The IGDA will be hosting the PathfindinGS conference for the 3rd year this November!

This conference firmly places a spotlight on the video game industry of the Global South where developers are creating games, launching success stories and building up the game industry in a way unseen in other parts of the world.

The theme for the event this year is Folklore & Storytelling. You will see presentations that tell the stories of the game industry in the Global South through stories about the successes, the people who make the games & stories of the industry, as well as stories of the games that are unique to the local culture, traditions & history.

This online conference will have 6 conference days over the month of November so that as many people as possible can attend the event. Tickets are now available for FREE for the following dates: Latin America – 11 & 12 November, Africa & Middle East – 18 & 19 November, South Asia, South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand and pacific islands (as stories told from the First Nations Australians, Maori and pacific islander developers perspectives) – 25 & 26 November.





PathfindinGS would not be possible without the support from our sponsors. We are grateful for your efforts in celebrating developers across the global south. If you’d like to become a sponsor for this event, you can review our sponsorship slide deck here and you may reach out to Dr. Jakin Vela, IGDA Executive Director, with any questions.


Community Sponsors



18-19 November – Africa & Middle East

Date Start Time (UTC+2) Speakers Title Description
2022-11-18 10:00:00 Suzanne Freyjadis Opening Ceremony Suzanne Freyjadis, Director of Global Development, will welcome you to the second week of the IGDA PathfindinGS Conference, focused on speakers from Africa & the Middle East. You will learn about the focus behind PathfindinGS and hear about the upcoming speakers.
2022-11-18 10:30:00 Benedict Olumhense Developing the future creative workforce This presentation will focus on the vision of talent development for the creative ecosystem through the Creative Pixel Academy project and the current challenges experienced so far.
2022-11-18 11:00:00 Edwin Kapesa Designing Games with Meaning and Purpose This presentation will showcase and explain a perspective into how to make games that tackle the whole bandwidth of the human experience; games that teach us something about ourselves, developing games that will leave something in us and learn tangible skills.
2022-11-18 11:30:00 Thomas Shiva East African Games Industry ‘What It takes for the Mobilization of the African Games Industry Ecosystem and setting the quality standards & industry benchmarks for African made games to the rest of the world of gaming and also bringing the world of gaming to Africa’
2022-11-18 12:30:00 Tutaleni Ilonga How Can Gaming Be Introduced In Namibia The presentation will focus on how gaming can be introduced in Namibia, Namibia is very rich in culture and one of the ways we can decrease unemployment is by creating a structure to create games that focus on Namibian culture and as well as introduce Gamification in high schools, but to introduce it you need to build a foundation and in my presentation, I want to focus on some the steps that can be followed to successfully introduce gaming as well talk about the methods to sustain it.
2022-11-19 10:00:00 Güven Çatak How a game dev community center has turned into an education sandbox: ‘A BUG’S Journey’ Like every design field, game design education is also a black hole. With the hyper jumps in technology and changing player profiles, it is becoming more and more ambiguous and ambitious. However different from the other design fields, game design has a community advantage which has its roots in gaming and demo scene. In this presentation, community mechanics and dynamics such as game jams and meet-ups and their integration to the game design education will be analyzed and discussed throughout the ‘BUG Lab’ case study which started as a community centre and evolved into a game design education, production and incubation platform in İstanbul.
2022-11-19 11:00:00 Glenn Gillis Changing the face of serious gaming in Africa Impact games do more than just entertain – they drive purpose. Brands around the world have recognised that games can play a serious role within the marketing mix. The challenge is addressing the matter of sustainability and scalability. In Africa, we are working on finding solutions to these global challenges in order to share our learnings with the rest of the world. Africa is key to this conversation because the next billion global game players will come from the African continent. We strongly believe that Africa is the future of gaming.
2022-11-19 11:30:00 Bukola Akingbade, Tunde Olatunji The Wild Kingdoms ‘‘The Wild Kingdoms’ is an adventure game based on Yoruba mythology aimed at translating African stories of old into the educational and entertaining world of games hereby introducing African stories to new generations and audiences.
The presentation will include a short backstory, the concept art of 8 Orishas and little bit about why we’ve embarked on the project.’
2022-11-19 12:00:00 Nyambura M. Waruingi The Grounds Screams To Whisper: Rewriting Women Into Independence Mythmaking Through Folklore & History ‘How do we write our selves into history that elides and invents its versions? How do socially marginalized groups perform historiography from what’s hidden in plain sight? In turn, how do we create games that problematize ethno-cultural nationalistic texts with collaboration as an ethos?

These are some of the questions at the centre of the development of The Ground Screams To Whisper, an Afro-gothic gaming experience through which the audiences experience the triumph of being a female freedom fighter and re-live their often-erased stories which have shaped Kenya’s independence struggle. Set on a coffee plantation and drawing from Eastern African cosmologies, the visual aesthetics are inspired by Afro-gothic motifs, merging our world of the living with that of our ancestors. The Ground Screams To Whisper explores the healing of our lineages and embracing freedom.

In telling the development of the story and game-play, this presentation explores the stories that we don’t get to tell, the necessary excavations needed and the collaborations to make those possible, the colonization of the independence struggle, and the inextricable link between coffee production, forced female labour, and the wealth of the British Empire.

In the end, this presentation contemplates the notions of decoloniality across story and technology, African feminist cultural text-making, historical excavation and archive-making, and the ecologies available for collaboration processes of development and production.

2022-11-19 13:00:00 Nourhan ElSherief Empowering Communities Through this talk, I will talk about the importance of working with local gaming communities to raise awareness about independent games and how this affects the maturity of local independent games and the growth of the community of independent developers in general.


25 & 26 November – South Asia, South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand & Pacific Islands

Date Start Time (UTC+8) Speakers Title Description
2022-11-25 05:00:00 Suzanne Freyjadis Opening Ceremony Suzanne Freyjadis, Director of Global Development, will welcome you to the third week of the IGDA PathfindinGS Conference, focused on speakers from South Asia, South East Asia, and indigenous voices from Australia & New Zealand. You will learn about the focus behind PathfindinGS and hear about the upcoming speakers.
2022-11-25 05:30:00 Azizah Assattari Ghost Parade, a journey of unveiling Indonesian local cultural heritages and transform them into a high level global footprint. Indonesia, now one of the most prominent game market in global game industry, has start their step to emerges the gems of local heritages to bring more local stories into the game. And Ghost Parade is one of the most significant IP based game from local developer, Lentera Nusantara, an Indonesian IP powerhouse with expertise of cultural heritages, which begins the journey of marking the Indonesian cultural footprints in global game industry. Begin with 10 years research in local folklores, the founder of this IP, Azizah Assattari, has found that how game could be the empowerment for the story from their home to reach global audience effectively. Bringing 101 local folklores in one title, Ghost Parade has presents Indonesian heritages into the global game fandoms.
2022-11-25 06:30:00 Khaya Ahmed We’re Not Just a Ticked Box In an era of almost unlimited content, how is it that some regions are still unable to see themselves? And when they do, they’re often negatively portrayed, tropes, or in the background – people of no consequence. So, how hard is it really to create characters that celebrate and champion diversity whilst giving respect to that region? This talk will break down various examples as well as provide tips and tools to create characters and stories that matter; that aren’t diverse just for the sake of it.
2022-11-25 07:00:00 Nakul Verma 10 hard-earned lessons from making & releasing my Indie Game ‘We all hear about a lot of do’s and don’ts for making a commercially viable Indie Game but we only truly understand the meaning of those when we face the consequences of those choices.

In this talk, I share about the major learnings from my 3 year journey of creating and publishing my game In My Shadow. These include experiences from all phases of the Indie game life cycle be it conceptualization or launch marketing.’

2022-11-25 08:00:00 Phyllis Callaghan The responsibility and role of an Indigenous game creator and developer When an Indigenous lens is applied to a global technological platform, such as video gaming, what does that look like for Inidngeous/Maori and how do we adapt our story-telling authentically and in line with the values and customs, which is foundational to  Indigenous peoples.

Indigenous story-telling is imbued and fused within our cultural practices, such as Toi (art), Whakairo (Carving), Taiao (environment), waiata (songs), pūrakau (narratives).   Bringing all this together respectfully and authentically is like weaving an intricate korowai (cloak), each feather artistically and methodically placed and positioned to represent and articulate our past ancestors, where we’ve come from and where we are going.

Within Katuku island, we created an original 12 episode game story and although the story line is original, the game succinctly blends together imagination and Māori culture.  The Katuku Island Team are all of Māori descent and hail from iwi (tribes)acros New Zealand.  Most are Kai Whakairo (carvers) and Tā-moko (Tattoo) artists.

Indigenous is a powerhouse of innovation and creativity and I believe, it should be able to scale any creative industry in the world and help to build pathways for its own people,  but it should not be viewed by outsiders as just a money making tool. Indigenous should be a blend of all things, innovation, creativity, respectful of the lands and people who you are depicting and should highly resonate with an outcome for those peoples and communities you are representing, either socially and or culturally, it should always empower and not devalue.    histories/herstories and if you are unsure, then ask, we here at the IGDA Indigenous and advocacy SIG are here to help and guide your journey.

2022-11-25 09:00:00 Abbas Saleem Khan Transmedia and Storytelling – Building Cause and Change Based Stories for Emerging Markets
2022-11-26 05:00:00 Himanshu Manwani Finding our niche and building for the global as an Indian Studio Sharing my experience from being a solo developer to building a team of 8 people and releasing 4 successful indie games. Narrating my journey of being an indie developer and sharing what I have learned over the years, about what it takes to make successful indie games for the global market as an Indian studio.
2022-11-26 06:00:00 Avichal Singh, Ian Maude Raji: Rising from the Ashes Avichal Singh and Ian Maude from Nodding Heads Games will be sharing their story of struggles and international success with their maiden title Raji: An Ancient Epic, which has accumulated 36 nominations and 10 wins in prestigious game industry awards around the globe so far, accomplishing the goal of Nodding Heads Games, to put India on the gamedev map.
2022-11-26 06:30:00 Ali Ihsan Creating Heroes from History Books How to inspire myth building through history, culture and folk tales.
2022-11-26 07:00:00 Zane Everett The state of game development education in Southeast Asia Education is a force that yields the power to create or discourage the next generation of storytellers. Southeast Asia has a rich tradition of storytelling through various mediums, but video games is one medium that lacks these stories. This panel will explore the relationship between education, its impact on creating new game developers, and the video game industry in the present and near future in Southeast Asia. We will looking at developments in education, cultural attitudes towards games, and the impact of rapid economic development and how these things shape the narrative around gaming education.
2022-11-26 07:00:00 Ricky Setiawan Demystifying Indonesian Esports Gamers Persona Who plays esports games in Indonesia, and why? Indonesia’s gaming market is huge; it’s the 16th biggest gaming market in the world with a close to $1 billion market size and about 47,1 million esports gamers in 2022. This research provides insight into the demographics and behavior of esports gamers in Indonesia that will arm you with the knowledge to develop a strategy to penetrate the market.
2022-11-26 08:00:00 Saqina Latif Having Tea with Monsters of Southeast Asia in Kabaret Come on a journey with me as I take you through our process of creating the world of Kabaret, a game about a boy that gets cursed and thrown into a world full of legends and myths from Southeast Asia.
2022-11-26 08:00:00 Saqina Latif Having Tea with Monsters of Southeast Asia in Kabaret Come on a journey with me as I take you through our process of creating the world of Kabaret, a game about a boy that gets cursed and thrown into a world full of legends and myths from Southeast Asia.

Meet Our Speakers

11-12 November – Latin America


Alejandro Anguizola, Mersis

A tabletop RPG and VR enthusiast from Panama. Dungeon master, project manager, and game developer!




Juan Carlos García Ángel, QuietGecko/SlashwareInteractive

Music Composer and Sound designer also known as Quiet Gecko, very passionate about audio on every way and sharing knowledge. Have been working independently on various games in different countries and currently working with the Canadian audio company A Shell In The Pit. Always looking to create and collaborate in spaces for the videogame community and industry to grow in the best way possible.



Carlos J. Nieves, Independent Technical Artist

Tech artist and product specialist. Able to speak art to tech people and non-tech people alike! Work to create team environments where everyone feels heard & respected. Tech enthusiast and passionate activist for human and worker rights. Former LDR (Lead Developer Representative) at Unity.





Marcelo Rigon, Ilex Games

Born in the western countryside part of Brazil, he has a bachelor’s degree in physics from Unicamp in 2003 and a degree in Freudian Clinical Psychoanalysis. Since 2003, he has been working with the game industry in several roles. One of those is being co-founder of Ilex Games’ studio in 2010. Current director of the Game Developer Association for Sao Paulo (SP Jogos) and IGDA Campinas Chapter Leader since 2015. He has worked with a few videogame titles that talk about themes such as Umbanda, Daoism, Astrology, and psychology.



Diego Rodriguez, LEAP Game Studios

Clinical Psychologist, current President of IGDA Peru, CEO of Lima Game Jam and Game Designer and Writer at Leap Game Studios. He has worked in the games industry for over nine years and has launched more than twenty titles for PC, mobile devices and consoles, including “Tunche” and 2021 IGF winner “Arrog”. He’s currently working on a couple of dark fantasy visual novels, writing a YA novel and supporting the Peruvian game dev community.



Gabriel Villalba Paez, Posibillian Tech

Founding member of the local IGDA chapter. Co-founder and CTO of the first and biggest game studio in Paraguay. Software Engineer, Musician, and Amateur Padel Player.




David Zuratzi, Layout / Those Who Design

Game designer, Founder of Those Who Design studio, chairman of Layout an inniciative to promote the good practices and professionalization on mexican gamedev.
Member of IGDA & DiGRA. Horror and Sci-fi fan.


18-19 November – Africa & Middle East

Bukola Akingbade, Kucheza Gaming

Bukola Akingbade is an experienced entrepreneur and business leader with a demonstrated history of innovation, building sustainable value and driving impact by defining new pathways to unlock Africa’s youth potential through video games.
She is the founder and CEO of Kucheza Gaming – an Africa-focused video games industry startup that uses the power of video games to engage and get future generations ready to pursue careers in gaming, and change the world.



Güven Çatak, Bahcesehir Universtiy Game Lab (BUG)

Dr. Güven Çatak started to write in video games magazines (PC Gamer Turkey, Level and Oyungezer) and make short films while studying architecture at İstanbul Technical University. His shorts won several awards and were screened at various festivals. Af¬ter his media adventure, he continued his games career as an academic in Bahcesehir University. He has a master thesis on “Usage of Architecture in Video Games” and a PhD thesis on “Using Video Games in Design Education: Basic Design Play¬ground”. His media network and academic studies empowered him to found “BUG Lab” which kickstarted indie game scene in İstanbul and eventually transformed into an education platform including undergraduate and master programs on game design with pre-incubation and virtual reality spaces. He’s still working as a professor in Bahcesehir University and running BUG Lab and its components.


Glenn Gillis, Sea Monster
Glenn is the co-founder and CEO of Sea Monster. He has a Business Science degree from the University of Cape Town and has been a senior executive, consultant and entrepreneur for over 25 years. Glenn is a thought-leader on how serious games and immersive technologies (AR & VR) can be used to drive social change and business goals at scale. His expertise on business in the creative industries as well as the role that technology plays in storytelling has seen him featured on a multitude of international speaking conferences and platforms including TEDx and The Digital Edge Live.



Nyambura M. Waruingi, Akoia & Company Ltd

Nyambura M. Waruingi is a storyteller across artistic expressions and the Founder and Creative Director of Akoia & Company Ltd. With over 20 years of international experience in creative and cultural industries, she experiments with unique ways to imagine new worlds through filmmaking, immersive storytelling and gaming. She founded Akoia & Company Ltd to produce projects whose raison d’être is eclectic, creative and artistic productions that transform our perception of the world around us. #imagineradically



Tunde Olatunji, Kucheza Gaming

Tunde Olatunji is a storyteller and software designer. He has built and managed digital products for global entertainment and sports brands including the Premier League, Formula One as well as film and TV studios. He was formerly Head of Mobile at Sky, Networked Media where he oversaw technology, content and operational teams. Alongside technology development, he has written for theatre, dance and orchestral performances. He is a graduate of University College London, the National Film & Television School, and Manchester Metropolitan University. His most recent project is The Wild Kingdoms, a series of stories inspired by Nigerian mythology. At present, parts of the series are being adapted for online gaming as well as for audio drama.



25 & 26 November – South Asia, South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand & Pacific Islands

Khaya Ahmed, Sumo Digital LTD

Since starting her writing career at 15, Khaya’s dabbled in Comic Books and Television; notably writing for Ms Marvel and Burka Avenger. Now working as a Writer and Narrative Game Designer, her local Gaming Portfolio includes Explottens, Aaj Kal Ka Zamana, and Life in Willowdale: Farm Adventures. Globally, she’s contributed as a writer to the PS5 title Destruction AllStars, and At Eve’s Wake for the PC. Currently she’s working with Sumo Digital as a writer while also assisting the local game dev sector however she can.



Azizah Assattari, Lentera Nusantara

My name is Azizah Assattari, CEO/cofounder of Lentera Nusantara, creator of Ghost Parade game. LENTERA NUSANTARA is an Indonesian Intellectual Property Powerhouse with expertise in cultural heritages content. We unveil our local cultural heritages stories and transform them into high-level Intelectual Properties. Our team contains global expertise, connected by the passion for cultural art and heritages. Combining experience and passion altogether, we decides to envision our call; to unveil the beauty of Indonesian Heritages and empowering our creators into the digital fandom creations.



Dr. Phyllis Callaghan, MSH Ltd.

My name is Dr. Phyllis Callaghan. I am from New Zealand. I am Māori and my iwi (tribe) is Ngāi Te Rākatō, situated in Mahia, New Zealand. I celebrate all Indigenous peoples and their story-telling through-out the world.

I am the CEO of MSH Ltd; a company at the cutting edge of Indigenous research, publications, advocacy, sustainability models and global Tech solutions. I am co-creator and co-chair of the IGDA Indigenous and Advocacy SIG and creator and Co-founder of Katuku Island, a world first in Indigenous gaming. Katuku Island claimed 2 Silver awards this year at the NYX Video gaming awards for best game and best innovation, it was also named as winner for the APEC 2021 Women’s best Practice Awards for Indigenous Community Support. Katuku Island is about changing the narrative for Indigenous voices within the Tech space. It is about finding kōhanga (nest), where we can feel safe, inclusive and protected to bring our Indigenous story-telling to the tech space. It is about re-designing and re-imagining what we can do within the world of virtual reality.



Ali Ihsan, FRAG Games

Ali Ihsan is the founder of FRAG Games, a 100 man, full-service game development studio, developing games on Mobile, PC, Oculus, Playstation, Xbox and Switch platforms. FRAG’s notable clients include Cartoon Network, Netflix, Samsung and Dovetail Games. Ali is the current IGDA (International Game Development Association) Chairman for Pakistan.




Saqina Latif, Persona Theory Games

Saqina Latif is one of three co-founders of Malaysian indie games studio, Persona Theory Games. The team proudly tells Southeast Asian stories through games and other mediums. Prior to starting Persona Theory Games, Saqina was an award-winning producer in Leo Burnett KL, and worked with clients such as McDonald’s, Samsung, AIA and more.



Ian Maude, Nodding Heads Games

Known affectionately within the team as “Grandpa”, with over two decades of experience. Ian gained a job as a junior 3D artist with the highly acclaimed Stainless Software (creators of Carmageddon), shortly after graduating from the University of Teesside where he obtained a BA (Hons) degree in Graphic Design & Illustration. In the years preceding, Ian worked for some of the widely known companies in the video games industry. Some of these include Rockstar, Ubisoft, The Chinese Room, and Acclaim, to name a few. He rose through the ranks becoming a Senior, Lead Artist, and most notably an Art Director for The Chinese Room where he oversaw the prototype development for “Everyone’s Gone to the Rapture”, which went on to win 3 Bafta awards. Ian later become a lecturer in video game art at a Pune institute where he met Shruti Ghosh and Avichal Singh who would later team up, and ultimately created Nodding Heads Games.


Avichal Singh, Nodding Heads Games

Holds a Masters Degree in Game Design and Project Management. Graduating with the top project at his college and participant of 12 game jams, Avichal joined Zynga in 2015, where he worked on IPs like Farmville and Empires and Allies. Avichal also worked on 200+ levels for Empires and Allies and soon after Avichal’s passion for indie game development saw his exit from Zynga, with an early game concept of Raji. Soon after pitching it to Ian and Shruti, not long after they would form Nodding Heads Games, early in 2017. The rest, as they say, is history. At Nodding Heads Games, Avichal is responsible for Game Design, Level Design, Project Management and Co founder duties. Nodding Heads Games developed the critically acclaimed indie hit, Raji: An Ancient Epic which achieved 35 nominations and 10 wins. This included prestigious events and award shows like Nintendo Indie Game World, Best Debut Indie Game Nomination Games Award 2020, Three awards at Taipei Game Show 2020, Pegases Nomination for Best Foreign Indie Games, SXSW Nomination for Indie Game of the Year, Best of Mix 2020 and Three awards at Devplay 2019.


To watch our PathfindinGS sessions from last year, visit our Youtube Channel.