Jennifer features in our list for a second consecutive year.
Two years ago, Jennifer Scheurle came to Australia to participate in the local indie development scene after leaving Berlin, Germany in 2015. With a specialization in systems design, narrative design and psychology-driven design, Jennifer has six years of experience and over ten released titles as a game designer under her belt, currently working as the lead game design tutor at the Academy of Interactive Entertainment, Sydney. New, unannounced opportunities will be coming up next month. Within her time at the academy, Jennifer quickly started contributing to the design curriculum for campuses all over Australia, shaping the future of game design education for the entire country.
Outside of her work as a teacher, Jennifer is known as the spaceship designer for Sydney’s Flat Earth Games, working on Objects in Space, a title that has drawn plenty of attention for its physical controller setup worldwide, in which Jennifer had a major part in designer. The title has had wide spread media coverage, with the likes of Kotaku, Polygon, Gamesinformer and other global outlets covering the title. Last year, the game was part of the PAX Rising area for PAX East, part of the Australian showcase at PAX West and a winner of the PAX Aus indie showcase. During GDC 2017, Objects in Space was shown as part of Alt.Ctrl.GDC, being rewarded with an award nomination in the same category at the IGF awards.
Jennifer has become known as a world-travelling speaker for game design, creativity, VR, combating internet harassment and diversity, speaking at GX Australia, NZGDC, RTX, GCAP, PAX Australia and GDC 2017 as well as numerous smaller local events such as at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum to connect and educate the gaming sector with other emerging industries all over the country. During GDC 2017, she was part of the very first Diversity Microtalk track, which scored a ranking among the top 10% of GDC talks. She has been a judge for New Zealand’s Play by Play festival awards for the second time in a row this year, as well as being part of the judging panel for Australia’s STEM game challenge, encouraging young local talent to get into games.
Jennifer is passionate about helping the sector and community with questions on diversity as a part of applications, finding diverse applicants as well as providing consultancy and training for studios on a diverse workplace. She also currently collaborates as a game development consultant for an upcoming Australian kids show about teenagers making video games.
Beyond her teaching work and Flat Earth Games, Jennifer frequently works on her own small games, the most well-known being Philosophy of 10, on which she collaborates with two fellow developers from Melbourne. With the same team, Jennifer produced the game “The Serpent Cycle” during the Global Game Jam 2017 which was featured in its own Killscreen article.
Speaking to MCV Pacific about her inclusion in the list, Jennifer said, “Being included in this year’s list means that others see value in my work and in the struggles that sometimes come with it. One of the driving forces of my career has always been the idea that I can be part of the revolution and future-defining in this industry, that I can contribute to its culture and acceptance and that I can help define what games will be in the next couple of decades. Being recognized for my input means that I’m right where I wanted to be from the start – and more so alongside plenty of people who I admire for everything they are and do.”