The West Australian returns to the MCV Pacific Women In Games List for a second consecutive year.
Jessica recently joined Stirfire Studios as part of the Quality Assurance team for their VR title Symphony of the Machine; she has also been working as a Designer with Hungry Sky on various projects, including an educational game developed in association with Curtin University’s Centre for Aboriginal Studies.
Outside of from game development, Jessica assists in running the Motion Capture Facility at Edith Cowan University, as a Mocap Technician working to support researchers in exploring the potential of the technology, run workshops for students, and assist with the general development of the studio space.
Jessica has continued her work with Let’s Make Games, Western Australia’s game development community organisation. Having worked as one half of the Operations Team since 2013, she manage the organisation’s online presence and community. This includes sharing news on all local game releases, events and job opportunities, as well as actively seeking out newcomers to help them connect with the industry. This ties into her other role as General Committee Member for the organisation, in which she assists with the planning of the organisation with the community in mind.
2016 was her final year as Coordinator of the Perth Games Festival. Working alongside Jon Hayward and the Festival Committee, they expanded the spaces available for local developers and have continued to improved the accessibility initiatives. This year she also sought to expand the use of Auslan interpreters at the event, with the inclusion of a guided Deaf Community Tour.
In the last year she has taken on more speaking engagements, visiting a number of high schools to talk about creating games, and pathways into the technology sector. She had the opportunity to talk about the WA games industry and the Perth Games Festival on local station WTV, and took part in the 2016 Oz Comic-Con panel “Making Games in Perth – The Indie Story”.
Additionally Jessica attended her first Global Game Jam, showcased a personal game project at playtesting events, and had the pleasure of attending her first GDC as the only Australian selected for the Pixelles Ensemble.
Jessica counts her work in connecting developers Western Australia as some of her most important work to date, telling us, “I feel like I’ve made a difference when I connect a local game-maker with the rest of the community. I have come across so many developers who thought they had no choice but to go it alone; then they’re connected with the local industry and suddenly there are experienced devs to learn from, new potential partnerships, training and networking events, even job opportunities.”
Continuing on her inclusion in this year’s list, Jessica said, “It is an honour to be included on MCV’s list alongside women that inspire me, and I appreciate all support I’ve received that has enabled me to do the things I do. I also want to acknowledge that there are many folk working hard in different ways that fly under the radar – everyone’s situation is different and there is no single approach to making games, so don’t compare yourself to others. Be in the games space your way”