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Meet Pixelles Ensemble at GDC17

Our GDC Scholarship program, Pixelles Ensemble, is excited to be bac at GDC with a whole new host of amazing women, nonbinary, and genderqueer game developers For many, attending this conference is not only an inspiration but also a career highlight.

By providing opportunities [like this] to marginalized developers, there’s no doubt that games industry and culture will be improved for years to come. 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.

Thank you to our sponsors
Meet everyone

Thank you to our supporters!

Big thank you to all the GDC Scholarship, sponsors, and partners! Without your generosity and support many of our talented developers, academics, and makers wouldn’t be able to attend the conference this year. Special thanks to Jason Chen & Simon Carless at Storybundle plus PICO-8’s Joseph White & PICO-8 Zine’s Arnaud De Bock.


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

Meet the Pixelles Ensemble!

Alex Zandra
Alex Zandra
Freelance Game Designer, Writer, & Artist

I’ve been making games for 20 years, professionally for the last 7. I also draw, organize the Giant Bomb community game jam, stream game analysis videos, and more! There’s so much potential for positive and inclusive representation in what we make; I want to change the world with games.

“I can’t wait to see old games industry friends, meet new ones, and go to talks and panels that can help me get better. I love self-improvement and being social; GDC is a great opportunity for both.”

Bianca B
Bianca B
Gameplay Animator @ Ubisoft Montreal

I’ve been a gamer my entire life! But funny enough, when I was in school I saw myself animating for films not video games. It was only after that it made sense for me to combine my first love, animation, with my second love, video games, as a career. Since that day, I’ve ran with the idea and aimed for my dream studio! Long story short, I got in and aim to inspire.

“I can’t wait to meet other animators and even animators that I admire. I’m even more excited to meet other game developers, explore all the panels and gain knowledge of my craft.”

Mo Cohen
Mo Cohen
Founder of Queermo Games LLC, programmer/designer/writer

Programmer by day, video game designer by later day. I like making faces at babies, giving other people’s dogs new names, and eating nutella out of the jar with a spoon. Currently making Queer Quest: All in a Gay’s Work.

“That’s like asking what game I like most on Steam. There’s just too much. I’ve already heard of two queer game developer meet ups in the week of GDC, and I don’t get to meet a lot of other queer indie devs outside of my local community so I’m really excited about that.”

Jasmine Aguilar
Jasmine Aguilar
Game Developer at Nix Hydra

Jasmine is a genderqueer, bisexual femme xicanx with a deep love for games, geekery, and all things adorable. As a game developer, she aims to create more welcoming game experiences for womxn and femmes of all ages with friendly, colorful, and unapologetically feminine games. When she’s not being a total nerd, you can find Jasmine crying to trance music and reading her tarot cards.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing all the amazing game design and advocacy panels, and meeting other amazing femmes and womxn in the gaming industry!”

Jana Stadeler
Jana Stadeler
Junior Level Designer @ Guerrilla Games

I’m a storyteller at heart, although currently these stories manifest in environments rather than words. When I was in elementary school, I wanted to be a writer – now I dictate the daily duties of a couple hundred NPCs for the settlements of a post-apocalyptic tribal world. Still narrative, still me.

“Meeting old and new friends to catch up on what this wondrous industry of ours is cooking up next-”

Natalie Mello
Natalie Mello
Freelance Localization Artist / Writer / Social Media Manager

Hello! I’m Mello. Trained in graphic design, illustration, animation and fluent in multiple languages (English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and more), I work with languages and art to help make games more accessible to others. Currently travelling the world to learn more about the game dev scene in different countries.

“Meeting more people who are passionate about making games and getting inspired by everyone I meet!”

Audrey Leprince
Audrey Leprince
Co-founder, executive producer and writer for indie dev studio The Game Bakers

I’m very happy making games with The Game Bakers, where we strive to make games that leave players long lasting memories, and make them feel energized and alive! I started in the industry as a game designer and producer for Quantic Dream and independent French studios, then spent a long time in China where I was producer on AAA games for Ubisoft. I love to live abroad, and now I live in beautiful Sweden.

“Getting the chance to meet up with fellow devs from across the Atlantic and meeting with business partners.”

Flaminia Grimaldi
Flaminia Grimaldi
Indie game artist and developer

I’m an Italian game artist and developer specializing in stylized and low poly 3D. I recently shipped Wheels of Aurelia, a narrative driving game set in my home country; now I’m working on an unannounced game with Superbrothers and a scientific VR project with Cambridge University.
I have a passion for interactive fiction, autobiographical games and short, meaningful experiences.

“Looking forward to: hanging out with friends and making new ones. Being humbled, amazed and inspired. Narrative and design talks. That Ethiopian restaurant in SoMa.”

Pascale Thériault
Pascale Thériault
PhD student

I’m a PhD student in video games and gender studies at Université de Montréal. I’m studying the (many) ways people can make games feminist through design or appropriation. I think it’s important to give a safe creating space for marginalized groups in the gaming industry: I co-founded a feminist game group at my university where we play and talk about games designed by women, trans, non-binary, queer, and other marginalized people. I have a passion for interactive fiction, autobiographical games and short, meaningful experiences.

“I’d love to meet women designers and do some research about them. GDC conferences would help me have a better understanding of the gaming industry and learn things outside academia.”

Mira Dorthé
Mira Dorthé
Co-founder, programmer, and writer at Other Tales Interactive

Hi, I’m Mira and I love dinosaurs (I wish I could transform into a Tyrannosaurus Rex), MtG, and Overwatch. I entered the gaming world as a writer and have now become a full-time programmer. Me and my magical friend Tanja Tankred recently founded a game company called Other Tales Interactive. We’re working on our first title, a two-player game (Tick Tock – A Tale for Two) where we turn players into storytellers.

” I am looking forward to go to, and be inspired by, all the talks at GDC, especially the ones about narrative in games. I also cannot wait to catch up with my developer-friends around the world who are coming to the conference, as well as making new friends. This will be my first GDC and I am beyond excited!”

Jess Watson
Jess Watson
Freelance Game Developer & Motion Capture Techician

Jess is an indie developer with a focus on design and animation. In addition to her freelance work she coordinates Let’s Make Games, a non-profit that supports developers in Western Australia, and the indie-focussed Perth Games Festival. Outside of the game space, Jess works with researchers interested in exploring motion capture technology.

“I am looking forward to connecting with developers from around the world, some of whom I have known for many years already through the wonders of the internet, while others I hope to start new friendships with that continue long after the GDC buzz has worn off.”

Michelle Lee Brown
Michelle Lee Brown / Ribero Brown
Ph.D. student; writer/artist

Kaixo! Iʻm a Ph.D. student in Indigenous Politics and Alternative Futures within the Political Science Department, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. My focus is on indigenous games and digital realms as relational practices. I also write speculative fiction and audio games.

“Iʻm most looking forward to the Indigenous Games Lightning Talk (I might be biased); writing and storytelling sessions, and meeting up with the Pixelles in-person. *Real talk: also looking forward to eating all the versions of Mexican food I can find, as it is in short supply in Hawaiʻi nei…”

Elaine Gusella
Elaine Gusella
Game Designer & Storyteller

Hello! I’m a Game Designer and Storyteller with a serious interest in gamification and gameplay based in communications. I cofounded a startup studio specializing in lifesize videogame installation and am currently working as a Marketing Manager for Paper Cult, a Montreal indie studio.

“Talks and roundtable. Meeting great game devs from around the world. Visiting the interactive space of alt.ctrl.gdc.”

Steph Caskenette
Steph Caskenette
Graduate Student

Hi! I’m currently at McGill University, finishing up my master’s thesis on using game narrative to accommodate immersion-breaking hardware limitations. I enjoy experimenting with ROM hacks and mods, as well as playing games that let you pet cute dogs.

“I have a long wish list of talks I want to make it to! Other than that, sharing ideas with new friends and playing fun games.”

Carolyn VanEseltine
Carolyn VanEseltine
Indie game dev and interactive fiction author

I’m a Boston-based jack-of-all-trades specializing in game design (narrative, systems) and programming (C#/Unity). Recently, I’ve been working on indie and solo projects, but before that I was a producer at Harmonix. I’m also a cofounder/director of the nonprofit Interactive Fiction Technology Foundation, and I often write about IF (especially parser!) in my blog at Sibyl Moon.

“I’m very excited about getting to meet people and attend talks and discussions and learn things from other developers in person.”

Valerie Vezina
Valerie Vezina
Assistant Producer @ WB Games Montréal

Valerie started playing video games is a Games Studies graduate. Her experience as a Production Coordinator in web agencies and translation helped a lot when she started in the games industry. She got introduced to video games at a young age and fell in love with the medium; she is now helping fellow game devs build them!

“I am definitely looking forward to meeting new people, attending talks about production management and maybe popping in some narrative and game design sessions. Oh and the weather. Bring on the sunshine!”

Corina Diaz
Corina Diaz
Community Developer at Lightning Rod Games (social media, marketing and community management), and Editor/Writer at GameDevCafe.com

My name is Corina, and I’m the community developer at Lightning Rod Games. I’ve spent over 10 years in marketing and social media, have a passion for anime and love working in games. Our studio is getting ready to release A FOLD APART, a puzzle platformer about long distance relationships.

“This will be my first GDC and I’m hoping to talk to lots of game devs for our other project, GameDevCafe.com. I’m especially excited for the IGF Awards, because I helped judge some of this year’s entries.”

Xiao Supapo
Regina “Xiao” Supapo
Game Design Manager @ The Studio of Secret6, Inc., IGDA Manila’s Master of Coin, MTM student, and 1/2 of GDL

Xiao from the Philippines, a game design person at The Studio of Secret6, Inc. in Manila. Plays Hearthstone and World of Warships lately during lunch time, if not catching up with her tech management studies. Recently found herself doing event/community organizing. Has an affinity for Batman, fluffy cats, and French Bulldogs.

“Most looking forward to the talks, especially design topics, and sharing all the learnings after! Excited to engage in the all game dev and geeky discussions along the way. It’s also the best time to meet developers from all sorts of different backgrounds and share insights.”

Alizé Rey
Alizé Rey
Level Designer at Sauropod Studio, Game Designer at Osmos Acadamy

After several years of experience in marketing, Alizé went back to school to fulfill her passion for games, and now works full time as a Level Designer for an indie studio in Montréal. On her free time, she is developing a VR experience that will be presented at a national arts festival in Costa Rica.

“I look forward to meet other passionate devs, understand more about the industry and talk to my role models!”

May Ling Tan
May Ling Tan
Game Designer at EA Motive

‘m a game designer embarked on an exciting journey in the industry. I’ve been fortunate enough to work alongside many talented folks at Motive, and previously Ubisoft and WB Games.

“Being at heart of where passionate developers share their wisdom and practices is what I look forward to being at GDC. It’s also a rare opportunity to meet peers and role moles in person, and form personal connections with them. I’m looking forward to see and be be inspired by the various talks and lectures!”

Melissa Auclaire
Melissa Auclaire
Founder at Studio Triome, Software Engineer at Sunverge Energy Inc.

Melissa is a Software Engineer from Seattle who works at Sunverge, a Solar/ Photovoltaic Energy storage startup in San
Francisco. She is also really passionate about games and gaming, and last year she created her first game “Nine Nine Nine”, a number puzzle game for the iPhone/iPad. At GDC Melissa would like to share tips and tricks with others, attend talks, share ideas and meet other developers in preparation for another title that she is currently working on, and is thinking of beginning her own independent game studio, Studio Triome.

In her spare time Melissa is also actively involved with the IGDA, and often plays ‘Riichi’ Mahjong with friends.

Anne Farmer
Anne Farmer
Project Closer

A hyper-organized undercover superhero, I’ve been working in games professionally for 10 years and playing games all my life. In addition to video games, I have a huge passion for MtG, board games, comic books, and tiny corgis. I’m definitely not as ominous as my job title makes me sound.

“I’m looking forward to meeting folks, talking about games, and learning as much as I can from this year’s panels and other attendees. It’s going to be a mighty adventure!”


Marion Esquian
Game Designer at Tribute Games

Marion is one of the co-organizer of Art-Up, an MRGS event that promotes Art and Creativity for everyone. She is also super proud to work at Tribute Games as a game designer on their new secret project! When she finds some free time she develops her own little games. She loves the indie game scene, final fantasy and magical girls!

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 behind Moon Hunters and Shattered Planet. Previously, she worked as a designer at Funcom Games on The Secret World and Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures. She also writes and publishes game design articles and short fiction.

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

Stephanie Fisher
Researcher @ York University; Pixelles Director

Stephanie is WIG community organizer based in Toronto, Ontario. She made her first (and only) game as part of the Hand Eye Society’s Difference Engine Initiative in 2012, but has been more interested in developing and supporting grassroots community-based game dev education initiatives ever since. She joined Pixelles as a co-director in 2015.

“I am looking forward to getting to know the Ensemble, creating our video ‘yearbook’, and eating sushi until I burst!”

Rebecca Cohen-Palacios
Pixelles Director && UI Dev/Artist @ Ubisoft

Rebecca is a latinx UI artist/developer. She co-founded Pixelles and co-organizes GameLoop Montreal with some really rad folks! Rebecca loves to teach game dev workshops and talk about advocacy/game dev/diversity/UI/Mystic Messenger. In her free time, she squishes her cat, solo eats whole bags of chips, and aspires to reach Splatoon’s A+ rank.

“Excited to co-host the Diversity Advocates & Community Organizers Roundtable on the Thursday @ 2:00pm. Ready for the UX Summit, advocacy talks, and leading this year’s Pixelles GDC Scholarship!”

Contact us!

Will you be at GDC and afraid of not knowing anyone? Let us know you’re looking for good company and we’ll invite you to our casual meet-ups, picnics, and other icebreakers. Some people call it ‘networking’ but we call it making friends

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

Pixelles is a non-profit initiative committed to helping more people 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