All registered teams may sign up to meet with a variety of mentors on Friday, March 7. Teams should review mentor bios below. Instructions on how to sign up for meetings will be sent to your team captain upon completed team registration. The deadline for signing up for mentor meetings is February 12 at 5pm! Any questions, please email info[at]massdigi.org.
Elicia Basoli – Communications/PR Consultant
Elicia has 10 years of PR, marketing and events experience under her belt. Born and raised in Massachusetts, she is an avid supporter of the games business in the New England area. She sits on the steering committee of the MIT Enterprise Forum’s Games Circle, the Boston Festival of Indie Games, and also works with the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute. Elicia has helped to promote numerous games and the people that make them from companies such as Turbine / Warner Bros., Disruptor Beam, Demiurge Studios, Disney Interactive Media Group, gamerDNA, Wizards of the Coast and Upper Deck Entertainment.
Elisabeth Beinke-Schwartz – Irrational Games
Elisabeth Beinke-Schwartz is a designer at Irrational Games, having most recently worked on Bioshock: Infinite and is currently working on accompanying DLC. Her prior industry experience includes Turbine and Demiurge Studios as a designer. She also is involved in the community, attending various Boston meetups including the Boston Postmortem, Women in Games Boston, and Boston Indies.
Michael Carriere - Zapdot
Michael Carriere is the founder of Zapdot, the creator of the Indie Game Collective and a leader of the Boston Indies. The Indie Game Collective aims to help local indies develop their studios and games through criticism and mentorship. His studio, Zapdot, has collaborated with multiple studios building serious, free-to-play, PC and mobile games.
Eitan Glinert – Fire Hose Games
Eitan Glinert is the founder of Fire Hose Games, the Boston based game studio behind Slam Bolt Scrappers and Go Home Dinosaurs. He did graduate research at MIT on highly usable and accessible video game interfaces. He is especially impressed that you’re reading this, and can’t wait to play your game.
Tom Lin – Demiurge Studios
Tom is a co-founder of Demiurge Studios. He maintains a consistent vision for the look, feel and design of projects at Demiurge Studios. Tom has managed content development for every project through Demiurge’s history, including work on Marvel Puzzle Quest, Borderlands, Bioshock, and Aliens: Colonial Marines. Tom holds a B.F.A. from Carnegie Mellon University.
Richard Ludlow – Hexany Audio
Richard Ludlow is the Creative Director at Hexany Audio, a Los Angeles-based sound and music studio developing audio for the next generation of games and interactive media. Richard oversees both the creative and business aspects at Hexany, working with a team of the top up-and-coming talent in the industry. He has credits on AAA console, indie, social and mobile titles with experience as a sound designer, composer and audio implementer. Richard began his career in the game industry at the Berklee College of Music, majoring in audio design and composition for games, and went on to found Hexany with three of his colleagues from Berklee.
Marco Mereu – Gameblyr
Marco Mereu is the Co-Founder and CEO of Gameblyr, a publishing platform for today’s independent game developer. Gameblyr is committed to partnering with creators to bring high quality mobile and cross platform games to market and most recently published the hit mobile strategy title Pathogen.
Prior to Gameblyr, Marco served as VP of Communications for Digisocial driving over four million downloads of the social photo sharing app and as General Counsel and VP of Business Development for Evony, working on some of the largest free to play browser MMO’s including Evony, Evony Age 2, Tynon and the upcoming Commanders of Evony.
Elliott Mitchell – Vermont Digital Arts
Elliott Mitchell is an artistic entrepreneur, maker of games, educator and founder of Vermont Digital Arts. Elliott’s primary goal is to create new groundbreaking games that traverse media, disciplines and cultures.
Elliott’s passions include game design, 3D art, Virtual Reality, filmmaking, production pipelines, teaching, mentoring, networking and living close to the land with his family in Vermont.
As an active member of the Boston area game development scene, Elliott co-founded two Boston based groups – The Boston Unity Group (BUG) and the North East Digital Artists Group (NEDAG). Elliott’s is a working member of the Indie Game Collective as well as an active member in the Boston Indies and entrepreneurial communities.
Chinh Pham, Todd Basile and Dan Blanchard – GreenbergTraurig
Chinh Pham and Todd Basile are intellectual property attorneys and Dan Blanchard is a corporate attorney. All three have extensive knowledge regarding games and have advised a variety of game companies, large and small. GreenbergTraurig helps clients bridge diverse legal systems and cultures, with a focus on efficient and effective strategic advice and legal services. The firm has over 1700 attorneys at 36 locations around the world including Boston.
Jay Piette – Turbine/WB Games
Jay grew up playing many, many computer and video games in nearby Smithfield, Rhode Island. After attending the University of Rhode Island, he landed a TV Production internship at Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet network in Bethesda, Maryland. But still, gaming called! Jay got his start in the Game Industry in 1997 working at Discovery Channel Multimedia. After having shipped what should be anyone’s limit on edutainment titles, in 1998 he moved on to manage the QA Team at online gaming pioneer Kesmai in Charlottesville, Virginia. Kesmai was acquired by Electronic Arts a year and a half later. Over his 6 years at Kesmai/EA, Jay served as QA Manager for such projects as The Sims Online, Online Game Web Portal EA.com, Air Warrior 3, Aliens Online, Majestic, Legends of Kesmai and many other online games. In 2003, Jay returned to his old stomping grounds of New England to take on the role of Director of Quality Assurance at Turbine. In his ten years at Turbine/WB Games, Jay has led the QA teams responsible for Infinite Crisis, The Lord of the Rings Online™, Dungeons and Dragons Online®, Asheron’s Call® 1 and 2, Expansion Packs, in-house Billing System Infrastructure, Turbine’s transition to a free-to-play model and more game content updates than he can still count.
In his spare time Jay enjoys, shockingly, playing tons of video games! Although he owns many consoles past and present, he’s quite insistent that PC gaming will never die. He also frequents the Boston club scene, enjoys watching/attending Red Sox games and is always willing to debate why Star Wars is better than your favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy story.
Ziba Scott – Popcannibal
Ziba Scott is the sole-proprietor of Boston based indie game studio Popcannibal LLC. His puzzle game, “Girls Like Robots”, was the 13th best reviewed iOS game of 2012. Popcannibal’s awards include: Official Selection PAX East Indie Showcase 2011, Official Selection Gamercamp Toronto 2013, Unity Awards Finalist 2013, IGF Nuovo honorable mention 2014. Popcannibal’s contract development portfolio includes advergames for film, beverage, social and technology companies. Ziba has a master’s in Serious Game Design and was lead developer of the 2008 winner of “Most Meaningful Game” at the International Academic Conference on Meaningful Play.
Alex Schwartz - Owlchemy Labs
Alex Schwartz is the Founder and CEO of Boston-based Owlchemy Labs, a mobile-focused game development studio. Creators of the hit iOS, Mac, and PC title ‘Snuggle Truck’, as well as the hilarious lumberjacking saga ‘Jack Lumber’, Owlchemy Labs creates innovative downloadable cross-platform games using the Unity game engine. As “Chief Scientist” of the labs, Alex handles a bit of the design, a bit of the tech, a bit of the visual direction, most of the marketing / PR / business, and all of the janitorial duties.
Prior to forming Owlchemy, Alex co-founded the Boston Unity Group and played an active role in the East Coast game development scene, participating in the development of AAA console titles and speaking at various conferences on both technical and business-related topics.
Monty Sharma – MassDiGI
Monty Sharma is the Managing Director at MassDigi an institute developed to foster a strong bond between academia and the games industry. He leads outreach and the development of innovative programs. He also currently hosts a podcast on Game Breaker TV on the business of games.
Sharma was formerly a Founder/General Manager of Vivox, a voice chat service provider in the games industry. He oversaw product and marketing for a company that servers over 60 million users around the world. With key relationships with EA, Ubisoft, Sony, Nexon, Big Point and many others, Vivox is the largest games communication provider and the second largest IP voice provider in the world.
Before joining Vivox, Sharma was vice president of business development at Jamcracker, Inc., where he developed partnerships and channel agreements that extended Jamcracker’s market share as a leading provider of IT management platforms.
Prior to Jamcracker, Sharma served as vice president Novell Service Provider Network at Novell, Inc. and played a key role in creating an independent business unit and brand that provided software and professional services to carriers, ASPs and Novell’s extensive reseller channel.
Sharma also held management positions at Nova Scotia telecommunications service provider MT&T where he served as chief technology officer of Mpowered PC deploying leading edge DSL and ASP solutions. He began his career working for consulting organizations including BDI Business Development Information, Inc. and Software Experts.
Sharma earned a BA in History from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He has held numerous positions on corporate and public boards and is the author of several trade press articles.
Nick Sherman – Gamesville/Lycos
Nick Sherman is the Lead Artist at Gamesville, a casual gaming portal and a part of the Lycos Network, based in the Boston-area. Since being there, he has created the art, animation, and design for a handful of casual Flash games on Gamesville.com from bingo and keno to card and puzzle games, as well as illustrating zombies for the iOS app Weather Zombie. Nick received his degree from Fitchburg State University in Communication Media with a concentration in Graphic Design. Prior to Gamesville he interned at FableVision Studios where he was then contracted to create add-on packs for their children’s writing software Stationery Studio.
Seth Sivak – Proletariat Inc.
Seth Sivak is the CEO of Proletariat Inc. an indie MMO developer in Cambridge, MA currently building World Zombination. Seth began in the industry as a gameplay programmer and has been a product manager, lead designer, and executive producer. Prior to Proletariat, Seth was the Lead Designer on Indiana Jones Adventure World at Zynga Boston. In 2011, he was named one of Game Developer Magazine’s Top 50 Developers and, in 2012, was recognized in Develop Magazine’s 30 under 30.
Alexander Sliwinski – Joystiq
Alexander is the News Content Director for Joystiq and has been a prolific contributor to the site for nearly a decade. Responsible for more than 8,500 posts and distinguished by his breaking and original news reports. Alexander has a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Hofstra University. He’s currently concluding his MBA at Northeastern University.
Bert Snow – Muzzy Lane
Bert Snow is the VP of Design at Muzzy Lane Software, and a designer with a history of innovation in game design. Bert leads Muzzy Lane’s design group, and with the Muzzy Lane team has created award-winning projects including the McGraw-Hill Practice series of simulation games, including Practice Marketing, Government in Action, and Practice Operations, Past/Present (a social history game for middle-schoolers), and others. Current projects include Quit-It, a game to help cancer patients practice smoking -cessation skills and an immersive language learning game, and others.
Before joining Muzzy Lane, Bert was a founder and lead designer of Virtual Music, a company that pioneered the music-game genre. There, Bert designed several groundbreaking music-gaming titles including Quest for Fame (starring Aerosmith). Virtual Music was acquired by Namco in 2000. Bert also has been very involved in the creation of the River Valley Charter School, a public Montessori-based school. He holds a BA from Williams College, and speaks frequently on game design and learning.
Jeremy Stein – GSN Games
Jeremy is Senior Product Manager, Mobile at GSN Games, the cross-platform games division of GSN (Game Show Network). Jeremy leads design and production of mobile games and mobile web for the company’s skill games platform. Previously, he oversaw design and development of GSN Casino, a top-ranked and top-grossing mobile app for iOS and Android.
Jeremy’s experience in designing mobile, social and console games spans a variety of genres including text-based RPGs, city builders, cards and sports. His prior industry experience includes JNJ Mobile, Quick Hit and Electronic Arts, where he primarily worked on Madden NFL. Around the office, you’ll often find this former child model enjoying the unbeatable combination of doughnuts and Moe’s queso.
Michelle Yaiser – Adobe
Michelle Yaiser is Instructional Designer for Creative Cloud Learning at Adobe. She works with creative professionals, educators and students to plan and produce learning resources that help people better use Adobe software. Prior to joining Adobe, Michelle was a professor of Web Design & Interactive Media, teaching object oriented programming and interactive development. Away from a computer, Michelle is a clarinetist, dancer and race car driver.
Mentor roster as of 2/26/14. Subject to change.