Sam Barham is the Creative Director at Balancing Monkey Games, creators of the non-violent city building game “Before We Leave”. Sam is one of New Zealand’s latest Indie success stories, with a journey that started in 2018 where he developed the prototype from his home in Dunedin (Ōtepoti) and becoming a finalist at the annual Kiwi Game Starter competition run by the NZGDA. He continued working on his project and resubmitted Before We Leave the following year taking the first place prize of $25,000 and the mentorship programme with him. He has continued developing his game, securing funding and grown his team to almost 10 where some are full-time. In 2020 Before We Leave had a successful exclusive launch on the Epic Games Store and has now partnered with Publisher Team 17 to bring the game to Steam in 2021. Sam has shown resilience, commitment and drive to bring his passion for city-building & non-violent games to life and continues to inspire and lead the way for the rest of the game dev community in New Zealand.