Since 2007, SIEGE has featured leading figures from the industry and has hosted panels reflecting a wide spectrum of the game production industry, including artists, programmers, designers, investors, writers, teachers and business executives.
Game Designer and Consultant
Best known for writing the web series Extra Credits, James Portnow is a game designer and consultant known for his theories on socially positive design. He received his Masters from Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center and went on to work for Activision as a designer on the Call of Duty series before raising funds to start his own company, Divide by Zero Games. He currently serves as the CEO of Rainmaker Games, a design and consulting firm that has worked with partners from Zynga to Riot Games, in addition to writing the popular Extra Credits and Extra History series.
Professional Voice Actor
Bob Carter is best known for voicing Balrog in the Street Fighter series, Shao Kahn & Baraka in Mortal Kombat, Odin in Smite, the Astronaut in Lifeless Planet, the Iron Guard in Destiny 2, and many other popular heroes and villains. Carter has also voiced many popular animation and anime projects such as Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry, Dragonball Z, Full Metal Alchemist, Samurai 7, Blassreiter, and many other cartoon series & video games. He also serves as media anchor for Power96 radio in Atlanta.
Creator of Clutter and Puzzles by Joe
Joe moved on to work at iWin creating the highly successful Mah Jong Quest I, II and III (and little game called Sproink). After leaving iWin at the end of 2009 to work on his own games he joined an Atlanta Slots/Gaming company beginning in 2011 and ending in 2013. Joe now devotes 100% of his time to Puzzles By Joe and The Clutter Series.
Although born in Brooklyn, New York, Alyssa has spent the last two decades expanding her creative reach in Atlanta, Georgia, where she uses her BFA in animation from SCAD – Atlanta toward experimental animation and mixed media illustration. Most noted for her animation on over 75 episodes and promos of FX’s Emmy nominated series “Archer”, she has also produced content for NBC’s “30 Rock”, i am OTHER, Animation Domination, ComicCon San Diego, and Captain Planet’s Planeteer Movement. As the CEO and Founder of the animation resource and staffing agency, My Animation Life (MAL), she primarily focuses on the career placement and portfolio enhancement of artist within animation-related industries. Creating Georgia’s most inclusive animation map and calendar are just a couple of the popular assets MAL provides to strengthen Georgia’s animation industry. Lewis also is the Animation Director of re:imagine/ATL where she develops media projects with diverse teams to expand the boundaries of creation and encourage industry equality, and sits on the Advisory Board of ASIFA South, one of the largest animation societies in the southeastern United States.
Chris Rickwood is best known for creating dramatic musical scores for video games. His past work ranges from catchy melodies underscoring fights with cartoon evil geniuses to massive soundscapes suitable for building and destroying empires. Blending the traditional with the modern, Rickwood’s musical style is often a marriage of current musical genres with traditional instrumentation and orchestration. Hip hop for hammered dulcimer and djembe or heavy metal for full orchestra are the norm. Credits include Paladins, Smite, Rising Storm, Orcs Must Die, Age of Empires Online, Madden NFL 12, Global Agenda, and Tribes: Ascend.
Dan Baker has over a decade of experience in the game industry. Dan started his career at Microsoft, where he helped design the D3D9 standard while working as a key member of the original High Level Shading Language Team. Dan led the technical development of HLSL for D3D10, which is now an industry standard. While at Firaxis, Dan developed technology to bring Civilization V to market with the world’s first threaded D3D11 engine. Dan is an active member of the GAB (Graphics Advisory Board), has multiple industry-known publications, and has spoken and lectured at conferences such as SIGGRAPH, AFDS, GDC, and I3D.
Rochester Institute of Technology
Ian Schreiber started working in the game industry in the year 2000, first as a gameplay programmer and then quickly transitioning to systems designer and eventually university professor. He has co-authored two books on game design, has produced a free online course on game design (gamedesignconcepts.wordpress.com) and another on game balance (gamebalanceconcepts.wordpress.com), and is a co-founder of Global Game Jam, the largest game creation event in the world. He currently teaches game design and development at the graduate and undergraduate levels at Rochester Institute of Technology.
Infinite Reflections Studio
Kartik Kini is the founder of Finite Reflection Studios, where he is leading development on the studios first game: TwinCop. He has been working with Unity for 4 years, and has made over 10 student games with it, not counting the multitude of prototypes he’s made in his spare time. He is in his last semester at Georgia Tech, where he is studying Computational Media with a focus on Game Design. He hopes to one day teach game design in some capacity, and enjoys debating modern design trends in games and providing support to other indie game studios.
Michelle Menard is an award-wining game designer, consultant, and published author (Game Development with Unity). She has previously worked in both the mobile and AAA market, and as a consultant under Artemic Games, LLC, partnering with other companies to provide core system design, itemization, auditing,
and documentation. Once she was invited to the White House to blabber about game design and crowd-sourcing for big data. She is currently the lead designer at Oxide Games, and is also a cofounder of Fishwizard Games, a small boardgame company exploring strategy games set in the Gateway universe. Gateway: Uprising, their first title, is due out in stores this September. Michelle also serves as an adjunct professor at UMBC and SCAD, teaching game design, theory, and game history, and has taught intro C# game development courses for the Baltimore non-profit Code in the Schools. She holds a double BA in Applied Mathematics and Music Theory from Brown University, and an MFA in Game and Interactive Design from SCAD.
Mike Stumhofer launched a successful Steam Greenlight for Depth of Extinction in 2016 and expects to release the final product to Steam in August 2018.
Zane Everett is an industry veteran. Before joining the VR team at Motion Reality, he created educational video games at Cogent Education for 6 years. In that time, he created several AI, physics, UI, and tool systems for 16 short games and extensions to Unity. He also toyed around with GPU programming.