Recently we published a list of 8 Women of Color Game Developers You Should Know to highlight the rich diversity of women making games, and provide some insight into their motivations and challenges.
Continuing that, here are seven more women of different racial and ethnic backgrounds who all make games.
Position: Game Development Student, facilitator at Every1Games and leader at Pytyvo Gaming
Games: Che Rogape
On the influence of Game Jams:
“I’ve been a student at the George Brown game development program in Toronto since Fall of 2013. At first I was interested in studying animation and working as a game artist, but it wasn’t until I started participating in local game jams since September of 2015 that I became interested in building my own games.
“The main reason behind me pursuing game development is because I believe it to be the most unusual form of storytelling, as it’s one of the few forms of storytelling that allows direct interaction between a player and the narrative, so I find that very unique. I believe games hold a tremendous amount of potential in how we tell each other stories and choose to experience them.”
“My personal work focuses on animation and art inspired by Paraguayan traditions, as well as running an initiative called Pytyvo Gaming which focuses on promoting people of colour in gaming. I also work as a facilitator at Every1Games, a company that teaches game development skills to neurodiverse and autistic youth.”
Position: Independent Game Designer and Graduate Student at USC’s Interactive Media and Games Division
On tapping into her potential:
“I got my bachelor’s in Information Technology and I didn’t see myself doing desk support 9-5 for the rest of my life. I knew that I had creative potential that I was not tapping into. I took a few game related courses as an undergrad and I was encouraged by one of my mentors to pursue to graduate degree in game design. That’s how I got to where I am today.”
On overcoming challenges:
“One of the biggest challenges has been programming. With a background in IT, you’d think I’d have a good foothold but I have never been great at coding. However, I have spent a lot of time learning over the past two years and have seen my skills improve. I’m really proud of the fact that I can code my own prototypes and I’m currently programming my entire thesis game.”
On becoming a game developer:
“I went into school not really knowing what I wanted to do. I didn’t think I could become someone who could make games. I took a games course while studying Dramatic Writing my first year. I liked it, but it wasn’t until I took another class within the games department that I decided that maybe this was for me.”
On gendered roles:
“I’ve always loved games, but I grew up in a very gendered home. I left ‘boys things’ to boys. That’s a silly thought, but that’s just what I did think when I was younger. I had to outgrow that thought and find confidence in deciding that I wanted to be a game developer and designer. I was inspired mostly by the people in the games department. I started to feel like I could do it. And I have always loved games and stories. I thought, why not make what I love for a living?“
Check out: @Sanderphg
Position: Independent Game Developer, also Co-Developer and Co-Admin at s-m-a.proboards.com.
On deciding to become a game developer with her sister:
“I remember thinking when I was about twelve that I wanted to join DigiPen after graduating high school, because it was located right next to Square HQ, and Nintendo recruited heavily from there (I actually lived in Redmond at the time!). After being dragged halfway across the country, though, my dream just faded away.
I joined forum-based RPs several years later during a particularly bad bout of illness and missed school along with my sister. That’s when the seed was planted again. We started wondering why we couldn’t make our own forum, better than the others we’d been involved with. And so just over five years ago we began developing our own. We didn’t realize we were blooming into game developers until the past few years. The development became all-consuming at times, but it’s so very worth it and we’re making something we’re very proud of.”
“It was at my sister’s insistence, after sharing a random indigenous short story idea with her, that I began developing a short story into a game. I guess we both owe each other an awful lot, and we keep inspiring each other to work harder on our developing.”
On what she’s working on:
“The concept for s-m-a.proboards.com was primarily that of my sister’s, but we have both worked on the story, setting, and gameplay rules extensively since its inception over five years ago. We’ve worked VERY hard, and while the forum is undergoing maintenance as of this writing, we hope to open it again soon to welcome more players to our unique fantasy setting full of diverse characters and creatures.
I am also developing, on my own, a card-and-board based game with mechanics inspired by Arkham Horror (which is a phenomenally fun game, even though players almost always lose), based around a story very personal to me and focused primarily around modern indigenous life.”
Position: Naked Sky Entertainment / MFA candidate USC Interactive Media and Games Division (IMGD)
Games: Scrap Force, Max Axe, Little Shoes, others
On making her parents proud:
“In 3rd grade I had a Nintendo 64–it was the first game console I ever owned and it came with Super Mario 64. Back then I’d come home and find my parents playing and admiring the game, while analyzing it on a fairly high level. They’d talk about everything from the level design to the sound cues with a real awe and respect for the work that everyone on the development team did. I think all this talk subconsciously gave me the idea that being a game developer would be a unique way to make my parents proud of me!”
Check out: Scrap Force for iOS, which benefits Love146, an international human rights organization that fights child trafficking and featured by Apple under “best new games.” Girls Make Games, which provided Malika with a scholarship to go to GDC. Malikalim.com and @hello_malika
Lauren E. Scott
Position: Junior Systems Designer, 2K Games / Hangar 13
Games: Mafia 3, Prom Week, MicroVentures.
On the importance of education:
“I’ve always loved and been interested in games, but didn’t really know what went into making them until I got to college. I made some silly attempts at paper-and-pen RPGs when I was younger, but only seriously started studying it when I took up Computer Science at school.
Once I found that making games was even more fun and rewarding than playing them, the rest was history. Added to that, my school (UC Santa Cruz) had a great games department with faculty and students who really pushed me and gave me opportunities to explore a lot about what games are and can be. That really set me on my path toward becoming a dev.”
Check out: @Lauren_E_Scott
Cynthia Marie Vinoya (Yanovi)
Games: Chelsea, Clairvoyant Hearts and more.
“I was given warnings when I first got into game development. Be careful, don’t venture too far off because it’s harsh waters for a woman in the Inde Game Dev scene. I told him, a fellow developer, that I have an impressive multifaceted skill-set and being a woman won’t limit me or scare me. I was certain of my skills and I think verbalizing them with certainty to a colleague was my proudest moment so far.”