Sarina Simon: Influences and Influencers | Game Design
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Game Design

Tolaca Rocks, Won’t You?

13 Apr 2016, Posted by Sarina Simon in casual games, CD-i, Game Design, kids' media, Mobile App Development, Philips CD-i, Puzzle Games, women in technology

I used to play games of all kinds.  As a kid I loved board games, word games, almost any kind of competition – especially if I could win.  In recent times, videogames, computer games and mobile games have either been too violent, too time consuming, or too difficult for me to play. Of course, like millions of other people, I played Tetris, and I especially liked it when we licensed it for its first appearance on a CD.  I still remember the tagline we wrote for it.   TETRIS The classic becomes a legend on CD-i ! Too bad so few…

Lina Chen—Innovator and “Strategic Hedonist”

12 Jan 2015, Posted by Sarina Simon in Advice for Aspiring Producers, casual games, Expert Interviews, Game Design, interactive games, Mobile App Development, women in technology

Lina Chen—Innovator and “Strategic Hedonist” Lina Chen is the Co-founder & CEO of Nix Hydra, which makes mobile games and applications for young women aged 13-28. The company has more than $5.6M in funding and made the hit virtual pet game, Egg Baby, which has about 11 million downloads.  Lina was recently named one of the top 50 People to watch in Southern California’s tech industry. Lina manages company strategy, people, and money. Previously, Lina negotiated international mobile deals for Grooveshark, a streaming music startup, worked at the William Morris Agency, one of the largest entertainment agencies in the world,…

Who Says Women Can’t Make Games?– Meet Ariella Lehrer, CEO Legacy Games

03 Dec 2014, Posted by Sarina Simon in Advice for Aspiring Producers, Children's Media, Expert Interviews, Game Design, Learning Science, Mobile App Development, Online Games, Videogames

  Ariella Lehrer is a 30-year veteran of the games business. As a female, she is a rarity and a much admired pioneer.  She has founded and managed three companies,  all of which were involved in the design, production, and marketing of interactive games. Currently she is the CEO of Legacy Games, which is based in Los Angeles, with development studios in Hungary and Poland. Legacy began 16 years ago making medical simulations like Emergency Room, graduated to adventure games such as Law & Order, which morphed into hidden object games like Murder, She Wrote. Currently, Legacy is focused on casual to…

Ken Goldstein: From Writer to Disney Executive and More

01 Oct 2014, Posted by Sarina Simon in Advice for Aspiring Producers, Children's Media, Expert Interviews, Game Design, Mobile App Development, Online Games, Philips CD-i, Videogames

  Ken Goldstein has served as Chairman & CEO of SHOP.COM, Executive Vice President & Managing Director of Disney Online, and VP / Executive Publisher of Entertainment & Education for Broderbund Software. He currently advises start-ups and established companies on brands, creative talent, e-commerce, and digital media strategy. Ken is on the boards of Thrift Books LLC and Good Men Media, Inc. He publishes the blog Corporate Intelligence Radio and his first novel, This Is Rage, was recently published by The Story Plant. 1.  You have worked in the digital media industry almost from the start.  Your earliest gigs involved…

Jeancarlo Ascorra: A Peruvian Artist with North and South American Sensibilities

10 Jun 2014, Posted by Sarina Simon in Animation, Expert Interviews, Game Design, Graphic Design, HTML5, kids' media, Mobile App Development

Jeancarlo Ascorra is the Art Director at, NorthSouth Studios (yes—my company), and has been for the last ten years.  We were very lucky to find Jeancarlo, an artist who knows how to straddle two cultures and bring the both of best to his work. His very first job for us called for Disney-style illustration and we (and our client) were blown away by his talent. Before joining NorthSouth, Jeancarlo had eight years of Art Direction experience, with expertise in graphic design, creativity, illustration and advertising. Previously he worked at BBDO in Peru and freelanced at many other advertising and production…

TOM MOTT—A GROWNUP WHO REALLY GETS KIDS

15 May 2014, Posted by Sarina Simon in electronic books, Expert Interviews, Game Design, kids' media, Mobile App Development

Meet, Tom Mott, the Chief Creative Officer at Mott Studios, a full service production studio that designs, writes and produces top-shelf kids’ interactive entertainment. He has been creating amazing products since 1990—mostly for kids—working with properties such as Disney Fairies, Scooby Doo, The Cat in the Hat, Ben 10, Jonny Quest, Dora the Explorer, LEGO, Barbie, Sesame Street, and more.  I have known Tom since his early days at Philips Media and have always admired his sense of humor, his artistic touch and his genuine concern for kids.  In this interview, Tom explains how he got into interactive media and…