Artist at CerebralFix
Hannah is an experienced 2D illustrator, Vector artist and art manager, who has been working in the games industry for the past 5 years at CerebralFix. She strives for excellence and has a keen eye looking towards the future of the New Zealand Games Industry. As a member of the NZGDA and a major contributor to the organisation of NZGDC, her motto is to ‘leave it better then you found it’ – in improving inclusiveness, representation and building on the achievements of past board members and industry.
QA at PikPok
Mead is an experienced QA Tester for Pikpok, and has been involved in the New Zealand games community for five years. She has spent a lot of time volunteering in the community, from assisting game dev workshops for universities and high schools, to being an NZGDA Board Member the last four years. Mead is a big supporter of helping students get into the industry, and promoting independent studios and developers. She was an organiser of the 2021 New Zealand Game Developers Conference, and looks forward to being involved again this year.
Executive Director for NZGDA
As the inaugural Executive Director of NZGDA, Leanne brings experience in strategic communications and business development across startups, not-for-profits and the public sectors in the UK, US and UAE. An Irish immigrant to Aotearoa in 2016, Leanne’s first role in New Zealand was with mobile games studio Runaway, before teaching Marketing and Entrepreneurship at the University of Otago. Previous to joining the NZGDA, Leanne was Director of Marketing, Sales and Communications at Otago Polytechnic and served on the Board of Startup Dunedin.
Chai Hui Yin
Kiwi Interactive Logo and Conference Assets
Wellington-based designer and illustrator specialising in editorial design and brand identity. I’m passionate about creating compelling visual narratives both playful and profound, especially about cultural tensions and personal legacies. I enjoy playing indie games and the soulslike genre, as well as being part of community-led zines in my spare time
NZGDC22 Feature illustration
Josh is a freelance illustrator based in Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland. He has worked across a range of fields from animation to politics and spends his time creating goofy little pictures for businesses, publications, and to make himself laugh.
Holly Parkes is an Eevee enthusiast, aspiring game developer and team member of Dunedin based tech company, PocketSmith. Passionate about making things (enter crochet blankets, multicoloured ceramic cats and gourmet hot chocolates), Holly has recently started developing a platformer game as she works out which parts of game development she enjoys.
A 20+ year veteran sound professional, Paul’s passion is to help bring stories and worlds to life through artistic use of sound and technology. A top notch Sound Designer and Supervisor primarily for interactive media, he’s also an experienced Voice Actor and Director, and is a lifelong music performer and creator. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (California Institute of the Arts), and has worked at world class studios such as Sony PlayStation, Warner Bros., Naughty Dog and Activision. Moving to Dunedin in 2017, he’s constantly inspired by the unique sounds in our environment, and the vibrant creative community.
Business and Marketing
Josh is a man of many talents, from game/web dev to marketing & production all the way to design + networking. As long as he has a coffee in hand and memes on the other, there’s nothing he can’t achieve.
Dr. Tof Eklund (they/them) is a Lecturer in the School of Language and Culture at Auckland University of Technology. In addition to being a scholar, they are a queer parent, philosophical anarchist, part-time video game and tabletop RPG designer, zine comics creator, spec-fic writer, coffee snob, and former wine steward. Tof is presently working on “Sunken States,” a tabletop RPG about occult activists trying to save their communities from an “Amerikkka” hellbent on its own destruction.
Tim loves all things video games and is an game development PhD student at the University of Canterbury, spending his time networking with NZ studios and listening to game developers share their ways of working that are behind their iconic games. This is to discover good development practices which may help overcome commonly experienced team dynamics and project management challenges for the benefit of Indie studios in NZ. Tim also has a passion for agile, people, ancient history, philosophy, and Jesus. He got his copy of Age of Empires from a cereal box, is a proud owner of a copy of the original Warcraft, and controversially, his Pokemon starter would be Bulbasaur.
Production and QA
Elissa is an Assistant Producer at RocketWerkz and has worked on Icarus for the last 1.5 years after studying at Massey University. She loves cats, playing certain video games, and she has an unhealthy obsession with plants.
Nic is a programmer at CerebralFix with a passion for simple, performant software.
Raqi Syed is a writer, visual effects designer, and researcher. She is co-director of the award-winning immersive experience MINIMUM MASS.
Her practice and teaching at Te Herenga Waka | Victoria University of Wellington focus on the materiality of light, hybrid forms of non-fiction and genre storytelling, and an anti-racist critical aesthetics of visual effects.
Serious and Educational
Story and Narrative
Mark is a writer and software designer with a deep interest in narrative systems, simulated storyworlds and the intersection of procedural generation and emergent gameplay. He is the founder of Fictiveworks, an R&D-focused digital product lab developing new technology to support narrative designers, novelists and digital storytellers. He also works as a Teaching Fellow at the School of Product Design, University of Canterbury, mentoring Aotearoa’s next generation of interactive media creators.