Conference Highlights

Ron Gilbert Game Designer

Ron Gilbert has been actively been making games for the 30 years. While working at Lucasfilm Games, he was the co-creator and designer of Maniac Mansion, the game that started the entire point-and- click genre of adventure games. He is the creator and designer of Monkey Island.

He is the founder of Humongous Entertainment, a company that made adventure games for kids, including Putt-Putt, Freddi Fish and Pajama Sam. Ron was also the designer and creator of DeathSpank, a saterial RPG as well as The Cave, a platform inspired adventure game for consoles. Always obsessed with Pirates, he co-created a pirate themed musical match-3 game called Scurvy Scallywags for mobile.

He is currently working on Thimbleweed Park, an all new adventure game due out next year. Thimbleweed park was successfully funded on Kickstarter in 2014. He plans on traveling to Spain in the near future.

PETER MOORE Chief Competition Officer, EA’s

Peter Moore previously served as Chief Operating Officer of EA, providing strategic leadership for all global operations that enable EA to bring products to market via retail and digital direct­to­consumer channels. He also previously held the position of President of EA SPORTS, overseeing the delivery of some of the top­selling sports videogames from franchises including FIFA, Madden NFL, NCAA Football and NHL. He also oversaw the growth of the FIFA Interactive World Cup, growing it into one of the world’s largest gaming tournaments.

Peter has more than 30 years of experience in gaming, entertainment and consumer products. He has held leadership positions as the Corporate Vice President of the Interactive Entertainment Business of Microsoft Corp., as President and COO of SEGA of America and Senior Vice President of marketing at Reebok International Ltd.

Peter holds a bachelor’s degree from Keele University, United Kingdom, and a master’s degree from California State University, Long Beach. He also currently serves as a VP of SpecialEffect, a nonprofit that uses technology to enhance the quality of life of people with physical disabilities. Peter resides in Atherton, California and spends his free time running and working out, and is a lifetime supporter of Liverpool FC.

PHIL HARRISON co-founder, Alloy Platform Industries Ltd.

Harrison has over 30 years of games industry and development experience. He was a long- time leader at Sony Computer Entertainment, where he held various senior executive positions within the company, and the presidency of Worldwide Studios. After leaving Sony, Harrison joined the board of Infogrames, as president of Atari, where he led the company’s transition into online gaming.

After leaving Atari, Harrison was hired by Microsoft as Corporate Vice President.

For years he was responsible for growing the division’s EMEA business. As a senior leader for Microsoft, Harrison not only headed the Microsoft Studios EMEA organization, but also directly influenced the broader performance of Microsoft’s EMEA business through strategic partnerships and by bringing culturally relevant entertainment experiences to Microsoft platforms. He was also responsible for growing Xbox’s development efforts in EMEA, including overseeing UK­based developers Lionhead Studios, Soho Productions, Rare Ltd and Lift London.

Harrison is also a co­founder and General Partner of London Venture Partners LLP (a venture capital firm focused on the web, mobile, social and cloud game sector) where he continues as a Special Advisor, and is part of the Board of Governors of the National Film and Television School.

After his departure of Microsoft in 2015, Harrison also announced he was working in a new startup called Alloy Platform Industries, that it’s licensing directly from Microsoft.

MINH LE Digital Artist, Facepunch Studios

In 1999 I invented the game Counter­Strike. My responsibilities on the Counter­Strike project involved designing and programming the entire game, creating the art assets for the weapons, and characters as well as sound fx for the game. I joined Valve software in 2000 to continue working on the Counter­Strike project.

I left Valve in 2006 and developed a new multiplayer FPS game called Tactical Intervention.

Working with a small team of four developers we were able to release a fun free2play FPS game that provided unique and innovative new game mechanics.

In 2014, I joined Facepunch studios to work on the open world survivalist game called Rust.

In my spare time I try to get some exercise by jogging / riding a bike. I'm a big fan of movies and some of my favourite genres include action/thrillers ( Bourne Identity ) and martial arts movies. I like pizza!

David Braben Founder and Chief Executive Officer , Frontier Developments plc

Dr David Braben has been developing computer games for more than 32 years, becoming a leading figure in the UK computer games industry. A radical innovator in game design, he co-wrote Elite, whose sprawling open-world game-play and classic science-fiction setting made it a cult hit in the 1980s. It helped to create the UK games industry, which now has an annual turnover of £3 billion. Educated at Jesus College, Cambridge, David Braben is a Fellow of both the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Institution of Engineering and Technology. He sits on the BAFTA Games Board and also chairs the Government Skillset board for approval of University courses.

In May 2011, David Braben announced a new prototype computer, Raspberry Pi, mounted on a printed-circuit board not much bigger than a credit card, and intended to stimulate the teaching of basic computer science in schools. Since then, more than 5,000,000 Raspberry Pis have been sold. The initiative came from the Raspberry Pi Foundation. The charity, of which David Braben is a trustee, aims to promote the study of computer science and to put the fun back into learning computing. David is the founder of Frontier Developments plc (FDEV.L), well known for games like RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, Lost Winds, Kinectimals, Disneyland Adventures, Zoo Tycoon, and the recently released “Elite: Dangerous”.

Braben received the Development Legend Award at the Develop Industry Excellence Awards in Cambridge.

He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to the UK computer and video games industry. In January 2015, he received the 2015 Pioneer, Game Developers Choice Award (GDCA), for his work on the Raspberry Pi and for working more than 30 years as a game developer. And on 12 March 2015, Braben was awarded the BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award in video gaming at the 11th British Academy Games Awards.

Jens Bergensten Designer and developer of Minecraft

Jens Bergensten is a Swedish game designer and programmer, best known for leading the development of the successful “Minecraft” phenomenon since 2011. He was nominated as one of TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential persons in 2013, and Fast Company magazine’s The 100 Most Creative People in Business 2015. In addition to his work at Mojang in Stockholm, Jens is a co­founder of Oxeye Game Studio and is active in the independent game development community in Sweden.

John Romero President, Romero Games

John Romero is an award­winning game designer, level designer and programmer whose work spans over 130 games, 107 of which have been published commercially, including the iconic works Wolfenstein 3D, DOOM and Quake. Romero has worked in the mobile, hardcore, mid­core, casual and MMO space.

Romero has co­founded eight successful game companies including the likes of id Software, Gazillion Entertainment, Loot Drop which celebrated its 5th anniversary in 2015, and most recently Romero Games.

He is considered to be among the world’s top game designers, and his products have won well over 100 awards. One of the earliest indie developers, Romero began working in the game space in 1979 on mainframes before moving to the Apple II in 1981. He is a completely self­taught programmer, designer and artist, having drawn his inspirations from early Apple II programmers. Romero co­owns Romero Games and is at work on a new first­person shooter, a genre he pioneered.

Mike Sepso Senior Vice President, Activision Blizzard Media Networks

Mike Sepso is Senior Vice President of Activision Blizzard where he runs Media Networks, a division devoted to creating the best e Sports experiences for fans across games, platforms and geographies. Prior to joining Activision Blizzard, Mike was the co-founder and president of Major League Gaming (MLG), a global leader in esports, focusing on strategy, key partnerships, corporate development and overseeing all product and technology development, including the launch of MLG.TV.

Prior to founding MLG, Mike was co-founder and co-CEO of Gotham Broadband, an early innovator in the broadband content delivery industry.

MICHAEL SCHADE co-fundador y CEO, Rockfish Studios

Michael and his long-term business partner Christian Lohr founded the new independent PC and console games studio ROCKFISH Games in Hamburg. With their former team behind the critically acclaimed Galaxy on Fire series on board, they ran a massively successful crowdfunding campaign in 2015 which pulled in almost $600k through Kickstarter and the game website to co-fund their first title EVERSPACE, a rogue-like space shooter for PC and console with AAA-style production quality, non-linear storytelling and VR-support. Prior to that, Michael has been spearheading 3D mobile gaming for almost a decade as CEO & Co- Founder of FISHLABS Entertainment. Michael has been deeply involved with computer graphics, 3D animation and software development for over 20 years. He has been member of the advisory board of GDC Europe, Osney Media’s Mobile Games Forum, Game-Connection and judge at the International Mobile Games Awards.

ALEX FLEETWOOD fundador y CEO, Sensible Object

Alex Fleetwood is the founder and CEO of Sensible Object, a vertically integrated design and publishing company exploring the emerging space of connected play. Sensible Object's first game Fabulous Beasts has enjoyed widespread acclaim from players and press, winning the Indiecade Technology Award and raising £168k on Kickstarter. The game launches online and in select global retailers later this year. With his first studio Hide&Seek he created a unique studio creating games with cultural and commercial partners including Nike, Warner Bros, PlayStation, Sesame Workshop, the Royal Opera House and Tate Modern. The studio was recognised with numerous global awards and was named as one of Gamasutra's Top Ten Game Developers of 2013.

ADRIEL WALLICK desarrolladora independiente

Adriel Wallick is an independent game developer most recently based out of The Netherlands. Originally a programmer on the next generation of weather satellites, she decided to explore gaming as a developer instead of just an avid gamer. She is best known for having made a game a week for an entire year as well as organizing the annual Train Jam game jam.

After spending time in the AAA games industry working on projects such as Rock Band Blitz, she gave it up to pursue independent game development and the joy of total creative freedom. Adriel is now traveling around, participating in and organizing game jams, working on several upcoming indie releases and developing her own personal projects.

RAMI ISMAIL Business & Development Guy, Vlambeer

Rami Ismail is the Business & Development Guy at Vlambeer, a Dutch independent game studio known best for Nuclear Throne, Ridiculous Fishing, LUFTRAUSERS, Super Crate Box, GUN GODZ, Serious Sam: The Random Encounter & Radical Fishing. Through his work at Vlambeer, Rami has come to realise that the marketing & business facets of many independent game developers could use some help. As such, he created the free presskit­creation tool presskit() and is working on releasing its first add­on, distribute().

Believing sharing knowledge openly is the cornerstone of independent development, Rami has spoken on a variety of subjects at dozens of game events around the world, ranging from the Game Developers Conference to Fantastic Arcade & from University seminars to incubator mentorship. Rami travels around the world trying to find game development communities everywhere, and tries to connect them to help enable anyone around the world to make games.

He is a avid opponent of game cloning after Vlambeers Radical Fishing got cloned.

He is also a proponent of searching for new, beautiful things in places no­one is looking for them and thus organized Fuck This Jam, a gamejam focused around making a game in a genre you hate. As an example of his work, he also worked closely the Indie MEGABOOTH team to enable indie studios to showcase at the larger game conventions.

Rami exclusively drinks cane sugar Coca Cola.

NOEL LLOPIS Fundador, SnappyTouch

Noel is an independent game designer and programmer. He grew up in Spain but worked in the games industry in the US for many years, before going independent in 2007. He created Flower Garden shortly after the iPhone was released, and he co­created Casey's Contraptions (which was rebranded later by Rovio as Amazing Alex). His latest released game is Subterfuge, a week­long game of strategy and diplomacy for mobile devices. He loves all sorts of board and card games, and they're always a strong source of inspiration for his own games.

Noah Falstein Chief Game Designer, Google

Noah Falstein has been a professional game developer since 1980, and was one of the first ten employees at LucasArts Entertainment, The 3DO Company, and Dreamworks Interactive, before running his freelance design firm, The Inspiracy. He is known for co- designing the arcade game Sinistar, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, and contributing to Serious Games such as ReMission and Neuroracer. He was the first elected Chairman of the IGDA and design columnist for Game Developer magazine for 6 years. At Google he works on game projects (e.g. Pie Noon and Zooshi) across many groups in the company, and engages with game developers as part of the Developer Advocacy team.

BRENT BUSHNELL Co-Fundador y CEO, Two Bit Circus

Brent Bushnell is the CEO of Two Bit Circus, a Los Angeles­based experiential entertainment company building products and events that combine story and technology. Most recently the team launched STEAM Carnival, a showcase of high­tech entertainment and workshops to inspire invention. They also built a 360 video production pipeline and deployed Virtual Reality content with haptic feedback for live events with clients including NFL, NBA, Indy, Olympics, Sundance and more. The company regularly serves as immersive entertainment partners for brands and location­based facilities. Previously, Brent was the on­camera inventor for the ABC TV show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. He was a founding member of Syyn Labs, a creative collective creating stunts for brands like Google and Disney and responsible for the viral hit Rube Goldberg music video for OK Go which garnered 45 million views. Brent is board president of the non­profit Trash For Teaching which upcycles clean corporate waste for school art supplies. He enjoys mentoring teens in entrepreneurship and publishes on Twitter at @brentbushnell.


Kevin co­founded Telltale, Inc., in 2004 to blend technology, creativity and production processes to create a new entertainment experience and define a new business model. Since its inception, Telltale has pioneered episodic gaming, becoming the first company to release games as monthly episodes. More recently, Telltale has found enormous success with The Walking Dead, which won the studio over eighty Game Of The Year Awards. Telltale has gone on to work with many other high profile licenses, such as Game of Thrones, Minecraft, and Batman.

Since 1990, Kevin has been creating entertainment technology for video games, television game shows, museum installations, and more. Prior to founding Telltale, Kevin applied his talents at LucasArts, working on cutting edge projects such as the classic Grim Fandango noir adventure, and epic Star Wars titles, as well as crafting core company technology strategies.

Mahdi Bahrami Game designer and programmer

Mahdi Bahrami is an Iraninan game designer and programmer. Mahdi's field of interest is designing experimental games where art, science and culture intersect. He has made several games nominated in Independent Games Festival.

Mahdi grew up in Esfahan, a beautiful city in the middle of Iran famous for its Persian–Islamic art and architecture. When he was 19 years old he moved to the Netherlands to study programming and experiencing a different type of life and culture. After few month of living in the Netherlands he made a game called Farsh (Persian for carpet), a tile­slider about rolling and unrolling Persian rugs the way he did as a child in Esfahan.

Bahrami’s first love is mathematics. The second is programming. This shows effusively in Engare: a game about using a computer simulation to visualize the answers to mathematical problems. However, the game is also shaped by his native culture, with the patterns that you draw coming to form as beautiful pieces of Islamic art. As fascinated and appreciative of Islamic Art as he may be, Bahrami is looking to avoid being pigeonholed as the guy who makes games about Persian­Islamic art. Hence his next game after Engare avoids it altogether. Called Tandis, it’s inspired by Celtic art, and is a wild and unpredictable experiment in topographical transformation.

Daniel Benmergui Independent videogame maker

I am an independent videogame maker, born on 1978 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Right now I am developing Ernesto, a puzzle adventure where you can't step in your own path.

Previously I was working on Storyteller, a storytelling puzzle videogame based on the language of comics. An early prototype won the innovation award at the Independent Games Festival 2012. I suspended developing this game until I finish Ernesto. In the past I made a few artgames, all of them based on experimental gameplay mechanics: Today I Die is the best known. It won the "Jury Award" at IndieCade, and was a finalist for the Nuovo award at the Independent Games Festival during 2009. I Wish I Were the Moon was chosen "Best Indie Game 2008" by Gamasutra, and selected for the first Sense of Wonder Night at Japan.

Also: I co­organize the Experimental Gameplay Sessions at GDC along with Robin Hunicke, which is one of the most successful sessions of that conference. I worked at Gameloft for three years as lead developer of a team of 120 programmers. Co founded Duval, a growing community of south american game developers.

Dan Pearson European Editor, GamesIndustry International

Dan started covering the games industry for Eurogamer in 2006, working his way up from tea boy to senior staff writer before moving across to GamesIndustry.biz (also part of the Gamer Network) in 2010 to learn the dark arts of trade writing. Now the European Editor, he covers all areas of the business and travels around the world meeting his heroes. It's a good life.

Dean Takahashi lead writer, GamesBeat at VentureBeat

Dean Takahashi is lead writer for GamesBeat at VentureBeat. He has been a tech journalist for more than 25 years, and he has covered games for 20 years. He has been at VentureBeat since 2008. Prior to that, he wrote for the San Jose Mercury News, the Red Herring, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and the Dallas TimesHerald. He is the author of two books, "Opening the Xbox" and "The Xbox 360 Uncloaked." He organizes the annual GamesBeat and GamesBeat Summit conferences. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Jordan Casey Founder and CEO, Casey Games

Jordan Casey is a 16 year old self taught programmer and entrepreneur from Waterford in Ireland. Since 2012, Jordan has founded 3 successful technology startups and has established himself as a symbol for young entrepreneurship throught Europe. Mainly working in the gaming and educational area, Jordan's products have received critical and commercial success with many awards being racked up in the process. He is also an established public speaker, sharing his story throught Europe and the world and he has done work with organisations such as Google and The European Union.

Mike Acton Engine Director, Insomniac Games

Mike Acton is Engine Director at Insomniac Games. When he’s not searching for new ways to optimize Insomniac’s engine, he dreams up new ways to help the development community. Mike can often be found extolling the virtues of understanding the data and hardware first along with programming for performance.

Ian Livingstone cofundador , Iconic games

Ian Livingstone is one of the founding fathers of the UK games industry. He cofounded iconic games company Games Workshop in 1975, launching Dungeons &; Dragons in Europe and the Games Workshop retail chain. He coauthored The Warlock of Firetop Mountain with Steve Jackson in 1982, and wrote 14 titles including Deathtrap Dungeon in the Fighting Fantasy gamebook series which has sold over 17 million copies worldwide. He designed Eureka, the first computer game published by Domark in 1984. He joined the board in 1992 as a major investor, overseeing a merger that created Eidos plc in 1995 where he served as Executive Chairman until 2002. At Eidos he launched global video games franchises including Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. He coauthored the influential LivingstoneHope Next Gen review published by NESTA in 2011, recommending changes in ICT education policy. Following publication, he chaired the Next Gen Skills campaign, working with government to introduce the new Computing curriculum in schools in 2014. In the Wired 100 list for 2012, he was ranked the 16th most influential person in the UK’s digital economy.

He was listed in the 2015 Debrett’s 500 as one of the most influential people in UK. Current roles: Chairman of Playdemic, Chairman of Midoki, Chairman of SumoDigital, Chairman of PlayMob, Chair Next Gen Skills Committee, Vice Chair of UKIE, Patron of Creative Skillset, a Member of the Creative Industries Council, Nonexecutive director of Creative Industries Federation, Nonexecutive director of Creative England, Nonexecutive director of Young Rewired State, GamesAid Trustee, Executive Advisory Board Member of GameCity, and Adviser to the British Council.

Awards: BAFTA Special Award, British Inspiration Award, Develop Legend Award, Honorary Doctorate of Arts by Bournemouth University, Honorary Doctorate of Technology by Abertay University, Dundee, Honorary Doctorate of Technology by University of Greenwich.

Appointed OBE in 2006 and appointed CBE in the 2013 New Year Honours list.

Brinkley Warren co-founder, Megabots

Brinkley is a co-founder of MegaBots, Inc. The company is launching an international sports league of giant, human-piloted robot combat that will accelerate innovation in the robotics industry and help to develop futuristic human machine interfaces that enable giant robots and humans to work together more harmoniously. Prior to MegaBots, Brinkley co-founded multiple companies in a wide-range of industries including innovation management, gaming, advertising, genetics, mobile commerce, music and artificial intelligence. Brinkley is a frequent speaker on the future, creative culture, lean startup methodologies, and exponential organizations and has served as a consultant to help companies to disrupt themselves from the edge. His work has been featured by CNN, CNBC, NBC, Popular Science, The Guardian, Top Gear, Discovery News, NPR, and the Wall Street Journal among others.

Brinkley is also an award-winning artist, a Fulbright scholar in the field of art and design, and holds both an MFA in experience design and a MA in mass media entertainment. He is also a graduate of Singularity University where he served first as a class speaker and later as a lean startup advisor to SU Labs and the Global Solutions Program. Early in his career Brinkley held positions at CNN, Discovery Channel, and Cabin Creek Films as a journalist, producer and documentary filmmaker.

Hugo Martin Creative Director , Id Software

A veteran of the entertainment industry with 14 years’ experience in Feature Films, AAA games, Animation and Commercials.

Creative Director for a new Doom, Hugo has worked as a conceptual designer and art director for such notable clients as Legendary Pictures Pacific Rim, Uncharted Drakes Fortune, Star Wars the Force Unleashed, Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters, The Avengers, Sonic Boom, Mattel, Star Wars The Knights of the Old Republic, Halo Wars, MTV Animation, Cartoon Network and Wizards of the Coast. His work has been featured in publications such as The Art of Pacific Rim, Variety, Total Film, Imagine FX, Play Magazine, Playboy and 3D Artist.

Hugo has been an instructor and given lectures at the Gnomon School of Visual Arts, Pratt Institute, Parsons School of Design, UCLA, Blur Studios and ID Software. He has a Bachelors of Science degree in Automotive Design from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena CA and prior to that he graduated from the Illustration Department at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn NY in 2000.

Enric Alvarez Creative Director, MercurySteam Entertainment

Enric started his career in the videogame industry back in 1998, when he was hired by Rebel Act Studios as a level designer for “Blade”, the Sword & Sorcery title seen today by many as the direct predecessor of Dark Souls saga.

In 2002 Enric and other ex Rebel Act developers, found Mercury Steam and create their first project, “Scrapland”, with American McGee as collaborator and mentor.

Between 2005 and 2007, Enric directs the first person shooter “Clive Barker’s Jericho” for Codemasters -the first title developed in Spain for PS3 and Xbox 360.

In 2008 Konami approaches MercurySteam and for 6 years, the studio develops the famous Castlevania Lords of Shadow series,the most recent installment in one of the longest and most respected sagas in videogames history. Enric authors the storyline and directs two out of three games. To date, the Castlevania Lords of Shadow saga has shipped multiple millions of copies worldwide, garnered several industry awards and delivered the best selling game in the series for the Japanese Corporation.

Enric is currently directing the recently announced sci-fi adventure game Raiders of the Broken Planet for PS4, Xbox One and PC independently developed and published by MercurySteam.

SHAINIEL DEO CEO, Halfbrick Studios

Shainiel is the CEO of Halfbrick Studios, Australia’s largest independent gaming studio and the team behind mobile mega­hits such as Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride. He has previously served as president of the Game Developers Association of Australia (GDAA), and was formerly the president of Electronic Games Queensland. When he isn’t jet­setting around the world speaking with other executives of the video game world, he can be found playing Fight Night or fishing in the mud with no shoes.