Women In Games Awards: Meet The Finalists – Creative Impact category

There are just four weeks to go until we celebrate the Top 30 Women in Games and the winners of the six special categories are announced.

The Women in Games Awards take place on May 19th at the Hamyard Hotel, London. Tickets cost just 49 and are available by simply clicking here.

The awards, held in conjunction with the Women in Games (WIGJ) body and sponsored by Facebook, will shine the spotlight on the most influential and inspirational women in the UK games industry.

The games development community is a hotbed of female talent, with a significant proportion of the Top 30 Women in Games involved in the creative field. Here we take a look at those in the running for the Women in Games Creative Impact award:

Katherine Bidwell – Co-Founder, State of Play

Bidwell was producer and a designer on Lumino City, which was made by a small indie team and went on to beat a bunch of AAA titles to win a BAFTA for Artistic Achievement. She helped organise the team, which comprised architects, animators and model makers, and contributed to the design process along the way. She’s an outspoken advocate of both creativity in games and the role of women in games, and alongside her work on the board of UKIE she gives inspiring talks all over the country encouraging people to think differently about how games can be made.

Michelle Chuang – Co-Founder, Supersolid

Chuang is the co-founder and a game app developer at Supersolid, which specialises in developing game apps for mobile phones and tablets. As the chief operating officer, she has helped build the company from the ground up. The Supersolid team has expanded from three to more than 10 people over the past three years, and have four games currently available worldwide, namely Super Penguins, Adventure Town, Pororo Penguin Run and Food Street.

Jessica Curry – Composer/Co-Founder, The Chinese Room

Curry created the score for her company’s game Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. Her artistry and company drive is admired by her colleagues and peers. Being the co-head of her company, The Chinese Room, she has lead the development of a successful Playstation Network game and been a true advocate for women in the games industry.

Meg Jayanth – Writer

Meg wrote 80 Days and parts of Sunless Sea, and has been instrumental in the expansion of the market’s idea of what narrative games can and should be. Her knowledge and expertise in interactive fiction and storytelling is unrivalled. Says one of her peers: She is also one of the friendliest, and most welcoming people I know, and people tell me she is an excellent collaborator.”

Nina Kristensen – Co-Founder, Ninja Theory

Kristensen co-founded Just Add Monsters in 2000, along with Mike Ball and Tameem Antoniades. In 2003 the team developed Kung Fu Chaos for the Xbox. A year later, Just Add Monsters was purchased by Jez San and renamed Ninja Theory. The company has been responsible for many major release, including Heavenly Sword, Enslaved: Odyssey To The West and Devil May Cry.

Dr. Romana Ramzan – Game Design Lecturer, Glasgow Caledonian University

Dr. Romana Ramzan is a Game Design Lecturer at Glasgow Caledonian University. She has been hailed for her dedication for improving the games industry in Scotland and contributing to the future of games through her research. She is one of the main liaisons between the university and industry partners like Unity, Github and Epic Games. She co-founded and has been a core part of the Scottish Game Jam efforts for several years now, parlaying that experience and her visibility into potentially industry changing efforts like the Y Not Jam. Y Not Jam was a game Jam Romana organised for women only.

Siobhan Reddy – Co-founder, Media Molecule

Siobhan Reddy is co-founder and studio director of LittleBigPlanet creator Media Molecule. South African born, with a childhood in Australia, Reddy moved to the UK aged 18 where she worked at Perfect Entertainment, before moving to Burnout firm Criterion Games in 1999. She co-founded Media Molecule in 2006, acting as executive producer before taking up her current role in 2009. In 2013 she was named one of the 100 most powerful women in the UK by BBC’sWomen’s Hour, in 2014 was named in Fortune’s10 Powerful Women in Gaming and in 2015 was named one of MCV’s Top 100 Women in Games.

Helana Santos, Technical Director, Modern Dream

Santos joined Modern Dream in 2014, following a career in games development spanning companies such as Pivotal Games, Blitz Games and Radiant Worlds. She has been a UKIE Board Member since 2014 and is a director of Arch Creatives, a not-for-profit organisation which provides a shared works space for Leamington Spas digital creative community.

Timea Tabori – Engine Programmer, Rockstar North

Tabori is an Engine Programmer at Rockstar North and a member of the Board of Directors of IGDA Scotland. Originally from Hungary, a 2013 graduate of Abertay University, she is a former GDC IGDA Scholar, one of Develop’s 30 Under 30 in 2013 and one of MCV’s Top 100 Women in Games in 2015. Tabori has been a long serving volunteer for IGDA Scotland where she recently joined the Board of Directors. She is also a STEM and Video Games Ambassador working with CoderDojo, teaching young people programming and promoting careers in the creative industries. She is passionate about the power of games as a medium, the opportunities in game development and is an advocate for diversity in our community, workforce and products.

Catherine Woolley – Senior Games Designer, Creative Assembly

Woolley is a senior games designer at Creative Assembly. She speaks about the incredible games she has worked on, such as Alien Isolation, with great pride and with an air of modesty. When she’s not being a great games designer she is also part of the BAFTA Games Committee and is a 2015 BAFTA Breakthrough Brit. According to her peers, Catherine is approachable, a joy to be around and so eager to help and inspire others embarking on or wishing to begin a career in the games industry.Catherine is without a doubt a fabulous role model for all women wishing to be part of the games industry.”

A limited number of sponsorship opportunities are available for the Women in Games Awards 2016. Contact Lesley McDiarmid or Conor Tallon to find out more.

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