nzgda

NZGDA 2014 Election Results

The 2014 Annual General Meeting of the NZ Game Developers Association was held on Wednesday 6 August 2014 at AUT University.
Here are the election statements of the elected committee members.

Chairperson

Ben Kenobi

I would like to put forward an application to act on the NZGDA Board again this year. I offer myself as candidate for chairperson also.

Personal Goals

To create more game related job opportunities and creative funding pathways within New Zealand by diversifying the landscape of the NZ gaming industry and validating the New Zealand games industry on a global scale.

Personal Strategies

1. Nurture a supportive and inclusive local game dev community through events, meetups and online dialogue to:

  • Provide networks to industry partners, academic institutions, funding partners and the NZGDA board members.
  • Develop a unique NZ voice by promoting inter-disciplinary approaches to game development.
  • Facilitate industry partnerships with game research projects.
  • Represent the creative and humanitarian gaming community.

2. Create new entrepreneurial pathways for new and independent game makers through govt and private funding policy changes, sponsored indie funds and industry exposure at events and online.

3. Promote a unique NZ game dev industry through events and online representation on a global scale to:

  • Increase the world-wide cultural credibility of all NZ game related projects.
  • Promote a unique NZ game industry.

Current Projects

  • The Auckland Game Developers Meetup – Lead Organizer
  • KiwiGameStarter Award Programme
  • NZGDC14 – Lead Organizer and Workshops
  • KiwiJam 2014 – Lead Organizer
  • Digital NatioNZ 2014 – ‘Homegrown’ Booths Coordinator
  • Armageddon 2014 – ‘Kiwi Made Games’ Booths Coordinator
  • NZTE Digital High Impact Programme: NZGDA Representation
  • NZ Film Commision Collaboration: Developing New Trans-Media Talent Pool Strategies
  • NZ Festival of Games Initiative – Coordinator

Past NZGDA Outcomes

  • Digital NatioNZ 2014 – ‘Homegrown’ Booths Coordinator
  • KiwiJam 2013 – Organizer
  • NZGDC13 – Logistics team, stream moderator

Secretary

Stephen Knightly

For the past three years I have been the Chairperson of the NZ Game Developers Association, but for the next term would like to stand as a committee member. I’m Managing Director of serious games and gamification studio InGame in Auckland and founded the Auckland Game Dev Meetups.

The NZGDA has continued to grow the scope of activities it runs with our conference, Meetups, Game Jams, Facebook communities, annual survey, GDC trips and more. The industry and indie community have grown in turn and there is good momentum behind many of these activities. There is more than enough ‘fresh blood’ to drive the NZGDA forward.

In the past year I have developed relationships on behalf of the NZGDA and the industry with NZTE, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, NZ Film Commission, Film Auckland, SPADA, Ministry of Culture and Heritage and more. My intention is to work with the new NZGDA Chairperson to continue and extend these relationships.

 Committee Members

Lianne Booton

I am a traditional artist and illustrator who made the leap to game design about two years ago. I work at a small studio, and also create my own games. I have placed top 10 in Ludum Dare twice, and top 20 once, out of three total entries. I’ve also showcased my games at Pop Up Arcade, and a homegrown arcade sponsored by Chorus.

I am very passionate about my work, and about inspiring people to bring their ideas to life. I want to help those who may lack motivation, or idea on where to start. My philosophy is not about creating hugely marketable games or trying to turn a profit, but instead about raw creativity and bringing that to everybody, no matter their skill level.

My personal goals are to bridge the gap between game design and the arts community, to promote game design as a valid career path for artists and illustrators who may have previously considered programming or game design to be inaccessible.

To provide support and an inclusive space for women within technology, and women who would like to work within the games industry.

What I would like to achieve:

  • Develop myself as a strong voice for NZ indie games, through promoting easily accessible technologies and tools, and helping students and newcomers network with veterans. I would hope to achieve this via potentially hosting more/bigger game-jams, or even providing small and focused design workshops.
  • Promoting and nurturing a friendly and inclusive industry that should be a safe space for all people, no matter their background.
  • Show that games and art go hand in hand, and help nurture a philosophy of game design that goes beyond making money, and looks at the importance of characters, aesthetics, sound, and story. This is one of my goals because I feel many indie developers give up at the hurdle of not making enough money from apps, and I would like to help educate people to a different approach to bringing their ideas to life. Potentially I would love to rent out pop-up art space to showcase game concept art from NZ developers.

Ben Carnall

Hi my name is Ben Carnall.

I am programmer currently studying a Bachelors of Software Engineering at Media Design School. I have been an active member of the New Zealand’s game development community for three years. I have a huge passion for developing games and during my time at Media Design School have worked on numerous projects inside and outside the realms of tertiary education. I have worked with Druhin Mukherjkee and the ‘Project Autsimus’ team to create games that help children with Autism and Asperger syndrome. Currently I am working on a yearlong game development project with a 13 person team of programmers and artists under the guidance of Media Design School. A project we wish to continue to develop outside of university and will launch as a Kickstarter project at the end of the year.

I enjoy organizing events and establish opportunities that help our game development community grow and connect. I have assisted running the Monthly NZGDA developer meet-ups and worked with Stephen Knightly, Ben Kenobi and Rebecca Foote to organize/run the 2013 NZGDC. I am keen to continue to participate in the organization and establishment of these events going into the future. As a current member of the student body I can offer connections to the recent and future graduates of Media Design School as well as networking ties with the young blood making their marks in the Game Development Community.

I think I could be a great contribution to the NZGDA board. I will be able to voice the opinions of the new members of our community and participate in organization of the events that the NZGDA can use to continue to grow and broadcast game development in New Zealand.

Henry Lane

Henry is President of Business Development CerebralFix in Christchurch.

Freshly graduated from the University of Canterbury at the age of 22, Henry found his first full-time role working as an assistant/administrator at CerebralFix, one of New Zealand’s largest video game studios.

After joining CerebralFix from university, within the space of 3 years he dramatically broadened his skill-set working in almost every corner of the business – design, marketing, quality assurance, project management, production and sales, rising to his current position as President of Business Development. In these few years Henry has been responsible for establishing, managing and evolving strong partnerships with the world’s top-tier entertainment companies such as the Walt Disney Company, DreamWorks, EA Games, The BBC, The Game Show Network and many more.

Henry is also one of the four creators behind the EPIC Technology Hub (Enterprise Precinct and Innovation Campus). EPIC was built thanks to a hugely collaborative effort from organizations both national and international including Google, The BNZ, Weta Workshop, Cisco and many more, in order to house innovation-focused Canterbury businesses displaced by the 2011 earthquake.

Henry’s vision is continuing to push forward on taking CerebralFix to the rest of the world, while bringing the rest of the world back to us here in Christchurch.

Edwin Lim

I am a partner at Hudson Gavin Martin, a boutique technology and intellectual property law firm, and am a current NZGDA committee member. I have specialised in technology, media and IP law for over 15 years. My main areas of practice are technology and IP development, licensing, commercialisation and protection. I have worked with many clients in various industry sectors including the software, gaming, media and entertainment sectors.

I enjoy helping New Zealand software businesses succeed and would like to see the New Zealand gaming industry grow and be part of this success. With this goal in mind, I would like to continue to contribute to the NZGDA committee by providing another perspective on issues that affect the New Zealand gaming industry.

I have a passion for technology and games. At a professional level, in addition to my law degree, I have a BCom(Hons) degree majoring in Information Systems, so understand the technical, commercial and legal issues involved in technology projects. At a personal level, I have always had an interest in games and have gone through generations of consoles and gaming devices – from my Commodore 64, Amiga 500 and Atari Lynx right through to today’s generation of sophisticated gaming technology. My only challenge is finding the time to play them!

I am also an executive committee member of the New Zealand Software Association.

Dan Milward

Dan Milward has been involved in the Wellington business scene and has helped foster Wellington creative opportunities for over 10 years and was recently included in the Idealog “Top 4 under 40” New Zealand young entrepreneurs for his success with his WordPress e-Commerce software.

Most recently Dan has been involved in the gaming space where he successfully launched Gamefroot, an online game creation tool used by tens of thousands of kids and indie game developers around the world to make and teach games and game development. Following on the heels of this in 2013 Dan successfully raise capital to build a new open source HTML5 game framework called Kiwi.js.

Dan is currently developing the worlds first two-player iPad RTS game called Standoff in collaboration with Theo Baynton from Pukeko Pictures and Nyuk Nyuk games (see tubjumpers.com). Additionally Dan is on the PIPI (pipi.org.nz) board which has providing him with a good understanding of IP and raising capital from both government and private investors.

Jonathan Rogers

In late 2006 I co-founded Grinding Gear Games, and since then I have been working as the Lead Programmer on our first project, Path of Exile. Grinding Gear Games started out as a company of 3 people, and has since grown to a size of approximately 50. I have a BSc majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics.

My primary focus is in the sharing of expertise between both established game development companies, indie game developers, and people wishing to break into the industry. Our goal should be to get every game developer in New Zealand involved, and the way to do this is to give them something that makes it worthwhile to take part.

Mario Wynands

Mario Wynands is the Managing Director and co-founder of PikPok, a leading digital publisher across mobile, tablet, and desktop. In his 17 years at the New Zealand based company, he has led studio operations, built a successful game portfolio and overseen the creation of many engaging console titles including Shatter®, GripShift®, and Speed Racer The Videogame, as well as multiple hits in the smartphone and tablet space including Flick Kick® Football, Into the Dead® and the BAFTA nominated Super Monsters Ate My Condo. Wynands is a graduate of Victoria University in Wellington with degrees in business management and computer science, and has studied at MIT Sloan.