8 Notable women in game development

Doing what you love isn’t gender-bound



The gaming industry is perceptibly becoming more progressive, or at least, I’d like to think so. With people developing new games, playing them, and voicing out their insights, much of the industry is under more scrutiny than the community is used to. The gender split amongst gaming professionals, however, has long been an interesting talking point over the years.

In 2014, the International Game Developer’s Association released a report detailing the prevalence of women in the gaming industry. The presence of female developers has doubled since 2009 despite the persistence of male dominance in the industry.

The industry hit a striking spike in female audiences and consumers over time. With more female developers creating games and women themselves playing professionally, things had to change. Here are eight women who broke the mold:

Carol Shaw

Carol Shaw was a former video game designer and was one of the first in the industry. She was known for having designed Happy Trails for the Intellivision and River Raid for the Atari 800 and Atari 5200. She worked for Atari and wrote Video Checkers (1978), 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe (1978), and Super Breakout (1978, alongside Nick Turner).

Jane Ng

Jane Ng is a 3D environment artist who worked on well-received games like Firewatch, The Cave, Brütal Legend, Stacking, Spore, Costume Quest, and The Godfather. She started as an intern in Ronin Studios, but later moved on to Electronic Arts, then Double Fine Productions, and now Campo Santo.

Robin Hunicke

Robin Hunicke is a game designer and producer, as well as a professor of game design at UC Santa Cruz. She is also the co-founder of Funomena.

She began her career in Electronic Arts and worked on MySims and Boom Blox. Her advocacies include her support of independent game development and championing of women within the games industry.

Amy Hennig

Amy Hennig is a game director and scriptwriter who believes that the creative direction of a script holds more importance than the graphics of the game. She worked on the Legacy of Kain series, the Jak and Daxter series, and the Uncharted series. She has been called one of the most influential women in the video game industry by Edge magazine.

Corrinne Yu

Corinne Yu started her career with the King’s Quest series for the Apple II. She wrote the original engine for the Spec Ops series and was a founding member of Microsoft’s Direct 3D Advisory Board. She programmed lighting, facial animation, and developed new technology for the 2012 video game Halo 4.

Kim Swift

Kim Swift is a video game designer known for her work at Valve on games such as Portal (2007) and Left 4 Dead (2008). Much later, She led the team that developed Quantum Conundrum (2012). Kim Swift was featured by Fortune as one of “30 Under 30” influential figures in the video game industry.

Kellee Santiago

Kellee is a video game designer and producer. While studying at the USC Interactive Media Division of the University of Southern California, Santiago with her friend, Jenova Chen, and a team of students, they produced the game Cloud. After graduating, Santiago and Chen founded Thatgamecompany — the developers of FlowFlower, and Journey.

Yoko Kanno

Yoko Kanno is a Japanese composer, arranger, and musician known for her work on the soundtracks on anime films, television series, live-action films, video games, and advertisements. She has written scores for Cowboy Bebop, Nobunaga’s Ambition, Uncharted Waters, and Ragnarok Online 2.

It’s inspiring to find more women working towards what they enjoy and love doing — especially in an industry that is undeniably dominated by men.

Although a certain collective of men in the industry sustain the misogynistic view that women aren’t fit for jobs like those mentioned above, it’s nice to see women gather around to support each other towards their dreams in life. Even if the game development industry doesn’t necessarily enable misogyny, the environment is still persistently male-dominated, making the push for gender equality a constant struggle.

Despite that, the community has grown and has shown support towards a more gender-diverse environment. After all, doing what you love and creating what you find fulfilling is not gender-bound.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Video Games of 2017


The Last of Us Part II Preview: Nimble and off to the races

Ellie rides searching for answers in a broken world.



I needed to mentally prepare myself for the amount of groundwork The Last of Us Part II demands. The lingering question on my mind as I take on this game was pretty simple: what’s next? Its prequel takes on a point-of-view that focuses on hope; on a riveting end to a dangerous time. What do we look forward to? Will the end come in a marvelous way, or will there be more to uncover?

This time around, you play as Ellie — the girl you saved from the Fireflies back in The Last Of Us, all grown up. She moves quite faster than Joel does in the first game, which also allows her to reach higher places in the field. Also, you traverse overworlds a lot faster and with more agility given her slim frame. As Ellie, you also have access to this nifty feature called Listen Mode, which comes in handy at the right moments.

The world I traversed just looked, for a lack of a better word, destroyed. Nothing seemed to be in proper condition anymore — buildings, bridges, roads, and vehicles alike. To me, it feels like a whole new world — one that is drastically similar to what we left behind in the prequel. But even in this barren wasteland, humans still hold the law of life — or at least judge on who lives and dies.

Ellie takes on this world seeking answers, all while exposed to more dangerous threats along the way. Apart from the nasty encounters with the Infected, you come across two more dangerous groups of people. First up are the Wolves or WLF, a pack of armed civilians with a more run-and-gun combat approach. Then, there are the Seraphites or Scars, the trained silent killers at a whistle’s notice. All that’s really left is whether you choose to fight or die, because even I thought flight wasn’t an option here.

The Last of Us Part II comes to the PlayStation 4 on June 19, 2020.

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Nickelodeon Pixel Town: Another game to play while on lockdown

They’ve got adorable pixel art!




Nickelodeon is serving up a new mobile game for us: Nickelodeon Pixel Town. A mobile game we can all sink our teeth into as we try to cope with everything that 2020 has been throwing at us so far.
So, what is it exactly? Nickelodeon Pixel Town is a city building game. The name of the game is building your own Nickelodeon city where you can collect characters, costumes, iconic buildings, and items from different Nickelodeon series. The most charming bit? It’s all drawn in highly stylistic retro pixel art.

For your city inhabitants, you get to collect characters from SpongeBob SquarePants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Invader Zim, CatDog, The Fairly OddParents, Danny Phantom, Rugrats, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Avatar: The Legend of Korra, Rocko’s Modern Life, Hey Arnold! and The Wild Thornberrys.

Honestly, if you don’t have a Switch and have been gritting your teeth through the lockdown while people have been playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons, this is a decent mobile game to bring back some nostalgia. Because with all the hellish news lately, don’t we all just want to curl up into a ball and go back to a time when times seemed so much simpler? Not any better of a place and time perse, sure. But, just a time when we were too young to know any better.

Want to give this game a go?

Nickelodeon has an official launch celebration for the Pixel Town.  You can use the code PIXELTOWNHL to redeem 500 Gems for free! To redeem it, you can go to their website, click redemption, and fill up the necessary info.

If you want to build up a reason to disconnect and play like me, you can. The freebies are valid until 30 June 2020, 11:59PM (GMT+8). That’s a pretty good amount of time to be rally up enough pent up emotions to need some time away to hop back fiercer. Nickelodeon Pixel Town is available in Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia on Google Play and Apple App Store.

SEE ALSO: 10 offline free-to-play mobile games

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Sony postpones PlayStation 5 event amidst US protests

Letting more important voices be heard



Last week, we finally heard some news about the upcoming but strangely silent PlayStation 5. Since the pandemic, the next generation of gaming kept out of the limelight, allowing the current generation to flourish amongst the locked-in gamers. Breaking the silence, Sony was scheduled to hold a showcase of PlayStation 5 launch titles this week for the upcoming console. Unfortunately, because of current events, the company has decidedly shelved the digital event.

Through their official Twitter account, PlayStation announced the postponement, allowing other issues to resolve in the meantime. “We have the decided to postpone the PlayStation 5 event scheduled for June 4,” the company said.

“While we understand gamers worldwide are excited to see PS5 games, we do not feel that right now is a time for celebration and for now, we want to stand back and allow more important voices to be heard,” the post continues.

Naturally, the announcement is timed perfectly for the currently ongoing protests happening across America. Recently, George Floyd, an African American man, was murdered under the custody of a white police officer. The incident, followed by the subsequent lack of justice, sparked a wave of outrage throughout the country.

Since then, other companies and personalities have shown their support towards the cause. Notably, Google postponed Android 11’s launch previously, starting a wave of similar postponements. Though none of the postponing companies have named the George Floyd case specifically, one can easily assume the announcement’s relevance to the current political climate in America.

In any case, it looks like gamers will have to wait a little bit longer before more details about the PlayStation 5 will inevitably surface.

SEE ALSO: Nintendo and Sony are in a heated battle during lockdown

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