Intel® Level Up Contest 2017 - Judges

Published: 02/21/2017, Last Updated: 02/21/2017

To win fortune, glory, and opportunity, your game demo must impress this year’s panel of game-industry luminaries.

Chris Avellone
Chris started his career at Interplay's Black Isle Studios division where he worked on Planescape: Torment (Lead Designer), Fallout 2, the Icewind Daleseries, Dark Alliance, and Baldur’s Gate 3 and Fallout Van Buren (both cancelled). As Creative Director at Obsidian, Chris worked on Knights of the Old Republic II (Lead Designer), Neverwinter Nights 2, Mask of the Betrayer, the Aliens RPG, Alpha Protocol, Fallout: New Vegas, and FNV DLC: Dead Money, Old World Blues, and Lonesome Road. Other projects include inXile’s Wasteland 2, FTL: Advanced Edition, Pillars of Eternity, and is currently working on inXile’s Torment: Tides of Numenera.

Kate Edwards
Kate is the executive director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), appointed in December 2012. She is also the founder and principal consultant of Geogrify, a Seattle-based consultancy for content culturalization, and a unique hybrid of an applied geographer, writer, and corporate strategist. Formerly she was Microsoft’s first Geopolitical Strategist in the Geopolitical Strategy team she created and managed. Since leaving Microsoft, she has provided guidance to many companies on a wide range of geopolitical and cultural issues. Kate is also the founder and former chair of the IGDA’s Localization Special Interest Group, a former board member of IGDA Seattle, the co-organizer of the Game Localization Summit at GDC, and is a regular columnist for MultiLingual Computing magazine. In October 2013, Fortune magazine named her as one of the "10 most powerful women" in the game industry, and in December 2014 she was named by as one of their six People of the Year in the game industry.

Wolfgang Engel
Wolfgang is the CTO/CEO and co-founder of Confetti Special Effects Inc., a think-tank for advanced real-time graphics research for the video game and movie industry. Previously he worked for more than four years in Rockstar's core technology group as the lead graphics programmer. He’s also a noted speaker on graphics programming and has written and edited several books. He serves on multiple industry advisory boards and has been a Microsoft* MVP for DirectX* since July 2006.

Rami Ismail
Rami is the business and development guy at Vlambeer, a Dutch independent game studio known best for IGF 2011 'Excellence in Design'-nominee Super Crate Box, LUFTRAUSER, Ridiculous Fishing, GUN GODZ, Serious Sam: The Random Encounter, and Radical Fishing. Through his work at Vlambeer, Rami has come to realize that the marketing and business facets of many independent game developers could use some help. As such, he created the free presskit-creation tool presskit() and is working on releasing its first add-on, release().

Tim Schafer
Tim is the president and CEO of Double Fine Productions, makers of the critically acclaimed games Psychonauts, Brütal Legend, Costume Quest, Stacking, Iron Brigade, Middle Manager of Justice, The Cave, and the upcoming Spacebase DF-9, Hack 'n' Slash, and Massive Chalice. Tim's most recent project, the point-and-click adventure Broken Age, was funded by a record-setting Kickstarter project that heralded a new era in crowd-funded games. Prior to Double Fine, Tim was a project leader at LucasArts Entertainment Company, where he was responsible for several classic PC adventure games, including Grim Fandango and Full Throttle. Tim also co-designed Day of the Tentacle, and served as a writer and assistant designer on The Secret of Monkey Island 1 & 2.

Gary Rowe
Gary has been at the forefront of the game industry’s transformation into a multiplatform digital business with over 17 years of experience working for global game publishers such as SEGA. Initially specializing in company and product acquisition, Gary has led licensing, game development, publishing, business development, and new product development.

With eight years of experience at the Japanese giant, SEGA, as senior vice president of publishing, Gary also led Codemasters’ transformation into the digital future before becoming executive vice president of publishing at Green Man Gaming. Gary also serves as a trustee of the Birmingham Hippodrome.

tyrone rodriquezTyrone Rodriguez
Tyrone is the founder of Nicalis, Inc., a developer and publisher that collaborates with other famously talented indie designers. Alongside Edmund McMillen, Tyrone is finishing development on highly anticipated The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth and The '90s Arcade Racer with Antonis Pelekanos. Previously, he produced NightSky (nominated for IGF Seamus McNally Grand Prize, Excellence in Audio, Excellence in Design) as well as indie posterchild, Cave Story. Before founding Nicalis, he was a designer, journalist and product consultant. Tyrone loves working with talented developers and hates writing in the third person.

Laila Shabir
Laila is the founder and CEO of LearnDistrict, an educational media company best known for its 'Girls Make Games' summer camps and workshops. Laila learned the ropes of finance and policy-making on Wall Street and Capitol Hill before launching an educational company and pursuing her passion for making learning accessible through entertainment and innovative curriculum design.


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