GDC 2023 welcomes Summits Advisors on AI, UX, Advanced Graphics and Animation



The Game Developers Conference returns to San Francisco this March 20-24, 2023, and organizers are excited to announce more of the newest advisors for the GDC Summits.

GDC 2023 is getting ready to accept submissions to present lectures and panels for the Summits portion of the event, which runs on Monday and Tuesday of the conference. Each summit centers on a niche topic within game development and its relevant community, and has its own set of advisors who define the summit’s editorial goals and review the summit’s submissions.

Here’s the second round of new Summits Advisors that GDC is proud to share—head here for the previous round of announcements, and more will be shared in the coming days.

AI Summit

Andrea Schiel—Lead AI Architect, Worlds Edge Studio (Microsoft)

Andrea Schiel has been working in AI for over 20 years and in the game industry back when the internet was being born. Currently she works as the lead AI architect for World’s Edge studio (Xbox, Microsoft: Age of Empires franchise) and as an AI developer on the Age of Empires games. She’s worked on everything from sports games to RTS to FPS and has previously spoken at GDC 2017. You can find her on LinkedIn or hanging out at the AI Summit. Her passions include bridging the diverse worlds of research and engineering. In addition to actively coding, she works with the bright minds of Microsoft Research, experimenting in the field of reinforcement learning.

Duygu Cakmak—R&D Director, Creative Assembly

Duygu Cakmak is a senior AI programmer working at Creative Assembly for the last four years. As an AI programmer, she aims to achieve realistic game AI for the Total War series while writing new AI systems, new AI features for the Campaign, and developing visualization tools for AI auto play tests. Her latest work was implementing the new diplomacy AI system for Total War: Three Kingdoms. She holds the Technical Impact of the Year award at Women in Games Awards 2019. She has been credited in Total War: Warhammer, Total War: Warhammer II, and Total War: Three Kingdoms.

Ahmed Khalifa—Lecturer & Part-time AI Engineer, Insitute of Digital Games at University of Malta & Modl.ai

Ahmed Khalifa is a lecturer in AI in Games at the Institute of Digital Games. He is also a part-time AI engineer at Modl.ai and a game designer and developer in his free time. His AI work and game design interests focus mainly on level design and level generation.

UX Summit

Rebecca Cohen Palacios—Senior UI/UX Design Manager, Sledgehammer Games

Rebecca Cohen-Palacios is a technical and creative designer who currently works as Senior UI/UX Design Manager at Sledgehammer Games. She’s shipped mobile and console games such as The Elder Scrolls: Blades, Assassin’s Creed Origins, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, and Shape Up (Kinect), using engines like Unity, Unreal and studio proprietary tools. Prior to a career in game development, Rebecca spent many years designing and programming user interfaces for websites, apps & interactive experiences. At the intersection of her work as a game developer, Rebecca is an advocate who speaks up for diversity equity and inclusion. As a seasoned community organizer (Pixelles, Game & Colour) and public speaker, her internationally recognized advocacy work has directly impacted the Montréal games industry and beyond.

Advanced Graphics Summit

Jeremy Ong—Principal Software Engineer (Rendering), Amazon

Jeremy Ong is currently a principal engineer on the Game Engine & Developer Services team at Amazon AWS with a chief focus on rendering and graphics programming. Previously, Jeremy has worked as a graphics and engine programmer at WB Games, Cryptic Studios, and Riot Games on a variety of systems (lighting, materials, HDR, FX, animation). Real-time graphics in games is Jeremy’s lifelong passion, having been hooked ever since programmable shaders became a thing.

Animation Summit

Michala Braker—Associate Facial Animator, Rockstar Games

Michala Braker is an Associate Facial Animator at Rockstar Games. Prior to Rockstar, Michala started in the industry as a member of the face team at NetherRealm where they worked to deliver the fatally gritty detail showcased in Mortal Kombat 11. ‘That Blooming Feeling’, the first Gardening Videopicturebook about life alongside a water droplet, was a collective labor of love by Michala and Tots’ Team that was given Honorable Mention at the Independent Games Festival in 2018. If you’re at GDC, you can often find them in a neon shirt, enthusiastically waiting to answer any question you may have.

GDC 2023 will soon be accepting submissions to present lectures and panels for the Summits portion of the event—along with Game Career Seminar—starting Thursday, September 1 through Friday, October 7 at 11:59pm PT. More information on how to submit for Summits and Game Career Seminar will be shared in the coming days.

GDC returns to San Francisco in March 2023! For more information, be sure to visit our website.

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