Ariel started his audio career by composing music and designing sounds for casual games in 1996. You remember 1996, right? The Macarena topped the charts! He eventually found his way to Volition, working primarily on the Saints Row franchise. Then he was at BioWare, working on titles like Shadow Realms, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Mass Effect. Now he is at QC Games working on a clandestine project with a crackerjack team. Ariel wouldn't be where he is today without the help of many awesome mentors. Ariel had the idea to kick off audiomentoring.com after several heartfelt conversations with his colleagues in the game industry at GDC in 2016. He considers the assembling of the team of ninjas you see on this page to be one of his greatest accomplishments.
Becky Allen, an Audio Director at PopCap Games, is composer on a soon-to-be-released Plants Vs. Zombies game “Plants Vs. Zombies Heroes”. Other credits at PopCap include: composer of Fairy music for Peggle 2, Audio lead on Bejeweled Blitz, Plants vs. Zombies 2 and Solitaire Blitz. She began her audio career at Microsoft in 1994 and has been working in audio and technology ever since. She has lectured at IGDA, DigiPen Institute and USC School of Fine Arts. She also collaborates with visual artists, Sharon Lockhart and in her past, Bill Viola. Her work has been heard at Sundance film festival, Berlin film festival, New York film festival and many others.
Ben is the Senior Audio Director at EA DICE’s Stockholm studio, where as part of the super awesome DICE.Audio™ team, he gets to wear many different hats including Audio Director, ½ Head of Audio, Sound Designer, Sound Recordist, WW SFX Librarian, Hoarder, Sound Designer Mari Saastamoinen Minto’s husband and personal recordist, Temp English Voice Talent, VGM STHLM Ljud Jul organiser, Need A Quick Droid VO Set Bloke and the Whyamigettingnosound Fixer. Over the years he has worked with many highly talented people and teams on a myriad of audio award winning (BAFTA, AIAS, SXSW, GANG, Develop, TEC etc.) franchises including Star Wars Battlefront, Battlefield, Medal of Honor, Mirror’s Edge, Need for Speed, Burnout and Black. He learnt the importance of game audio mentorship after turning up to his first day at Acclaim (almost 20 years ago) with a Korg MS20 and a really heavy oscilloscope, expecting them to be THE essential tools when making sounds for Armorines on the N64 ……… thanks Steve for the break and Andy for your patience and showing me the Sound Ideas SFX phone book!
Damian Kastbauer is a combination of Atari 2600/ NES (channeled-through Commodore 64 SID-chip) games and (purple-mountain-majesty) guitar-noise caught listening for the secret synergy between passions resulting in crazy technical sound design focused fascination within the art of game audio implementation. Currently living between the worlds of sound content & game engines, bridging the gap, as a Technical Audio Lead at Popcap working on Plants vs. Zombies 2 & Plants vs. Zombies Heroes.
Dren McDonald has worked in the game industry as an audio director, composer and sound designer on titles such as Gordon Ramsay Dash, CounterStrike: Global Offensive, Transformers: Age of Extinction The Official Game, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Commander, Dangerous Dave in the Deserted Pirate's Hideout HD, Skulls of the Shogun, Elevate (2014's Apple App of the Year), Cooking Dash 2016, Ravenwood Fair and over 60 other game titles. He's worked with legendary game designers such as John Romero (Doom, Quake, Id Software), Brenda Romero (Jagged Alliance, Wizardry 1-8, Train) and Tom Hall (Wolfenstein 3D,Commander Keen, Anachronox). His music has been enjoyed by, literally, millions of gamers worldwide on several games that reached 20 million monthly players or more. His work has been nominated for awards by GANG, GDC Online and IndieCade and he won GANG awards in 2015 for his work on The String Arcade recording, and in 2016 for Gathering Sky (Best Indie Game Audio, Best Sound Design in a Casual Game).
He currently operates his own game audio company, nerdtracks.com, and previously served as director of development for GANG (Game Audio Network Guild, audiogang.org).He is a frequent speaker at GDC, GameSoundCon, Casual Connect, and IndieCade. He taught the inaugural game audio course for the UC Santa Cruz Games and Playable Media Masters Program, setting up the blueprint for the future of that program's curriculum, where he is also on the advisory board. He is currently teaching part time as a visiting faculty member at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in their Technology and Applied Composition Program (T.A.C.) where he is also on the advisory board.
Kenny is a 6x Academy (BAFTA, AIAS) nominated freelance composer, sound designer and audio director, best known for his work as Head of Audio at video game developer Media Molecule where he was responsible for the audio experiences in their smash hit, critically acclaimed LittleBigPlanet and Tearaway franchises. He is a passionate and committed member of the game audio community, sits on the GDC audio advisory board, has been a BAFTA, GANG and IGF awards juror, has contributed towards many articles, books and podcasts, and speaks regularly at conferences and higher education institutions around the world.
Mark Kilborn is a sound designer, mixer and implementer with over a decade of experience in the video games industry. He has worked on various game franchises including Borderlands, Forza Motorsport, Brothers In Arms, Tony Hawk and Project Gotham Racing. For the last six years he has served as one of the Audio Directors for the Call of Duty series, collaborating with teams of sound designers around the world on various projects including Modern Warfare 3, Advanced Warfare, Black Ops 1-3, Exo Zombies, Call of Duty Online and Modern Warfare Remastered.
Masha Lepire is a Seattle based composer, sound designer, and conductor. She began her video game music career by founding the Video Game Orchestra and Choir at UCLA when she was a classical guitar performance major. Masha now runs a similar ensemble called the Seattle VGOC in addition to performing and composing for video games and other forms of visual media. She previously created award winning spatial audio for Microsoft's first Hololens hackathon and is currently co-producing the folk group Travelers VGM. In addition to her game audio pursuits, she also runs the Women in Audio slack group.
Sally-anne Kellaway is the Creative Director for Ossic Studios - the internal studio that develops content to showcase Ossic 3D Audio Smart Headphones. Sally is a specialist in VR Audio Design for Interactive and Linear VR media. She is is the founder of the Virtual Reality Content Creators network for Australia (VRCC_AUS) and is also the co-chair of the IGDA Special Interest Group for Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Realities. Sally presents at conferences worldwide about the role of Audio in Virtual Reality, as well as research conducted from her Masters course in Audio and Acoustics. Sally has a cross-discipline history of working across Games, VR and Middleware, with highlights including her time with SEGA Studios Australia, Firelight Technologies and Zero Latency VR.