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Speakers, Presenters, and Moderators

Dustin Freeman

– Escape Character –

Dustin (he/him) does research and makes games and live experiences using embodied interaction; most recently he worked as a scientist on gestural interfaces at Meta. His work The Aluminum Cat, a livestreaming game with live actors, won the 2019 Indiecade Innovation in Experience Design Award.

Darcelis “Darcy” Gutierrez

– Report on the Death of Robert Evergreen –

Darcelis “Darcy” Gutierrez (they/she) is a Latinx game developer, accomplished illustrator, and passionate games educator.

Shing Yin Khor

– Three Eyed Rat or USC Games –

Shing Yin Khor (they/them) is a game designer and cartoonist. They designed Remember August, the winner of Indiecade 2022’s Tabletop Game Award, amongst many other strange and delightful rituals and games.

Jessica Brezzo

– IndieCade Talk Moderator –

A fifteen-year industry veteran with a background in animation, Jessica (she/her) has worked on projects such as Telltale Games’s The Walking Dead and Ascendant Studios’ Immortals of Aveum. This is her first year working with IndieCade as a member of the Narrative Commitee.

Nathalie Lawhead

– alienmelon –

Nathalie Lawhead (she/her) is a net-artist and award winning game designer that has been creating experimental digital art since the late 90’s. Past works include titles such as the IGF winning Tetrageddon Games, “Everything is going to be OK”, and the Electric Zine Maker.

Milo Duclayan

– Hollyhock –

Milo (he/they) is a game designer and narrative designer studying at Champlain College, creating evocative, innovative experiences. He lead mechanics design and contributed to the writing for Hollyhock.

Alanah Tuohey

– Nervous Playhouse Games –

Alanah Tuohey (she/they) is a creative media and interactive narrative student at Champlain College. She lead art direction to create the visual look of Hollyhock, and contributed writing and game design to the project.

Daniela Vega Labrador

– Hollyhock –

Daniela (any) is a writer currently studying Creative Media with a focus on Creative Writing and Interactive Narrative at Champlain College. They assisted with the game design and writing, and is in charge of the layout design for Hollyhock.

Katherine Townsend

– Hollyhock –

Kat (she/her) is a recent graduate from Champlain College, where she studied animation and minored in game narrative. Today, she works in game production and contributed to Hollyhock with writing, art, and team organization.

Angela Washko

– Mother, Player (developer/artist) –

Angela Washko (she/her) is an artist and experimental game developer who creates new forums for discussions about feminism in spaces frequently hostile towards it. Her projects have been presented internationally at venues including Museum of the Moving Image (NYC), Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Milan Design Triennale, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art (Helsinki), and the Shenzhen Animation Biennial.

Adriaan de Jongh

– Independent –

Adriaan de Jongh (he/him) is a Dutch game designer best known for his work on the indie game hit Hidden Folks, a hand-drawn interactive searching game. Adriaan is also known for designing experimental games that move people out of the normal space of video games by challenging players to dance together, touch hands, or share other social interactions.

Curtis Dye

– BurpyFresh –

Curtis (he/him) is a member of BurpyFresh, creators of “almost fun” video entertainments. He is also a musician, a former IndieCade streamer, and at least a ninth level wizard.

Geoffrey Golden

– Puckish –

Geoffrey Golden (he/him) is a narrative designer and game writer based in Los Angeles with over 15 years experience. Past clients include Ubisoft, Disney, Capcom, Square Enix, Gearbox, and indie studios around the world.

Shelly Jones

– SUNY Delhi –

Shelly Jones (they/them) is a professor at a small college in upstate New York, where they teach classes in mythology, folklore, and writing. Their research examines analog, digital, and role-playing games through the lenses of intersectional feminism and disability studies.

Evan Torner

– IndieCade Tabletop Jury –

Dr. Evan Torner (he/him) is Associate Professor of German and Film & Media Studies at the University of Cincinnati, where he directs the UC Game Lab. He is a member of the IndieCade Tabletop Jury.

Michael Addison

– Nerdy Pup Games –

A game designer (he/him) and publisher from the Midwest making tabletop games that often combine pop culture with relationship themes.

Saurabh Sood

– Get Off My Lawn –

I (he/him) am a dedicated game developer and software engineer with a deep passion for science, art, and technology. I’ve worked in mobile games for 3 years and am currently pursuing a Masters degree in Entertainment, Arts & Engineering at the University of Utah.

Teddy Dief

– We Are OFK –

Teddy (they/them) is a game designer and musician, focused on cross-media narrative, interactive music, and game feel. They are the Director, Co-Writer, & Lead Singer of virtual band/video game project OFK, co-designer of RPG Hyper Light Drifter, and co-founder of games collective Glitch City LA.

Duane Loose

– USC IMGD, Professor of Game Art –

Professor of Game Art (he/him) in the USC School of Cinematic Arts, Interactive Media and Games Division, Duane is an industry veteran content creator, art director for AAA Games, film, WebTV and design visualization.

Jessica Harvey

– Arbitrary Metric LLC –

A generalist programmer/artist/director, Jessica (she/her) uses her lifelong interest in 20th century avant-garde as a lens for exploring the bredths of game design.

Elizabeth Hambleton

– Audio adjudicator –

Elizabeth Hambleton (she/they) is new to being an IndieCade judge for the Audio awards! She got into the field by giving academic presentations and publishing articles on video game soundscape design and analysis, and she has contributed music and voice acting for her friends’ indie games.

Hera Blake

– Arbitrary Metric –

She has had several pieces of short fiction published in online journals. She also, somehow, landed a gig writing Roman Sands: RE:Build for Arbitrary Metric.

Christopher Jones

– Get Off My Lawn! –

I’m Christopher Jones (he/him), a passionate game designer and developer with a track record in non-traditional games. I’ve never been a part of IndieCade before, but I’m thrilled and honored to bring my game to the festival this year!

Juan Morales-Rocha

– Moderator for Mexico 1921 discussion –

Juan (he/him) is a Game UX Designer based out of California that is passionate about games that revolve around cultural themes, mechanics and traditions

Pedro Alvarez Luna

– Macula Interactive –

Pedro Alvarez (he/him) is writer, cultural manager and video game producer.

Sarah Granoff

– The Local Rag –

Sarah (she/her) is a Jewish, autistic, asexual game developer with a particular focus on making games for storytelling and social impact. She is also a walking Library of Alexandria for fairly useless information.

Blake Weil

– Indiecade –

Blake Weil (he/him) writes and edits as a critic for No Proscenium, an immersive arts and entertainment magazine. He also studies as a medical student at Sidney Kimmel Medical College in Philadelphia, PA.

Hesiquio Mendez

– ASU Game Professor & Technical Designer at JamCity –

Technical Designer (he/him) specializing in experimental approaches, with 5 years of experience in indie and mobile game development.

Marissa Koors

– Puckish / Escape Character –

Marissa Koors (she/her) is a narrative designer and editor for games. In addition to her work on Puckish, she is the narrative editor for Ape Law’s Albino Lullaby: Episode 2. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Ryan Omega

– IndieCade Moderator –

Ryan (he/him) was a streaming producer for IndieCade Anywhere & Everywhere during the pandemic and also co-produced and co-hosted Iron Game Designer with Sam Roberts. He is a host and experience designer involved in LARPs, TTRPG Actual Plays and produces the geek media channel, GeekPublic.

Jackie Murray

– The Local Rag –

Jackie (she/they) is a gameplay designer, writer, and narrative designer currently working on Report on the Death of Robert Evergreen, a game nominated for Indiecade’s live action award.

Peter Adams

– A Number From the Ghost –

(He/Him) I’m a musician, artist, and developer, and I make interactive music videos for players to explore.

Ashley Eliassaint

– The Local Rag –

(She/Her) The Local Rag’s favorite energetic programmer who loves games and code!

IndieCade Festival 2023 Awards

Watch the awards ceremony and learn more about the winning games here:

Award Hosts and Presenters

Shing Yin Khor

– Presenting: Tabletop Design Award

Shing Yin Khor (they/them) is a Indiecade, Eisner, and Ignatz Award-winning graphic novelist and game designer based in Los Angeles, CA, by way of Malacca, Malaysia. Their game design work centers around physical storytelling artifacts and is rooted in their work as a builder and artist – keepsake games centered on the bridge between physical making and traditional tabletop RPGs.

Andrejs Klavins

– Presenting: Narrative Game Award

Andrejs (he/him) is a game designer. In 2010, Andrejs co-founded and led video game studio Next Level which published over 10 social network and mobile games in Latvia. After a 4 year hiatus, Andrejs teamed up with his brother Ernest and both created The Case of the Golden Idol.

Alistair Aitcheson

– Presenting: Performance Award

Alistair (he/him) is an indie developer and amateur clown living in Bristol, UK. His games are played using unusual devices such as paper shredders and inflatables, and often take place on a stage or over a livestream. He loves encouraging his audiences to get creative, break the rules, and make a mess. His first ever live show, The Incredible Playable Show, won the Jury Choice Award in 2017.

Yiwen Hsu

– Presenting: Impact Award

Yiwen (she/her) is a 3D artist and an indie game developer. Her game “”Return at Night”” won a 2022 IndieCade award. She’s a 3D Artist and game developer at Winking Studios.

Pablo Quarta

– Presenting: Innovation in Experience Design Award –

Pablo Quarta (they/them) is one of the co-founders of Matajuegos, an Argentine game worker’s co-op dedicated to creating independent videogames with strong social, political, and artistic perspectives that draw from contemporary Latin American culture and identity. They work as a Producer and Narrative Designer, and are part of the development team behind Atuel, an award-winning surrealist documentary videogame about the climate crisis in western Argentina. Pablo also teaches Game Design at the National University of Scalabrini Ortiz and the Torcuato Di Tella University in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

M Bethancourt

– Presenting: Live Action Award

M Bethancourt (he/him) develops experimental games and interactions under the name Mouse & the Billionaire focusing specifically on situated play, alternative controllers, procedural sound, sonification, nostalgia, and making games out of the most mundane aspects of modern life. He is currently working towards a PhD at Concordia University supported by the SSHRC Insight grant “Games as Research” as well as the Technoculture, Art, and Games Research centre.

Lucie Formánková

– Presenting: Grand Jury Award

Lucie Formánková (she/her) handles QA, marketing and other tasks at Charles Games, is an avid fan of movies (she graduated from film studies), creates independent games herself and lives in Prague.

Sam Agten

– Presenting: Innovation in Interaction Design Award

Sam (he/him) is a cybersecurity, VR, and animation teacher at the PXL University College in Belgium, moonlighting as a game developer. His most recent passion project is the award-winning hacking game: Midnight Protocol. He is currently working on Stip, a small puzzle-horror game.

Osama Dorias

– Presenting: Systemic Design Award

Osama Dorias (he/him) is the Lead Gameplay Designer at Brass Lion Entertainment; a career game designer who has worked at Blizzard, Warner Brothers, Ubisoft, and more…

He is currently also teaching game design at Dawson College and is one of 3 habibis on The Habibis podcast. Osama loves to empower people in expressing themselves through game making. He especially loves to give a voice to marginalized people and causes. Osama has hosted game jams, workshops and other community activities to this end.

Akira Thompson

– Presenting: Game Changer Award

Akira Thompson (he/him) is the Studio Head and Creative Director of the Osaka based game development studio RainBros合同会社. Akira holds a master’s degree from the University of California Santa Cruz and has previously worked with Niantic, Walt Disney Imagineering R & D, Universal Studios Japan, IndieCade, the University of Southern California, and Creative Artist Agency.

Arturo Monedero

– Presenting: Visual Design Award

Arturo Monedero (he/him) is a video game designer and founder of TLR Games. The video games they develop always seek experimentation and innovation in mechanics, visual appearance, narrative or music.

Nathalie Pozzi

– Presenting: Bernie DeKoven Big Fun Award

Nathalie Pozzi (she/her) is an Italian-licensed architect and the principal of Nakworks, an interdisciplinary design studio. Nakworks collaborates with architects, artists, choreographers and other designers who work with space.

As an artist consultant, Nakworks has supervised the installation of large-scale artworks in Australia, Brazil, Japan, Italy and the UK. She has taught at Berlin University of the Arts, Zurich University of the Arts, and Parsons School of Design.

Nathalie and Eric co-design large-scale installations that are part architecture and part interactive performance. Their collaborations have appeared at game-related events at the Museum of Modern Art and the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, as well as in Paris, Dublin, Moscow, Boston, and Los Angeles.

(note that image provided is Nathalie and Eric together)

Eric Zimmerman

– Presenting: Bernie DeKoven Big Fun Award

Eric (he/him) designs games on and off the computer and with Peter Lee co-founded Gamelab, an independent NYC-based studio that helped open up games to a wide audience with hit titles like Diner Dash.

A founding faculty at at the NYU Game Center, Eric has written field-defining books on game design, including Rules of Play with Katie Salen.

Nathalie and Eric co-design large-scale installations that are part architecture and part interactive performance. Their collaborations have appeared at game-related events at the Museum of Modern Art and the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, as well as in Paris, Dublin, Moscow, Boston, and Los Angeles.

(note that image provided is Nathalie and Eric together)

Alexandra Samper

– Presenting: Visual Design Award

(She/Her) Phd in Digital Leisure, researcher in Game Studies international relations in TLR games and coordinator of 3 academic degrees in video games and art at the EUNEIZ university in Spain.

John Robert Matz

– Presenting: Audio Design Award

Best known for his work on video game scores as diverse as the BAFTA-nominated “Gunpoint”, the indie hit “Tchia”, and the award-winning period piece “Ambition: A Minuet in Power”, John Robert Matz is a Chicago-based composer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist and music educator. The recipient of multiple Game Audio Network Guild awards, John Robert (he/him) is a member of ASCAP and the video game brass quintet “The Game Brass”.

Sarah Elmaleh

– Presenting: Grand Jury Award

Sarah (she/her) is an actor and voice director for games – you can hear her work in AAA blockbusters (Hi-Fi Rush, Fortnite, Halo: Infinite, Gears 5), but her roots in indies run deep (Gone Home, Pyre, Afterparty, The Wreck) and her devotion to them remains stout and steady. When she isn’t performing, directing, or advocating for better collaboration, she is championing the transformative power of ordinary workers and Chairing SAG-AFTRA’s Interactive Negotiating Committee. This is her 8th year directing and co-hosting the IndieCade Awards.

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