Speaker Bios

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Alex Peterson is a software engineer at Amazon Lumberyard. As a member of the field support team, he’s been helping developers make games with the engine since it was released in 2016. Prior to Amazon he built mobile, PC and web games and worked on the Half-life mod Global Warfare. Contrary to popular belief, he does not usually speak about himself in the third person except when writing his own bio.

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Amin Josua is founder and CEO of Lightword Productions from Germany. After studying Theology and History in Heidelberg he started his dissertation “Structures to communicate the Gospel with young people”. He founded two NPO’s to build such structures before getting a seed investment from his State Church for the game idea “1of500”. In this project he connects his faith, academic knowledge, creativity, enthusiasm for learning new things and startup culture in a currently being realized vision.

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Erin Marantette is the art director and lead character artist at Soma Games. She has been working on developing the characters for the Lost Legends of Redwall since 2015. Erin is a skilled 2D artist and 3D artist, who works on bringing life to the characters and games she is apart of. Her talk will discuss her experience visually developing characters while considering their back stories, game mechanics, and personalities.

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Fueled by a love of problem-solving and system building, Jeff Neet has been developing software for over 10 years supporting projects for Numinous Games, Lockheed Martin, NASDAQ, Toyota, and the US Navy. His lifelong passion for creating (and playing) innovative video games has allowed him to expand his skillset into production. He is currently CEO of PXLPUG working on an unannounced title for the Intellivision Amico.

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Kris Murray is 35 years old and currently resides in Folsom, California. He regularly attends weekly worship services at a non-denominational church where he helps out with music, playing violin and viola. He is also a member of Bible Study Fellowship where he volunteers teaching the Bible in the children's program. He's been a software engineer for a leading tech Fortune 500 technology company developing internal SW tools and Windows device drivers for over 10 years.  Additionally, Kris, his wife, and son, enjoy biking, hiking, and camping in the outdoors at the many natural wonders local to Northern California and beyond.

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Matt Colón is an engineering manager who has had a passion for video games from a young age, and he soon desired to develop games of his own. Despite feeling called to this by God in college, his direction became unclear after hearing first hand about the crunch culture of the gaming industry and the effect it has on marriages. It was not until Minecraft opened his eyes to the viability of small indie teams and digital distribution that he fully understood where God would be leading him. Matt serves as the CGD small group coordinator, and is enjoying marriage with his wonderful wife, Katie, and raising his three children to be the next generation of gamers.

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Murselle McMillian lives in central Texas where she majored in religion at Howard Payne University. She is a volunteer Chaplain trained by the Baptist General Convention of Texas and a weekly speaker to a small congregation. She is a Director of Rock, Salt & Light Ministry as well as a wife and grandmother. She writes plays, short stories, and plots for games, and in January of 2015 published a series of stories for a national magazine. She became interested in internet gaming as a way of providing wholesome entertainment and spiritual mentoring to young people.

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Nathan Blair has worked in the entertainment industry for over 10 years in Many capacities from Consultant to CEO. Currently, Nathan is the CEO of UFORIA, a game developer & publisher, Games for Love a 501(c)(3) Organization that eases the suffering of children and saves lives, and AniHQ an Animation Studio specializing in narrative-driven content for Television, and Streaming services. Nathan has consulted, advised, and mentored over 30 companies such as Microsoft, and Glassdoor. The topics he is passionate about as an expert is startups, gaming, entertainment, VR, AI, Business Growth, and Emerging Tech. He holds a degree in Digital Gaming and Interactive Media, Store champion of the Blockbuster game championship, and is a 2x medaled civilian by a 4-star general for his work with the US military. He is a loving husband and fanatical father of 3 beautiful children.

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Philip Conrod serves as the President & Publisher of Kidware Software and BibleByte Books & Games which is based in Maple Valley, Washington. Over the past 35 years, he has published dozens of computer games and dozens of step-by-step computer programming tutorial textbooks which are used in schools all over the world. Philip has also served in many different Information Technology leadership roles at companies like Sundstrand Aerospace, Safeco Insurance, FamilyLife, Kenworth Truck Company, PACCAR and Darigold. Philip holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems and a master’s certificate in the Essentials of Business Development from Regis University.

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Ryan Vandendyck has worked in the videogame industry since 2006 and has released 8 games across many consoles including PS2, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii, Wii U, Switch, 3DS, Vita, PC, and mobile. And he's even met famed Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto while working on Luigi's Mansion! Since 2012 he's worked full-time for his own company, Eden Industries, having released 3 games so far - the most recent being Citizens of Space on June 18, 2019.

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Sarah Tan is a gameplay engineer on Rec Room, one of the most popular (and free!) social VR games available on the market. It is also available on PC (non VR), and iOS (still in beta). Since joining the VR industry in January 2015, her passion for all things VR has only grown. She holds a Bachelor of Computing from the National University of Singapore, and a Master of Entertainment Technology from Carnegie Mellon University, where she was the Head TA for the famous Building Virtual Worlds class, pioneered by Randy Pausch of "The Last Lecture". Her goal in life is to change the world for the better, and games, along with other interactive experiences, are her tool of choice.

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Scott Bjerk has spent countless hours as a low-key gamer and hobbyist developer.  He has been a part of the CGDC community for many years and through his exposure to the gaming industry has gained cursory insight into the depth of challenge of breathing life into his own personal project, Artificial Memoirs.

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Seth Crofton comes from Maple Valley, Washington, and is a Christian game producer who focuses on the world of gaming and mass media and is the founder of Epos Entertainment, a media company that produced quality children’s entertainment properties that conform to God’s Word. He has released two CCGs (collectible card games): Principality and Prophecy (with Dan olds). He has also released an expansion set for his flagship Principality: The Choir of Angels Expansion. Seth Crofton is currently working with Wargaming.net, Camp Skookum, Sqwishland, Wildwings, Reloaded, Jetspice Games and 1A Games. Seth has worked for Wargaming, Camp skookum, Sqwishland, 1A games, Atherlight and currently leads Chillar games, Seismic Squirrell and assist Numbersonly. He also is on the planning committee for the Iitsec conference under the NTSA

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Stephen Weese is the COO of Marvelous Spiral Theater, a company that produces voice over for video games and animation. professional film and voice actor, as well as a writer, director and producer. He is known for his voice roles in anime and video games, including Hellsing Ultimate and Shadowverse. Stephen co-produced the English dub for the anime Kick-Heart, and wrote, produced and starred in the live action feature sci-fi film, Altered Spirits. He is a lifelong believer who has been in Christian ministry for over a decade. He founded the Christian geek group Fans for Christ and is the author of God Loves the Freaks. He currently lives in Los Angeles where he also teaches Java Coding and History of Video Games at a film college.

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Thomas Henshell started in enterprise software in 1999. In 2012 he pursued games full time releasing 2 games to all the app stores.  Now he is working on a PC/Mac game exploring new territory in AI, emergent story, and procedural generation with Archmage Rises: a RPG/simulator where the world and characters age with the passage of time.  It is expected to be released before Jesus returns. He recently joined Sault College as an Associate Professor teaching Prototyping, User Experience, and Video Game History. He owns over 1,000 PC games and 500 board games.  (But don’t tell his wife.)

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Zach Fay is the founder and creator of Lightgliders, a game world of Christian faith and fun for kids, which is found online and in the app stores. Zach was led into the games industry while searching for a culturally relevant way to impact kids before their teenage years. His initial idea to create “Club Penguin + Sunday School” has taken him on an entrepreneurial journey to design, finance, develop, market, and iterate Lightgliders for a niche target audience. Zach received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and has worked as a youth pastor, a management consultant, and in Christian music management. He wrote his company’s first business plan while pursuing graduate degrees in theology and business at Regent University. Zach lives in St. Louis, MO, with his wife Margaret and two young boys, Charlie and Jordan.