Meet our amazing Judges for the Pav Awards 2022! Our Judges are invited from our community both in New Zealand and in Australia. Over the month-long period of judging, they take time to carefully review each of the wonderful submissions received. We'd like to say thank you so much for all of their help in making the Pavs NZ Game Awards possible!

For more details on our awards process, have a read of our transparency & the nz game awards guide.

If you are interested in being a judge for next year, please send over an email to!

Allan Fowler

Academic / Producer

Ashley van Wyngaard


I am a producer working at Ubisoft on a new AAA game to be released. I take pride in creating a supportive multi discipline teams and ensuring we have an inclusive and diverse culture in our studio. I love mentoring and sharing industry knowledge in the hope to grow our community.

Ben Tuhoe Kenobi

GM Digital Operations / Product Manager

Board member and one-term chairperson of the NZGDA, 5 year organizer of AKLgamedev Meetup, and creator and current co-organizer NZ-wide game-jam Kiwijam. Head of Digital Operations for Ara Journeys creating playful experiences that showcase indigenous knowledge.

Brogan King

Senior Unity Developer

I started life as a musician, I loved composing music and playing games. So I did a Masters Degree in music composition for games at Wintec which lead me into Unity and C#. I started my game dev life with Blackout Games, now I’m a Unity Developer for Rocketwerkz while working on my own game.

Carl Leducq


Currently Production Coordinator at Rocketwerkz up in Auckland working on ICARUS. Also Producer/Host of Zero to Play, a weekly Game Development Podcast where every week I interview a different developer in the industry. I also sit on the board of the NZGDA and support the NZ Game Dev industry there.


Solo game developer

Currently developing a game call Dragons Hoard Full time refrigeration technician.

Denis Phoenix

Managing Director / Designer

An avid gamer myself, I’ve been working in the gaming industry since 2011 as a news publisher, cybersports player, translator and editor, playtester, and recently a designer. Worked with Blizzard, Valve, Ubisoft. Completed a design course at CalArts and have been working on my own tabletop designs.

Ella Oberschneider

Goldie Bartlett

Art Director / Artist

Goldie is a Melbourne based artist and illustrator working in the games industry as the art director on upcoming narrative game, Wayward Strand. Previously she has worked on games such as Florence, and is also the visual art director for Freeplay Festival.

Jimmy Bicknell

Design Lead

Currently a Design Lead at A44 Games prior to returning to Aotearoa at the end of 2020 he worked in various QA roles in Canada for BioWare and EA Motive.

Joel Mason

Programmer & Writer

Programmer / Writer / Designer at Black Salt Games working on DREDGE currently. Before that I worked at CerebralFix as a programmer for ~8 years.

Jonathan Chey

Indie Developer

Indie developer of Void Bastards and Card Hunter. Co-founder of Irrational Games where I worked on BioShock, System Shock 2, Freedom Force and others.

Lisa Blakie

Narrative Designer and Community Director

Lisa (Kai Tahu and Waitaha) is an award winning Narrative Designer, Community Director for mobile free-to-play developer Runaway Play and co-director of Atawhai Interactive. Prior to joining Runaway she wrote an honours dissertation about indigenous storytelling in video games.

Lorien Gugich


Matt Schenkel

Sound Designer

Matt Schenkel is a Melbourne-based muso and technical sound designer specialising in audio design and implementation for video games. Co-founder of Sub-Zero Sound, a game audio studio servicing the local creative industries, Matt has worked with independent studios on games for mobile, PC, consoles.

Moth Loths

Moth is a queer trans artist expressing herself through angry painting, heartfelt poetry, gay zines and activist video games and is currently dabbling in a variety of projects exploring gender, disability and neurodiversity. Moth is usually found screaming into the void or frolicking in meadows.

Phid McAwesome

Business development manager - GGWP Academy

Phid has worked in the video game industry for many years, marketing games such as Apex Legends, FIFA, Fallout, Quake, ESO, Far Cry and more. Currently the Business development manager at GGWP Academy.

Richard Durham


Rich builds connections between people through games and playful experiences. He consults on playful learning design and serious games for NGO’s, museums, conferences, and schools, and works in the Faculty of Creative Arts and Industries at the University of Auckland.

Robert Curry


Robert is a co-founder of Dinosaur Polo Club, the Wellington studio behind the games Mini Metro and Mini Motorways. He also co-founded the NZ Games Festival and was a director from 2016-2019.

Robert Yang


Robert Yang makes surprisingly popular games about gay culture. He is most known for his historical bathroom sim The Tearoom and his homoerotic shower sim Rinse and Repeat, and his gay sex trilogy Radiator 2 has over 150,000 users on Steam. Previously he was an Assistant Arts Professor at NYU Game Center. He holds a BA in English Literature from UC Berkeley, and an MFA in Design and Technology from Parsons School for Design.

Vee Pendergrast

Operations Manager

Vee is a former Managing Director of a small video games studio in Perth specialising in work for hire projects, VR and quirky, humorous First Party Projects. After years of advocacy for the sector she pivoted and implemented the video games stimulus programs at Screenwest, South Australian Film Corporation

Dora de Norie

2D illustrator / animator

Dora works at CerebralFix in Ōtautahi, as a 2D Artist/Animator. She is originally from Brazil, but has been living but has been living in Aoteroa for the past 12 years or so. Though she has always loved illustration, working on cool games at CerebralFix has given her a new passion around game dev! She is especially interested in making games with positive messages, that have a diverse cast, and that encourage and celebrate empathy and compassion.

Zala Habib

Game Designer

And a big thank you to all of the rest of our judges who preferred not to be named. <3