GDC Next

ABOUT GDC Next

Meet the 2014 GDC Next Advisory Board! These distinguished industry professionals volunteer their time to help develop the numerous sessions at GDC Next. They work to ensure that the quality of the content provided to attendees is high-level, relevant, and timely. Their dedication is critical to the success of the conference.

GDC NEXT ADVISORY BOARD

Cindy Armstrong
Wargaming.net
 
Cindy Armstrong brought a wealth of over 20 years of experience in operations, business development and finance to the team at Wargaming.net. As U.S. regional director of administration for Wargaming, Cindy is responsible for overseeing administrative functions across all U.S. entities, acting as primary liaison within Cyprus Headquarters.

Cindy has served as consultant to several organizations including Gamania, Cloud Imperium and Portlarium, University of Texas, and BlackBox.

Her background includes serving as the CEO of Electric Bat Interactive, CEO of Webzen America, vice president of business development and international operations at Sony Online Entertainment and director of sales analysis and planning at Nintendo of America.
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Graeme Devine
GRL Games
 
Graeme is a 30-year industry veteran who has worked on everything from a TRS-80 to a Xbox 360. In the early nineties he pioneered CD-ROM gaming with the breakthrough title The 7th Guest; he went on to become the lead designer on Quake III Arena and Halo Wars. Graeme started GRL Games in December 2010 to focus on bringing entertaining titles to the iPhone, iPad and Mac Desktop.
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Mike Goslin
Rebel Entertainment
 
Mike heads up Rebel Entertainment, Inc., an IAC company dedicated to creating fun and innovative online games. Prior to joining IAC, Mike was an entrepreneur in the social gaming space and oversaw the development of a portfolio of virtual worlds at Disney including TOONTOWN ONLINE, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN ONLINE, PIXIE HOLLOW and THE WORLD OF CARS ONLINE. Mike also developed several virtual reality theme park attractions at Walt Disney Imagineering including Aladdin's Magic Carpet Adventure and the award-winning Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for Buccaneer Gold.
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Chris Mayer
Night Owl Games
 
Chris Mayer is the founder of the independent Austin based game studio Night Owl Games and is responsible for the development and launch of DUNGEON OVERLORD. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Chris spent a decade developing and publishing MMOs. This includes lead engineering roles on ULTIMA ONLINE at EA: Austin and STAR WARS GALAXIES at Sony Online Entertainment. He served as CTO and VP of Product Development at NCsoft Corporation North America, helping to fund and publish numerous MMO titles as well as setting up an infrastructure designed to assist development teams with common MMO technical requirements.

Prior to entering the game industry in 1998, Chris graduated from Rice University and then worked as a software engineer at National Instruments. Chris currently lives in Austin, TX with his wife, children and overly energetic dog. When he is not playing with his kids, he is online, playing PC games, or taking a beating playing amateur hockey at the local rink.
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Chris Pruett
Robot Invader
 
By day Chris runs Robot Invader, makers of mechanical devices of destruction and video games. His most recent release is Wind-Up Knight 2. An Android team alum, Chris worked on games at Google in the U.S. and Japan. He also spent several years in the console game industry as an engineer and shipped ten titles for various platforms. Under the cover of night, he maintains a research blog devoted to the dissection and analysis of horror games. Chris lives with his wife and two children in Menlo Park, California.
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Richard Vogel
BattleCry Studios
 
Rich Vogel has been doing game development for 20 years and has worked on both console games and online games. He spent the first 5 years developing consoles games for Sega, CD-I, and Playstation. He started his online career as senior producer of Meridian 59 where he helped launch and run the live service. He left 3DO to join Origin in 1997 as senior producer of Ultima Online, where he helped launch and run the live service for two years. In 2000, Rich joined Sony Online Entertainment as executive producer and founded the Austin Studio. He shipped Star Wars Galaxies in 2003 and the first expansion Jump to Lightspeed in 2004. He helped form the Austin studio for Bioware in 2005 as Co-GM and executive producer of Star Wars the Old Republic. He is currently president of BattleCry Studios, a division of Bethesda Softworks. Rich speaks frequently on issues of online world design, online game development process, and online community management.
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Thomas Bidaux
ICO Partners
 
Thomas Bidaux started his career at France Telecom, within the GOA team. In 1999, he grew the team from a one man operation in charge of the first French MMORPG, LA4EME PROPHETIE, to the European organization in charge of successful DARK AGE OF CAMELOT. In 2004, he left France Telecom to set up the European subsidiary of the online game giant NCsoft. Acting as the development director for the company, he managed the teams who brought many online games to the European market, including GUILD WARS and CITY OF HEROES. He is now the CEO of ICO Partners, the consulting agency he founded in April 2008. With his team of experts he guides independent developers seeking to enter the online games market, provides local expertise to foreign online games publishers entering the European market, and has recently providing bespoke pan-European media management services through the ICO Media brand.
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Chris Enock
Riot Games
 
Chris Enock is the VP of central publishing for Riot Games, supporting all marketing, business intelligence, corporate communications, Ecommerce and community teams. Despite this talented team of pros, three years of live service and millions of active players around the world, he's failed to create a television commercial or proper packaging for League of Legends. Chris has helped publishing at Riot evolve the definition of product and marketing integration to be more focused on player experiences.

Chris cut his teeth as a programmer at Monster Games, Inc., developing a deep software engineering and core development perspective, as well as a refined awareness of NASCAR culture. After obtaining his MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Business, Chris began his career in brand management at Activision, shipping diverse titles ranging from Shrek the Third to Guitar Hero Metallica before joining Riot Games in 2009 then just an upstart company about to launch its debut title: League of Legends.
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Min Kim
Nexon America
 
Min joined NEXON Korea Corp. in 2003 when he learned players were spending ten dollars to buy balloons in a free-to-play online game. His initial intention was to quickly bottle all the magic to share with developers in the west. In his excitement, he forgot to take a bottle.

As vice president of Live Games, Min is responsible for all the product initiatives at Nexon America, Inc. Prior to co-founding Nexon America, Min launched the Global Edition of Nexon's flagship title, MapleStory. He has made significant contributions to the adoption of digital content cards at retail, and recently launched Karma Koin. He also serves on the board for the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences and on the America's Advisory Board for the Merchant Risk Council.

Min believes his interest in microtransactions and multiplayer gaming comes from trading baseball cards, playing Magic the Gathering, painting Games Workshop miniatures, and buying music on iTunes. He is a nerd.
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Joe McDonagh
Dropforge Games
 
Joe is VP of studio at Dropforge Games. He was previously production director and Peggle studio franchise director at PopCap Games. Prior to that, he was the company creative director for LucasArts, responsible for the creative aspects of all Star Wars and Indiana Jones video games. From 2004 to 2009 Joe worked for Irrational Games / 2K Boston, eventually as director of creative development managing the BioShock Infinite story group. He is the co-recipient of GDC's 2007 award for Best Writing in a Video Game for BioShock. Before that he was the co-founder and co-owner of the British game development studio Elixir Studios, creators of Evil Genius and Republic: The Revolution. He is an advisory board member for GDC Next. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and a master's degree in Modern History from Oxford University.
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Greg Rice
Double Fine Productions
 
Greg Rice is the senior publishing manager of Double Fine Productions as well as the producer of Broken Age, their record-breaking Kickstarter project. Prior to Double Fine he worked as an assistant to Seamus Blackley at Creative Artists Agency.
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Robert Zubek
SomaSim
 
Robert is the founder of SomaSim, an independent game development studio. Previously, he was a principal software engineer at Zynga, where he built large-scale social games such as CityVille and FarmVille 2. Prior to Zynga he developed online game infrastructure at Three Rings Design and console games at Electronic Arts/Maxis.

Dr. Zubek also did research in artificial intelligence and robotics before entering the industry. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Northwestern University, where he also received his previous CS degrees, and remains an active contributor at academic and industry conferences.
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J. Allen Brack
Blizzard Entertainment
 
J. Allen Brack joined the game industry in 1994, and currently serves as the executive producer for World of Warcraft. In this role, J. is responsible for coordinating the efforts of the game's development team as it creates new content to keep the experience fresh and exciting. This involves overseeing all aspects of the project and managing the production of patches and expansions from initial conception through release.

Brack started at Blizzard Entertainment in January 2006 as a senior producer in charge of content, playing a major role in the creation of new zones, dungeons and quests for World of Warcraft's first expansion pack, The Burning Crusade. Brack has shipped the award-winning and #1 selling expansion packs Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria.

Prior to joining Blizzard, he worked at Origin Systems, Inc. on the Wing Commander franchise and then at Sony Online Entertainment LLC on Star Wars Galaxies.
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Eugene Evans
gopop.tv
 
Eugene is currently the CEO and co-founder of gopop.tv, a start-up creating a new social experience around the passionate audience globally for TV, movies and online video. Eugene is a pioneer of the interactive entertainment industry and is best known as an entrepreneur in several start-ups and leadership roles in large gaming and media companies including EA and Viacom. Eugene has extensive global experience having held roles in strategy, business, marketing and product development on almost every entertainment platform throughout his career. He is frequently asked to speak on the future of interactive entertainment.

Eugene was previously VP and GM at Electronic Arts, with full operational responsibility for Mythic, an EA studio in Fairfax, VA. In this capacity he successfully pivoted the studio from developing PC subscription MMOs to free-to-play mobile, resulting in the recently announced Ultima Forever, a multiplayer RPG for the tablets. He was also responsible for the operation of three pioneering live MMOs: Ultima Online, Dark Age of Camelot and Warhammer Online.

Mythic was acquired by Electronic Arts in 2006. At Mythic Eugene was part of the senior exec team as the VP of Marketing and Business Development, and was responsible for all aspects of the company's marketing, PR and communications. Eugene also executed a number of international strategic partnerships including relationships with Vivendi Universal and France Telecom.

Prior to Mythic, Eugene operated his own consulting and independent production company, Infinite Ventures. The company consulted with several gaming start-ups including Zipper Interactive (acquired by Sony in 2006) and Mythic Entertainment. He advised the senior management of these companies on strategy, established key business relationships on their behalf, and executed marketing and PR. The company also acquired the rights to a number of pioneering properties including the award winning Shadowgate and Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective, leveraging those properties to define new gaming markets including creating one of the first interactive DVD games.

Over the course of the remainder of his career, Eugene has filled both business development and technical roles for a number of companies recognized as pioneers in the evolving market for games both in the USA and UK.
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Raph Koster
Independent
 
Raph Koster is a veteran game designer who has been professionally credited in almost every area of the game industry. He's been the lead designer and director of massive titles such as Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies; a venture-backed entrepreneur heading his own studio; and he's contributed design work, writing, art, soundtrack music, and programming to many more titles ranging from Facebook games to single-player games for handheld consoles.

Koster is widely recognized as one of the world's top thinkers about game design, and is an in-demand speaker at conferences all over the world. His book, A Theory of Fun for Game Design, is nearing its tenth anniversary as one of the undisputed classics in the games field. In 2012, he was named an Online Game Legend at the Game Developers Conference Online. Visit his blog at raphkoster.com.
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Laralyn McWilliams
The Workshop Entertainment
 
Laralyn McWilliams has designed and helped build award-winning social, strategy, simulation, platform, brawler, FPS, and massively multiplayer online games. She was creative director for the ground-breaking MMO Free Realms at Sony Online Entertainment, which the New York Times called "a triumph of the company's own reinvention." She was also lead designer for the critically acclaimed Full Spectrum Warrior, which was the most nominated game of E3 2003. Laralyn shared the top spot in Massive Online Gaming's 2010 list of the Top 20 Most Influential People in MMOs, was on Beckett's list of the top women in MMOs for 2010, and was listed as one of Gamasutra's 20 most influential women in games in 2008. She's a frequent speaker on casual game progression and the use of metrics in the design and operation of live game services. She's currently chief creative officer at The Workshop Entertainment, working on several unannounced titles.
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Caryl Shaw
Tower of Robots
 
Caryl Shaw is currently the founder of Tower of Robots, a consulting company in San Francisco, California providing production and project management services to game and app developers.

Prior to ToR, Caryl was an executive producer at KIXEYE and ngmoco:) where she was responsible for building and managing iPhone and iPad applications as fun and profitable games and services. Earlier in her video games career, Caryl was a senior producer at EA/Maxis and worked on The Sims, SimCity and Spore franchises as the lead online producer. And way back in the first dot-com boom, she worked at a variety of internet startups managing online communities and content websites starting back in '95. She even worked for a company that made Enterprise Business Software at one point, but what's the fun in that?

She's spoken internationally about a range of topics including Running a Live Mobile Game, Lessons Learned Making a Social Game for Facebook and Putting User-Generated Content to Work in Video Games.

Her favorite spirit is Breaking and Entering Bourbon.

ADC ADVISORY BOARD

Erik Loehfelm
Universal Mind
 
Erik Loehfelm is the executive vice president of user experience at Universal Mind. In this role, Erik leads the UX team responsible for developing new, immersive experiences for the web, mobile and embedded systems. With a deep knowledge of the ways people interact with technologies, Erik ensures user experience is about elegant design, usability, performance development and physical context, and how these elements come together to create a holistic experience for people. Erik oversees interaction design, user testing, UI design and vision prototyping at Universal Mind, and determines where the company should make investments to deliver highly immersive experiences for its customers.
Sandeep Sood
Monsoon
 
Sandeep Sood is a software visionary who founded Monsoon Company in 2001. Monsoon conceptualizes, designs, develops and markets mobile and web applications that help business thrive in a connected world. He has worked with companies such as HP, Cisco, Novartis, the Academy Awards and the NBA to help them get their ideas off the whiteboard and onto people's devices. He launched BioBeats in 2012, which allows users to measure their heartbeats on the iPhone and fuse them with music. He is active on the speaking circuit, and has shared ideas at SxSW, TED and TiE. He is also an avid writer of screenplays and shorts.
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