Team

Stefan Schmidt Co-Founder

After working for the Association of Private Health Insurance and for one of the world's largest social media platforms, Stefan decided to dedicate himself to his passion for computer games.
Promoting young talent was and is especially important to him and since he has always loved Indie Games, he founded the Indie Developer Stammtisch in November 2018.

At an industry event, the idea came up to host an exhibition just for Indies. From April 2019, Stefan and Andreas Malessa [other Co-Founder] started to implement this idea. In August 2019, it came to the foundation of the GbR, and in November 2019 they successfully hosted the first Indie Game Fest.

Since July 2020 he is working full time on the Indie Game Fest and on the implementation of other projects for external clients.

Kristin Janulik – Co Founder

Kristin is the Founder and Managing Director of the development studio Cubidoo Entertainment as well as owner and managing director of The Art of Games, an online shop for high-quality gaming art prints. She has over 10 years of experience in the games industry.

Her areas of responsibility range from producing and event management to game design and much more. She holds a Master's degree in Game Design and is an expert in gamification, game psychology and game-based learning. For the foundation of the Designhochschule Schwerin, she developed the game design course of studies offered there, including curriculum and job description.

Since her heart beats for development, she declined the professorship and department management and turned to self-employment.

As a Founder, she knows the pitfalls of self-employment and business development and has therefore been advising both young and experienced teams for several years. Kristin Janulik enjoys volunteering. For example, she was involved in the founding of the Haus der Möglichkeiten e.V. Association (an intercultural meeting place) and games.nrw e.V. (the regional industry association in NRW) and has been Deputy Spokesperson for the board of games.nrw since its founding.

Her wide-ranging interests and experience make her a valuable contact person both in the games industry and for general questions about corporate development.

Anna Scheck – Social Media Manager

Anna is our Social Media Manager and since July 2019 part of the Indie Game Fest Team. She is mainly responsible for online marketing, like maintaining our social media channels. She also supports Indie Game Fest events and Indie Developer Stammtisch wherever she can.

She previously studied Art History and recently completed an apprenticeship as a Designer of Digital and Print Media at an internet agency.

Like many, she came into contact with video games at a young age and learned to love them. Not only as a means of entertainment, but also its more serious facets and as a form of art. She is fascinated by all the disciplines needed to create videogames and is happy to be part of an event that supports indie developers (and the gaming scene in general).

Nathalie Galla – Streaming & Social Media

Nathalie currently studies Informatics: Games Engineering at TUM - which you could almost forget considering how many things she tries to do on the side. Starting at the student council, organizing events with the game faculties, and working in the library to save up for an exchange semester to Japan.

She found her passion for Moderation when she volunteered at the online devcom and has since continued to regularly engage in conference work, where she also first became acquainted with INDIE Hub. Here she combines her content creation knowledge from being a Twitch Affiliate with her GameDev half to shine a well-deserved light on the Indie scene.

If you ask her to describe herself, you will most certainly hear a variation of "a loud and bubbly extrovert with neon green hair, a face full of piercings, and a growing collection of tattoos. Oh, and obnoxiously queer." Socializing is one of her favorite hobbies, after all. Right behind Dungeons & Dragons, Trading Card Games, and other nerdy things."

Dana Alex – PR & Marketing

Dana Alex is a PhD student in English Literature at Kingston University London. Over the past few years, Dana has done extensive research on video games and has been involved in the organisation of several academic conferences.

Dana has always had a great passion for video games, especially indie games. She is joining the Social Media Team of the Indie Game Fest to be part of a community that brings indie developers from all over Europe closer together and helps promoting their wonderful projects.

Simone Eckendorf – Influencer Marketing

Simone is a passionate Content Creator with a huge heart for Indie Games. During the last few years, she also established herself as an Eventmanager for a lot of different Events and Concerts.

Next to creating content on Twitch, she is also a games blogger who writes reviews and news for different platforms and a podcaster with her own podcast projects, where she talks about nerd-related stuff.

At the Indie Game Fest Simone is responsible for our upcoming Streaming Content & Influencer Marketing.
Maurice Skotschir – Influencer Marketing

 loves video games and nerd stuff and has been a passionate Junior Community Manager at German publisher Assemble Entertainment since 2020. However, not only full-time, but also in his spare time he deals with video games on his own website. On skotschir.de, he has been publishing news, reviews and guides on current titles since summer 2017. Additionally, he creates gaming content on his Twitch channel and collects and unboxes trading cards together with Simone.

He already gained first experiences in the gaming industry in 2009/10, when he worked as an editor for spieletipps. Since then, he has been writing about games on various sites.

Maurice is responsible for our upcoming Streaming Content & Influencer Marketing.

Julia Goerke-Milde – Screen Designer

Juli is a Concept Artist and Illustrator from Duesseldorf. Additionally, she is the Lead Artist and Co-Founder at Rhenus Vina Musica GbR for which their Game Concept has been awarded funding by the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. 
She has received her B.A. in Intermedia Design at University of Applied Sciences Trier and is currently pursuing her M.A. degree. She has a big passion for video games and drawing. Her area of expertise is concepting and drawing characters for videogames and movies. Furthermore, she has more than 7 years of experience in layout and graphic design. 

At the Indie Game Fest - Team, she will support the graphic and layout area. Her motivation for supporting the team is her big interest in indie games. Especially because of their experimental art styles, game mechanics and of course because she has her own little indie studio in progress.

Lena Ochmann – Graphic Designer

Lena Ochmann is a lighting and Unreal Engine artist from Germany. Video games have always been a major part of her life, and so she decided to turn her passion into her job.
In 2018, she was accepted at the HdM Stuttgart for Audiovisual Media (B.Eng.) where she put her focus on games and animation. Ever since then, Lena has worked on multiple projects both outside and as part of her studies and kept her love for anything video games burning bright. She is currently working on the brand new endeavor of the team over at Crypto Loops.

Miriam Köllner – Graphic Designer

Miriam is a 3D Environment Artist, World- and Leveldesigner who is passionate about fictional worlds and being nice to each other. Hailing from Mönchengladbach in the NRW area, she previously worked in 3D Art, Art Direction and Level Design.

Apart from feeling home in places like Hyrule or Lothric, she developed a passion for Indie Games and the beautiful worlds and stories they have to show. And so it ensued that she picked up a volunteer position for the Indie Games Fest team.

Maria Zubova – Advisory Board Member

Maria is working as a PR Manager at indie games publisher Assemble Entertainment ( https://lnk.bio/AssembleEntertainment) based in Wiesbaden, Germany.

Marias journey in the games industry began 2014 with her Bachelor of Science in Games Programming at SAE Cologne. After graduating, she worked several years as a QA and Submission Manager for Linked Dimensions and Kalypso Media. Since 2020 she is working with the independent publisher Assemble Entertainment, founded by Stefan Marcinek (https://twitter.com/stmarcinek).

 

Dominik Lauf - Advisory Board Member

My name is Dominik and I’m a member of the games.nrw Advisory Board since the beginning of the year 2020 to continue my commitment to the industry and our business region.

Why? Because my heart has been beating for video and computer games for 35 years now, and I find it regrettable that despite the great growth, many things are moving abroad and especially the start in the industry can be quite rocky and thankless. My goal is to contribute here to give maybe the one or the other a little help.

Privately I had here and there some smaller hobby projects in the gaming world. Professionally, I started with Computer Science, later gained extensive experience in Marketing & Sales, and finally coached startups and innovation projects as an investment manager and accompanied them from pitch to launch. In 2017, I got involved in the idea of cloud gaming within Deutsche Telekom and pitched my own project about it. Since 2018 I am responsible as CPO of MagentaGaming for conception & strategy, launch, development & enhancement and operations of the cloud gaming platform with it's Beta Launch in 2019 and commercial launch in 2020."

Feel free to use me as a contact person regarding startup coaching/pitch preparation or of course for cooperation with MagentaGaming.

 
Christiane Ebrecht – Advisory Board Member

Christiane is an Associate Artdirector at Ulisses Spiele and teaches classes on Game Art at the Hochschule Fresenius.
But since she can never slow down, she also works as an Illustrator and Concept Artist for various indie titles as well - tabletop and video games.
Additionally, she’s pursuing a Masters's degree in Game Development and Research at the Cologne Game Lab.

Before she entered the Games Industry, she was a Graphic Designer and taught kids at the Monheim Art School in a wide range of creative disciplines.
Since then her main ambition is to help young people realize their potential and she’s excited to see what they’ll cook up.

Christoph Engels – Advisory Board Member

Christoph is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for Xbox.

He has worked in various sales and marketing positions and has been a member of the core team at GamingNerd.net since 2015.

He describes himself as a: geek, gamer, series and movie junkie, cocktailian and, if necessary, inquisitor.
He is particularly interested in topics that go beyond pure video games.

Seren Besorak – Advisory Board Member

Seren is an Artist and Entrepreneur of Turkish origin from the Cologne/Bonn area. He is a freelance lecturer and co-founder of the development company TriTrie Games. After starting his family, he devoted himself increasingly to the digital world.

As a Project Manager for the company MOVR in Cologne he developed individual solutions in the field of Virtual and Augmented Reality for companies like Medisana, Telekom and Bayer. His heart beats for the fusion of real and fictitious worlds. His successful second degree at the Cologne Game Lab of the Cologne University of Technology underlines his vision of synergies between art and science.

His various works have been exhibited or even awarded at fairs and exhibitions (Max Ernst Museum Brühl, Digility, GDD, devcom, German Developer Award, Campfire NRW, Next Level Festival and many more). He manifested his commitment to diversity and equality in his final thesis, in which he examined the role of strong female characters in digital games. Since April 2019, Seren Besorak is a lecturer for "Digital Playing and Learning" at the HMKW-Cologne, Producer of the full motion mystery adventure game "Jessika - Underneath the system" (Best Young Talent Nominee 2018 DEP), and alumni of the Franco-German incubator "SpielFabrique".

 
Alexander Cimpeanu – Advisory Board Member

Alexander Cimpeanu is game design reoriented!

During his game design studies at the MDH Düsseldorf, he created two titles with Ubisoft Campus and was already at the NRW Publishing Contest 2018 with his last project "Project Thunderstorm".

Furthermore, he is involved as a mentor at various Game Jams and supports local teams with his expertise, which can appeal to him at meetups like the Cologne Indie Developer Stammtisch at any time. Since 2019 Alexander has been game designer at Encurio GmbH in Cologne, Germany, where he overviews the composition of their CRPGs and revises their MMO concept.

 
Maria Deslis – Advisory Board Member

Maria wants to design and develop games that help players connect, heal, build empathy, and feel empowered both in real life and in games. She believes that games are a powerful platform that can make the world a better place and a have a positive impact on the people who play them and perhaps even society itself.

She has a formal education that includes a Bachelor's degree in Math and Computer Science from Colorado School of Mines, and a Master's Degree in Creative Technology and Design with a focus on Game Design and Development from CU Boulder. Her graduating thesis project for her Master’s is a game called “Eternal Eclipse”.

In her time as a Game Designer and Developer, she has made a variety of games – from mobile to PC and even board games. Her experience also includes being an Associate Producer on a game called “Neversong”.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pierre Schlömp – Advisory Board Member

Pierre studied digital games at the CGL with a focus on Game Design and graduated with a Bachelors degree with a thesis on "Identification with Fictional Characters in Audiovisual Media". In addition, he worked as a Digital and Marketing consultant at Allianz Versicherung and managed the marketing activities for the award winning educational game "Antura and the Letters".

His various projects on which he worked as Game Design Lead and Writer, were presented at trade fairs and exhibitions (e.g. Max Ernst Museum Brühl, Digility, GermanDevDays, devcom, Deutscher Developer Award, gamescom, Next Level Festival, Baltic DevDays) were awarded and exhibited. These include the project "Jessika - Underneath the System" by TriTrie Games, a full motion mystery adventure game that deals with radicalisation.

 
Simon Latusek – Advisory Board Member

Simon has studied Mathematics and Computer Science, and in recent years he has specialized in Video Game programming.

In the context of his Game Design studies at the MD.H Düsseldorf he created two titles with Ubisoft Campus. As a Software Engineer, he is familiar with the technical possibilities open to developers and is happy to offer his knowledge at Game Jams and meetups, such as the Cologne Indie Developer Stammtisch. Since 2021 November Game Programmer at Cubidoo Entertainment UG in Cologne.