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Female Game Developers: Leading Ladies of Gaming

by on March 16, 2015

Women have been becoming more prominent in the world of video games as the years go on. One of the most incredible developments is the growing population of women who are developing video games. These leading ladies of the gaming world are working to show the population that women can do anything they set their minds to when it comes to video games. We are here today to honor female game developers in honor of Women’s History Month. So lets get started and take a look at some ladies in development.

Female Game Developers: Kiki Wolfkill

Kiki Wolfkill in some of her racing gear.

Kiki Wolfkill in some of her racing gear.

Kiki Wolfkill is currently one of the leading ladies behind the hit series Halo. She started out wanting to study Chinese Studies, but instead went on for several years to study at a college in Seattle, Washington. Kiki started her journey into the realm of female game developers by getting in internship with Asymetrix, moving onto working with Microsoft after that.

She was granted the title of the Head of the Art Department for sometime and eventually was given the ability to focus on the development of the universe of the Halo franchise. Kiki was also one of the executive producers for Halo 4 and was responsible for working on the script and story for the title. She is also credited in Fable, Zoo Tycoon 2 expansions, Project Gotham Racing titles, and more.

Carol Shaw

Carol Shaw and one of her titles, River Raid.

Carol Shaw and one of her titles, River Raid.

Credited as the first female game developer, Carol Shaw is one of the women who began the era of female developers. She became fascinated with computers and games when she first used one in high school and played a text-based game on the system. Most of her development history lies with Atari, who hired her after she had gotten a few degrees under her belt.

After her time with Atari, she moved on to Activision, where she created River Raid. Some of the other titles she has worked on includes Happy Trails and Polo. These titles and her work put her on the map for female video game development. She opened up a chance for other women to go into the development industry after her.

Aya Kyogoku

Aya Kyogoku is one of the driving forces behind the more recent entries to the Animal Crossing series.

Aya Kyogoku is one of the driving forces behind the more recent entries to the Animal Crossing series.

This lady is a part of the development team at Nintendo. She adds a very nice touch of diversity to the team and has played a big role in the development of a couple of Nintendo’s major franchises.

She was one of the directors for Animal Crossing: New Leaf and did work on the scripts for both The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures. Aya Kyogoku is also credited as one of the sequence directors for Animal Crossing: City Folk. Her contribution to these titles helped to put in the intense charm and life that gamers get to enjoy every time they turn on one of the games she has worked on.

Rhianna Pratchett

Enjoy some of Rhianna's great story telling by playing the new Tomb Raider games.

Enjoy some of Rhianna’s great storytelling by playing the new Tomb Raider games.

Starting out her dreams by studying journalism at the London College of Printing, Pratchett is one of the growing population of female game developers bringing her skills to the gaming world. Rhianna Pratchett has written and edited for many different publications, but in 2002 she began working on video game titles.

An incredible writer, she is the lead writer for both Tomb Raider and the upcoming Rise of the Tomb Raider. She has also been on the development team, as a writer, for games like Mirrors Edge, Bioshock Infinite and Risen. Adding onto her talent is her works with writing for comics. She is credited on some issues of the Tomb Raider comics and the Mirrors Edge comics. With her fresh take on gaming, we can be sure to see more of her in the future of female game developers.

Amy Hennig

Amy Hennig is responsible for much of the Uncharted series development.

Amy Hennig is responsible for much of the Uncharted series’ development.

Amy Hennig is another prominent developer who shows just how intense female game developers can be. She started out by studying English Literature and film but discovered that she was more interested in video games after working on the art for ElectroCop for Atari, which ended up going unreleased. From there she landed a job at Electronic Arts, where she was the lead director for a time before moving onto Crystal Dynamics. While with Crystal Dynamics, she was the director of games such as Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver and Soul Reaver 2.

After her time with Crystal Dynamics, she moved onto Naughty Dog, where she landed the title of creative director. While working this role, she became the director for all of the Uncharted titles. This female developer recently left Naughty Dog, but thankfully the development of the upcoming Uncharted 4 will not be harmed by this change.

Edited by: Avery Osborn

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