Kia ora!

Can you believe it’s been almost a whole year since we announced the NZ Games Festival 2020 committee? As we all know, 2020 has been… what it’s been. We were disappointed to have to make the decision to postpone until 2021, but we’re so excited to come back.

Recently, we’ve opened up game submissions for the Pavs 2021, as well as applications for speaking at Play by Play 2021.

We’ll be blowing up your feed with lots of exciting event announcements over the next few months, but in the meantime we thought we’d take a moment to say farewell to some old friends and welcome some fresh faces.

haere rā, e hoa

We typically come to love one another in our time together on the NZGF committee, so it’s always a little bit sad to say goodbye. Nonetheless, we’re so excited to see what our most recent committee leavers are going to achieve next.

Without further ado, it’s time to say goodbye to….

calliope ryder

Calliope (or Cal to many) joined the NZGF committee in 2019 as the awards night manager for the Pavs. Her role involved all the hands-on event management, while Josh Boggs ran the judging behind the scenes. 

If you were at the Pavs in 2019, you probably remember highlights like the giant photobooth and immaculate venue. This wonderful evening was in no small part thanks to the hard work of Calliope. 

For 2020, Cal moved into a bigger role as the Developer Events Manager, tackling the Pavs, Treat & Greet and other developer-focused events. Little secret: The guy writing this knows some of the stuff she was up to and omg fam, it was EXCITING. The good news is it’s still exciting, and much of her work has been passed on to our new Events Manager. More on that soon!

Cal, we were so stoked by your hard work during your time with NZGF and while we’re sad to see you go, we’re so grateful for everything you’ve done. Thanks so much, and we’ll see you around!

Follow Calliope on Twitter.

zea slosar

Zea was new to the NZGF committee in 2020. After running a workshop for us in 2019, she joined the committee the following year as our Workshops Manager.

In her short time as the Workshops Manager, Zea achieved loads. She had sourced workshop organisers for a full program of exciting workshops for both kids and teens, and was working with our sponsors at Epic to coordinate adult developer workshops too.

Zea quickly demonstrated her professionalism, work ethic and positive team attitude. We were blown away by everything Zea did and know that she’ll take that same excellence into whatever endeavour she pursues next. Ka pai, Zea!

Follow Zea on Twitter.


kia ora, nzgf 2021!

We formed our 2021 committee back in September, and have been working hard since then to lay out the groundwork for next year’s festival.

Already, the passion and quality of work has been fantastic. We’re loving seeing everyone collaborate in self-managing teams and get excited about what they’re doing.

We’ve changed the way our teams work behind the scenes for 2021, particularly in our events. We’ve established a team of event organisers who are each taking ownership of their respective events, taking creative and logistical control with the support of the board and wider committee.

This change has meant we’ve grown just a little bit! And so, we’d love to introduce you to our latest committee (and board!) additions:

patty shannon

Patty is a returning NZGF committee member and Game Designer with Beans Team! In 2019, Patty managed a huge range of events for the festival, and in 2020 she was our quiz master for Super Quiz Bros. Before that, Patty was involved with speaking at Play by Play and volunteering for the wider festival since its inception. She’s a real NZGF veteran!

We’re excited to welcome her back for 2021, taking the lead in the events team. Patty will be organising our pub quiz once again, as well as JOYPAD, our rainbow gamers social night.

Follow Patty on Twitter.

jacob connelly

Jacob is joining NZGF for the first time as one of our Events Managers. Taking over from Calliope, Jacob will be taking ownership of the Pavs awards night.

Outside of the festival, Jacob is a programmer and occasional scrum master for PikPok, and has worked on a range of mobile games over the past five years.

Follow Jacob on Twitter.




jared trail

A previous NZGF volunteer, Jared is a familiar face to most of the committee. He’s joining us for 2021 as our Workshops Manager.

Jared is also a co-founder and lead programmer for Rainbite. In his spare time, he’s a trophy hunter of the Playstation kind, having racked up over 150 platinums!

Follow Jared on Twitter.




lucy weekley

Lucy joins the NZGF board as our Treasurer and Venues Manager, handling accounts and venue relationships across the whole festival. She first attended NZGF as a volunteer back in 2017 when she was still living in Seattle, and quickly fell in love with Wellington.

In her time in NZ, Lucy has served on the NZGDA board and organised NZGDC. Overall, she’s been in the games industry for 10 years as of 2020, working in Quality Assurance across a range of titles. Catch her and her widely beloved dog Beatrix (Bea!) around Wellington. Especially during Burger Wellington.

Follow Lucy on Twitter.




the whole shebang

Now that our introductions are out the way, we’ve got a few other internal changes you may notice. Here’s the full list of committee and board members for 2021:

  • Chantelle Cole – Sponsorship Manager
  • Alex Woodward – Chief PR Officer
  • Jess Woodward – Creative Director
  • Lucy Weekley – Treasurer/Venues Manager
  • Claire Barilla – Conference Manager
  • Navi Brouwer – Committee Manager
  • Florence Hillyer-Brandt – Exhibition Manager
  • Jared Trail – Workshops Manager
  • Liam Dick – Volunteer Manager
  • Patty Shannon – Events Manager
  • Jacob Connelly – Events Manager
  • Zala Habib – Events Manager
  • Sami Habib – Events Manager
  • Tom Butler – Conference Coordinator
  • Stefan Peacock – Media Designer
  • Joseph Hendren – Social Media Manager
  • Michelle Kan – Videographer
  • Daniel Edwards – Webmaster
  • Cindy Miller – Judging Manager

Be sure to check out everyone’s bios over on our committee page! Stay tuned for more from our lovely committee members over the coming month.