Board Members

The NZ Game Developers Association is a not-for-profit organisation that is strategically led by a diverse group of game developers from around New Zealand.

Candidates for the board were elected at the Annual General Meeting of the NZ Game Developers Association in November 2022.

Enquiries can be directed to Chairperson Chelsea Rapp (chairperson@nzgda.com) and the Board Members (info@nzgda.com).

Chairperson

Chelsea Rapp

Chelsea is the current Chairperson of the New Zealand Game Developers Association.

Chelsea originally studied molecular genetics in the U.S. and has a master’s degree in microbiology and immunology. After working in product development and regulatory strategy for many years, she decided to hang up her lab coat and pursue her passion for video games. In 2019, she brought her 10+ years of production, operations, and regulatory affairs experience to New Zealand.

Since then, she has worked for CerebralFix Ltd, a Christchurch-based game studio that creates mobile and digital location-based experiences for clients like Disney, Universal, DreamWorks, and Pixar, where she is the Head of Strategy and Business Development. She also serves as the Games and Interactive Ambassador for the University of Canterbury’s recently announced digital screen campus.

She is passionate about building healthy, inclusive work cultures by helping team members to develop the interpersonal skills they need to be better leaders, communicators, and problem solvers. As Chairperson, she works closely with the community to find new ways to bring the studios of New Zealand together to work on shared goals: attracting top-tier talent, improving the global visibility of our studios and games, and increasing public and private investment in the New Zealand games industry.

 

 

Board Members

Lance Burgess

Lance is the current Treasurer of the New Zealand Game Developers Association.

Lance has worked in the industry for over 20 years when he started part-time looking after the finances of a fledgling PikPok. From 2004, he became the Director of a mid-size firm of Chartered Accountants, and in that capacity supported many businesses and not-for-profits with advice and accounting services. He had other clients in the industry until he ceased that role and went to PikPok as CFO in 2018.

Carl Leducq

Carl is a Game Developer & Content Creator currently working as a Production Coordinator for Rocketwerkz on Survival game Icarus. Over the last 6 years he has gained experience working as a QA Tester & in Production for projects at Weta Gameshop & Gameloft New Zealand.

On the side he is the Podcast Host of Zero to Play, a Weekly Game-Development & Gaming focused show where he interviews guests all throughout the industry and challenges them on topics relating to the future of the medium and how they will play a part in all of our lives.

With a passion to understand, build & develop the growing NZ Gaming Industry, Carl aims to bring his skills as a Content Creator & Project Manager to his role on the NZGDA board to help foster the growth of this passionate community of developers.

Stephen Knightly

Stephen is Chief Operating Officer of game studio RocketWerkz.

He was previous Managing Director of serious games, mixed reality and gamification studio InGame, where he has made serious and educational games for TVNZ, Civil Defence, ACC, University of Auckland, NZ Fire Service, Dairy NZ and more. He has spoken on the positive potential of gaming at TEDXAuckland and has been a mentor for the Lightning Lab accelerator programme, Startup Weekend and the Kiwi Game Starter. Previously Stephen worked in marketing locally and in Europe for Xbox, MTV Games, Grinding Gear Games, Microsoft, Facebook, IBM and many startups.

Stephen is a former Chairperson of the NZGDA and has represented the association on creative industries coalition WeCreate and the Serious Games Australia & New Zealand Association.

Mead Robertson

Mead is a QA Tester for Pikpok, who studied 3D animation and game development at Massey and Weltec. She has been involved in the New Zealand games community for five years. She is a big supporter of helping students get into the industry, and has assisted with game dev workshops at both Victoria and Massey Universities, as well as provided high school outreach. She has also been a volunteer and an MC at the NZ Games Festival, and a participant in the 2019 Wellington cohort of the Working Lunch mentorship program.

As a current member of the board, Mead has used her position to help promote independent studios and developers. She has organised and run booths for NZ game developers to showcase their work at the 2019 and 2020 Armageddon Expos in Wellington, Christchurch, Tauranga, and Auckland. Mead also ran the Indie Showcase at NZGDC 2019. She is keen to continue this work in 2021, and to get more involved with mentorship programs that can help indie developers in New Zealand.

Dave Oshry

Dave Oshry is the head of New Blood Interactive and one of the most prominent independent game development CEOs working in the industry today. Known for the string of best selling, top rated indie hits DUSK, AMID EVIL, ULTRAKILL, Gloomwood and FAITH, Dave relocated to New Zealand from the US in 2019 and became a permanent resident in 2022. Currently based in Dunedin (and a DGDA Board member) He was instrumental in putting together and running the wildly successful “Games Made in New Zealand” Steam Event that brought together over 75 games from nearly every development studio in Aotearoa. Proving that there is nobody better to represent the independent game development scene for the NZGDA. Dave will no doubt continue to raise the awareness of independent NZ games and their developers to ensure their success today, tomorrow and maybe even the day after that.

Valkyrie Cain

Valkyrie is the current Vice Chairperson.

Valkyrie is a Production Lead for Ninja Kiwi.
She rang their doorbell 7 years ago and landed a community management role, then shifted into programming once she earned her Computer Science degree at AUT. This role evolved over the years as she hit her stride as an interdisciplinary bridge with a passion for thorough and well-formatted documentation.

Valkyrie’s lifelong love for games is unquantifiable – unlike the number of Cow Level casualties, deleted Sims pool ladders, smelted iron bars, or sleepless nights of raiding.
She strongly believes that games and the industry hold significant potential to change lives for the better.

Given the opportunity to join the board, Valkyrie would focus her efforts on bolstering Women in Games and mentorship initiatives, fostering collaboration with game makers across New Zealand, and finding opportunities to advocate for diversity and mental health.

Shaun Gear

Shaun lives in Tāmaki Makarau with his wife and 4 children and current works at the Ministry of Education. Shaun has over 15 years experience working across the Education System focused on supporting tamariki and rangatahi discover, explore and connect with the future of work. Shaun co-founded Get into Games Aotearoa two years ago in partnership with the Digital Natives Academy. Get into Games is a Aotearoa wide initiative which connects and inspires ākonga (learners) from every background to discover pathways into creative and digital tech in one of Aotearoa’s fastest growing creative industries – video games. To date the initiative has seen over 21K tamariki and rangatahi participate during the week long sessions. Shaun passion is to see more Māori, Pacific and young women enter into the Games Industry, and to support the Industry to improve engagement with Education, including with schools and Tertiary providers.

Amy Minty

Amy is the current Secretary of the NZGDA.

Amy Minty is the Head of Marketing at Wellington’s premier Virtual Worlds Venture Studio, Beyond. She specialises in entertainment technology and has over 15 years of experience in creative studio environments across gaming and VR, film, VFX, architecture, and design.

Amy is proud of everything the New Zealand Games Industry has achieved to date and is eager to champion and support it further through the NZGDA. She is particularly well-versed in organising and participating in large industry events and will bring that experience to the NZGDC. For instance, she was the organiser of the AnimFX Weta Digital day in Wellington and has been a significant contributor to many large international conferences, including SIGGRAPH.

Before working at Beyond, Amy was the Senior Marketing Manager at Wētā FX, one of the world’s leading VFX studios. Her fundamental role was to oversee the marketing team’s efforts in championing the company and its expertise and developing strategic marketing campaigns.

As a member of the NZGDA, Amy will use her marketing and communication skill set to support the organisation’s efforts in growing and promoting the industry. Her direct experience spans the many facets of brand and marketing management, including content creation, advertising, design, awards submissions, thought leadership, written communications, media relations, event management, social media, web development, and sponsorship.