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!
Please join us in appreciating our IndieCade Festival Organizers for 2016!
CEO & Founder, IndieCade
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.
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.
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/
Jane Pinckard is associate director of the Center for Games and
Playable Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is
internationally known for her long-running blog GameGirlAdvance, which
explores games and art in a broader cultural context.
Jane came to Santa Cruz from Foundation 9 Entertainment, where she
worked in Business Development. As a games journalist, Jane’s writing
has been seen in a variety of publications including Theme Magazine,
Xbox Nation and Salon. In 2005, she co-created The 1Up show, a weekly
video internet show about game culture for the 1Up Network. An expert
in gaming, she has lectured at Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, California
College of the Arts and Whitman College and served as a non-resident
fellow at Stanford University in Lawrence Lessig’s Law in Virtual
Societies class. Jane has also spoken at South by Southwest, PAX and
the Game Developers Conference, the industry's leading tradeshow for
videogame developers. She currently serves as the Vice Chair of the
International Game Developers Association.
Joju Games Founder and Studio Manager Juan Gril has more than 18 years of experience developing casual games. Joju Games produces casual games for international clients including Dreamworks, MTV Networks, and Atari.
Juan is Advisor for the Mobile Games Summit at GDC, and judge for the “Sense of Wonder Night" Game Festival at Tokyo Game Show.
Education & Advancement Chair, IndieXchange 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.
IndieXchange GameTasting Coordinator
Ballerina, photographer, editor, bartender, aerial dancer and instructor, special effects artist, art director, mama, and epic party-thrower, Kelly decided to live her next life making videogames starting 4 years ago.
As a Creative Director at Joju Games, she shapes stories with visuals, mechanics with aesthetics. Besides her work at Joju, she volunteers with Indiecade as much as possible, because her heart is always with the independent communities of artists and other weirdos trying to hone something cool out of dreams. We’re the ones who make the world go round.
Chris DeLeon is a Los Angeles-based game developer, independent educator, and founder of Gamkedo. Through a mix of introductory video courses, hosting a developers podcast, facilitating an international practice club, and providing personalized training, Gamkedo provides people worldwide with practical, social, and sustainable ways to learn how to make their own games.
DeLeon's background includes design work at Electronic Arts, the Silicon Valley startup ZipZapPlay (now PopCap San Francisco), and Will Wright's R&D company, Stupid Fun Club. Non-commercially Chris released over 100 games, more than 200 daily prototypes (the InteractionArtist series), and established game development clubs at Georgia Tech and Carnegie Mellon. He's been lead programmer and designer on games reaching millions of players, including Topple for iPhone and Vision by Proxy: Second Edition for the web. Today Chris specializes in helping beginning audiences develop pragmatic skills and actionable plans.
Tabby Rose is a producer, game designer, illustrator and writer based in Toronto, Canada. Graduating with a Masters of Science in Biomedical Communications from the University of Toronto, Tabby started her career creating educational applications for medical students and clinicians. In 2014, she co-founded Axon Interactive with her husband Jeff Rose. The Axon Interactive team is currently producing their first title, Quench.
As an emerging leader in Toronto’s thriving independent games community, Tabby serves as a PR & Media organizer for the Toronto Game Jam, is an active member of Dames Making Games, has taught as a Game Programming instructor at Humber College and currently sits on the industry advisory panel for the program. She has given several talks and workshops for both medical illustrators and game industry professionals, with a focus on teaching individuals how to take advantage of business, marketing, and funding opportunities.
Gaming For Everyone Co-Chair
Susana Ruiz is an artist and scholar whose work traverses the intersections of cinema, games, art, ethics and activism. Her teaching and research are broadly concerned with how the intersection of art practice, design, computation, and storytelling can enable emergent forms of social justice, aesthetics, and learning.
With the launch of the multiple award-winning game Darfur is Dying, Ruiz co-founded Take Action Games (TAG), a studio that created linkages between gameplay and the histories and practices of documentary filmmaking and activist art. TAG has worked with numerous mission-based organizations and garnered several awards, including the prestigious Governors Award from the Academy of Arts & Sciences in partnership with MTV, the Games for Change Audience Award, the Adobe MAX Award for Social Responsibility, and Activist Website Honoree status from the Webby Awards. Ruiz’s work has been featured in academic studies and covered by the media, including NPR, the New York Times, TIME magazine, the Washington Post, Gamasutra, Jezebel, and Mashable.
Ruiz has served as advisory board member for Games for Change and holds a BFA in Studio Art from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. She was a member of the first cohort in the newly formed Interactive Media and Games MFA program at USC's School of Cinematic Arts and also holds a Ph.D. from USC’s Media Arts + Practice program. She is Assistant Professor of Film and Digital Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Gaming For Everyone Co-Chair
Charles is an entertainment industry production professional that loves education, research, and all things technology. He has worked across a number of entertainment industries including music, comics (manga), television, film, and games. Charles has shipped game titles published by Warner Bros., Activision, Sony PlayStation, and Koei Tecmo. He’s a futurist working on a few VR, AR and MR projects.
Charles has worked across a number of entertainment industries including music, comics (manga), television, film, and games. From working on manga, digital media, television, and films at TOKYOPOP, Charles was able to assist in increasing the popularity of manga in the early 2000s. After studying video game design and production at the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy, he, as a producer and designer, worked on and shipped over eight video game titles published by Warner Bros., Activision, Sony PlayStation, and Koei Tecmo.
Recently, Charles and some of his tech savvy colleagues have banded together as Fairchild Consortium to create inventive and innovative interactive entertainment experiences for core games, augmented, virtual and mixed realities. At Fairchild Consortium, Charles is the chief executive officer or dot connector over the small telecommuting studio that has more than 10 developers with outsource houses working on tools and content for the emerging industry.
Beyond his professional creative endeavors, Charles is working on starting a benefit corporation called Blacks and Browns Representing Interactive Development and Gaming Entertainment (BBRIDGE), a tech-focused education organization that delivers training and publishing assistance to people in under-privileged areas in Southern California. He’s involved in many community activities. Charles is an active mentor in the Ambition program at the Environmental Charter High School, The Links of San Fernando Valley chapter mentoring program, and Cultural Policy graduate of the Art for LA – ACTIVATE Program.
Mattie Brice is a play critic, designer, and activist. She focuses her writing on diversity initiatives in the games industry, often bringing in the perspective of marginalized minority voices to publications like Paste, Kotaku, The Border House, and Pop Matters. Mattie also consults, speaks, and teaches about play. Her studies have led her to explore narrative design and plans to push the borders of how we think of play.
Raigan Burns, noun (1889): a set that is closed under two commutative binary operations and that can be described by any of various systems of postulates all of which can be deduced from the postulates that an identity element exists for each operation, that each operation is distributive over the other, and that for every element in the set there is another element which when combined with the first under one of the operations yields the identity element of the other operation.
Table Games Jury Co-Chair
Eliot is a tabletop game designer and game graphic designer/artist, as well as a tabletop game player, including abstracts, RPGs, and everything in between. He designed ILIOS for Playford Games, has designed games for Modest Games, and has worked with IDW Games. In addition, he is a board game reviewer and commentator for PopCultureBeast.com. Outside of the gaming world, Eliot is an improvised storyteller with Fraudway LA, and a member of the comedy podcast Never Not Funny: The Jimmy Pardo Podcast.
Table Games Jury Co-Chair
Digital Selections Co-Chair
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.
Digital Selections Co-Chair
Table Games 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.
Night Games Chair
Noah Nelson is a public media producer and reporter by day, game enthusiast and immersive theatre weirdo by night. The podcast and newsletter collection he founded—No Proscenium—has built a community of immersive entertainment fans whose varied interests (theatre, escape rooms, them parks, virtual reality) are all knit together by a quest for quality. When he’s not crawling around on his hands and knees in an abandoned warehouse that one dude swore was the site of an unlicensed production of a sci-fi Hamlet he can be found catching up on a deadline or reading comics.
Competitive Play Chair
Shawn Alexander Allen is a game designer, artist and writer, born and raised in New York City. He is currently working on Treachery in Beatdown City, a game that is as subversive of the fighting and RPG genres as it is of gentrification, nationalism, racial stereotyping, and the war on terror. TiBC is the first game being published by his company NuChallenger which he hopes to grow into a creative space to give those with underrepresented voices a place to make games. Previously Shawn worked for almost 5 years in AAA games, the first game he shipped having sold over 25 million copies. Despite that he’s more proud of TiBC and other personal group projects.
Click here to download the IndieCade 2016 Map (.PDF).