Join us Monday, January 5 for a stellar panel about the unique challenges (and joys) of parenting when you work in games. The panel features Caleb Garner, Chris Hart, Scott Macmillan, Avida Michaud and Amanda Warner, moderated by Ken Gagne. Even if you are not a parent, our speakers will discuss general work-life balance issues, and how to sort out company benefits and policies that are truly family/life friendly!
WIG Boston is hosted by MeYouHealth, located at 27-43 Wormwood Street, 6th floor, Boston, MA 02210. There is a parking lot across the street from the MeYouHealth building, and the South Station MBTA stop is a 10 minute walk away.
Caleb Garner runs Part12 Studios, a local indie studio, and is a father of two boys ages 6 and 3.
Chris Hart started programming at the age of 10, and has been a professional developer for over 15 years. Most of that time has been spent creating Web applications, a bit of consulting, and some writing work on ASP.NET a few years ago. About 6 years ago she moved into Virtual Worlds development, from contributing to the Open Simulator project to hosting virtual worlds and immersive training simulations. She developed the Jibe multiplayer toolkit for Unity3D, designed to offer customers a starting point for a virtual meeting place on the web. For the past couple of years she’s been working on data visualization and mapping projects by day, and tinkering with game projects by night. Chris lives locally with her husband and her 8-year-old son, who has been obsessed with video games since a very early age.
Scott Macmillan is a 12-year game industry veteran and currently a Producer at GSN Games in Boston. He’s previously worked on RTSes, casual and social games, and for three years ran his own indie studio. Scott also founded Boston Indies and co-founded the GameLoop unconference series. He’s married and the father of two.
Avida Michaud holds a bachelors in math from BU and went to DigiPen (Redmond, WA) for a year post-graduate. She’s been a game programmer since ’99 (Humongous Entertainment, Turbine, MadDoc, Harmonix). The majority of her time has been at Harmonix (7 years last month!), where she was programming lead for RB2, RB3, RBN (RockBand Network), project/programming lead for their internal engine and currently working on their Kickstarter-funded revival of Amplitude. During those 4 years, she had 3 kids – twin boys at the end of RB3 and another boy while she was the engine lead so her life has changed dramatically but for the better!
Amanda Warner is co founder of Giant Spacekat, an independent studio here in Boston and was lead animator on their debut title, Revolution 60. Currently she is heading up their children’s division, Giant Spacekittens , and is busy developing their first children’s title, Cupcake Crisis. Amanda is a mom to an almost 3 year old meaning that she was pregnant, then dealing with a newborn and later a toddler during Revolution 60’s development cycle, and yet some how is still sane.
Ken Gagne is the host of the Polygamer and IndieSider podcasts and YouTube channel Gamebits. He is a freelance writer for Computerworld.com and has been a member of the gaming press since 1997. Find him on Twitter at @Gamebits