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 and Jury 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.
Erin Shaver is an artist-of-many-trades and a producer. She brings things together at IndieCade by overseeing the nitty gritty of production and operations year in and out. She supports all things indie and loves working with the quirky brilliant characters and luminaries at IndieCade.
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.
Naomi Clark is a freelance game designer who's been creating games for over two decades. She got her start designing early online games, including Sissyfight 2000, one of the first multiplayer games on the web. Since then she's designed, written and produced games for many different platforms and audiences: web games for LEGO, casual downloadable games with independent studio Gamelab, and social games for Facebook and mobile devices, among others. Her most recent games include Wonder City, a stereotype-breaking story game for adolescent girls, and Sandwich Kingdom, a fantasy puzzle adventure played on the Sifteo Cube game platform. She's currently based in New York City, where she consults on a variety of game projects and teaches game design while working on an upcoming creator-owned game with the Brooklyn Game Ensemble.
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.
Elizabeth Swensen is a game designer, writer, and paper-tearer. She is 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.
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.
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
Night Games Curator
Robin Arnott is an experimental game maker and sound designer based in Austin, TX and Black Rock City, NV. He has a creative interest in perception and immersion explored across these disciplines, from Antichamber's quiet soundscapes, to the blind terror of Deep Sea and the hypnotic trance of SoundSelf.
Outside of game development, Robin is doing his part towards building a community of video-games-and-art-and-interactive-stuff-is-awesomeness-ness. This is his second year chairing the Indiecade Night Games party, and he also co-organizes the Austin Indiecade Annex.
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.
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.
Trevor Moorman is a Designer and founding member of Gnarwhal Studios. Trevor grew up in Texas before moving to Baltimore MD where he went to school at Goucher College. There he met his fellow Gnarwhal CoFounders, moderated and played in many games of Humans Vs Zombies, and majored in philosophy. After graduating, Trevor moved to Pittsburgh PA to attend Duquesne University and receive a masters in Philosophy. Finally, city hopping once more, Trevor moved to Los Angeles where he now works as a Technical Coordinator for Riot Games and talks too much about philosophy to anyone that will listen.
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.
Jeff Watson is an award winning artist, designer, and Assistant Professor of Interactive Media and Games at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. His work investigates how game design, pervasive computing, and social media can enable new forms of storytelling, participation, and learning.
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.
Creator of Awards Trophies
Will Wagenaar has been a professional artist since 1972. Starting in visual merchandising management with Marshall Field's, he learned at an early age to turn anything into something else. An interior design degree was next at Harrington Institute in Chicago.
1980 was the beginning of a successful mural painting business, creating wonderful walls for prestigious residences and major corporations in cities across the country.
In 1993 he opened a very experimental storefront on Miami Beach where he twisted all manner of found materials into new usable objects and fine art. A couple of years later the concept expanded to The Miami Design District. That larger workshop and gallery showcased over a dozen artist's work in reclamation art. Furnishings of all types, home accessories and fine art were displayed. Everything in the gallery was made of recycled materials. Those two stores are long gone but not the passion for reclamation art. Now living on the Gulf Coast of Florida, he feels like he might just be getting started. There's always something new to recycle.
Creator of 'IndieNomicon' Guidebook
Robyn Tong Gray is an interactive storyteller and jack-of-all-trades. She recently completed her Master of Fine Arts degree at University of Southern California’s Interactive Media program and is currently figuring out where to hang it.
Robyn is currently the Co-founder and Lead Designer at a small entertainment studio, Otherworld Interactive, based out of Los Angeles. She creates and collaborates on story-driven experiences across a variety of digital media, acting as programmer, artist, designer, or whatever else seems like fun.
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)