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Highlighting the Games Industry for International Women’s Day

Hear from 16 women in the Games Industry including art directors, developers, animators, programmers and more as they discuss their career journeys and projects.

For this International Women’s Day we are bringing the Games Industry to the forefront to celebrate the incredible work that is being done in Australia.

As 2021/22 Gender Matters data showed, women made up just 24% of successful Screen Australia applications – a number Games Investment Manager Amelia Laughlan hopes will change as more women are employed in the sector.

“The work that has been done by organisations such as Girl Geek Academy to improve girls and women’s STEM education in Australia or Wings Interactive who are a private indie games fund investing in women and gender diverse creators is inspiring to see. And certainly there are a lot more women in positions of power in the games industry in the 2020s."

Amelia Laughlan

Laughlan, a games producer on projects such as online multiplayer board game Warhammer Underworlds: Online, virtual reality tabletop roleplaying game Table of Tales, digital choose-your-own-adventure gamebook app Fighting Fantasy Classics and the Japanese edition of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, says “I think proactive intervention is needed in the form of programs that support women and gender diverse folks to become leaders and managers in game studios.  I feel grateful to work at Screen Australia where I have a chance to help enact a small part of that change.”

“What jumps out at me is how diverse these games being made by women are. The wonderful weirdness of the mix of projects these women are bringing to life reinforces my belief that diverse teams make interesting and original games. Looking at this list gives me hope for the future of game development in Australia. These women are amazing creators and have great potential to mentor and lead other women and gender diverse people in games. And that is something that I already see a lot of amongst women game devs in Australia. I look at this list and think ‘bring on the future!’.”

Read on to discover just some of the women leading the charge in games and some of the projects they are most proud of.

1. Kat Bramston

Kat Bramston

In 2018, actor/director Kat Bramston branched into 3D animation, leading into games development where she joined Kite Shield Interactive to create cinematic cut scenes, environments and character animations. Combining her acting and animation skills, Kat is now the Voice Director for Kite Shield. Working closely with the team, Kat assists with scripts, scouts talented voice actors to portray the character roles and directs them to produce the best outcomes for the dialogue with the studio's games.

At the end of last year, Kite Shield spent two weeks focusing on developing a demo for their game Legion Fall. During that time, I worked closely with the team composer, Dan Poole and the narrative designer, Blayne Cuzner to create lyrics and develop an original song to accompany the demo and trailer.

We spent a whole day in the recording studio, recording the song and working with the very talented Canberra actor Colin Giles to create an early sample of character voices. The voices ranged from those with Italian/Roman accents and an early European blend of German and French accents to create the gaol accents .

The day was both a lot of fun and very successful in the goals that we set out.

Screen Australia supported Moon Corp Tower Defense. Find out more here.

2. Samantha Cable

Samantha Cable is a writer who specialises in stories for video games and animation. She is Founder and Head of Narrative of the Australian indie video game collective called Spoonful of Wonder where she is working on her debut game
Copycat. Her creative portfolio has won her title of 'Young Creative of the Year' at ADC Europe. Sam holds a Masters in Screenwriting from the Australian Film Television and Radio School where she has returned as a guest lecturer. Sam is a 2023 award jury member for the gaming category of the Art Directors Club in New York.

I am most proud of my video game Copycat — the first project I've collectively written and directed. It's a wholesome, narrative-driven experience about rejection, belonging and the true meaning of home. My goal is to delight the senses while exploring dark emotional depths. The project has received Screen Australia's 2023 Games: Expansion Pack funding. The creative journey of Copycat has taught me to value progress, not perfection. 

Screen Australia supported Copycat. Find out more here.

3. Madeleine Clute

Madeleine Clute

Madeleine Clute is the founder and creative director of Melbourne-based O’Saurus Studios. Madeleine comes to games from a software career, working for Google in New York City and Sydney across a wide range of products from Google Maps to data centres in both technical and management roles. Always having had a strong passion for art and storytelling, she decided to try her hand at game development and hasn’t looked back.

I’m quite proud of my current game, Call of the Golden Valley. It’s my first game, and while I do come from a programming background, I had to teach myself everything else from scratch to make a workable demo: 3-Dimensional modelling, texturing, narrative design, level design, how to use a game engine, all of it! I went from following basic YouTube tutorials to having the demo ready in a year, and it makes me really proud to look back and see how far I’ve come on my journey. Now I’m so excited to get others involved with the project thanks to Screen Australia’s funding support.

Screen Australia supported Call of the Golden Valley. Find out more here.

4. Amy Doherty

Amy Doherty

Amy Louise Doherty is a Game Designer, Creative Director and founder of WA creative studio ARCH REBELS. As Lead Developer and Narrative Director of ARCH REBELS’ spooky VR and PC game GHOST CAM and Narrative Designer for God of Riffs and more, Amy loves creating new worlds to explore. Amy draws upon her experience in narrative work which has been featured in Australia and internationally, across film, TV, theatre including for television series such as Frontier, Republic of Doyle and Caught.

Creating our VR and PC game GHOST CAM has been the most challenging, rewarding, and occasionally bewildering experience. From creating a photography piece to developing a 360 video point and click VR demo, a 3D walk around immersive prototype and the current full game development with an amazing WA team.

With the game we’ve been able to push our creativity with a blend of interactive 3D art and sound, photogrammetry, motion capture, and 360 video to create an immersive ghost hunting experience where you uncover the real story underneath – and through multiple endings. GHOST CAM has evolved like a Pokémon that won’t quit and I’m excited to see its ultimate form.

Screen Australia supported GHOST CAM. Find out more here.

5. Rose Hammer

Rose Hammer

Alongside her partner, Rose Hammer co-directs a small game company called Tempo Lab. Her main role is to make the art and animation for their current project - a rhythm game called Bits & Bops - but she also does game design, marketing, community management and various other things.

I’ve worked for several years as a 2D animator, but professional game development is a new endeavour for me. I owe my confidence in the industry to my supportive partner, to other women who began working in games before me, and to improvements in video game culture throughout the last ten years.

I’m proud of our team’s work on Bits & Bops – because I feel we’re investing in a project our audience really loves – and I’m also happy I’ve found a line of work that leverages my personal strengths. Indie game development is a rapidly shifting, under-researched, and unforgiving space, and this is a perfect fit for someone with a high-risk tolerance who enjoys very hard challenges.

Screen Australia supported Bits & Bops. Find out more here.

6. Hayley Kumpis


Hayley Kumpis is a Programmer at Melbourne based indie games company Bin Chicken Studios. Only just starting her career in Games Development, she has been working on their current project
Trash for almost three years. Trash is a multiplayer exploration and puzzle solving game set in an unusual, post-apocalyptic world in which your goal is to help cultivate and nurture new life using all the trash left behind by humans. Last year she also had the fantastic opportunity to work on the Clarendon Street Arcade project for RMIT university which was definitely outside of her comfort zone but an incredible learning experience. The project consisted of five custom-made arcade cabinets loaded with locally-made games, inspired by Melbourne’s geography, culture, city life and Indigenous history. The cabinets were set up along Clarendon Street from July to October last year. 

As fun and challenging as the Clarendon street arcade project was, I’m definitely going to have to say Trash is the project I’m most proud of, which is a funny sentence to say! As a small indie company of aspiring developers and artists, it has been wonderful to watch how much Trash has changed and grown alongside us as we learn and develop new skills. Going from a small puzzle-solving demo to a vibrant and colourful online multiplayer, open world adventure game, is an incredible feat that I am very proud of and I am excited to see where we get to this year. 

Screen Australia supported Trash. Find out more here.

7. Skye Lavelle

Born and raised in Darwin, Skye Lavelle is an emerging digital artist working within the game industry in the NT. As the lead concept artist at Larrikin Interactive, a local game studio based in Darwin, Skye is currently working on her first commercial game, Diets and Deities, an upcoming rhythm cooking game supported by the Screen Australia Games: Expansion Pack Fund opportunity. Skye’s career in games has only just begun and she has already made an impact. In 2022, Skye was awarded a scholarship from IGEA to attend the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in March. This scholarship supports marginalised creatives within the game industry to develop their professional career. Through these opportunities and experiences, Skye is passionate to grow as an artist and share them with the emerging industry in the NT.

As my first step into the game industry, Diets and Deities is a project that I am so grateful for being a part of. As a Chinese-Timorese/Australian queer artist, I am proud to be working on Diets and Deities, a game that places culture and diversity at the forefront of its characters and story. With my work on the project, I aim to always represent queer and racially-diverse individuals through the art of games. Being a concept artist had always been just a dream for me, but now that it has become a reality I am so incredibly inspired to see where my career will go from here.

Screen Australia supported Diets and Deities. Find out more here.

8. Violet LeBEaux

Violet LeBeaux is a solo game developer who lives in Melbourne. An avid gamer since childhood, while waiting for Animal Crossing New Horizons to release, she decided to take up a new hobby and revisit her childhood dream of game design. After binging GameMaker Studio 2 tutorials on YouTube and drawing from her own experiences of inner-city apartment living, Violet created a working prototype for her first game: Moonlight in Garland. What started as a hobby rapidly snowballed into an obsession and the game is now set for release in 2023 across multiple platforms. A cozy life sim about finding your feet in the big city, Moonlight in Garland has been supported by both Screen Australia and VicScreen.

Moonlight in Garland is a project I’m particularly proud of because it changed the trajectory of my life. It marks my first steps into the Australian games industry as a developer. I’ve learned so many new skills and formed meaningful friendships with others in the industry who constantly inspire me. Sharing my story of moving to a big new city and finding a nurturing community has been so rewarding beyond anything I imagined because it’s allowed players to find their own stories in the game.

Screen Australia supported Moonlight in Garland. Find out more here.

9. Tess Monash

Tess Monash

Tess Monash is a 3D artist who has been kicking around the games industry in New Zealand and Australia for about eight years. After getting her start in mobile games in Wellington, she moved to Melbourne and joined Beethoven & Dinosaur as a one-woman animation team for Bafta-award-winning The Artful Escape. She then worked as an Art Lead at Stockholm-based Starstable Entertainment, before returning to the Melbourne indie scene to take on the role of art director for Effort Star's debut title, Enter the Chronosphere.

I'm super proud of the work I did on The Artful Escape beyond my role as animator. Because the team was so small, I was able to flex some UX design muscles, give story input, prototype boss battles, and run playtests. I'm particularly proud of my work on character customisation, which played a key role in Artful being celebrated as trans-friendly, gender-affirming, and totally glam as f*ck.

Screen Australia supported Enter the Chronosphere. Find out more here.

10. Sayuri Nagata

Sayuri Nagata

Sayuri Nagata works as an illustrator and graphic designer, currently working with the team at 2Bit Studios. She has worked on a variety of different components in a video game, ranging from user interface designs to concepting assets such as creatures and machines. Outside of video games, she generally works on pop culture inspired illustrations and logo design.

Out of all the projects, Planetation is by far the most passion I have felt for a video game project. It has allowed me to discover and further my skills, which I hope to keep applying to current and future projects.

Screen Australia supported Planetation. Find out more here.

11. Lauren Nicholls

The Sacred Acorn

Lauren Nicholls is an artist, animator and creative handyman from the Adelaide Hills. At the moment she is working with indie game studio A Few Dragons to create the visual assets for their upcoming game,
The Sacred Acorn. She is responsible for designing and creating the art that makes up the environments, as well as all the animations and designs of the characters and enemies. She also creates the key art for the game's marketing. Previously, she has worked with other local indie game studios, and has been a more traditional animator and a graphic designer. She has been interested in making games for a very long time, but she never thought it was a viable option until she discovered all the indie game studios around Australia who make amazing games.

I hope to be able to keep working in this industry for a long time, and help bring great Australian games to life!

I am most proud of The Sacred Acorn, because I've gotten to see it grow and improve over time. It's also given me the opportunity to learn a lot about all the different parts of game development.

Screen Australia supported The Sacred Acorn. Find out more here.

12. Georgia Patton

Starwisp Hyperdrive

Georgia Patton is a multi-talented game developer from Melbourne.. Georgia has worked in graphics, web design, and illustration. Her experiences in other fields helped to develop an eye for detail and a passion for cohesive, narrative driven design. With hobbies including writing and illustrating comics, writing screenplays, and making electronic music, Georgia has a holistic understanding of game development. Her combination of technical skill and creative vision brings a unique perspective to projects

I’m particularly proud of our upcoming game Starwisp Hyperdrive – a cosy adventure RPG in space. We’re taking some familiar elements and making something that feels fresh and different. It’s inspired by classics such as Earthbound, FTL and Stardew Valley. 

Screen Australia supported Starwisp Hyperdrive. Find out more here.

13. Jessica Shipard

Jessica Shipard is an accomplished communication designer and art director with more than a decade of experience reinvigorating local and international brands. She has recently transitioned into game development as a co-founder and the creative director of Studio Folly and is currently polishing off their debut title Gubbins, a highly anticipated word game that merges her expertise in design and typography with the medium of games.

Gubbins has enabled me to not only switch careers but lead a team of talented creatives (who’ve also never made a videogame) to make something wholly unique in the space. With grants from Screen Australia and VicScreen, showcases at PAX, Parallels and ACMI, and most recently an art award from The Game Makers Sketchbook, there’s always a new reason to feel proud of our weird little word game.

Screen Australia supported Gubbins. Find out more here.

14. Vivian Vandal

Vivian Vandal grew up obsessed with Choose Your Own Adventure books and games like Prince of Persia, Loom, Final Fantasy VII and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. After many years in the corporate world she began her games industry career as Communications Director & Writer for A Few Dragons and has loved every minute of it. Her real passion is storytelling, as stories often shape the way we see the world, and she is particularly enamoured with games and their unique ability to make the player part of the narrative.

I'm genuinely proud of the project I'm working on right now, The Sacred Acorn. Maybe it's because it's my first real games project, but it has come such a long way from the humble little game jam project it was when I was first brought onboard two years ago. It's become so much more, and it's still a little surreal for me sometimes to realise I have contributed to that transformation. There's still lots to do, but I've already achieved so much working with our little team and I honestly can't wait to share it with the world when it's complete.

Screen Australia supported The Sacred Acorn. Find out more here.

15. Yee Hui Wong

Yee Hui Wong is an Australia-based filmmaker and 3D artist. Working to bring unique experiences to her audiences while engaging with the imaginative worlds in her animated short films, Yee Hui produced Of Coconuts and Flowers (2020) and Who Killed Cock Robin? (2022) during her time at RMIT. As a result, her two short films have been screened in multiple countries and won awards. As of now, she is working on two indie game projects at the same time as wearing different hats. She is both the animator for Trash from Bin Chicken Studios and the game artist for Call of the Golden Valley from O’Saurus Studios. For her, they are amazing projects to participate in while increasing her 3D artist EXP!

I’m very proud of Trash as the game itself is alerting people about environmental issues with bits and pieces hiding in the game world, whether it be the old vehicle parts in the background while the player explores, or the critters living in the area that is made up of trash.

Screen Australia supported Trash. Find out more here.

16. Julia Ye

Every Hue of You

Julia Ye is the co-founder of indie studio Cactus Jam Games and the art director of Every Hue of You, an upcoming visual novel. She has always had a passion for being creative, ever since she was a kid. Her love of drawing and creating things eventually led her down the path of games!

Every Hue of You is very special to me as it is not only my first step into the games industry, but also a personal project. Working on this project has taught me many things and I’m also grateful and proud to be able to showcase my personal art style; to manage a team and have the trust of others to create a game is truly a blessing.

Screen Australia supported Every Hue of You. Find out more here.

Find out more about Screen Australia’s Games funding here and by listening to this podcast here.