Meet the Judges for the Pav Awards 2020! 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!

Please note: Judges are given a list of games to vote on. This list is first reviewed by the Judging Manager to resolve any conflicts of interest. For more details on our awards process, have a read of our transparency & the nz game awards guide.

marigold (goldie) bartlett

Ghost Pattern / Freeplay Festival – Art Director

Goldie is a freelance artist and consultant in the Melbourne indie games industry, art director of upcoming title Wayward Strand, and art lead for Freeplay Festival. She teaches at RMIT university and is a Film Victoria women in games fellow.

ben tuhoe kenobi

Independent Consultant – Designer / Producer / Curator / Event Coordinator

After working as a game designer at Auckland’s Gameloft studio, Ben worked as an academic researching in the area of game design for 7 years while working on various NZGDA initiatives. He is transitioning in to an independent consultant for the design of the playful side of any product or service.

alex humphries

JaffaJam – COO

Alex is a Co-Founder of the Auckland based mobile games studio JaffaJam. He has over 15 years’ experience in the games industry, producing AAA console and PC games for SEGA Europe. He was also the Studio Head behind the award winning game Samsara and has Produced a variety of mobile games for other big Publishers including Disney, Sony and Zynga.

robert curry

Dinosaur Polo Club – Director, Designer

Robert Curry has been part of the Wellington games community since starting at Sidhe Interactive back in 2002, working on sports games for the PS2 and Xbox. Since then he’s co-founded indie studios Wandering Monster and now Dinosaur Polo Club, where he is part of the team behind hit games Mini Metro and Mini Motorways. He also helped set up the Play by Play festival and was one of the directors from 2016 till 2019. He can be heard regularly cursing about totally avoidable deaths in Spelunky.

patty shannon

Game Designer

Patty is well known for being tall and having good shoes but she is also a Game Designer, her work can be found in Ashen and several educational modules created for Gamefroot. Now she is currently working on an unannounced Action RPG for PC and Consoles.

moth loths

Joy Business Academy – Game Artist

Moth is an experimental game developer and artist. They make art for virtual reality games during the day and explores the depths of how bad a game one can make at night. When not collaborating with tiny indie collectives Sand Gardeners and A Crown of Moths, Moth is out singing the praises of microindies, building worlds or dabbling in academia.

isabelle dela torre

Ninja Kiwi – Game Artist

Isabelle is currently a resident artist at Ninja Kiwi – working on titles such as the worldwide phenomenon Bloons TD 6. She also worked on an award winning Tabletop game “Cublox” and Steam released “Robin”.

lisa blakie

Runaway Play – Community Director and Narrative Designer

Lisa is an award winning Narrative Designer and the Community Director for mobile free-to-play developer Runaway Play. Prior to joining Runaway she wrote an honours dissertation about indigenous storytelling in video games. Lisa is also a writer, an international speaker, a community organiser, a scholarship recipient to attend GDC, a finalist for the Play by Play “Teina” award and has served on the NZ Game Developers Association Board.

sam barham

Balancing Monkey Games - Creative Director

Sam is Creative Director of Balancing Monkey Games, who recently released Before We Leave. He’s been a software developer in many guises for more than 20 years, and joined the games industry (for the second time) a couple of years ago. He owns more boardgames than he should but not as many as he’d like.

seth corbett-davies

Runaway Play - Product Owner, Developer

He studied computer science, communications, and marketing at Otago University, before he realised he could make a career out of his favourite hobby instead and joined the wonderful team at Runaway.
Over his 4 years in the industry he has worked on a variety of pre and post-launch titles, most recently as product owner for Runaway’s flagship titles Flutter: Butterfly Sanctuary and Flutter: Starlight.
This year Seth received a CODE scholarship to attend GDC, and hopes that one day he may actually be able to go.

humphrey hanley

tom o’brien

Studio Mayday – Graphics Programmer and Technical Artist

Tom is a programmer and technical artist at Mayday, having worked professionally in games for over three years. When he’s not working, he enjoys creating procedurally-generated art pieces that explore mathematical concepts in pretty ways. His patronus is apparently a dolphin, but a labradoodle would make more sense.

dylan west

Rocketwerkz – Producer

Dylan splits his time between both Rocketwerkz studios, primarily working as a Producer on an unannounced project in Auckland. He is also a Programmer and Project Lead for Stationeers, a complex scientific base-building game still in development in Dunedin, and available in Early Access on Steam.

emre can deniz

Emre is previously the Art and Studio Director at Mayday, formerly the founder of Opaque Space and multi-award winning VR franchise ‘Earthlight’. Emre comes from a background in working with international partners on XR experience design, ranging from NASA, Boeing to the United States Air Force, with a focus on gamification, training and user interaction.

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