Top 100 Women in Games: Holly Pickering

Indie developer Holly Pickering tells MCV about her time in games and why she founded LadyCADE, an organisation for women in the industry

I started working in games when I was 20 as a junior character artist at Traveller’s Tales working on the LEGO games. I had not gone the usual University route, instead doing a intense three-month vocational course on Game Art at Escape Studios, plus years of self-taughttuitionand experimentation.

I’ve always loved games ever since I first clicked aimless around Melee Island as a three-year-old. During my teens I would spend my Saturdays watching as many dev diaries as I could lay my hands on, trying to make sense of the magic that held games together. I also spent the time I should have been doing homework learning about photoshop and doing pixel art.

The thing I most excited about in games is actually the people making them. Tools for making games is becoming more and more available and beginning to be seen as alegitimatecreative outlet for people. It’s no longer just games about shooting dudes or solving puzzles. We are seeing many more emotion-driven and experimental games appearing and coming into mainstream concious and I’m hoping that trend continues.

I’ve had many proud moments so far in my career and I think they were all a big deal at the time; special milestones you never forget. Right now for me helping to found LadyCADE is definitely up there. It was the brainchild of the team I was part of for the XX GameJam – the first female only game jam to take place in the world. It was anincredibleexperience to feel recognised and welcomed in the games space that we wanted to do that same thing for others.

So LadyCADE was put together to answer the question I’m always asked "how do we get more women into games?". My answer is we stop focussing on the negative and actively start celebrating the ones we do have. And from looking at this list, there are a lot of talented lady folks already here kicking ass and taking names.

I’m currently art directing and narrative designer at A Brave Plan, we shall beannouncingwhat we are working on in the next few months. I’m also working on my own project; Salt which shall be showing at Rezzed Expo in March.

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