Games Institute (GI) members are no strangers to the annual Game Developers Conference (GDC), and this year is no different with two GI alums, Alexandra Orlando and Tina Chan, leading sessions about their ongoing work within the games industry.  

Alexandra Orlando was the former Editor-in-Chief of First Person Scholar during her time at the GI as an English PhD student. As the Community Manager at Kitfox Games, Orlando was a speaker at the session “The Hidden Costs of Transparency and the ‘Dwarf Fortress’ Community”. She detailed the long path the game Dwarf Fortress took to being published, first, on and later graduating to Steam. This lengthy process was only successful due to the enormous community support the studio received, thanks to the respectful and active relationship Kitfox Games nurtures with its fans. 

Tina Chan was a former graduate student at the GI, completing her Masters of Science in Public Health and Human-Computer Interaction. Now, as a Senior User Experience (UX) Researcher at Respawn Entertainment, Chan was a speaker at the session “UX Summit: De-Coupling Studies to Embed User Research on a Live Game”. She presented her research on the game Apex Legends, a free-to-play battle royale shooter. Chan’s talk focused on the nuances of conducting user research on live games, which presents many challenges when attempting to learn what it is that players need and want within the gameplay to enhance the overall experience.  

Stay up to date with their work by checking them out on LinkedIn!