, Wired and many others. Screenings and showcases around the globe have included the Sundance and Tribeca Film Festivals, The World Economic Forum in Davos, Formula 1 Singapore, The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Moscow Museum of Modern Art, and Games For Change; she has also garnered top awards at major gaming festivals including winning the prestigious “Impact Award” at Indiecade.
VR Selects Co-Chair
Brent Bushnell is the CEO of Two Bit Circus, a Los Angeles-based experiential entertainment company. Most recently the team launched STEAM Carnival, high-tech entertainment combined with hands on projects to inspire kids about science, technology, engineering, art and math. Previously he was the on-camera inventor for the ABC TV show Extreme Makeover:Home Edition. He was a founding member of Syyn Labs, a creative collective creating stunts for brands like Google and Disney and responsible for the viral hit Rube Goldberg music video for OK Go that garnered 45 million views. Brent enjoys mentoring teens in entrepreneurship. He publishes at brentbushnell.com and @brentbushnell.
Exhibitor Tent Coordinator
Drew Davidson is a professor, producer and player of interactive media. His background spans academic, industry and professional worlds and he is interested in stories across texts, comics, games and other media. He is the Director of the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University and the Founding Editor of ETC Press and its Well Played series and journal. http://waxebb.com/
Cindy Poremba is a digital media researcher, gamemaker and curator. She is currently a Professor of Game Design in the Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design at Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. Cindy completed a PhD in interdisciplinary Humanities at Concordia University in Montreal, where she worked in association with the Centre for Technoculture, Art and Games (TAG). She has organized non-traditional exhibitions as an independent curator, including Joue le jeu/Play Along (Paris, FR), XYZ: Alternative Voices in Game Design (Atlanta, USA), and “new arcade” events as a member of the Kokoromi game art collective.
Awards Jury Chair
Colleen Macklin is a game designer, an Associate Professor at Parsons The New School for Design and founder and co-director of PETLab, a game research lab that has developed Budgetball, a "fiscal sport", games for disaster preparedness with the American Red Cross, and Re:Activism, a location-based activist game played in NYC, Beijing, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and Atlanta. Her work has been shown at Come Out and Play, UCLA Art|Sci Center, The Whitney Museum for American Art and Creative Time. She is also a member of Local No. 12, known best for the social card game, the Metagame. http://www.colleenmacklin.com
Digital Selects Co-Chair
Jared Yeager is a lifelong gamer, producer, designer, investor and consultant, currently working with the newly formed Razer Developer Relations and Publishing team. Previous adventures include Developer Relations at OUYA, Director of Product Development at Beeline Interactive, and Producing/Publishing games at SGN, Activision, and Sierra Games. Jared has been an IndieCade juror and super juror for the last 3 years and is thrilled to help curate the Digital Selects section of the festival. He is looking forward to meeting all of the developers, celebrating their work, and of course, playing games!
Digital Selects Co-Chair
Big Games Co-Chair
Joe Sklover - hailing from Baltimore, Maryland - has been working with IndieCade in some capacity since 2010, chairing both table games and big games. He is a part owner of Gnarwhal Studios and was a designer for both Humans vs. Zombies and Slap .45 (both IndieCade finalists). He also produces and organizes experiences at conventions like IndieCade for Gnarwhal Studios. Outside of Gnarwhal, Joe is a freelance game designer and a network and server engineer.
He is also is an enthusiast of both kittens and pie (independently).
Big Games Co-Chair
James Earl Cox III is both a graduate student in the Interactive Media and Game Design program at USC and a digital wizard. He has created over 70 games games, exhibiting at venues including IndieCade, DIGRA, EGX and the Smithsonian. His games can be found at www.SeemPoint.com. Currently, he is completing a challenge of making 100 games in 5 years. His twitter is @Just404it and yes, he would love to watch The Room with you.
Table Games Co-Chair
James Taylor is a Senior Game Designer at the Game Changer Chicago Design Lab at The University of Chicago. He teaches game design workshops, organizes game pitch events and works on two-three game projects at a time with the speed and precision of a confused mongoose. He enjoys working with a fascinating blend of game designers, university faculty, students and researchers.
Above all, James believes in authorship in games - the voice behind the product. James holds a BA in Creative Writing from Kenyon College and an MFA in Interactive Media & Game Design from the University of Southern California.
Table Games Co-Chair
Jamie Antonisse [pictured, not the dog] has been calling himself a game designer since 2005. He has spent much of the last nine years creating games that explore the connection between players, game mechanics, and narratives. He is an avid paper prototyper, an underground board game developer, an occasional composer, an artisinal list-maker, a reformed birdwatcher, and a fan of the Oxford comma. He received his MFA from USC's Interactive Media Department, and currently works as the sole game designer for Disney Digital Publishing.
Night Games Coordinator
Felix is a game developer, events coordinator, and freelance PR consultant living in Vancouver, BC. They have a passion for community and games that bring people together through shared experience. They spend most of their time attending conventions, organizing events, and working to connect people in all aspects of the industry.
Felix has co-organized Austin Indiecade Annex alongside Robin and is joining the Indiecade team this year to help produce Night Games.
Red Carpet & Closing Awards Producer
Sum is a respected contributor to the Los Angeles music community, at all levels. As an active participant in the indie music scene, a professional in the music industry, and an explorer in the music tech world, he is truly music factotum. Some hats he has worn include Associate Editor at [now defunct] RIME magazine, founder of online music community and social media examiner The Good Look, and Online Community Manager for Fortune 500 clients. In 2014 he helped launch RecordingFestival.com, an international band incubator. For years he also served as Music Supervisor and Curator for high tech music company Earbits.com, backed by Y Combinator, and is currently leading brand and strategic partnerships at Stampede Management, where he manages collaborations between high profile music talent and global brands. When Sum is not navigating his trans-dimensional business life, you can find him whittling away at his own unique music career, either solo or with his afrofuture funk band, The Milky Way. He's collaborated with Grammy winning producers Ski Beatz, Ikey Owens and Needlz, been nominated for the Independent Music Awards "Best Album of 2013" and most recently been featured with his band in the 2015 Toyota Camry print ad campaign. A lover of dive bars, barflies, jukeboxes, rock & roll, hip-hop, soul and whiskey, he's also known to DJ around the Los Angeles bar scene frequently, making friends with every manner of musician, band and DJ you could imagine. You can find him anywhere between a pool table, a recording studio and a VR headset.
Check Sum out on Twitter, Facebook or blogging about his adventures in the music and tech worlds.
Click here to download the IndieCade 2014 Map (pdf)