Game Developers, Media Artists, Makers, Researchers, Coders, Forward thinkers, Musicians

With more than thirty international and African artists, game designers, speakers and musicians showcasing their craft, A MAZE. / Johannesburg brings computer games, music and media art to the public in a dynamic, interactive and fun-filled 3-day event - Find out more about the artists particpating.

Abiola Adeagbo (NG)

Talk + Panel

is CEO and Founder of Afri-GameZone Academy (Game Development School) in Nigeria. Since 2005,he has been actively involved in promoting and developing the local games community. He delivers game education to primary and secondary schools across Nigeria. He is presently working in partnership with kodu game labs to teach and develop learning games and cultural oriented games through is new project called ProjectSHINE--One School One Game and this gospel is been spread across primary and secondary schools in Nigeria.

Ahmed Abdel Samea (EG)

Talk + Panel

is Teacher Assistant at Faculty of Engineering Cairo University. He is an independent game developer since 13 with particular interest in making different and experimental games. He finished around 29 games till that day some of them are full games and other are just prototypes.

André Odendaal (SA)

Workshop + Street Game + Pecha Kucha

is a programmer and game designer for video games and board games. He has won community praise for his games and he was an Associate Producer for a mobile game development company; credited with designing and writing on various projects. He has a Master’s degree in Software Engineering and he’s busy studying for his doctorate. In his spare time Andre likes to draw with his baby daughter. Andre has a passion for developing social interactions between people and he can often be found driving community events and activities.

Andrew Smith (SA)


is a senior lecturer and writer at the Academy of Sound Engineering in Johannesburg, where he lectures multiple audio related subjects. He has written two books on computer based audio production and sound design and is also a sound engineer, sound designer and composer with a wide range of music, film, and TV credits. Andrew is currently completing a part time MA in Digital Arts at Wits University in Johannesburg where his research is focused on an investigation into the immersive and emotive properties of sound design and music for digital games.

Arya Lalloo (SA)


is born in 1980 in Durban South Africa and is an independent filmmaker based in Johannesburg. She has written and directed documentaries for South African broadcast as well as the outreach documentary Citizen X, which explored the reactions of social movements to xenophobic violence in peri-urban townships. Recent work includes an episode of Alexandra! My Alexandra, part of a historical documentary series about the famous township of the same name and the critically acclaimed feature documentary Jeppe on a Friday (co-directed with Shannon Walsh) that paints an intimate and sensory portrait of life in a regenerating Johannesburg neighborhood, which has screened at numerous local and international festivals. Arya is broadly interested in urban identities and social histories in post-apartheid South Africa and beyond. Apart from her creative roles, she has significant production experience and has also run large scale film-related events such at The People to People International Documentary Conference and Michel Gondry’s Home Movie Factory in Johannesburg.

Chief Nyamweya (KE)

Talk + Panel

is an illustrator, writer and entrepreneur best known for the crimefiction comics "Roba" (syndicated daily in The Star newspaper) and "Emergency" both of which popularized the "Kenya Noir" style of art characterized by abundant use of black ink and high contrasts. In 2013, he co-founded the Kenyan Vfx, animation and music studio known as 'The Tsunami Studio' which won the won the Best Film and Content Developer Award for Aitec Africa's BFMA2013. In addition to being a self-taught artist, Chief Nyamweya is also a trained lawyer and accountant.

Chris Priestman (UK)

Writing + Pecha Kucha

is Editor-in-Chief at Indie Statik. Indie Statik is a community that focuses entirely on independent games. With a burning passion for the heart and souls that go into these creative games, we share with you a common interest and aim to provide all of the latest news as well as the most interesting and entertaining stories you’ll hear in this beloved niche of ours. Platforms hold no boundary, in fact, sometimes we may even cover indie games that aren’t computer-related at all; such is the diversity of the developers we stalk on a daily basis.

Danny Day (SA)

Talk + Street Game

grew up in South Africa drawing mazes for his friends because it was more fun than solving them. He currently does the same sort of thing, but under the guise of his studio QCF Design and has met a significant chunk of his game design heroes, mostly thanks to QCF's Desktop Dungeons winning the award for Excellence in Design at the 2011 Indie Games Festival. After accidentally starting a productive game development community in 2004, exposure to a collection of like-minded creatives helped numerous people get jobs. Danny enjoys seeing people play his games and earning money while he's asleep.

Evan Greenwood (SA)


is the fearless leader of the team Free Lives from South Africa. When not dodging flying shark attacks in his vaguely seaside office he spends his time burning money in the utterly awesome pursuit of camera shake and explosions.

Friedrich Kirschner (DE)


is a filmmaker, visual artist and software developer. He re-purposes computer games and realtime animation technology to create animated narratives and interactive performances. His work has been shown at various international animation festivals and exhibitions, including the Laboral Gameworld exhibit in Gijon, the American Museum of the Moving Image in New York, the Ottawa international Animation festival, the Seoul Media Art Biennale and the Berlin concert hall. He was the director of the Machinima Filmfest in New York in 2008. Friedrich is currently Professor for digital media in Puppetry at the University for performing arts "Ernst-Busch" in Berlin.

Irini Papadimitriou (UK)


is Head of New Media Arts Development at Watermans, London UK, a space with long history and commitment to presenting innovative work as well as supporting artists working with technology; and Digital Programmes Manager at the V&A where she is mainly responsible for the Digital Futures and Digital Design Weekend programmes inviting artists/designers/technologists to share work and research with fellow professionals and the public with a particular focus on processes including hacking and tinkering projects, installations and workshops. Irini is also one of the organisers of London's first Maker Faire, a day of making, learning, inventing and tinkering.

Jepchumba (SA/KE)

Key note + Panel

has been listed by Forbes as one of the 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa 2012 and by the Guardian Top 25 Women Achievers. A cultural ambassador, Jepchumba is the Founder and Creative Director of African Digital Art, a collective and creative space where digital artists, enthusiasts and professionals can seek inspiration, showcase their artistry and connect with emerging artists. Jepchumba is dedicated to promoting the growth of the creative economy in Africa. Originally from Kenya, she has lived, travelled and spoken around the world promoting her commitment to creativity, art and technology. An African digital artist, Jepchumba loves experimenting with motion, sound and various digital effects and techniques and has an extensive background in digital art, web design and development, audio/visual production and social media strategies.

Joao Orecchia (SA)


is an artist and self taught non-musician who has been making music for many years. His fascination is in squeezing sounds out of anything and layering them on top of other sounds squeezed out of other things. From guitars to manipulated circuits and banjos to field recordings. He has been exploring ideas of randomness and perceived meaning, composition using found sound and field recordings and creating graphic scores. Through experimentation and improvisation Orecchia investigates the physicality of sound, seeking a balance between computer technology, hand made electronics and real world sounds such as the human voice and traditional musical instruments.

John Kevin Biretwa (UG)


has some programming experience in Java, j query, Python and C. He's been coding for about 1 year now. Areas of Expertise Sales Cycle Management | Business Development | Client Relations | Account/Territory Management | ConsultingMarket Analysis | Needs Assessment | Presentations | Sales Forecasting | Strategic Planning | Social Media HTML5 | Networking | CSS | CMS

With the ability to drive business expansion through aggressive sales initiatives that deliver revenue growth, market share, and market penetration. He is a strategic thinker who can plan and implement sales, marketing, and business initiatives to support corporate objectives.

Jon Frickey (DE)

Workshop + VJ

is an animation director and illustrator who lives in Hamburg, Germany. After working as art director at the ad agency Scholz & Friends in Berlin, he started the animation bureau SFA together with Till Penzek, in 2006. Since then he has written and produced over 50 shortfilms. His newest film is the 19 minute coming-of-age story "Michelle's Sacrifice". Together with Till Penzek, he also creates video installations and does VJing, both of which can be experienced at A MAZE. / Johannesburg.

Jonathan Cohen (DE/ US)

Workshop + Pecha Kucha

has been working as a programmer for more than 30 years, as a freelancer and at places such as Apple, Xerox PARC, and Children's Television Workshop. For the last five years he has been the lead programmer for Fritzing.

Oluseye Soyode-Johnson (NG)

Talk + Panel

studied Applied Computing at the University of Buckingham, UK after transferring from Brown University. He has a passion for gaming and consumer-facing media platforms. He believes that Africa has the potential to introduce to the world new ways to create, innovate and disrupt in the space, due to our own unique creativity, past problems and emerging solutions. He is the Head of Marketing at Maliyo Games, a pioneering casual and social gaming company that’s looking to share Africa’s amazing stories and experiences with a global audience, through gaming. He is a regular at Mobile technology conferences across Africa especially while he was working as the Business Development Director for his previous startup HappyBot, a Mobile Application Development company. He spoke at the Mobile Web West Africa 2012 as part of a distinguished group of African IT entrepreneurs. Other Work experience include KPMG Nigeria and MTech Communications - the first Mobile VAS Provider in Nigeria.

Peter Cardwell-Gardner (SA)


has never been one for the conventional - leaving school at the tender age of 16. He defiantly ignored the engineering degree his life seemed destined for and studied music instead (with hopes of becoming a rock star). Rock stardom never happened, but fortunately for Peter he's a much better programmer anyway. Having survived several years in the ad industry, he now plies his trade as a freelance programmer and indie developer.

Rami Ismail (NL)

Key note

is the business and development person of the dutch independent Game Studio Vlambeer, bringing back arcade games since 1959. They released numerous successfully game titles like Ridiculous Fishing, Luftrausers, Yetihunter, Super Crate Box. Rami is internationally involved in spreading the indie fever with projects like Fuck this Jam and is very much connect with the Indie Mega Booth.

Ray Whitcher (SA)


is Multimedia Design Lecturer and comic scholar by day, spandex-clad cosplaying, xbox-abusing and comic reading geek pretty much all the rest of the time. After initially completing his BA Degree in Multimedia Design and making somewhat pitiable attempts at comic art, Ray was not sated with an ordinary design career and so went on to accidentally study for his Master's Degree in Digital Arts at Wits after a slight miscommunication. An abridged version of his research report has been published in The Arts in Media's 2013 Journal. Ray attended the 2013 San Diego Comic Convention as a panel speaker, in which he and his peers spoke about the South African and Australian comic scene.

Rouan van der Ende (SA)


Born 1986. Studied BA Visual Communication at Worked professionally as a 3D visual effects artist for 5+ years. Now lecturer at open window and entrepreneur. Extensive experience with digital art, film, 3d, code, web, electronics, milling/cnc.

Ruan Rothmann (SA)


I've been interested in programming and games for as long as I can remember. I have vivid memories of the sheer amount of glee I had when I first managed to get a character to move across the screen in GW-Basic. With the rise of indie gaming I decided to pursue it as a full time career and started working at Free Lives as programmer in August 2012 and have since been involved with a few successful projects such as Broforce and Strange Happenings On Murder Island. When I'm not making games, I'm probably playing them, surfing, or lying to myself
about maintaining healthy sleeping patterns.

Sameh Al Tawil (EG)


Born in Cairo, Egypt 1978, holds a BA from the faculty of applied arts, a Diplom from The Fine Art Academy in Munich ADBK, a Master In media art histories from Donau university, Austria. His work has been exhibited internationally, i.e. The New Museum of Contemporary Art in Munich, Germany The Egyptian Museum of Contemporary Art, Cairo; The fine art academy, Munich; House of Art in Munich; Dom museum Frankfurt; Youth and Nile salon Cairo; The Center for Contemporary Art Cairo, Egypt; and the Uban Gallery, Munich, Germany, and many solo and group exhibitions in Egypt, Switzerland and Germany, Collections in The Contemporary Art Museum, Munich, Germany and The Contemporary Art Museum, Cairo, Egypt. Awards from EU delegation, Youth, Nile and Small pieces Salons, Cairo, the Contemporary Art Museum in Munich. His work has been featured in many national and international publications. A member of the Syndicate of Plastic Arts & Applied arts in Egypt, the Cairo Atelier for artists and writers.

Simon Bachelier (FR)

Talk + Panel

is an indie curator based in Paris. He is a member of the French indie game collective One Life Remains, who develops experimental games, installations, alternative game events and stage performances related to digital games. He is involved in the development of an alternative games scene which is on the rise in France.

Sos O. Sosowski (PL)

Talk + Pecha Kucha

Mad scientists of indie game developers making crazy retro games with full disregard to current trends and concepts. Creator of McPi-xel and dosens of other games you never heard of. Organised Stop SOPA Game Jam, 0h Game Jam and is co-organizer of 7DFPS Jam

Tegan Bristow (SA)

Panel chair

teaches and coordinates the Interactive Digital Media Postgradaute program at the Digital Arts Division at Wits University. In addition to being an academic, Bristow is an artist and developer of interactive digital installation. Bristow is currently writing her PhD on Technology Arts and Culture Practices in Africa with the Planetary Collegium at Plymouth University in the UK. Bristow has exhibited widely, most recently an exhibition titled “Meaning Motion” of interactive art at the Wits Art Museum in Johannesburg.

Travis Bulford (SA)

Talk + Workshop

is heavily involved in the South Africa demo scene from 1994-1999 started Celestial in 1994 published our first game in 1996 Toxic Bunny did well with it here and abroad. We published a 2nd game in 1999 called The Tainted. Closed the business down in 2001. Been working in various IT software fields since. Restarted Celestial in 2010 with a remake of Toxic Bunny in Java. Now predominantly using Unity for all game development. Currently working on a new title called #10MD Ten Minute Dungeons.