‪‪ GDC | Advisory Board

Advisory Board

These seasoned industry professionals volunteer their time every year to help construct the 500+ 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.


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. Ian is also an executive at digital publisher Chilled House and Focal Point VR, a VR technology company.
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 the production director at Ember Entertainment, an independent mobile game company.
Chris Butcher

Chris is an engineering director at Bungie, where he is responsible for principal engineering and technical oversight. Currently, he is working on concept development for Bungie's next round of new franchises.

In his eighteen 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.

Louis Castle
Amazon Games

Louis leads the Amazon Games Studios in Seattle. Louis is best known as the Co-Founder of Westwood Studios and formerly served as the CSO of SHFL, Vice President of Studios for Zynga, CEO of IAC's Instant Action, and Vice President of Creative Development at Electronic Arts Los Angeles. Louis has contributed as an executive producer, creative director, programmer and artist to over 100 games in the past 30+ 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'.

Mark Cerny
Cerny Games Inc.
Most recently, Mark has been in the public eye as the lead system architect of the PS4 and PS4 Pro, but over the course of his 35 years in video games he has primarily worked to create game software. Mark has contributed as a game designer, programmer, producer and director, in arcade games and in console games, 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 'Knack' series on PlayStation 4.

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.
Chris Charla

Chris Charla is the Senior Director of [email protected] at Microsoft. [email protected] is Microsoft's self-publishing platform for digital games. He launched the program after working with developers as portfolio director for XBLA at Microsoft Studios, and working as an independent developer for 10 years prior to joining Microsoft. As an independent developer he worked at various times as a producer, designer, and biz dev person, helping to create original IP and do fun things with licensed IPs. Back in the day, he was editor in chief of Next Generation magazine and launch editor of IGN.com. He also edits the fanzines Incredibly Strange Games and Wallingford Skate Report.

Jamie Cheng

Jamie is the Founder and CEO of Klei, the makers of a wide variety of titles including 'Don't Starve', 'Mark of the Ninja' and 'Oxygen Not Included'. These days his time is split between game design and business strategy.

Prior to Klei, Jamie was an AI programmer at Relic Entertainment, working on games such as 'Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War'.

Christina Coffin

During her 24 years working in the game industry as a programmer and 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 Cry2', 'Assassin's Creed II', and 'Battlefield 3'. In 2011, she was awarded the Top Engineer award by the IDGA Women in Gaming group. An outspoken participant in game 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 related research in technical art, VFX, and animation.

Geoff Evans
Infinity Ward

Geoff Evans is Tools Director at Infinity Ward in Los Angeles. He has been building game development tools for over 15 years. His tools work includes asset pipeline design/optimization as well as building effective asset editing tools and necessary infrastructure. His previous experience includes Kojima Productions (LA), Neversoft, and an 8-year tenure at Insomniac Games.

Geoff is also active in open source development including Helium Project (heliumproject.org), a collection of C++ application libraries, and founding Insomniac's Nocturnal Initiative open source project.

Halldor Fannar

Halldor Fannar is the Director of Technology at NVIDIA, currently focusing on simulation and graphics technology. Before joining NVIDIA, Halldor led the technology development at CCP in the role of CTO for almost a decade. His main responsibilities included mentoring the 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.

Andreas Fredriksson
Unity Technologies

Andreas has worked on blockbuster games at DICE and Insomniac Games. He's credited on titles like Battlefield 2 and 3, as well as Ratchet and Clank PS4 and Sunset Overdrive. His career has mostly been focused on engine development, optimization and team leadership. At DICE, he was a part of the Frostbite engine team, working on the technology that powers EA's internal engine. At Insomniac, Andreas served as a lead engine programmer and gameplay director.

Currently Andreas is at Unity, working on the future direction on the Unity engine which aims to democratize Data-Oriented Design.

Christian Gyrling
Naughty Dog

Christian is the programming director at Naughty Dog where he has worked for 11 years shipping critically acclaimed games like the 'Uncharted' and 'The Last of Us' series.

In 2001 he moved from Sweden to follow his dream of one day having his name on the credits list of a successful game. His first job in the US was as a tester, and later as a programmer, at WMS Gaming making video slot machines. San Diego and High Moon Studios (formerly Sammy Studios) was the next stop in 2004 where he developed AI for the vampire-shooter 'Darkwatch' for PS2 and Xbox. In 2006 he joined Naughty Dog where his passion for game development has led him to work on AI, animation, job system, low-level optimization, network infrastructure, tools and more.

Jeff Hanna
Deep Silver Volition

For nearly a quarter century Jeff has worked in the games industry. He has contributed to many notable titles such as 'Agents of Mayhem', 'Saints Row: The Third', 'Red Faction: Guerilla', 'Dark Age of Camelot', and 'Planetside'. He currently works as a Principal Technical Artist for Deep Silver Volition. Along with his job Jeff strives to build an online community for technical artists. To that end he contributes to the running of www.tech-artists.org and the worldwide TA Slack, tech-artists.slack.com. 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.

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 the 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.
Amy Hennig

In a career spanning nearly 30 years, from the Atari 7800 to the PlayStation 4, Amy Hennig has worked as an artist, animator, game designer, and most notably in the last two decades, as a writer and director. Most recently, Amy worked as the creative director and lead writer on Visceral Games' 'Star Wars' title, at Electronic Arts. This was following a decade at Naughty Dog as the creative director and writer of Sony Computer Entertainment's acclaimed 'Uncharted' game series. Prior to joining Naughty Dog, she served as the writer and director of the groundbreaking 'Soul Reaver' / 'Legacy of Kain' series over eight years at Crystal Dynamics.

She has been called one of the most influential women in the game industry. Her work on the 'Uncharted' series has earned countless industry awards, including a BAFTA for Story and two consecutive WGA Videogame Writing Awards. In 2016, Amy was presented with the BAFTA Special Award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the video game industry.

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 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: Choas 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 at Valve. From 2014 until mid-2015 he worked for Amazon Game Studios in Seattle. He currently works at Ubisoft again, this time in Toronto. Before games Clint worked in the web industry and experimented with independent filmmaking while earning an M.F.A in creative writing from the University of British Columbia. He maintains a blog at www.clicknothing.com.

Chelsea Howe
Owlchemy Labs
Chelsea likes making games that make a difference. She's currently a Product Director at Owlchemy Labs and co-founder of the Queerness and Games Conference. Previously, she's worked at EA, TinyCo, SuperBetter Labs, and Zynga, experimenting with F2P and consulting on playful experiences. By night Chelsea designs award-winning indie games, runs game jams, and teaches students at places like Coder Dojo and California College of the Arts. Her recognitions include Forbes 30 Under 30 in Games, Fortune's 10 Powerful Women in Games, and Fast Company's 100 Most Creative People in Business.
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. Mohawk released its debut game, the economic RTS 'Offworld Trading Company', in 2016, and is currently working on the historical, turn-based strategy game 'Ten Crowns'. 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 www.designer-notes.com.

Carolin Krenzer
Trailmix Ltd

Carolin co-founded Trailmix in December 2017 and received backing by Supercell, the maker of Clash of Clans, a few months later. The small team of industry veterans is focusing on free-to-play mobile games and they are based in central London.

Before founding Trailmix, Carolin worked as VP & Head of Studio for King, the maker of Candy Crush Saga. She joined the company in the summer of 2012 to help set up the London studio and bring the studio's first title called Farm Heroes Saga to life.

Prior to joining King, Carolin worked at EA/ Playfish as the Director of Product Management and ran product for the popular title 'The Sims Social' as well as managed the tycoon game 'Restaurant City'. Before moving to London and joining the Games Industry, she worked as a Management Consultant for Accenture in Munich.

Carolin is also member of the BAFTA games committee and an advisor to the War Child's gaming projects.

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 and engine teams before becoming the worldwide technical director of Ubisoft Entertainment in 1999. In this role, he played a major part in the studio's creation, organization, technology, production pipeline design, and multi-platform strategy, as well as in 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 / PC, Julien pursued his career at Eidos, where he served as the worldwide CTO working on the technology strategy, as well as leading initiatives like the creation of Eidos Montreal and Eidos Shanghai Studios. Julien became the worldwide technology director for Square Enix Group in 2009, 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 the worldwide technology director to oversee Fox Engine, work directly on the acclaimed 'Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain', and help advance many games in the group including 'Pro Evolution Soccer' 2015 and 2016 that - these years - caught up with its competitor Metacritic.

Julien joined Bandai Namco Studios end of 2015, where he now serves as their Worldwide Technology Director.

Rob Pardo
Bonfire Studios
Rob works at Bonfire Studios, a game studio focused on multiplayer games that bring players closer together, united in a sense of adventure, exploration and fellowship. Previous to Bonfire Studios, Rob was the Chief Creative Officer for Blizzard Entertainment. Rob is best known for his work as the lead designer on 'StarCraft: Brood War', 'Warcraft III' and 'World of Warcraft'. 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. During his time at Blizzard, Rob was fundamental in building the game design department and culture within the company and mentoring all the senior designers within the studio.
Lee Petty
Double Fine Productions

Lee has been involved in video games since 1996 in a variety of art production and leadership roles. Lee has worked for a variety of video game developers and publishers and is currently at Double Fine Productions where he was the art director on 'Brutal Legend' & 'Broken Age' and project lead on 'Stacking', 'Autonomous' and 'Headlander'. In addition to his work in video games, Lee also does freelance illustration and design work. In his free time, Lee is also working on 'Pettyland', an eight-player board game where players battle to take control of a delusional artist's mind.

Nick Popovich
Monomi Park

Nick Popovich is the Co-founder and CEO of Monomi Park, and Game Director of Monomi Park's breakout hit, Slime Rancher. Since launching in 2016, Slime Rancher has garnered critical acclaim, including a BAFTA nomination, and has been enjoyed by millions of players.

Before founding Monomi Park, Nick spent nearly a decade at Three Rings/SEGA where he created and lead Spiral Knights, one of the first Free to Play games on Steam and recipient of the 'Best Online Game Design' award at the Game Developers Choice Awards. @nickpopovich

Dave Ranyard
Dream Reality Interactive

Dave set up Dream Reality Interactive in September 2016. The team, which is constantly growing, has a rich history in developing VR, AR and singing games, some of whom worked with Dave at Sony's London Studio.

Prior to Dream Reality Interactive, Dave was the Director of Sony's London Studio, the home of multi-million selling game franchises 'SingStar', 'DanceStar', 'Wonderbook' and 'PlayStationVR Worlds'.

Before heading up London Studio he was an Audio Manager, Creative Services Manager, Executive Producer on games 'SingStar' and 'Wonderbook', and has released a number of dance records.

Dave is also an active member of the game development industry, holding positions on the BAFTA Games Committee, the Game Developers Conference (San Francisco), XR Developers Conference (San Francisco), and the Virtual Reality World Congress.

Siobhan Reddy
Media Molecule
Siobhan Reddy is the studio director at Media Molecule, the band of creative minds behind the hugely successful and innovative 'LittleBigPlanet' game franchise. Aged just 18, Siobhan relocated from her native Australia to the UK, an early fascination with fanzines, technology, pop-culture and entertainment leading her to the UK games industry, which she entered as a production assistant at Perfect Entertainment on 'DiscWorld Noir'. By 1999 she was with Criterion Games, 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. The small studio would go on to do big things, including winning dozens of awards for 'LittleBigPlanet', 'LittleBigPlanet 2', 'Tearaway' and 'Tearaway Unfolded'. Currently in the works is the hotly-anticipated 'Dreams' for PlayStation4.

Siobhan is gratified to have been recognized for her work with a number of accolades, which includes being named one of the top 100 most powerful women in the UK by BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour and the Qantas Australian Woman of the year in the UK, both in 2013. In 2016 she was awarded the MCV Women in Games Creative Impact award.
Adam Saltsman

Adam Saltsman is the co-founder and Director of Finji, a collaborative game studio based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Adam is probably best known for creating 'Canabalt', the mobile game that popularized the endless runner genre, now a part of the Museum of Modern Art's design collection. Before relaunching Finji in 2014, Adam also helped design the award-nominated tablet puzzler 'Hundreds', and contributed to indie darlings like 'FEZ' and 'Cave Story+'. Adam and his wife Bekah have published several award-winning indie games including 'Feist', 'Panoramical', and 'Night in the Woods', and are currently hard at work on 'Overland' and Andrew Shouldice's 'Tunic'. Adam also serves as an advisor to Femicom Museum and the NYU Game Center Incubator, as well as helping organize Fantastic Arcade and Juegos Rancheros.

Brian Schmidt
Brian Schmidt Studios
Brian Schmidt is the 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.
Caryl Shaw
Double Fine Productions

Caryl Shaw is currently the VP of Development for Double Fine Productions in San Francisco, California.

Prior to joining Double Fine, Caryl worked for large developers like Electronic Arts/Maxis and Amazon as well as smaller companies like Telltale Games and ngmoco:) focusing on team management and growth, game production, quality assurance management and online features and telemetry.

She's spoken internationally about a range of topics including: running a live mobile game, the changing role of game production in development and putting user-generated content to work in video games.

Angie Smets
Guerrilla Games

Angie is Executive Producer and part of the management team at Guerrilla Games, a video game development studio based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. She earned a master's degree from the Design Academy Eindhoven and started her career as an industrial designer, with a specialization in human-computer interaction. Angie gained her first experience in the video games industry over 18 years ago while developing for CD-I and CD-ROM formats. The medium's combination of creativity and technology ignited a passion for video games, and in 2003 Angie joined Guerrilla to help create the studio's first console title, a first-person shooter for PlayStation 2 called 'Killzone'. Five additional 'Killzone' games for various PlayStation hardware platforms followed, culminating with the release of the PlayStation 4 launch title 'Killzone Shadow Fall'. Most recently, Angie shipped Guerrilla's first venture into the action RPG genre, 'Horizon Zero Dawn', to widespread popular and critical acclaim.

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 art director on 'World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade', lead artist on 'Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void', and is currently the senior art department supervisor for Blizzard Entertainment's creative development department.

Justin's art has been featured in numerous publications and exhibits including Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Justin sits on the Game Developers Conference advisory board and is the recipient of an honorary doctorate of fine arts from the Laguna College of Art and Design for his contributions to the industry and his assistance in establishing a thriving game art major at the college.

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.
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 90's, 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 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').
Ru Weerasuriya
Ready At Dawn Studios

With over 21 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. In 2015, the studio released 'The Order: 1886', an original intellectual property developed exclusively for the PlayStation 4. The game is still hailed as a technological marvel, showcasing the power of the current console generation. It went on to win the prestigious Visual Effects Society Award in Hollywood.

As Chief Creative and Executive Officer of Ready At Dawn Studios, Ru leads the company's overall game and creative development. He serves as the creative director across all the studio's titles, the latest being the ground-breaking and critically-acclaimed 'Echo VR' franchise, which includes 'Lone Echo', 'Echo Arena' and 'Echo Combat'. These games have set benchmarks in the virtual reality world during the past year, winning two Academy Achievement Awards amongst many others, and becoming the first VR Esport in the Virtual Reality Challenger League.

Ru has been named one of the top 100 developers in the world in both 2008 and 2009, and currently serves 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.

Alan Yu

Alan Yu is a founder of N3TWORK, a new type of games, media, and technology company.

He previously founded ngmoco which was acquired by DeNA in 2010.

Many years ago, Alan was the director of GDC.


GDC Audio Advisory Board

Penka Kouneva

Composer Penka Kouneva is known as an exceptional talent and "an artist of uncommon passion" (Billboard). Her scoring credits include games 'Prince of Persia' and 'Transformers' (with themes by Steve Jablonsky). She has scored many games on her own such as 'The Mummy' VR game, 'Hellboy' VR experience (Lionsgate), and mobile games including 'Cookie Jam 2', 'Mayhem', 'Chime Sharp DLC', 'Rollers of the Realm', and 'H-Hour'. Penka composed for American astronauts on the $30M NASA attraction 'Heroes and Legends' at the Kennedy Space Center. Her scores, The Woman Astronaut and Rebirth of Id, were released by Universal Music to rapturous acclaim. Penka has also orchestrated on Blizzard games: 'Overwatch', 'World of Warcraft', 'StarCraft II', 'Diablo III', and on 'Bloodborne' and the 'Gears of War' franchise. Penka's awards include Sundance Fellowship, Duke Distinguished Alumna, and Game Audio Network Guild's 2015 Recognition Award. She is passionate about innovation, artist development and mentoring.

Scott Selfon
Scott Selfon is the Audio Experiences Lead at Oculus, exploring the technical, creative, and design languages of sound for virtual and augmented reality. Prior to that, he was engaged in developer consultancy, education, and support efforts across three generations of the Xbox game console and broader Windows audio efforts at Microsoft. 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. A member of the Game Audio Network Guild (G.A.N.G.) advisory board, Scott has been 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 Audio Boot Camp tutorial sessions for more than fifteen years, and has spoken at the 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.
Kenny Young

Kenny is a 6x academy (BAFTA, AIAS) nominated freelance audio director, composer and sound designer, best known for his work as the driving force behind the celebrated audio experiences in Media Molecule's 'LittleBigPlanet' and 'Tearaway' franchises. Recent work includes Foamsword's 'Knights And Bikes', Sony Japan Studio's 'ASTRO BOT: Rescue Mission', and the G.A.N.G-nominated scores for 'Tethered' and 'WonderWorlds'.

A passionate and committed member of the game audio community, Kenny has been helping to put together the audio track at GDC since 2007, speaks regularly at conferences and higher education institutions around the world, has assisted in judging BAFTA, Ivor Novello, G.A.N.G and IGF award categories, is a multi-award winning writer, runs the blog gamesound.org as a resource for those who wish to learn more about interactive audio and was a founding member of the Audio Mentoring Project. He holds an MA with distinction in sound design from Bournemouth University and a BMus with honors in music technology from the University of Edinburgh, and lives near London with his wife and son.

You can find Kenny on Twitter @kcmyoung


GDC Advisory Board Emeritus

  • Kathy (Schoback) Astromoff
  • Mike Capps
  • Carey Chico
  • Doug Church
  • Mark DeLoura
  • Jullian Eggebrecht
  • Rod Fergusson
    Black Tusk Studios
  • Dan Fiden
  • Laura Fryer
  • 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
  • Brenda Romero
  • Steve Reid
    Red Storm Entertainment
  • Paul Steed
  • Tommy Tallarico
    Tommy Tallarico Studios
  • Chance Thomas

GDC Summit Advisory Board Emeritus

  • Lilian 'Lil' Chen
    YouTube Gaming
  • Mary DeMarle
    Eidos Montreal
  • Susan Gold
  • Sulka Haro
  • Frank Lantz
    Area/Code, NYU Game Center
  • Miguel Bernal Merino
    Roehampton University
  • Patrick Miller
    Radiant Entertainment
  • Fabio Minazzi
    Binari Sonari
  • Daniel Pagelina
    Double Fine Games
  • Donna Prior
    Catan Studio
  • Chris Pruett
    Robot Invader
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