Imirt Inspire is a monthly interview where we invite inspirational members of the international game development community to talk to Irish game creators. Recordings of previous interviews are available on YouTube.
Jonathan Blow is a game designer and programmer who lives in San Francisco, USA. His most recent games are critically acclaimed The Witness and Braid. Both of those titles are well known for their unique game design and mechanics approach. Jonathan continues to run the studio Thekla, Inc., which creates mind-expanding games. Blow, along with several other independent game developers became a founding member of the Indie Fund, an angel investor fund for independent game projects.
Greg Rice is the VP of Business Development of Double Fine Productions. He previously served as the Producer of Broken Age, the result of the studios record breaking Double Fine Adventure Kickstarter campaign. In addition to heading up publishing duties on all Double Fine releases, Greg also handles the Double Fine Presents external publishing label which has helped support a wide range of unique independently developed titles like Gang Beasts, Gnog, and David OReilly's Everything. Prior to Double Fine, he worked as an assistant to Seamus Blackley at Creative Artists Agency.
Jordan writes about video games for the Guardian and talks about them to anyone who’ll listen (universities, museums, festivals, conferences, BBC, BAFTA, and The Gadget Show on Channel 5).
Anya Combs is the Games Outreach Lead at Kickstarter, where she focuses on working with game creators. She has been active in the digital games space for nearly a decade, overseeing multiple mobile and online titles launched for Nickelodeon & AddictingGames. She is excited to continue supporting developers through the most widespread crowdfunding platform out there, as they bring their creative projects to life.
Sushama has been with Ubisoft since late 2008 in Montreal and then in Toronto since 2010. While with Ubisoft, she has worked on games in the Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, and Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell series. She is currently Team Lead Programmer working in stealth mode on an unannounced project. She started her career in game development in 2002, as an intern at Infogrames (formerly Microprose). Prior to Ubisoft, she has worked on titles such as Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes and Playboy: The Mansion, which she still counts as one of the most fun and rewarding (yes, really!) projects of her career.
Tanya X. Short is the Director and designer of Kitfox Games, a 7-person studio in Montreal, Canada, responsible for Moon Hunters (2016) and Shattered Planet (2014). Previously she served as an AI Designer and Dynamic System Designer at Funcom on Age of Conan and The Secret World. In her spare time, she co-directs Pixelles, a women-in-games non-profit, and writes short fiction.
Chris started his escape from reality by freelancing for a number of pen and paper role-playing game companies in high school before Interplay foolishly hired him as a game designer in 1996. He worked on most if not all of Black Isle’s internally developed projects, including Planescape: Torment (Lead Designer), Fallout 2, the whole Icewind Dale series, and Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance, and a number of canceled titles that still make him weep, including Baldur’s Gate 3 and Fallout 3.
Jesse Schell is the CEO of Schell Games, a team of one hundred people who strive to make the world’s greatest educational and transformational games, including Yale Medical's PlayForward: Elm City Stories, Water Bears VR, Superchem VR, the Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood games, and Happy Atoms. Schell Games also creates pure entertainment content, such as the award-winning VR game, I Expect You To Die, and the comedy space game Orion Trail. Jesse also serves as Distinguished Professor of the Practice of Entertainment Technology at Carnegie Mellon University.
Max Temkin is a designer from Chicago, IL. His clients include Barack Obama, Jonathan Coulton, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. He makes the games Cards Against Humanity, Secret Hitler, and Humans vs. Zombies. Max hosts a weekly podcast with NYT-Bestselling author Patrick Rothfuss at UnattendedConsequences.com.
Ryan Morrison has made a name for himself within the legal industry as someone focused on making sure the law protects everyone, not just the financially superior. Whether it be matters of intellectual property, complex contract issues or just making sure you are comfortable as you take your company forward into the future, Ryan has handled it all. Deemed “The Video Game Attorney” by the countless developers he has helped through his free online legal Q&A’s, Ryan understands that this new and innovative industry requires a new and innovative approach to law.
Drew McGee is a freelance writer currently working in video games. He is the lead writer for Stoic’s recently-released Banner Saga 2 and was the quest writer on the BAFTA-nominated original Banner Saga. He worked at Bioware on Star Wars: The Old Republic and wrote for small published indie games before that (Domain of Heroes, and Bumble Tales). When he’s not writing, he’s traveling and strumming a ukulele.
Jeff Vogel started Spiderweb Software in 1994. Since then, he has made many indie/shareware fantasy RPGs for Windows, Mac, iPad, etc., including the Exile, Geneforge, Avadon, and Avernum series and Nethergate: Resurrection. He writes about indie games and the industry in general at his blog The Bottom Feeder.
Reborn in 2014, Finji was originally founded by Adam and Rebekah Saltsman in 2006. Our mission is to make new games and create new opportunities. We are based in Austin, Texas, but collaborate with talented individuals from all over the place.
Jesse Cox is a former educator, current youtuber, and life long nerd. He's devoted the last 6 years of his life to gaming and game culture, and thinks he knows an awful lot of the gaming industry, for a guy not actually in it
Henry used to be a UI programmer for BioWare on games like Dragon Age: Origins and Mass Effect 3. In 2012 he went "indie". His first project is the award-winning party game Spaceteam which is (still) taking him on some fun adventures. He also started the Spaceteam Admiral's Club so that fans can help him make and share more games, for free. He loves user interfaces, board games, and puzzles. His next project is another local-multiplayer co-op game called Blabyrinth.
David and Barney have been working on games together for nearly a decade at a series of Melbourne companies that either shut-down or were absorbed by the all-consuming Electronic Arts. A few years ago the Coder/Artist duo decided to start their own little indie thing called Powerhoof. Their first game, Crawl, is a local-multiplayer dungeon crawler and was released on early access a little over a year ago. Since then the boys have been adding more and more content to Crawl, with a brief hiatus to release another little local-multiplayer game called Regular Human Basketball.
Chelsea Howe is an award-winning game designer currently working at EA Mobile as a creative director. Previously, she was lead designer on TinyCo’s Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff and concurrently ran a course on playful design at California College of the Arts. In 2015, she was featured in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Games. In addition to co-organizing the Queerness and Games Conference, Chelsea also ran the San Francisco Global Game Jam for four years, talks about game design at places like GamesBeat, GDC, UCSC, and more, and in 2013 found her way onto the GDC Advisory Board.
Dren McDonald has worked in the game industry as an audio director, composer and sound designer on titles such as Gathering Sky, Transformers: Age of Extinction The Official Game, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Commander, Dangerous Dave in the Deserted Pirate's Hideout HD, Skulls of the Shogun, Elevate (2014's Apple App of the Year), Cooking Dash 2016, Diner Dash 2015, Ravenwood Fair and over 60 other game titles.