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These seasoned industry professionals volunteer their time every year to help construct the 400+ GDC conference sessions. They work to ensure that the quality of the content provided to attendees is high-level, relevant, and timely. Their dedication is critical to the success of the conference. Read below to find out about the extraordinary members of the GDC Advisory Board.


Ian Baverstock
Tenshi Ventures
Ian has been in the games industry for over 20 years as a developer and investor. He was a founder and later CEO of Kuju Entertainment for many years, as well as Chairman of TIGA, the UK game developer's trade association for 4 years. Ian is now a partner at Tenshi Ventures, an investment and consultancy group specializing in early stage companies in the games and technology sectors which he co-founded.
Louis Castle
Castle Production Services
Louis is a creative, technical and business consultant for Castle Production Services. Louis was formerly chief strategy officer of SHFL, overseeing R&D, directing business development and building its iGaming business. Louis was the vice president of studios for Zynga, CEO of InstantAction (an IAC company), co-founder of Westwood Studios, and vice president of creative development at Electronic Arts Los Angeles. With the EA management team, Louis helped direct EALA's programming, artwork, audio and research & development departments, and contributed to studio business strategy. Louis was the general manager of Westwood Studios from 2000-2003 and served in creative, business and finance roles, while growing Westwood from two employees in 1985 to over 250 in 2002. In his creative roles, Louis has contributed as an executive producer, creative director, technical director, programmer and artist to over 100 games created by Westwood and EA over 23 years, including the bestselling original franchises Command & Conquer, Lands of Lore and Eye of the Beholder, as well as blockbuster licensed original products, including The Lord of The Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II, The Lion King, Blade Runner and Monopoly.
Christina Coffin
During her 19 years working in the games industry as a programmer & technical director, Christina Coffin has focused her efforts on rendering, optimization, and platform-specific low-level programming.

Over the years she has worked on a diverse number of games such as Ultima Online, Midnight Club II + III, Far Cry 2, Assassin's Creed II, and Battlefield 3. During her time working at DICE, she developed and optimized rendering systems for the Frostbite game engine and Battlefield 3, and presented the highly-rated GDC talk "SPU-based Deferred Shading in Battlefield 3 for Playstation 3".

In 2011, She was awarded the Top Engineer award by the IDGA Women In Gaming group. An outspoken participant in games industry discussions, architecture review boards, and reviewer of graphics research, her passion for games and the development of technology used to build them is never-ending. Christina is now an independent developer working on her own secret projects and game research
Laura Fryer
Oculus VR
Laura Fryer is the General Manager at Oculus VR's Redmond R&D group. Prior to being at Oculus VR, Laura lead Epic Games' Seattle studio, a driving force in the development of Unreal Engine 4, winner of multiple Best of E3 2012 awards. Laura also served four years as vice president and general manager of WB Games Seattle, where she oversaw game development for Seattle area studios, including Monolith Productions and Snowblind Studios. Laura joined Microsoft Game Studios in 1995, and was executive producer for Gears of War and Gears of War 2. As a producer, she conceived and produced Microsoft's first release of, and shipped numerous games, including the classic Crimson Skies and Fighter Ace (Microsoft's first MMO). Laura also served as director of the Xbox Advanced Technology Group and was a founding member of the Xbox project, where she cultivated worldwide Xbox Developer Support, launched XNA, created the Xbox Advisory Board, and ran Xbox game developer events around the world. Laura was honored as one of The Hollywood Reporter's "Top 12 Most Influential Women in Gaming," Next Generation's "Game Industry's 100 Most Influential Women," and Gamasutra's "Top 20 Women in Games." An avid gamer, Laura enjoys taking "video game vacations" to play video games in marathon all-day sessions. Her other hobbies include reading, extreme gardening, and hiking with her dogs.
Amy Hennig
Electronic Arts
Amy Hennig recently joined Electronic Arts as Sr. Creative Director on Visceral Games upcoming Star Wars title. She joined EA after a decade at Naughty Dog as the creative director and writer of Sony Computer Entertainments acclaimed Uncharted game series. Prior to joining Naughty Dog in 2003, she served as the writer and director of the Soul Reaver / Legacy of Kain series over eight years at Crystal Dynamics.

With over 25 years of experience, Amy has been called one of the most influential women in the video game industry. Her work on the Uncharted series has earned a BAFTA award for Story and two WGA Writing Awards in additional to numerous other industry accolades.
Soren Johnson
Mohawk Games
Soren Johnson is the founder and CEO of Mohawk Games, where he applies years of experience developing strategy games as both lead designer and gameplay programmer. While at Firaxis, Johnson designed Civilization IV, a fan favorite that remains one of the highest-rated strategy games of all time. Johnson is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and was a design columnist for Game Developer Magazine. Johnson's other development credits include Civilization III, Spore, and Dragon Age Legends. He holds a bachelor's degree in history and a master's degree in computer science from Stanford University. His thoughts on game design can be found at
Lee Petty
Double Fine Productions
Lee Petty has worked in the game industry in a wide variety of art production and art leadership roles since 1996. Lee has shipped numerous console and PC titles at companies such as Accolade, Infogrames, and Crystal Dynamics. Lee is currently at Double Fine Productions, where he served as the art director of Brutal Legend (2009) and project lead on Stacking (2011).
Brenda Romero
Romero Games
University of Limerick
Brenda Romero is an award-winning game designer, Fulbright scholar, entrepreneur, artist, writer and creative director who entered the video game industry in 1981. Brenda has worked with a variety of digital game companies as a game designer, creative director or consultant, including Atari, Sir-tech Software, Electronic Arts and numerous companies in the social and mobile space. She was also the Program Director of UC Santa Cruz's Master's in Games & Playable Media Program. Brenda is presently a Co-founder / Chief Executive Officer of Loot Drop, a casual game company, and an independent game developer at Romero Games, LLC. Brenda has extensive experience in PC, console and casual gaming.

She is a 2014 Fulbright Scholar, and the recipient of the 2013 Women in Games Lifetime Achievement Award awarded by Microsoft. Romero was previously a nominee in Microsoft's 2010 Women in Games game design award. In 2013, she was listed as one of the industry's top 10 game developers by, along with the likes of industry giants Naughty Dog, Nintendo and Rockstar North. Develop magazine also listed her among the 25 people who changed games in 2013. Romero was also named one of Forbes' "12 Women in Gaming to Watch" in 2013, one of the top 20 most influential women in the game industry by in 2008 and one of the 100 most influential women in the game industry by Next Generation magazine in 2007. Nerve magazine also called her one of the 50 artists, actors, authors, activists and icons who are making the world a more stimulating place.
Justin Thavirat
Blizzard Entertainment
Justin Thavirat has been working in the video game industry since 1994, when he answered a local job posting at school that read, "Do you like to draw and play video games? If so, please send your resume and portfolio to Blizzard Entertainment."

Since then, Justin has worked as an artist and senior art director at Blizzard Entertainment, contributing to game art, concept art, cinematic art, marketing illustrations and box covers for many of Blizzard's award-winning games in the Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo and World of Warcraft series. Recently, Justin was lead artist on World of Warcraft, art director on World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, and is currently an art lead on the StarCraft 2 team.

Justin's art has been featured in numerous publications and exhibits including Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art, The Laguna Art Museum and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Justin is a member of the Game Developers Conference advisory board and is also a senior council member for the Laguna College of Art and Design.

When not spending time with his wife and two boys, Justin's passion is building exceptional art teams, cultivating a collaborative development culture, and empowering artists to achieve something greater than anyone thought possible.
Alan Yu
Alan Yu is a founder of N3TWORK, a personalized internet experience based on your interests.

He previously founded ngmoco, a mobile gaming company acquired by DeNA in 2010.

Many years ago, Alan was the director of the GDC.
Jessica Brunelle
Ember Entertainment
Jessica started her game career in 2000 when she joined Sony Santa Monica as a producer, then later contributed as a designer on the original God of War. This early career experience instilled the passion she has today for improving process and nurturing collaborative team atmospheres. While she's worked on a range of genres and team sizes, she's most at home in a small studio where individuals wear many hats and have opportunities to grow. Jessica is currently Production Director at Ember Entertainment, an independent mobile game company.
Mark Cerny
Cerny Games Inc.
Most recently, Mark has been in the public eye as the lead system architect of the PlayStation 4 hardware, but over the course of his three decades in video games he has primarily worked to create game software. Mark has contributed as game designer, programmer, producer and director, in arcade games and in console games, and in the U.S. and Japan.

As a member of Atari he created the hit arcade game Marble Madness, and at Sega he oversaw the creation of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. While president of Universal Studios' game division, he worked in a variety of production and design roles on the Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon series on the original PlayStation. In 1998 Mark established Cerny Games as a consultancy, and has since participated in the creation of the Jak & Daxter and Ratchet & Clank series on PlayStation 2, the PlayStation 3 titles Resistance: Fall of Man, Resistance II, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, God of War III and Killzone 3, and the PlayStation 4 launch title Knack, on which he served as director.

In 2004 the IGDA honored Mark with its Lifetime Achievement Award, calling him a master collaborator and a jack of all trades. In 2010 the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences inducted Mark into its Hall of Fame as its 13th member.
Halldor Fannar
Halldor Fannar is a Software Architect at NVIDIA, his current focus being on GameWorks. Before joining NVIDIA, Halldor lead the technology development at CCP in the role of CTO for almost a decade. His main responsibilities included mentoring of technical staff and building out the core technology platform that powers the massively-multiplayer universe of EVE Online and Dust 514. Prior to CCP, Halldor held various software engineering and technical leadership roles at Atari/Midway, Lightspeed Games, Electronic Arts, and Maxis. As lead programmer or key contributor for a number of console games on systems ranging from Nintendo 64 to Sony's PlayStation2 to Microsoft Xbox, his list of credits include the highly successful Sims 2 and Sims: Bustin' Out. An avid speaker, Halldor regularly presents at conferences on various topics in game development and technology. Halldor holds a B.Sc. degree in Theoretical Physics from the University of Iceland.
Jeff Hanna
Volition, Inc.
A seventeen-year veteran of the video game industry, Jeff has worked on many notable titles such as Saints Row: The Third, Red Faction: Guerrilla, Dark Age of Camelot, and Planetside. He currently works as a senior technical artist for Deep Silver Volition. At his job he strives to identify new tools and processes that can improve game visuals and benefit artists. Jeff is involved with many community sites such as ScriptSpot, Autodesk's Area, and He is a member of the GDC Advisory Board and also sits on a curriculum advisory board for Purdue University. He was awarded an Autodesk 3ds Max Master award in 2007 and was named an Outstanding Alum of Purdue University's School of Technology in 2012.
Clint Hocking
Clint Hocking entered the game industry working for Ubisoft Montreal in July of 2001 when he began his career as a level designer, game designer and scriptwriter on the original Splinter Cell. Along with writer JT Petty, Clint was honored for his writing work on the title with the first-ever Game Developer's Choice Award for Excellence in Scriptwriting. Clint continued as lead level designer, scriptwriter and creative director on Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory - the highest rated Splinter Cell to date, with an aggregate review score of 94%. Clint then worked as creative director on the innovative and acclaimed Far Cry 2. In 2010, Clint left Ubisoft and moved to San Francisco where worked as a creative director at LucasArts. From 2012 to the end of 2013, Clint worked as a designer and level designer at Valve in Seattle.

Before games, Clint worked in the Web industry and experimented with independent filmmaking while earning an MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia. He maintains a blog at
Julien Merceron
Bandai Namco Studios
Julien started as a programmer on the Atari Jaguar in the early 90s at Shen Technologies in Paris. He then joined Ubisoft Entertainment to work in Game Teams and Engine Teams before becoming the Worldwide Technical Director of Ubisoft Entertainment in 1999. In this role, he played a major role in Studios creation and organization, technology and production pipeline design, multi-platform strategy, as well as AAA features integration, on Brands such as Rayman, Far Cry, Splinter Cell, Prince of Persia, and Assassin's Creed. He also took responsibility for middleware and development strategy, communication and cooperation strategy, and hardware manufacturers and middleware relations.

At the end of 2005, after having worked extensively on PS3 / XBox360, Julien pursued his career at Eidos, where he started to serve as Worldwide CTO working on the Technology Strategy for the Group, before getting involved as well as initiating Eidos Montreal and Eidos Shanghai Studios. Julien became Worldwide Technology Director for Square Enix Group, working on a wide variety of Engines and franchises including Tomb Raider, Final Fantasy, Hitman, Deus Ex and Kingdom Hearts.

In 2013, he joined Konami as Worldwide Technology Director to oversee Fox Engine, work directly on the acclaimed Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain that received many awards, and help advance many games in the group including Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 and 2016.

Julien left Konami recently to join Bandai Namco Studios, where he now serves as their Worldwide Technology Director.
Dave Ranyard
Dave is the former studio director of Sony's London Studio, famous for award-winning titles such as SingStar, EyeToy, EyePet and more recently, Wonderbook: Book of Spells & Diggs Nightcrawler. After graduating with his Ph.D. in artificial intelligence, Dave started out as an artificial intelligence programmer at Psygnosis' Leeds Studio. He later moved to Sony Computer Entertainment Entertainment's London Studio where he has had a variety of roles, including audio programmer, audio manager, creative services manager and game director, before taking up the mantle of studio director in 2012. Under Dave's direction, London Studio will be developing their portfolio of existing IP and innovating with new IP for the next generation.

Dave is a keen musician having written and produced many records over the past 20 years, and has played numerous gigs as a musician or DJ all over the world.
Adam Saltsman
Adam 'Atomic' Saltsman is the founder and studio director of Finji, creators of Canabalt, Old Spice: Dikembe Mutumbo's 4 1/2 Weeks to Save the World, Indie Game: The Movie for Steam, The Hunger Games: Girl on Fire, Breakdancing Superspy, Cubic Space and Capsule. In 2012, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City acquired Canabalt alongside Tetris, Pac-Man, SimCity and other classics as part of their permanent collection. Adam also co-founded the independent iOS studio Semi Secret Software in 2008, where he art directed Wurdle and co-designed Hundreds with Greg Wohlwend.

Besides serving on the GDC advisory board and maintaining and distributing Flixel, a Flash game development library, Adam also works with IGF Chairman Brandon Boyer to organize Juegos Rancheros, an indie gaming collective, as well as the annual Fantastic Arcade festival. Adam lives and works in Austin, Texas with his wife, sons and pug dogs.
Steve Theodore
Undead Labs
Steve fell in love with computer animation in the Dark Ages, in more ways than one. He dropped out of a Ph.D. program in ancient history to start rendering 3D scenes on the Brown University mainframe. Steve went pro in the early '90s, doing animations for a variety of commercial and television projects. His first game job was building mechs and environments for FASA's MechCommander in 1995.

In the subsequent two decades, Steve has worked on some of the most well-known titles in the industry. He worked as an artist and animator on Half-Life, Team Fortress Classic, Team Fortress 2 and Counter-Strike. In recent years, he's specialized in art tools and pipelines, first as the artist-in-residence for the Granny animation system, then as the technical art manager at Zipper Interactive (SOCOM 3 and M.A.G.) and technical art director at Bungie (Halo 3). He's currently the technical art director for Undead Labs (State of Decay).

Steve wrote the Pixel Pusher art column for Game Developer magazine from 2003 until the magazine ceased publishing in 2013. This year, he's one of the authors on Production Pipeline Fundamentals for Film and Games from Focal Press. He blogs on technical art at
Chris Butcher
Chris is an engineering director at Bungie, where he is responsible for technical vision and systems engineering. Currently, he is a principal architect of Bungie's next-generation game engine for their new IP project Destiny.

In his fourteen years at Bungie, Chris has witnessed its evolution from independent developer to a first-party studio within Microsoft Game Studios and now back to an independent developer. During this time, he has helped lead Bungie's engineering team by developing artificial intelligence, graphics, networking and systems engineering technologies for Oni, the Halo series and Destiny. He holds a Master of Science in computer graphics from the University of Otago in New Zealand.
Chris Charla
Chris Charla is the director of ID@Xbox at Microsoft. ID@Xbox enables independent developers to self-publish their games on Xbox One. He launched ID@Xbox after working with developers for three years as portfolio director for XBLA at Microsoft Studios. Prior to joining Microsoft, he was VP of business development at Foundation 9 Entertainment, having sold out and become a suit after several years working as a designer and producer on creating original IP and doing fun things with licensed IP. Back in the day, he was editor in chief of Next Generation magazine and launch editor of He also edits the fanzines Incredibly Strange Games and Wallingford Skate Report.
Dan Fiden
Dan Fiden is the chief strategy officer at FunPlus - a profitable mobile and social game company with over 200 employees on three continents. Launching his career in the game industry over 15 years ago, Dan served as creative director on the You Don't Know Jack series of games at independent developer Jellyvision. He then joined Emmy-nominated Spiderdance and casino game-maker WMS Gaming in the same capacity. Dan also served in various roles at Pogo/Electronic Arts, followed by a move to Playfish as general manager of the U.S. studio. Prior to FunPlus, Dan worked with Playdom founder Rick Thompson in 2010, first as CEO of Wild Needle (sold to Zynga) and Playchemy (sold to Iddiction), then as co-founder of Signia Venture Partners - a venture fund focused on mobile software and games.
Chris Hecker
definition six, inc.
Chris focuses on solving hard problems at the intersection of gameplay, aesthetics, and technology. He is an outspoken advocate for pushing the current boundaries of design and interactivity, in the hope that games will eventually achieve their full potential as a medium. To this end, he helped organize the Indie Game Jam and the Experimental Gameplay Workshop, and his recent work has centered on using proceduralism and artificial intelligence to enhance player creativity and agency. Chris has been on the advisory board for the Game Developers Conference for many years, and is a regular speaker at the GDC, Siggraph, and other conferences. A frequent contributor to Game Developer magazine, Chris was the technical columnist for the magazine for two years, the editor at large for three, and is currently on the editorial board of the computer graphics research publication, The Journal of Graphics Tools. He has worked at both ends of the development spectrum, as a one-man indie game developer with his company definition six, inc. and on a hundred-person team at Maxis/Electronic Arts. His professional goal is to help games become the preeminent art and entertainment form of the 21st century. His current project is SpyParty, an indie game about subtle human behavior and deception.
Chelsea Howe
Electronic Arts
Chelsea likes making games that make a difference. She's currently a creative director at EA Mobile and co-founder of the Queerness and Games Conference. Previously, she's worked as senior game designer at TinyCo, at Zynga designing and analyzing features that touched tens of millions of people, and at SuperBetter Labs she used research on positive emotion and social connection to make those touches more powerful, evocative and meaningful. By night Chelsea designs award-winning indie games, runs the San Francisco Global Game Jam and teaches students at California College of the Arts about playful experiences. In 2012, she received the Microsoft WIG Rising Star award and was one of Fast Company's 100 Most Creative People in Business.
Rob Pardo
Rob was the chief creative officer of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc., Rob Pardo was dedicated to ensuring that each Blizzard Entertainment title offers players the epic entertainment experience on which the company has built its reputation. Based on the achievements of Blizzard games under his direction, Pardo was recognized by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world and The Wall Street Journal named him as one of the top 25 power players in the game industry. Pardo can also be heard as a keynote speaker or lecturer at prestigious industry events, including the Game Developers Conference, the D.I.C.E. Summit and TED conferences. While at Blizzard, he provided overarching creative direction for World of Warcraft and lead a group of highly experienced development teams. Recent Blizzard Entertainment titles to reach players under his leadership include StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, Diablo III, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft and all of World of Warcraft's record-setting expansion sets including Mists of Pandaria. Pardo also provides game design oversight and mentorship on all Blizzard games.
Siobhan Reddy
Media Molecule
Siobhan Reddy is studio director at Media Molecule, the band of creative minds behind the hugely successful and innovative LittleBigPlanet game franchise.

Cultivating an early fascination with fanzines, technology, pop-culture, and entertainment led to her first job at Spike Wireless. When she relocated at age 18 from native Australia to the UK, Siobhan entered the games industry as a production assistant at Perfect Entertainment on DiscWorld Noir. By 1999 she had joined Criterion Games as producer, where she consistently shipped high quality titles, including Burnout 3 and Burnout 4.

In 2006, seeking a new challenge and the opportunity to be part of a close-knit and creative team, Siobhan joined the newly founded Media Molecule, to work alongside directors Mark Healey, Alex Evans, Dave Smith, Kareem Ettouney, and Chris Lee. Together, the small studio would go on to do big things, including winning dozens of awards for LittleBigPlanet 1 and 2.

In 2011, Media Molecule took the step to being a 2 project studio. The first of these was announced in 2012: it is the studios first Vita project, Tearaway, and it continues Media Molecule's focus on creative gaming and getting people making things. The second project is still secret squirrels.
Brian Schmidt
Brian Schmidt Studios
Brian Schmidt is founder and president of Brian Schmidt Studios, one of the industry's leading game audio and technology companies. A recipient of the 2008 Game Audio Network Guild's Lifetime Achievement Award, Brian is a 25-year veteran of the game audio industry and is recognized as one of the foremost experts in game audio. Brian's credits include more than 130 games for companies including Zynga, EA, Sega, Capcom, Sony, Midway, and Namco. He also has over 20 patents to his name. Brian is frequently called upon to provide inspiring keynote addresses for conferences such as the GDC or Project BBQ, or to give detailed technical and creative presentations to help educate the game audio community at large. Brian uses his blend of hands-on composition and sound design experience, combined with deep technical knowledge, to push new boundaries and further the state of the interactive audio industry.

Prior to ending his 10-year tenure at Microsoft in March 2008, Brian was the primary architect for game audio at Xbox, where he was the driving force behind initiatives such as bringing interactive Dolby Digital to video gaming. He was responsible for the overall design of the Xbox 360 audio system, and responsible for the design of such award-winning technologies as XMA Compression and the Xbox Audio Creation Tool (XACT). Brian is also the founder and executive director for GameSoundCon, the leading conference on sound and music for video games. On the creative side, Brian has composed music and created sound design for over 130 arcade and console games, including many years of John Madden Football, the Desert Strike series, Jurassic Park, the Star Wars Trilogy, and the award-winning Crue Ball. He's composed for notable personalities such as Aaron Spelling, Michael Jordan, and Joel Silver. His theme for the classic video game, Narc, was covered by The Pixies in their Planet of Sound release. Brian currently resides in Bellevue, Washington.
Ru Weerasuriya
Ready At Dawn Studios
With over 16 years of experience in the entertainment industry, Ru started his career with industry-renowned developer Blizzard Entertainment. Initially working on Starcraft, he then led the cinematic art direction for Warcraft III, Starcraft: Ghost and World of Warcraft, and helped the Blizzard film department win numerous awards and accolades over the years.

In 2003, Ru co-founded Ready at Dawn Studios. 2006 saw the release of Daxter to commercial and critical acclaim, winning multiple Game of the Year awards. In 2008, the studio released its second game, God of War: Chains of Olympus under Ru's direction. Hailed by the public and critics as the best PSP game ever made, it has won both a 2008 Academy Achievement Award and a 2008 Game Developer's Choice Award. The studio's following title, God of War: Ghost of Sparta achieved a similar feat in 2010 winning another Academy Achievement Award as well as a VGA award.

As chief executive and creative officer of Ready at Dawn Studios, Ru leads the company's business and creative development. He serves as the creative director and writer on the studio's latest title, The Order: 1886, an original intellectual property developed exclusively for the upcoming PlayStation 4.

Ru has been named one of the top 100 developers in the world in both 2008 and 2009, and for the last few years, has served as a judge for the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences' Achievement Awards and as a member of the advisory board for the Game Developers Conference. An alumnus of Art Center College of Design, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in industrial & transportation design. His work has appeared in several publications.

A native of Sri Lanka, having grown up in Switzerland, Ru has lived and worked in Southern California since 1996.


Penka Kouneva
Composer Penka Kouneva enjoys reputation as a unique talent. Working alongside Steve Jablonsky she composed the score for PRINCE OF PERSIA: FORGOTTEN SANDS and TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN video games, and has scored many indie features (MIDNIGHT MOVIE) and television (SyFy channel telefilms, FORENSIC FILES). Her style called "haunting and passionate" is a blend of her Eastern European heritage, classical training, and media scoring.

These days her passion and focus is on scoring video games (2014 releases: the award-winnig casual Rollers of the Realm, Intense Life, the PS4 H-Hour: The World's Elite, Sony's Project Beast - lead orchestrator, and others to be unveiled soon). She is extremely excited to contribute to the community she feels most energized by - game makers and game composers.

In 1999 Penka arrived to Los Angeles with only one contact, small savings and great passion for media music. In the following decade she worked as a Lead orchestrator and composer on game & film titles grossing $10 billion worldwide: Matrix, Transformers, Pirates (films), World of Warcraft, Starcraft II, Gears of War 2, 3, Prince of Persia: Forgotten Sands, Sims 3, Diablo III, Need for Speed, Dragon Age II (games).

Last year she became the first woman since Shirley Walker to be the Lead Orchestrator on two studio films with budgets over $100M -- Elysium and Ender's Game. Penka is also known as a Master Mentor who builds teams in score production, opens doors, provides training, employment and career-changing opportunities for young composers.

Her composition awards include : the SUNDANCE Composer Fellowship, two Ovation Awards, The Copland Award, Hollywood Music in Media Award, Square Enix Music Online nomination, Independent Music Award, and others.
Scott Selfon
Scott Selfon is a Principal Engineering Lead in Microsoft's Advanced Technology Group (ATG), where he manages developer consultancy, education, support and advocacy efforts across Microsoft gaming platforms and technologies. He is also ATG's senior audio specialist, helping composers, sound designers, audio programmers and game designers with technical and creative challenges in developing sound for games. Scott has composed music for a wide range of media, including film, television, games and live performance, and is a violist with the Puget Sound Symphony in Seattle. He is a member of the Seattle Composers Alliance and is on the advisory board of the Game Audio Network Guild (G.A.N.G.). As an educator, Scott is a faculty member of both the Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program and the University of Southern California, has coordinated and lectured at the Game Developers Conference's Audio Boot Camp tutorial sessions for more than fifteen years, and has spoken at conferences worldwide on audio, interactive entertainment and sound implementation techniques and technologies for interactive media. Scott is an alumnus of the University of Southern California, where he obtained dual degrees in music composition (film scoring emphasis) and computer engineering/computer science.
Kenneth Young
Kenny is a freelance audio director, composer and sound designer, best known for his work as the mastermind behind the celebrated audio experiences in Media Molecule's LittleBigPlanet and Tearaway franchises. He is currently working with his friends at Foamsword Games on the successfully crowd-funded Knights And Bikes, and with several other clients on unannounced projects.

A passionate and committed member of the game audio community, in addition to helping put together the audio track at GDC, Kenny is a G.A.N.G. IESD co-chair, speaks regularly at conferences and higher education institutions around the world, assists in judging award categories, contributes towards books and articles, and runs the blog as a resource for those who wish to learn more about interactive audio. He holds an MA with distinction in sound design from Bournemouth University and a BMus with honours in music technology from the University of Edinburgh.

You can find Kenny on Twitter @kcmyoung


  • Kathy (Schoback) Astromoff
  • Mike Capps
  • Carey Chico
  • Doug Church
  • Mark DeLoura
  • Jullian Eggebrecht
  • Rod Fergusson
    Black Tusk Studios
  • Rob Huebner
    Nihilistic Software
  • Noel Llopis
    Snappy Touch
  • Cyrus Lum
  • Masaya Matsuura
  • Ichiro Otobe
    Square Enix Co., Ltd.
  • Dave Perry
  • Bob Rafei
    Big Red Button Entertainment
  • Steve Reid
    Red Storm Entertainment
  • Paul Steed
  • Tommy Tallarico
    Tommy Tallarico Studios
  • Chance Thomas


  • Daniel Pagelina
    Double Fine Games
  • Miguel Bernal Merino
    Roehampton University
  • Mario Vasquez
  • Fabio Minazzi
    Binari Sonari
  • Ben Wibberley
    VMC Game Labs
  • Sulka Haro

GDC Next Advisory Board

  • Cindy Armstrong
  • Thomas Bidaux
    ICO Partners
  • J Allen Brack
    Blizzard Entertainment
  • Eugene Evans
  • Chris Enock
    Riot Games
  • Mike Goslin
    Rebel Entertainment
  • Joe McDonagh
    Blue Manchu Games
  • Richard Vogel
    BattleCry Studios
  • Robert Zubek
  • Laralyn McWilliams
    The Workshop Entertainment
  • Caryl Shaw
    TellTale Games
  • Graeme Devine
    GRL Games
  • Chris Pruett
    Robot Invader
  • Greg Rice
    Double Fine Productions
  • Raph Koster
  • Chris Meyer
    BattleCry Studios
  • Min Kim
    Nexon America Inc.