Bloons TD 6: Five Years and Counting

Date: Friday 1st September


A history and analysis 37 major content updates delivered to Bloons TD 6 in its first 5 years, presented by Ninja Kiwi Partner and CEO, Scott Walker, Production Lead and NZGDA board member Valkyrie Cain, and 3D Art Lead, Kaia Penrose. The talk will give context around the changes in update strategy based on team creativity and health, player feedback, community and creator involvement, and effectiveness as a business. We will share as much of Ninja Kiwi’s team culture, creative process, production process, community and content creator loop, self-review loop, and lifestyle business philosophy that has helped BTD6 achieve international success in hopes that this content-focused and team-focused approach can be instructive to other teams, both those new to the industry and those with more experience.

About the speakers

Valkyrie is a Production Lead for Ninja Kiwi. She rang their doorbell 8 years ago and landed a community management role, then shifted into programming once she earned her Computer Science degree at AUT. This role evolved over the years as she hit her stride as an interdisciplinary bridge with a passion for thorough and well-formatted documentation. Valkyrie’s lifelong love for games is unquantifiable Рunlike the number of Cow Level casualties, deleted Sims pool ladders, smelted iron bars, or sleepless nights of raiding. She strongly believes that games and the industry hold significant potential to change lives for the better.

Kai is the 3D Art Lead for Ninja Kiwi’s Auckland Studio. In the 7 years since they began their journey as a 3D generalist, Kai has honed not only their skills as an artist, but as a professional and compassionate leader. Their priorities are maintaining and nurturing a happy, healthy team, and making games fun for everyone. Outside of game development, Kai can be found adventuring outdoors and spending time with the people they love

Scott is a 30 year industry veteran, starting as an entry level production assistant and growing into design and production leadership roles in small and large studios, including executive production and studio lead roles at Electronic Arts and Activision before joining Chris and Stephen Harris in 2010 to help grow Ninja Kiwi’s team, company, and IP. American by birth but New Zealander by choice, I adore story telling, world building, defying expectations, playing co-op, and working alongside people I love and admire. I hold 2 undergraduate degrees from Stanford, in Feminist Studies and in English, a Masters in Education also from Stanford, and thought academia and writing would be my life, but got my first writing job at a gaming company (3DO) and that was that.