So we’ve introduced you to our first set of women who’ve made their mark on the gaming industry. Next up, meet two more innovators who are re-defining the art of game-play.
Kellee Santiago and Robin Hunicke are having a real impact on what is often seen as a male-dominated industry. Take a moment to enjoy their work and hear direct from them about how to make games at home and what the future of games design could look like.
Kellee Santiago: Co-founder- thatgamecompany
In 2006 Kellee co-founded thatgamecompany with Jenova Chen. They are known for the trio of titles ‘Flow’ (2007), ‘Flower’ (2009) and ‘Journey’ (2012). The company has been at the centre of a new era of emotionally engaged gaming that is closer to art than traditional games experiences.
Since founding thatgamecompany, Kellee has moved onto new projects, including partnering with the Indie Fund to help independent games developers survive and thrive.
So Kellee, who are the young female developers we should look out for?
“We should be keeping an eye on Girls Make Games. It’s program that offers girls a sort of game making bootcamp, and has already produced a few commercially available games created by girls in middle school and high school. I think the young women coming out of these programs are all ones to watch!”
Can you make a game in your bedroom? Where should I start?
“Absolutely. A good place to start is to take a game you already know very well and try and put a new twist on it. For example, do a Google search for ‘alternate rules for Clue.’ You can find many people creating entirely new games that only require the pieces you probably already own for that board game. Then play the new game you have made with your friends. What happens? How did it change the flow of the experience? Was it more or less fun? Then pat yourself on the back because you’ve now done more than most people who say they want to make games – you had a concept, you implemented it, AND you play-tested it, and withstood criticism! For extra points, take the feedback you received and try something else!”
Robin Hunicke: Co-founder- Funomena
It will come as no surprise that Funomena co-founder Robin Hunicke was the producer of ‘Journey’, during her time at thatgamecompany. Funomena’s first publically released game, ‘Woorld’, has just won the @Googleplay award for best Augmented Reality (AR) experience. But they’re not sitting still!
So Robin, what’s your prediction for the future of gaming?
“I think that as we develop our understanding of VR, AR and Mixed Reality technologies, we will discover new and compelling ways to ‘play’ with that tech. Games for the longest time have been constrained to keyboard, mouse and game controller input. With these new technologies, players can use their entire body to get into the game. This is a huge, new canvas for game designers – one I am so thrilled to be exploring with games like Luna.”
Looking for more inspiration?
Read about the new breed of games designers and developers nominated for 30 under 30
Interested in creating gaming environments and experiences?
BA (Hons) Games Design