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2013 Festival Organizers

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!

Stephanie Barish
CEO & Founder, IndieCade

Please join us in appreciating our IndieCade Festival Organizers for 2013!

Stephanie Barish
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.

Stephanie Barish

Aaron Isaksen
IndieCade East Festival Chair

Aaron Isaksen is a partner of Indie Fund, which aims to support the growth of games as a medium by helping indie developers get financially independent and stay financially independent. An independent game developer since 2003, he co-founded AppAbove Games which has created more than 10 indie mobile games and most recently Chip Chain for iOS and Android. Aaron has spoken about game development, game funding, and developer quality of life issues at many gaming conferences, including Game Developer Conference, Independent Gaming Summit, IndieCade, New York Comic Con, SIGGRAPH and more. A graduate of UC Berkeley and MIT, Aaron is also working with Babycastles to help encourage sharing of independent games, as well as improve communication, social opportunities, and collaboration between indie game developers.


Anna Lotko
Big Games Co-Curator

Anna Lotko is a game designer, play enthusiast and occasional graduate student in the Interactive Media and Games Division of USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. She is interested in designing social and physical games that also use mobile devices and other technology in novel ways. She is currently starting her own company around her graduate thesis and you should ask her about it during the festival. This is Lotko's first time co-chairing Big Games and Table Top Games for IndieCade and she is excited for a fun festival weekend of play.


Bennett Foddy

Although trained as a moral philosopher, Bennett is known throughout the game world for creations like QWOP and GIRP - irresistible action games that are as notorious for their high levels of frustration as their are for their design ingenuity. Foddy’s work has been exhibited at SFMOMA, cameoed on The Office, and generated tribute projects from fans and fellow game makers alike.Image credit Gerard Vong


Brenda Romero
Conference Co-Chair

Brenda Romero is an award-winning game designer, artist, writer and creative director who entered the video game industry in 1981 at the age of 15. She is the longest continuously serving woman in the video game industry. Brenda worked with a variety of digital game companies as a game designer or creative director, including Atari, Sir-tech Software, Electronic Arts and numerous companies in the social and mobile space. She is presently the Game Designer in Residence at the University of California at Santa Cruz and the Co-founder, Chief Operating Officer of Loot Drop, a social and mobile game company.

In recent years, Brenda has become known for an award-winning series of non-digital games titled The Mechanic is the Message. So far, Train, Síochán Leat, the New World and Pre-Conception have been released. In 2009, her game Train won the coveted Vanguard Award at IndieCade for “pushing the boundaries of game design and showing us what games can do.”.

Brenda serves on the advisory board of the International Center for the History of Electronic Games at the Strong Museum of Play. She also works with John Romero and The Romero Archives to record game designers discussing their game design process for historical archiving. Brenda served on the board of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) and presently chairs the IGDA’s Women in Games Special Interest group.

From 2006-2009, Romero was Chair of the Interactive Design and Game Development department at the Savannah College of Art and Design. While there, she overhauled the undergraduate and graduate curriculum, created many new courses, and led the school to a spot in the Los Angeles Times’ list of the Top 10 game design schools in the world..

She has been nominated for Microsoft’s 2013 Women in Games Lifetime Achievement Award and previously was a nominee in Microsoft’s 2010 Women in Games game design award. Romero was also named Woman of the Year by Charisma+2 Magazine in 2010, one of the top 20 most influential women in the game industry by in 2008 and one of the 100 most influential women in the game industry by Next Generation magazine in 2007. Nerve magazine also called her one of the 50 artists, actors, authors, activists and icons who are making the world a more stimulating place...


Celia Pearce
Festival Chair

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.


Chaim Gingold
Conference Co-Chair

Chaim Gingold is a computer scientist and interactive designer by training. By trade, he is a computer game designer & digital toymaker. He studied with Janet Murray at Georgia Tech, where he earned an MS in Digital Media. As a key member of Spore’s prototyping & design team, Gingold worked closely with Will Wright at Maxis/EA, designing the game’s award winning creative tool suite. Currently, he is developing an interactive geology book that teaches through play, works as an independent game developer & design consultant, and is pursuing a Ph.D at UC Santa Cruz on design, computation, & play.


Colleen Macklin
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.


Colm Seeley
Tournaments / Guide Curator

Colm Seeley is an Irish Cambridge Physics graduate who remains uncomfortable writing about himself in the third person, despite spending most of his time viewing the world from that angle. He stumbled into the ranks of IndieCade's volunteers in 2010 and has been failing upwards ever since. He was Technical Director at the 2011 festival and co-designer of 2012's Passport and Metagame. This year he is again designing the Metagame and Companion as well as the Festival Tournament and other activities. He is generally unremarkable.


Drew Davidson
Well-Played Curator

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.


Eileen Hollinger
Big Games Co-Curator

Eileen Hollinger produces events and special projects at Riot Games. Outside her role at Riot, she also designs and develops independent games. Eileen earned her Master's Degree in Computer Science at the University of Chicago, and her background spans video production, urban school reform and software development. She spends a lot of time pondering the intersection of games, learning and empathy, and is committed to supporting the efforts of experimental and independent gamemakers. She's actively involved with Indiecade, the Game Design Workshop at GDC and the Experimental Gameplay Workshop.


Elizabeth Swensen
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.


Holly Gramazio
Jury Co-Chair

Jeremy Gibson
Advancement and Education Chair, IndieXchange Co-Chair, GameU Co-Chair

Jeremy Gibson is an independent game designer/developer who currently teaches game development at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. From 2009-2013, he was an Assistant Professor teaching game design for the Interactive Media Division of the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts, which was named the #1 game design school in North America throughout that tenure. Jeremy serves IndieCade as the Chair for Education and Advancement and programs the IndieXchange and Game U tracks. He's excited and honored to be contributing to IndieCade, a conference that he has loved for several years.


John Sharp
think:indie Co-Chair

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.


Kevin Cancienne
IndieCade East Conference Co-Chair

Kevin Cancienne is an independent game developer based in New York who has been creating interactive media and games for almost 20 years. In 1999, Kevin co-developed Science and Industry, a multiplayer mod for Half-Life, which was featured in Valve´s first Mod Expo. For nearly 5 years, Kevin served as Senior VP and Director of Game Development at Area/Code, where he helped create games such as Drop7, Parking Wars, and Sharkrunners. As an independent developer, his work has been featured in GDC's Experimental Gameplay Workshop. He has written a column for Hook Shot, occasionally teaches game development at NYU, and has a continuing interest in altering how, when, and with whom we play.


Margaret Robertson
IndieCade East Conference Co-Chair

As part of Hide&Seek, Margaret made big games (like the city-wide 12,000 player New Year Games), small games (like the Tiny Games project), silly games (like Drunk Dungeon) and serious games (like Dreams Of Your Life). Her previous role as an independent consultant enabled her to work on a huge range of projects, from AAA console titles, through download and mobile/ handheld games, to indie and art-house projects. She's worked with brands, broadcasters, and ?lm studios to develop their game strategies, and was part of the team that built the Channel 4‘s BAFTA- and Emmy-award winning educational game slate. Previously editor-in-chief of Edge magazine, and part of the team behind the GameCity festival, she is an internationally top-rated speaker on game design theory.


Matt Parker
IndieCade East Chair

Matt Parker is a game designer, teacher, and new media artist. His work has been displayed at the American Museum of Natural History, SIGGRAPH Asia, the NY Hall of Science, Museum of the Moving Image, FILE Games Rio, Sony Wonder Technology Lab, and many other venues. His game Lucid was a finalist in Android's Developer Challenge 2 and his project Lumarca won the "Create the Future" prize at New York Maker Faire 2010. He created the game Recurse for the inaugural No Quarter exhibition at the NYU Game Center. Recurse was a finalist for Indiecade 2010 and won the "Play This Now!" award at Come Out and Play 2012. Matt is a partner at the Brooklyn based game studio, Gigantic Mechanic, and also teaches at the NYU Game Center.


Mei Dean Francis
Technology Chair

After terrorizing the mainstream game industry for over a decade, hardware compatibility specialist, technician and writer Mei Dean Francis joined IndieCade in 2011. She is obsessed with peripheral devices, has worked for several major studios on a broad spectrum of projects across several platforms and remains active in Los Angeles’ indie game community, although her primary interests are taking things apart, putting them back together and writing about it.

Mei-Dean Francis

Richard Lemarchand
think:indie Co-Chair

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.


Robin Arnott
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.


Sam Roberts
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.


Scott Stephan
Networking Curator

Scott Stephan is a creative coder & game designer from Los Angeles, California. He was previously Game Design & Production Lead at the GameDesk Institute, working to establish good design methodology for learning through gameplay. He's currently producing Localite, a screen-to-screen multiplayer game arcade for iOS & Android devices, creating bio-metric sensor networks at the USC's Mobile Environmental Media Lab and finishing his MFA in USC's Interactive Media & Games Division. You can find him at


Scott Wyant
Technology Chair

After 10 years in television production as a writer/ producer, Scott returned to school and earned his Master’s Degree in Information Science from UCLA. He worked for three years at Internet start-ups and for five years as the Director of Technology for the USC School of Cinema and Television. Since 2004, he has devoted himself to his consulting practice, bringing people and information technology together. In addiition to serving as the Technical Chair of Indiecade, he’s on the Board of Directors of the Culver City Educational Foundation, Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce, and is serving a second term as the elected chair of the Culver City Planning Commission. Oh, and he writes an irregular series of online articles about technology and humanism.


Sean Bouchard
Activities 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.