We are very pleased to present our 2018 IGDA Foundation Women in Games Ambassadors.
Meagan Byrne is a Métis game designer from Hamilton, Ontario. She is co-director of Indigenous Routes and Dames Making Games and the founder of Achimostawinan Games. She has worked solo on other new media/game projects such as Wanisinowin|Lost which explores the difficulty of a young girl navigating between the spirit and human world. Wanisinowin|Lost premiered at imagineNATIVE in 2015. She holds a degree in English Literature from McMaster University and a degree in Game Design from Sheridan College. Meagan is currently working on the indigenous cybernoir detective game PUIRTY & decay.
Meagan Canning graduated last fall with a BFA in Computer Game Design from George Mason University. She fell into the game dev world quite by accident – she started college as a prospective English major, and found that it didn’t suit her one bit. After discovering her passion for making games, she started working on indie projects from card games to mobile apps. She has a passion for mobile games in particular, enjoying the specific challenges the platform represents. In her spare time, Meagan enjoys a nice hot cup of tea and a long book.
Vania Castagnino is an artist from Perú involved in video games, working on two games and planning to study an M.A in Serious Games. As a board member of the IGDA Perú, she is helping another game developer to achieve their goals. She believes that video games have an artistic potential that can turn them into powerful social experiences shaping communities. She is a fan of point and click graphic adventures, especially LucasArts classics. The only thing she loves more than video games are dogs.
Coley Caverley is a Canadian level designer and soon to be graduate of the Honours Bachelor of Game Design program at Sheridan College. She has been designing and developing creative games and the spaces that support the gameplay for the past four years. Combining prototyping skills developed over numerous game jams with UX knowledge and design theory help her create compelling and scale-able proof of concepts rapidly. IRL Coley enjoys practicing ballet, swimming laps and regularly gives talks and pitches at local events. She hopes to continue to challenge herself and develop her level design skills to elevate memorable gameplay experiences.
Allison Comrie has been a media artist for over 10 years, specializing in interactive, graphic, and narrative design. In 2014, she launched The Plight of the ‘Girl’ Gamer, an interactive web campaign whose aim was to bring awareness to the various forms of prejudice femmes face in the gaming community. She is currently in her final year at University of Southern California’s Interactive Media and Games MFA program and is currently creative directing Palimpsest, a VR rhythm-action game and educational program for high school femmes. When not producing games, she spends a crazy amount of time getting lost in the immersive worlds of books, television and (of course) video games.
Sofie Debloudts is a Belgian coder/game designer finishing up her MSc in Artificial Intelligence. She started her career in games in 2014 after graduating from Howest University’s Digital Arts and Entertainment programme. After working on Disney Infinity for a few years as a Technical Designer, she decided to shift her focus towards programming, and her keen interest in AI led her to the University of Southampton.
She’s looking forward to what the game industry is going to throw at her after her graduation, and where in the world it will take her…
Narges Farazan is a software engineering student and a game developer based in Tehran Iran. They are currently working on mobile games with their awesome team “Acid Green Games”. They’ve like video games since their childhood and they have affected their life a lot. They also like making handcrafts like dolls and embroidery of their favorite video games. They are currently working on the games “Live TV Tycoon” and “Daberna” as a programmer. They hope to make games that people would enjoy.
Janice Ho is a senior Game Design & Electronic Arts student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and member of Independent game company, DANG!. Although primarily an artist, they are interested in all facets of design and production, specifically regarding games and other interdisciplinary mediums. They want to create experiences that challenge binary systems, discrimination, and social stigmas, and to fade out borders that limit us from standardizing diversity. They hope to help mold the games space, both outside and within the industry, into something more supportive, inclusive, mentally stimulating, and emotionally fulfilling.
Courtney Kidd is SJS Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer. Courtney graduated SUNY Stony Brook with her Masters in Social Welfare in 2012. She previously worked for the Department of Veteran Affairs, having a strong interest in military/veteran issues, and is currently pursuing her PhD in the areas of technology, social media, and VR as a social work/public health and policy tool. Courtney continues to work closely for the promotion of the social worker profession. She also teaches at Stony Brook University. Other areas of interest include: policy, program development, advocacy, research, and systems work.
Natasha Kononenko is a Senior at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, pursuing dual majors in Game Development and Computer Science. She has been an avid gamer throughout her entire life, but specifically fell in love with the process of making games while pursuing it as a hobby during her service in the IDF. She was introduced to the production process while participating in MassDiGI’s Summer Innovation Program, and is determined to further improve her leadership skills alongside her coding ability. By bringing all of the game development disciplines together, Natasha aspires to make games that are both compelling and technologically groundbreaking.
“My name is Elisabet Largo Iglesias. I am a video games’ passionate and I have graduated in B.Sc in Design and Development of video games (UJI, Castellón). I am a sociable and empathetic person, who feels comfortable working in teams and loves diversity. I try to understand each different point of view when facing a new problem. Problem-solving and challenges make me happy. That is why I love programming. During my experience at the university, I acquired abilities in programming, research, game design, 2D and 3D design. My final degree project made me go in depth into reinforcement learning and I am desirous to learn more about machine learning.”
Vhalerie Lee is an NYC-based immersive media producer and technical artist. She recently graduated at New York University Tandon School of Engineering with a Masters degree in Integrated Digital Media. She has worked on various immersive media projects including one for Metro Goldwyn Mayer’s EPIX and Verizon. Today, she continues to learn various techniques for technical art and environment design for the entertainment and gaming industry, and mentors aspiring artists interested in getting into VR and AR.
Lauren Lynch is originally from Carlsbad, California and came to Kansas State University for a degree in Computer Science. Before college they were only allowed enough video games to keep them occupied during family trips. They became interested in games and became a literal sponge of knowledge on the subject. They became the president of their local Game Development Club within two years, and are graduating this May.
Raquel Robinson is finishing her Master’s degree in Computational Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She developed the tool All the Feels to incorporate biometrics into online gameplay streams. She focuses on researching the spectator experience, finding ways of enhancing connection and social and emotional engagement among Twitch streamers and their spectators. In her free time, she likes to “rock and roll”, i.e. rock climb and play roller derby.
Andrea Sacchi was born and raised in Southern Catalonia, and is living in Madrid. Digital and traditional artist. Studied ‘Game and interactive environments design’ at EMAiD (Barcelona) and did a course in ‘3D Art and Videogame Design’ at CICE (Madrid). Cofounder of the game studio Tahutahu. Collaborator and regional manager at FemDevs, Spanish-speaking association of women game developers. Has worked in a variety of fields, making games and apps for mobile, computer, virtual reality and software for autonomous cars. Stuganeer of 2017. Right now working as artist, developer and creative director on Idearum, a 3D platformer puzzle game based in Plato’s myths.
Beatriz Sinoni recently earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Translation and Interpreting at Universidade Metodista de São Paulo, in her home country, Brazil. Her first hobby, at a very young age, involved playing the Sonic franchise, Gex, Croc and The King of Fighters ‘97 on her brother’s Megadrive and Playstation 1. These games were all in a foreign language, though, and she was not able to enjoy them completely. Growing up, she learned English mostly from video games, and now aspires to become a game localizer, so she can give Brazilians of all ages the chance of experiencing games entirely in their mother tongue.
Based in the Silicon Valley, Amanda Steigerwalt has been a professional software engineer for over 10 years. She is a Penn State senior majoring in Information Sciences & Technology and is looking forward to starting her master’s degree. She was introduced to VR through Udacity’s VR Nanodegree program and is actively developing her own games. Along with the limitless applications of VR, she is inspired by the emerging innovations of the immersive technology. She has two dogs, Jack and Molly.
Emilee Trower is finishing a degree in Digital Media Arts at Bellevue College, with a focus in game design. She has a passion for the style of retro 2D games, and loves it when they collide with modern game design elements. A particular favorite moment of hers is placing assets and sculpting the final part of whatever world she’s making. A self-motivator and passionate about making, she also has branched out into just about every aspect of making a game as well in her quest to do engage in the medium she loves most. One day she dreams of being part of a small or mid-sized studio, making the sort of games that can be beautiful, meaningful, as well as simply fun to play. Outside of games, she loves to write, read, and do cute arts and crafts.
Danielle Unéus is a Swedish game developer with a passion for solving problems through games, from bringing peace to the shared kitchen area at Uppsala University to helping people fall asleep at night. She received her bachelor’s degree in Game Design and Graphics at Uppsala University 2017. Danielle is currently volunteering to develop a gamethat teaches sign language to kids. When she is not creating, thinking of or playing games, she is a promising underwater rugby player. Danielle’s dream is to develop games that make the world a better place.
Caroline Womack graduated from UMASS Amherst in 2016 and is a second-year law student at the Quinnipiac University School of Law in North Haven, Connecticut. Caroline is pursuing a career in video game law with her core areas of interest in intellectual property, internet, and contract law. Currently, Caroline is serving as a research assistant for the “Robot Congress” podcast and is a legal intern at Morrison / Lee.
Chris Wratt is a sound artist and video game audio programmer. They have experience working on a variety of academic and industry projects, including developing audio plugins for film post production, creating audio for video games, and touring as a performer of experimental music throughout Japan, Korea, and Aotearoa (New Zealand). Chris is a strong advocate for queer and trans game developers in Aotearoa. They help to run Open Jam Aotearoa, an open source game jam that focuses on accessibility for beginners and minority groups in game development. Their current masters research at the Victoria University, Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington) involves developing software synthesizers and generative systems to create new audio tools for video game developers.