Meet Pixelles Ensemble at GDC19

Our GDC Scholarship program, Pixelles Ensemble, is returning to GDC this year with a whole new group of amazing nonbinary, genderqueer and women (trans/cis) game developers. We provide a GDC pass, provide need-based travel funds, and host 3 events to assist the Ensemble members in feeling welcome, safe, and empowered to pursue their professional goals. For many, attending this conference is not only an inspiration but also a career highlight.

Providing opportunities like this to marginalized developers directly improves the games industry and surrounding culture for years to come, by not only increasing the diversity of those who benefit from GDC, but improving GDC itself with their presence and experiences. Pixelles Ensemble is thrilled to be a part of this changing landscape and, of course, to provide knowledge-sharing, experiences, and a supportive community for all its members.

In 2019, the Pixelles Ensemble group is made up of mid-career developers with at least 3 years of experience, many of whom are parents, people of color, or based in underrepresented countries. Many of these developers have never before had the chance to attend GDC, and we’re honored to assist them in achieving this career milestone.

Thank you to our sponsors
Meet everyone
Coordinators
Contact

Thank you to our supporters!

Big thank you to all our sponsors and partners! Without your generosity and support many of these talented game developers would not be able to attend GDC.



  


                 


              

If your studio would like to sponsor Pixelles Ensemble please email us at info@pixelles.ca.

Meet the Pixelles Ensemble at GDC19!

Darcy Dee
Darcy Dee
2D Animator, Illustrator, Character Designer

I’m an artist from Vancouver, BC who has spent the past three years delving into indie game projects and making 2D animation at Titmouse Vancouver.
I love the multifaceted nature of indie game development and collaboration, and how it merges so many mediums that can result in totally unique storytelling. Creating something immersive, connecting, and affecting is my primary goal.

“An opportunity to learn from so many skilled people would be incredible, and to hopefully meet future collaborators!”

Farah Khalaf
Farah Khalaf
Producer @ Draknek

I’m a game developer and producer originally from New Zealand, currently living in Canada! Previously, I worked at the GDAA as an associate producer, just released a mobile title called Noa Noa, and I’m currently working with the cool team that brought you Cosmic Express on a brand new title as Producer!

“I’m looking forward to catching up with other producers, being inspired by other game developers and learning heaps!”

Javiera Paz
Javiera Paz
Board chair at MujeresEnVg, Working on Animal Shelter Game.

Javiera is a Chilean Game designer and QA. Right now, besides working in Octeto Studios as QA, she’s working as Game Designer for a casual mobile game where you manage an animal shelter (@animalshelterGame), from which she intends to donate monthly revenue to real life animal shelters.

She is co-founder of Mujeres en VG (Women in Videogames), an association of female identified people in Chile who wants to give visibility and a safe space for collaboration to all who form part of this industry.

Her prime movers are her kitten, her puppy and her husband.

GDC is always refreshing for learning new things, staying inspired, sharing with a loud, diverse industry. I’m dying to reconnect with the friends i’ve made in previous years.

Marie-Christine Bourdua
Marie-Christine Bourdua
Producer, Co-founder, popagenda

I’m an organization nerd with a passion for the video game industry and its community. In the past, I’ve shipped games like FEZ and Rogue Legacy. More recently, I co-founded popagenda, a service-based company offering marketing strategy and execution as well as production help to indies. I also produced 2 mini-humans (that sometimes turn into gremlins).

This is going to be my first GDC after a 3 years work hiatus. I look forward to hugs from all my friends across the globe. The event is really inspirational and provides an exceptional motivation boost.

Ana Sopikova
Ana Sopikova
VFX Artist @ Sumo Digital Nottingham

I’m a visual effects artist originally from Russia, moved to the UK about a year ago to work in Sumo Digital. I enjoy vfx, all sorts of technical art and just making things look pretty in a smart way!

“Mostly looking forward to meeting fellow VFX artists and other amazing devs from all over the world! Hope to learn some neat tech tricks and get inspired too :)”

Stephanie Volpi
Stephanie Volpi
Technical Animator at EA Motive

I still can’t believe I get paid to make games, or that I’ve been at it for 5 years now.

GDC is one of the most talked about game dev events. I’m excited to meet people I’ve followed and admired for years, excited to engage in cross-studio discussion on issues that we all face, and excited to see what I imagine will be some real cool talks.

Jennifer Sunahara
Jennifer Sunahara
Software Developer at EA Motive

Jennifer is a Software Developer at EA Motive, with degrees in both Computer Sciences and Biology. She has a passion for games, advocacy and science, and dreams to combine all three in a project one day. Other interests include travel, hiking, rock climbing, swimming and board games!

I am really looking forward to the talks. I love the idea of so much knowledge available at one conference! I am going to be paying particular attention to the Programming, Advocacy and AI talks! :D

Andrea Roberts
Andrea Roberts
Game Designer / Artist at Wonderbelly Games

Andrea is the co-founder of Wonderbelly Games, a tiny studio working on a bouncy physics-based roguelike called Roundguard. Before that, she spent a decade in Narrative, UX, and Game Design at Microsoft. She splits her days between making games and raising her three-year-old, and on any given afternoon, Andrea may be a princess, a triceratops, or a triceratops-princess.

“Looking forward to quashing my inner-introvert and meeting some new friends! I’m especially hoping to meet some moms in gamedev so I can learn all their secrets and share some juicy horror stories.”

Aurora Huang
Aurora Huang
3D Programmer @ Ubisoft

I am a 3D programmer in Montreal. I love building tools that help artists to create inspiring visuals. I enjoy role-playing adventure games focusing on storytelling. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Child of Light, and Monument Valley 2 are my recent favourite. I speak Mandarin, Cantonese, English, and recently managed to buy bread and coffee with my French.

I look forward to connect with other women in the industry (I currently only know three other full-time female 3D programmers!), it will help me to grow and understand how to maintain a supporting environment for female programmers in my workplace and my community.

Damon Reece
Damon Reece
Narrative Designer, currently working at Route 59 Games on Necrobarista

I’m a damn good narrative designer, community organizer, and nonbinary advocate. When I’m not busy designing or organizing or advocating, I’m usually found getting sappy over sad robots.

Meeting a lot of my friends in person for the first time, and making new contacts in my field.

Tanya Kan
Tanya Kan
Executive Producer and Creative Director at Vivid Foundry

With over 6 years of gamedev experience, Tanya is the founder of Vivid Foundry, a development studio creating dramatic storytelling to humanize prescient social narratives. Vivid Foundry is currently developing Solace State, a choice-driven sci-fi drama game about youth hackers speaking truth to power in a deeply unequal, tyrannical city.

I’m looking forward to meeting new friends and old; sharing our incredible pool of resources and learning; energizing about everyday lived experiences from around the world; and having productive business and press meetings!

Elaine Gómez
Elaine Gómez
Game Designer, E-Line Media

Elaine is a Latinx and indigenous game designer, independent Unity developer and games educator. She is also the community director for Latinx in Games, an official IGDA SIG. She enjoys connecting with people and helping them find pathways towards their goals. Elaine teaches at Rutgers University and at E-Line Media’s youth game studio initiative, Make Room. She is an avid player of first person shooters and likes anything pink.

I’m looking forward to the UI/UX and Narrative summits and meeting more Latinx developers at the Latinx in Games Round Table.

Kristina Rousseau
Kristina Rousseau
Freelance 3D Designer & Concept Artist

I am a 3D Artist currently based in Los Angeles, California. I love to create characters, creatures, 3D models, toys and action figures. I aim to create engaging art and designs for games and entertainment that ignite imagination, diversity, and passion. I am also : a Seasoned World Traveler, Food Connoisseur, Pokemon Champion, Wildlife Defender, and Dancer!

I’m looking forward to meeting and connecting with other creative people in the industry, making new friends, learning, being inspired, and inspiring others !

Priscilla Snow
Priscilla Snow
Sound Designer & Composer (freelance, Bravemule)

Hi! Prior to working in games, my focus was theatrical design (audio & props) as well as performance. My approach to most art is very hands-on, so I love when I have opportunities to incorporate Foley or circuit-bending into my work. My favorite instruments to play are theremin and banjo!

I’m really looking forward to giving a micro-talk in the Indie Summit (Personal Experiences as Games) and seeing my friends from all over!

Lulu Vallano
Lulu Vallano
Producer @ EA Motive

The video game industry welcomed me about 4 years ago when I was just a project manager in technology. I have never been prouder or more excited about belonging to a group of people before and that group is video game developers.

I cannot wait to spend a week learning from my peers, representing EA and catching up with colleagues I haven’t seen in a while.

Avery Di
Avery Di
Writer @ Ubisoft Montreal

A Queer POC who loves all things cute, pink and spooky! Most of her time is spent playing D&D, FFXIV and mobile games that involve collecting cute girls. Someday she’ll be a Pokemon Champion, but until then, she’s gotta make a living putting words in video games

I’m anxious as hell, but I’m looking forward to meeting like-minded people. I’m really hoping to make new friends and learn new things. I’ve also never been to the West Coast, so I can’t wait to eat tons of fish!

Whitney
Whitney “Strix” Beltrán
Project Narrative Director at Hidden Path Entertainment

Strix is an award winning writer and narrative designer. She is currently the project narrative director on an unannounced title from Hidden Path Entertainment. Her own game, Bluebeard’s Bride, has won multiple awards including IndieCade’s Grand Jury in 2018. Strix has a Masters degree in mythology (yes, that’s a thing!) and believes that powerful narratives shape lives.

Theory-crafting with other designers and writers about how we can take our medium of storytelling further through innovative design and narrative structuring.

Maíra Testa
Maíra Testa
Game Designer at Rogue Snail and freelance narrative designer

Hi, my name is Maíra! I am a game designer in Brazil and recently joined the lovely Rogue Snail team. I’ve been making games for eight years, sometimes as a game designer, others as narrative designer or writer. My strong suit has always been storytelling and UX.

I’m really interested in getting to know more people involved in narrative and writing for games so we can exchange experiences, points of view and, of course, learn a lot with them.

Maria Jose Felix Vega
Maria Jose Felix Vega
Composer and Sound Designer at Sky Rose Music LLC.

Originally from Mexico now living in rainy Seattle, Maria Jose is a composer and sound designer. Currently she works as a composer associate at ICONIC Music Consulting and Design and as a composer and sound designer for Novel Effect, an amazing interactive story telling app. She also works as freelancer with her own brand Sky Rose Music LLC under which she has written music for currently in production video games and mobile games. In her free time, she enjoys running and photography.

This will be my first GDC! So, I am very excited about meeting and speaking with game developers and learn from my fellow audio folks!

Maize Wallin
Maize Wallin
Composer, Sound Designer, Audio Programming!

Maize Wallin is a composer, sound designer, and solo game developer. They spend most of their time freelancing audio for indie games, but also works on solo projects that focus on facilitating players experiencing musicianship in games. Maize also helps to run NonBinary.Zone

By far, it’s community. I love to see many of my international friends in one place, and to gain perspective on how people are doing the things I’m doing, but where they are. I’m also really grateful for the networking opportunities that Pixelles is helping to facilitate, that might give more opportunities for my art.

Mary McKenzie
Mary McKenzie
Managing Partner at Volcano Bean

Mary McKenzie is the Managing Partner of Volcano Bean a small midwestern indie studio currently working on BattleCakes: a snack-sized RPG. She is also the Games and Community Director of PixelPop Festival.

I am looking forward to getting to spend time chatting with other devs and maybe hitting up a knitting store or two between talks.

Zuhal Eylul Atilgan
Zuhal Eylul Atilgan
Unity Developer @ Gray Lake Studios

Hello, Eylul here! I’m a Unity Developer from Turkey! I’m a coder by daylight, artist by moonlight.
I’ve been drawing since forever but majored in Computer Science. I work as a freelancer and develop my own game projects, trying to get as many XP as I can. In my spare time, I roll&die a lot in Dark Souls and main Isabelle in Super Smash.

Looking forward to meet with cool and inspiring people and learn from the veterans!

Jane Cocks
Jane Cocks
Psychology and games researcher, and serious game design consultant

Jane has a background in psychology and behavioural science research, and is currently developing a framework for designing games for behaviour change for her PhD. Jane also contributes to industry research on ethical design for VR games, games industry work practices, and interactive design for care, connection and personal growth. She believes that the stories, art, and play we create can change our lives for the better.

This will be my first time attending GDC, and I am really looking forward to listening and learning from the wealth of industry expertise, meeting for the first time with many people I’ve connected with online, and hopefully I’ll meet some new amazing folks too. And just in general, I’m looking forward to feeling inspired about the places that games can take us.

Michelle Lee Brown
Michelle Lee Brown
Creative Director, submergeVR; Ph.D. candidate in Indigenous Politics and Futures Studies; comic and game writer

Michelle Lee Brown is Euskaldun, Miarrtiz area (Côte des Basques) and German/German American, but raised on the lands and waters of the Wampanoag. As a Ph.D. candidate, she studies Indigenous political praxis and futures through Indigenous designers’ video games, graphic novels, and machinima at UHM on the traditional and ongoing sovereign territories of the Kānaka Maoli. She has published peer-reviewed work on the Never Alone video game, a methods chapter on Indigenous political theory approaches to video game research, and a comic in the forthcoming Relational Constellation Collection from MSU Press and Native Realities Press. She is currently working on this VR project and a comic based on multiple levels of impostor syndrome.

She is most looking forward to meeting people, sharing resources, being inspired, and eating as much Mexican food as she can while at GDC.

Jacquelinne Marcano
Jacquelinne Marcano
Programmer @ Stardust Games

Hi, I’m Jacquelinne! I am an avid video game programmer, and gamer. I love exploring the worlds people create, and thrive to make new worlds people can inmerse themselves in! I love seeing what makes games tick, and have since decided to dedicate my profession to it.

I am most looking forward to making new friends, networking, learning new tricks, and getting to see all the amazing projects people have been working on.

Coordinators

Valentine Dessertenne
Valentine Dessertenne
Associate Producer at Behaviour

Valentine Dessertenne is an Associate Producer at Behaviour working on Dead by Daylight and having previously worked as a Producer on Cuphead. She was born in France, raised in the US, and is now in Montreal. A support class game dev, Valentine strives to make production inclusive and lead teams through empathy.

She’s looking forward to helping and supporting the members of the cohort to make this their best GDC possible.


Tanya X. Short
Tanya X. Short
Captain of Kitfox Games & Director

Tanya X. Short co-founded Pixelles with Rebecca! By day she is the director of Kitfox Games, the small studio currently working on Boyfriend Dungeon. Previously, she worked as a designer at Funcom Games on The Secret World and Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures. She also co-edited Procedural Generation in Game Design.

“Looking forward to: Sitting on the grass and just chilling with so many friends I haven’t seen since last GDC.”

Stephanie Fisher
Stephanie Fisher
Research Officer, University of Toronto; Pixelles Director

Stephanie is community organizer based in Toronto, Canada. She made her first (and only) game as part of the Hand Eye Society’s Difference Engine Initiative in 2012 and has been heavily involved in supporting collaborative, community-driven WIG initiatives and programs ever since. She joined Pixelles as a co-director in 2015.

“I’m excited to talk about Pixelles’ future programming and plans with studios interested in supporting these initiatives. Get in touch with me!”

Rebecca Cohen Palacios
Rebecca Cohen-Palacios
Pixelles Director && UI Artist @ Bethesda Game Studios

Rebecca co-founded Pixelles, Game & Color and GameLoop Montreal with some really rad folks! At GDC, Rebecca is co-hosting the Diversity Advocates roundtables. Come talk about advocacy work with us! In her free time, she squishes her cat, solo eats whole bags of chips and aspires to reach Splatoon’s A+ rank.

“See you all soon! You can catch me attending the UX Summit, Game Accessibility Conference, and chilling with Pixelles Ensemble members! Looking forward to especially meeting other women in UI/UX.”

Contact us!

Thanks for reading! ♥

If it’s your first time at GDC, we wrote up some handy guides to help you navigated San Francisco and the GDC experience.

We’d be happy to answer any questions by email: info@pixelles.ca

Posted in GDC Ensemble, News
About Pixelles
Pixelles is a non-profit initiative committed to helping more women make and change games. We're based in Montreal, and have already succeeded in building a supportive community of game creators, both hobbyist and professional.

E-mail: info@pixelles.ca
Twitter: @pixellesmtl
Facebook: Pixelles Group
Newsletter
* = required field
Make a Donation

All donations go directly to funding our programs, events, and community. ♥ Your support is greatly appreciated!