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Ann Burkett, CEO & Co-Founder is a game developer who joined the game industry with Macromedia Shockwave.com where she worked on some of the worlds first hit browser based casual web games. She and partner Liran Nuna eventually formed their own game development company. Together they worked on social and mobile games for the local school system and companies such as Crafted Fun, Quizmonster, Zynga. After having prototyped the hit game "It Girl" which morphed later into "Top Girl" on mobile, Ann's partner stayed on at YouWeb and their small dev company concluded with a reasonably happy ending. Ann founded the HTML5 Developers Conference, Bay Area Game and App Developers Group, Games.js, SF Mobile Dev and chairs the Silicon Valley IGDA. Ann is also starting development on another game.
Simon Amarasingham; COO & Co-Founder is an entrepreneur. In 2000 Simon and his brother, Kemal, started dSonic, a company that provides audio - sound FX, music & voice-overs - for games. dSonic started very small but is now one of the leading game audio companies in the US with credits on over 100 titles from AAA console titles like Bioshock and Brutal Legend, to mobile and casual titles like Farmville and Gumdrop. With dSonic established, Simon & Kemal are now building a 2nd company, The Adaptive Music Factory, that is developing a series of mobile apps based around music. Simon is also a board member of the Silicon Valley IGDA and a piano teacher with one student, his 6 year old daughter.
Cass Phillipps, Producer Cassandra has been a startup event producer for over four years, producing and managing numerous conferences including FailCon, Inside Social Apps, SF MusicTech Summit, GeoLoco, and Startup Seminars. She works with clients to insure each has a high-quality and profitable event, connecting them with the best partners, sponsors, and speakers available. Before moving to the start-up industry, she served as a stage manager at various theaters around the country, including the American Conservatory Theater, Chicago Court Theater, Marin Theater Company, and Aurora. Cassandra has recently decided to change career, focusing on game production and design. She has a B.A in Human Development from the University of Chicago.
Melody Schaeffer, Producer An experienced Game Developer and Designer that has created game products for facebook, mobile devices and game consoles. Including over 4 years, as a Multimedia Specialist in Serious Games arena providing visuals in courseware, instructor, simulator, and web based training for the United States Military. She is also a Director of the Silicon Valley International Game Developers Association
Tim Burks is a former electronic design automation (EDA) software developer who got turned on to Objective-C just in time for the 2008 release of the iPhone SDK. Since then, he's been building apps independently and as a consultant, primarily working on business-oriented projects like the ZipRealty iPhone and iPad apps and MobileIron's Sentry for iPad, the first IT app for the iPad. His take on the Japanese logic puzzle Masyu has been in the App Store from day one, and in 2010, he greeted the iPad by organizing and leading the iPadDevCamp team that built "iPad Slot Machine", a networked multi-iPad slot machine that won the "Coolest App" award and was covered in USA Today. Since March 2008 Tim has organized the Silicon Valley iOS Developers' Meetup, a monthly gathering of iOS developers that has consistently been the largest of its kind anywhere. Meetup topics have a heavy emphasis on demos and design and also regularly include APIs, business apps, and games.
Jane Pinckard Jane Pinckard is associate director of the Center for Games and Playable Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is internationally known for her long-running blog GameGirlAdvance, which explores games and art in a broader cultural context. Jane came to Santa Cruz from Foundation 9 Entertainment, a global independent game developer, where she worked in Business Development. As a games journalist, Jane’s writing has been seen in a variety of publications including Salon, Theme Magazine, and Xbox Nation. In 2005, she co-created The 1Up show, a weekly video internet show about game culture for the 1Up Network. An expert in gaming, she has lectured at Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon University and Whitman College and served as a non-resident fellow at Stanford Law School in Lawrence Lessig’s Law in Virtual Societies class. Jane has also spoken at South by Southwest, PAX, and the Game Developers Conference, the industry's leading tradeshow for videogame developers. She is the current Vice Chair of the International Game Developers Association.
Kevin Dent Kevin Dent is a ten year veteran from the digital video games space, after working on virtually every platform, Kevin set up Tiswaz Entertainment to help start-ups, publishers and investors reach their goals by leveraging his experience and network. Sometimes that means just making an introduction or finding a way to get a deal done, other times he helps PE/VC firms generate deal flow. Kevin stated his career in the mobile entertainment space and then migrated up through the various platforms. He currently heads up the IGDA Mobile Special Interest Group.
Albert Chen Albert Chen is Assistant Professor at Cogswell Polytechnical College in Sunnyvale and heads the Game Development concentration under Digital Arts and Animation (DAA) program. He is also the Associate Director for Cogswell’s award-winning Engineering Simulation and Animation Laboratory (ESAL). Mr. Chen has over twelve years of professional game development experience with credits in nearly two dozen game titles and has worked at LucasArts, the 3DO Company, Factor 5 and EA. Besides teaching game design and development, he is a certified ScrumMaster (CSM), gamification consultant, indie developer and lecturer. He currently sits on the advisory boards of Foothill College and Mission College. He has a BA in International Relations from UC Davis.
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