Nominated Committee Member Bios 2014

edited in Association News
Hey everyone!

So the the votes for the new committe for MGSA is happening soonish, as such I've been asked to do a little write up on each nominated person so that everyone knows who they are and what they're about.

If you're on the list and feel I've left something important out or something else, just send me a message on the forum and I'll make the change :).

Nick Hall (@Lexaquillia)

Nick is the current chairman of MGSA who has spearheaded MGSA’s qualification as the recognised industry association for Game Development in South Africa. He has also been heavily involved in most other awesome things MGSA has done – from the recently funded bursary; the MGSA stand at rAge to getting a Durban Meetup night start forming. He’s also the lawyer for most of the Game Dev studios in South Africa and an addicted maker and player of board games. He’s been chairman for around 2 years. Nick has been a tireless hunter of people in government to talk to about the MGSA, for finding and spearheading attempts at getting travel to international game expos paid for by the government, for demystifying various tax benefits available to local studios, for representing the games industry to boards like the FPB and getting us all more involved in important discussions around policies that will affect our lives and our businesses.

He also broke a journalist's arm playing Joust at rAge 2013, so we know he can protect MGSA if he needs to.

Nicholas Bischoff (@bischonator)

Co-devloper of Stasis, with his brother Chris. He helped run the Kickstarter campaign which raised over R1.5 million last year and landed Stasis coverage with mainstream sites such as Kotaku. He’s been making games for about 20 years since the development of Klick and Play. His day job is the tricky job of managing a team of artists developing 3D content for property developers worldwide, so he can probably handle anything.

Travis Bulford (@tbulford)

One of South Africa’s first and most experienced game developers who most notably developed Toxic Bunny, which sold hundreds of thousands of units worldwide. He has recently revived his company, Celestial Games, and has released a Toxic Bunny HD remake across a litany of platforms. He’s currently working of developing new game projects to focus on, and has a lot of hair for a man of any age.

Hanli Geyser(@hanli)

Lecturer and program coordinator of the Wits Game Design degrees, which she set up - currently the only Game Design focused degrees in Africa. She also helped spearhead the A MAZE festival in Johannesburg (which is now sponsored and coordinated by Wits). For 2014 she is a content curator and organizer, working with Thorsten who heads the festival as a whole. She was also pivotal in the organisation of the rAge MGSA booth this year. She has presented internationally on games and game design education for the past three years, and will be doing so again in 2014. She has been a committee member for +-3 years, since the inception of MGSA.

She also has striking red hair, if that may affect your voting in any way.

Danny Day (@dislekcia)

Long-time game developer and hopelessly addicted game development community organiser. He's been running QCF Design since 2007, which most notably developed Desktop Dungeons, which released last year and won the 2011 IGF Excellence in Design award, beating out Minecraft. Prior to MGSA he ran Game.Dev, a game development community from 2005-2012, which as he used to make a stand happen at rAge every year (except 2011), ran competitions with sponsored prizes, spoke at universities/colleges/schools/government/businesses and tried to help game development grow in SA as much as possible. He's worked for I-Imagine, with the World Bank and Jane McGonigal; has exhibited at GDC, E3 and IndieCade; is an IGF judge and jurist; and sits on the UCT Computer Science Advisory Panel specifically to champion game development. He runs the prolific competitions on the forum and has been a committee member for +- 3 years

Ryan Mazzolini (@creative360)

Ryan is a graduate of UCT’s Game Development course who is now studying to a masters in Computer Science. He is a prolific game jammer and has previously done work at Triggerfish Animation and Free Lives. He’s the organizer of the Sound Challenges on MGSA, which are wildly successful at drawing our sound designers from their sound caves, and also organises MGSA events to be hosted –with sponsorship- at UCT.

Ryan also looks startlingly good in a Mankini, I’ve been lead to believe.

Ruan Rothmann(@Raithza)

Ruan is the chief brogrammer and negotiator Free Lives -the developers of internationally acclaimed, BroForce- where he has been developing games for two years. Before that, he developed games in his spare time (while holding down a full time programming job). He also wrote the original newcomer FAQ for MGSA and contributed to the SAGameDev forums prior to MGSA.

Ruan most hopes BroForce would stop getting attention internationally so he can just damn well get back to working on Death Smashers.

Andre Odendaal (@Fengol)

Andre is a long-time community member of South African game development and a prolific and intensive contributer to MGSA. He has served as treasurer for three years, while also being the most influential organisor of the MGSA stand at rAge 2013. He also manages the backend of the MGSA forum, and does any web work MGSA needs (such as the recent bursary page). Prior to MGSA, Andre was instrumental to many Game.Dev initiatives - many years there wouldn't have had a rAge stand without him and he organised and ran the precursor to the modern monthly meetups for years in JHB. Before Game.Dev he used to run communities for Microsoft SA

Ben Myres (@Bensonance)
Ben is a third year Game Design student at Wits University . He’s the Social Media Manger and Press Liaison for MGSA and is helping curate and organise the upcoming Serious Games Conference hosted by the Serious Games Institute. He’s had a game curated for the Serious Games Festival in New York; writes for NAG Online and recently NAG Magazine, and enjoys cosplaying as @BlackShipsFilltheSky.

He is also a gifted writer of the third person, as you have now experienced.

Kim Carter-Brown (@carteki)
Kim is a new member based in Cape Town and an accountant and business developer by trade. She joined because she's interested in gamification in the real world, and has helped MGSA in the past to create its financial documents for tax clearance.
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