Thomas Baker

DESIGNER OF GAMES AT FIREMONKEYS (EA GAMES)

Thomas Baker is a game designer at Firemonkeys, a large Melbourne mobile studio, and Australia’s biggest game development house. Firemonkeys are the developers behind the globally successful mobile titles The Sims Freeplay, Real Racing 3 and Need For Speed: No Limits, along with numerous others. The Firemonkeys studio is part of Electronic Arts, a games publisher with decades of history and thousands of employees worldwide.

Thomas’s path into the games industry was winding and fraught with danger. A failed attempt at studying computer programming in 2001 led to a lengthy period of self-discovery, eventually leading to the excellent Professional Writing and Editing TAFE course at RMIT. Thomas’s games career proper started in Quality Assurance at Tantalus Media in 2008, and he soon had the privilege of taking the reins on Pony Friends 2 – his first game design role. He joined Electronic Arts in 2010, which allowed him to work on renowned franchises such as Mass Effect and Need For Speed. Thomas is currently design lead on the free-to-play mobile hit, Real Racing 3, which has been downloaded more than 180 million times worldwide. His role on the project involves defining the high level game design while leading a team of designers to create quality content and game features. The role also involves collaborating with numerous other disciplines to help define the long-term direction of the project. Thomas has been playing, discussing, deconstructing, making and obsessing over games for as long as he can remember. He draws inspiration from all kinds of games, including sport, board, tabletop, card and video games, as well as from psychology and biology, while also attempting to channel industry luminaries Sid Meier, Shigeru Miyamoto and others. He can’t decide if his favourite game of all time is System Shock 2 or Quake 1 – if you want to avoid a lengthy, passionate conversation, don’t ask him to justify his choices.


GLENN MELENHORST

VFX SUPERVISOR AT ILOURA

Glenn graduated in Graphic Design and Post Grad Animation (film) from Swinburne University in 1986. Glenn established himself working as a cel animator (2D hand drawn) for television. In 1988 when computer graphics were still in their infancy Glenn started directing and animating commercials. In 1993 Glenn established - Zephyr Animation and Design. Zephyr animated hundreds of TVC’s over a period of seven years before being sold to Iloura in 2000.

Iloura had its origins in commercials and over the following nine years Glenn directed and animated over 500 commercials for Iloura and saw the company transition from its strong commercial base into an animation and visual effects house for feature film with movies like House of Flying Daggers and Charlotte’s Web. Iloura produced their first cg character for a feature film – Wilbur the pig. Glenn’s role as Director of Animation, and Animator and Matte Artist has evolved into his present role as Visual Effects Supervisor with Iloura. During 2014 Glenn oversaw a crew of 100+ as the sole 3D Animation Vendor on ‘The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water’ for Paramount Pictures. More recently, Iloura completed work on Mad Max: Fury Road for George Miller and Ted2 and the Alex Proyas production Gods of Egypt.

Major Credits: Ted2, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, The Wolverine, Ted, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Killer Elite