Animation exec Max Howard and top game designer Georg Baker are among the speakers now set for the 2014 edition of the Animex international festival of animation and computer games at Teesside University in Middlesbrough, England.
The five day event from Feb. 10-14 features a mix of talks, master classes, workshops, film screenings, exhibitions and promotes an collaboration and sharing between the creators and audience for computer games and animation.
“We are very proud to announce the line-up for Animex 2014, with the festival once again attracting some of the biggest names in the industry to the University and the Tees Valley,” says festival organizer Gabrielle Kent. “Each year we try and better ourselves and this year is no different. We have an amazing line up of talented speakers and we will also be welcoming Animex Comics for its second year.”
Speakers this year include:
- Georg Baker of Hotsauce Interactive is a passionate video-game developer, designer and producer with more than 13 years of industry experience. He has worked for Lionhead Studios on BAFTA Award-winning games such as Black & White, The Movies and Fable 1, 2 and 3, in a variety of roles such as programming, design and production. In 2009 he was named one of ’30 under 30 rising stars in video game development’ by games industry magazine Develop. Georg has a passion for interactive narrative and immersive design and has given talks and lectures in the United Kingdom and abroad about story and character in video games. He left Lionhead in 2001 to pursue other projects, including working for Hotsauce Interactive, a London-based independent games company founded by television presenter Jonathan Ross. Hotsauce released its first title, Catcha Catcha Aliens for iOS and Android at the end of 2012.
- Cara Ellison, a game critic and journalist who writes for a number of publications about games, including The Guardian, New Statesman, PC Gamer and Rock Paper Shotgun. She recently finished work on Charlie Brooker’s How Videogames Changed The World on Channel 4.
- Ashraf Ismail of Ubisoft, Montreal started his career as a programmer at Electronic Arts working in the FIFA franchise. After a few years he followed his passion and switched to the design aspect of development working on Champion’s League and EA skate. Since joining Ubisoft he has worked on Prince of Persia and then joined Assassin’s Creed to develop Black Flag as the game director.
- Indie developer Shaun Spalding graduated from Teesside University in 2011 and was the winner of a Ubisoft-sponsored award in game design at Expotees. He won the award for a game he built entirely using Game Maker by YoYo games. This led to an internship with Ubisoft Reflections in Newcastle, before he became an indie developer in late 2013 and released an award winning game Another Perspective. Shaun releases a regular YouTube tutorial series on Game Maker: Studio where he encourages budding designers and developers to start making games, hoping that others can find success the way he has.
- Jemma Harris of 22cans is a Teesside University graduate whose historical background in games is traditionally console based. After producing titles at Midway Games (now Warner Bros.) and Microsoft (Fable franchise), Harris is now head of production for the independent games company 22cans with industry veteran Peter Molyneux.
- Max Howard created and ran animation studios for Disney in London, Paris, Orlando and Los Angeles, working on some of Disney’s most memorable films including Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King. As president of Warner Bros. Feature Animation he oversaw such hit movies as The Iron Giant and Space Jam. At DreamWorks Animation, he was co-executive producer for Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. Max is now a sought-after consultant and lecturer for the animation industry, working with companies and organizations from all around the world.
More information on Animex can be found online at animex.tees.ac.uk.