Tune in this weekend at www.youtube.com/GeorgiaGameDevs

Keynote Panel

Sande Chen, she/her

Twitter: @sandechen Website: gamedesignaspect.blogspot.com

Profiled as one of the Game Industry's Top 100 Most Influential Women and a 2020 Women in Games Global Hall of Fame winner, Sande Chen is a writer and game designer with over 15 years of experience in the industry. Her writing credits include 1999 Independent Games Festival winner Terminus and the PC RPG of the Year, The Witcher, for which she was nominated for a 2007 Writers Guild Award in Videogame Writing. She is the co-author of Serious Games: Games That Educate, Train, and Inform and was a contributor to Secrets of the Game Business, Writing For Video Game Genres, and Professional Techniques for Videogame Writing. She has been a speaker at numerous game-related conferences, including the Game Developers Conference, NY Comic Con, PAX East, and SXSW. She has been invited to the White House and represented the USA at the World Conference on Science Literacy. She also has a Grammy nomination.

Matthew Farber, Ed.D, he/him

Twitter: @MatthewFarber  Website: MatthewFarber.com

Matthew Farber, Ed.D. is an assistant professor at the University of Northern Colorado, where he founded the Gaming SEL Lab. He has been invited to the White House, authored several books and papers, and is a frequent collaborator with UNESCO and Games for Change. His latest book is Gaming SEL: Games as Transformational to Social and Emotional Learning (bit.ly/GamingSEL). For more, please visit MatthewFarber.com.

Juliana Loh, she/her

Twitter: @splashmango Website: www.splashmango.com

Juliana Loh is an independent Producer/Artist whose background includes branded entertainment, UX and art direction. In addition to developing educational/gaming experiences, she has honed her artistic skills as a concept and gallery-showing artist while pioneering, empowering and supporting grassroots tech meetups and communities. Currently working as an instructor and immersive artist, she is keenly aware of how emerging technology is changing the way we relate to each other. She is currently designing story-based Pro-Kindness Workshops using VR360 based on user-centered design thinking.

Kimberly Unger, she/her

Twitter: @Ing3nu Website: www.ungerink.com

Kimberly made her first videogame back when the 80-column card was the new hot thing and after 20+ years as a pro in that industry, the magic still hasn’t faded. Now she sources leading-edge content for Oculus, lectures on the intersection of art and code for UCSC in Games and Playable Media, wrangles a monthly column on science-fiction in videogames over at Amazing Stories and writes science fiction about how all these app-driven superpowers are going to change the human race. Her debut sci-fi novel, NUCLEATION is available now on Amazon and her next novel The Extractionist will be available in November of 2021. You can find her on Twitter at @Ing3nu or on her blog at www.ungerink.com.

Speaker List

Joe Cassavaugh

Joe Cassavaugh is the Founder of Puzzles By Joe and the creator of Clutter, the little game engine that could. The Clutter series has over $4 million in sales. In 2021 Joe released Ki11er Clutter, the 11th game in the increasingly poorly named Clutter Trilogy. Developed in Unity, Ki11er Clutter is the most fun, lively, and challenging Clutter yet. Joe is arguably the most successful semi-solo indie in Atlanta (since moving here in 2010). After 11+ years of grinding it out, he say he’s finally living the Indie Dream. Look for Clutter 12: It's About Time, the first Collector's Edition of Clutter ever, out in August. Ki11er Clutter will be available in mobile sometime in late 2021.

Clark Chambers

Clark Chambers, gameplay programmer at the Army Game Studio, has spent much of his career in realtime and networked systems. This has helped develop his passion for the way that we, as human programmers, interface with the tools we use to do our jobs.

Jared Creasy

Community manager for Tripwire Interactive, Jared Creasy is one of the team's longest serving members.

Kat De Shields-Moon

Kat De Shields-Moon’s first taste of gaming came from watching her parents play Myst after they got home from work. Ever since she’s been an avid gamer with a deep love for eccentric and story-driven indie games. A former games journalist with deep roots in the industry, she served as a Communications Manager for Launch Media Network, the parent company of Game Skinny, where she also worked as an editor and teacher. Kat then took on the role of Marketing Specialist at the full-service gaming agency, Novy Unlimited. In late 2018, she worked as a Senior Esports Community Specialist at Hi-Rez Studios and was quickly promoted to PR and Partnerships Manager at Skillshot Media, a former esports-focused subsidiary of Hi-Rez Studios. 

Currently, she is PR Manager at Schell Games, an education and entertainment focused gaming studio in Pittsburgh that specializes in virtual and augmented reality, and Co-Founder of Divertega Co. a startup focused on advancing diversity and inclusion in the gaming and esports industry. She is also the host for an upcoming podcast series produced by the Pittsburgh Knights and PNC Bank. Prior to her work in the gaming industry, she began her career in public relations and marketing working with a variety of companies including the Star Democrat Newspaper, The Institute of Reading Development, Camp Twin Lakes, and Portfolio Recovery Associates, Inc.  De Shields-Moon has a BA in Journalism from Hampton University, an MFA in Writing from SCAD, and a certificate in Women's Entrepreneurship from Cornell University.

Alex Dudley

3D artist for Gallium Studios, working on the Gallium tools for user generated content.

Laura Hill, the VR Girl

The VR Girl has been creating great content in the virtual world to amaze, delight and enlighten. Check out her 2020 CIMFest talk HERE

Jason Hillhouse

A lead with Blue Bomber Games, which just launched Looking for Heals.

Simon Hoffiz

Simon Hoffiz is an architect with a deep curiosity about the topic in general of “design”. Simon moved to Atlanta in 2014 after finishing his master’s program in architectural design from Puerto Rico and has been working in the hospitality industry designing hotels. Simon became a design professor at KSU School of Architecture this year, working towards becoming involved in KSU’s Game Design & Development program and having joint ventures between these two departments.

Simon started his deep dive into game design in 2017, in which he has collaborated in multiple freeware games and game jams since. After years of rigorous and enthusiastic independent studying and diving into the game design/dev scene and conferences, Simon is starting to break out and sharing his thoughts and unique perspective on game design. Simon also composes music for video games and other media under the handle Numinous Cry Project. Reach and see Simon’s full portfolio over at simonhoffiz.com.

Timothy Johnson

COO for Gallium Studios, working on ProxiAI.

Tony Jones

Tony is the director of player experience at Hi-Rez Studios whose focus includes Community Management, Customer Support, and Trust and Safety. Over the past 12 years, he has worked on more than 20 titles of various genres from companies such as Sony Online Entertainment and Wargaming to help drive top tier player engagement. An avid gamer, when he's not playing the "next big thing," he's enjoying RPG campaigns with his friends or reading about military history.

Kimmiko

Founder of Atlanta Gamer Life

Ryan Kline

Ryan Kline is a full time gameplay programmer at Lost Boys Interactive. Prior to that, he was game developer at Army Game Studio, and has worked in the Department of Defense for around 4 years on everything from VR and AR tools, simulations, Mobile games, mobile apps, and arcade games. After hours, Ryan builds games with coworkers and friends as Lazer Bread Games, currently working on their debut title, Potato Paradox Plus.

Brad Merritt

In his 18+ years at Cartoon Network, Brad has developed dozens of games in a variety of roles such as programmer, game designer, and studio director. In his current role as design director, he’s collaborated with internal and external teams on hundreds of web, mobile, and console games. Brad is active in the Atlanta game development community as an organizer, speaker, and teacher.

On the side, Brad makes indie games where he does everything but music. He’s terrible at music.

Auverin Morrow

Auverin Morrow is the esports brand manager at Hi-Rez Studios. Using a mixture of social media outreach, digital marketing tactics, and data-driven creative efforts, they seek to convert casual gamers into highly invested competitive hobbyists. They've spent the last three years spearheading a community-driven approach to expanding the SMITE esports brand.

Stu Phelps

A lead with Blue Bomber Games, which just launched Looking for Heals.

Joshua Quinnett

As senior community manager, Josh is a recent addition to the team at Gallium Studios, and brings more than five years of experience supporting some of the largest and most passionate fan communities in the world at Blizzard Entertainment. When he's not scrolling social feeds or digging into the latest industry headlines, Josh spends his time playing a wide variety of strategy, simulation, and role playing games.

Isiah Turner

Isiah is currently the Lead Community Specialist at Hi-Rez Studios - creators of SMITE, Paladins, and Rogue Company. With over 5 years of industry experience, Isiah thrives on bringing communities together and exhilarating players through unique engagement activities and social media campaigns. When he’s not playing games or scouring the internet for new meme formats, he enjoys music, anime, and sneakers.

Judy Tyrer

Founder of 3 Turn Productions LLC which created Ever, Jane: The Virtual World of Jane Austen which ran for seven years. The game shuttered 12/20/2020 and is currently for sale. Tyrer is currently making animated films in Unity and developing stand-up sets while breaking into the Colorado comedy scene as "The Black Sheep Daughter of The Governor of Texas". We shall see.

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