MN Game Dev Microtalks

by Martin Grider, Zachary Johnson, Dev Jana, Ari Carrillo, and Michael Migliacio | at MinneBar 11 | 9:55 – 10:45 in Minnetonka | View Schedule

MN Game Developer microtalks are back!

Minnesota has a vibrant game development scene! In this session, local game developers will each take the podium for 5 to 10 minutes. They might be showing off their latest game, they might be talking about how they structure their business, they might show off some piece of interesting new technology, (so much new VR!) or rant about the state of the industry. If there is time left over, we'll do roundtable Q&A, talk about the game development events hosted by IGDA Twin Cities, and maybe play some locally made games!

This session description will continue to get updated as the individual speakers are confirmed/scheduled.

Confirmed Speakers

  • Martin Grider - Local game developer Martin will talk about his Game Idea a Day project, or maybe his new VR game Puzzle Prison, or both.

  • DevNAri - Throw out your junk! Lessons in eliminating seductive, yet extraneous, game design elements.

  • Zach Johnson - Minneapolis-based creative developer Zachary Johnson (Zachstronaut) will talk about the current projects he's collaborating on, such as the party game Joggernauts, the indie arcade cabinet Donutron, and the mysterious NESpectre.

  • Michael Migliacio - One half of the game development dynamic duo of Intropy Games, Michael will be discussing the good, bad, and ugly of console game development. Michael recently spearheaded the launch of Astral Breakers, an action puzzle game, on the Japanese Wii U eShop -- and learned a thing or two along the way.

All levels

Martin Grider

Martin Grider is an independent game designer and developer who also specializes in native iOS development. He releases games periodically as Abstract Puzzle, and also writes about game development on his blog at

Zachary Johnson

Zachary Johnson is a weird, web-obsessed artist and programmer from the midwest. He started his software consulting business Zachstronaut in 2011 and co-founded the game studio Space Mace in 2016.

He's worked on a Nintendo game called Joggernauts, a pixel art comedy RPG called The Legend of Equip Pants, a delicious indie arcade cabinet called The Donutron, and a haunted 8-bit NES.

Zach has spoken at events in Berlin, New York, Chicago, and many times at Minnebar and Minnedemo. He's also been on the committees for MinneWebCon and IGDA-TC.

He's great at remembering fish facts and only slightly obsessed with taking selfies with other people's cats.

Dev Jana

Now an Instructor/Software Engineer at Prime Digital Academy where I teach MEAN stack development, I'm newly returned to Minneapolis as of 3/2016. I also eek out noises that are sometimes mistaken for music and work on indie games like Newt One - when not on a binge of Caribou and/or Pizza Luce. @devjana

Ari Carrillo

Originally from Mexico, Ari has lived in the States for 17 years. He has screened his 3D animated shorts at film festivals all over the world. His passion for design, illustration, and color theory is equalled by his love for music, vinyl toy creations, and game design. Currently he works as a 3D modeler at Axonom in Eden Prairie, MN.

Michael Migliacio

Michael "Miggs" Migliacio is a Software Engineering Coach in the Target Dojo with over 15 years of experience in software development. Previously, he held engineering roles at IBM, IGN Entertainment, and Best Buy, where he led the team responsible for building the API that powers shipping and delivery for one of the largest eCommerce platforms in the world. He is also JLPT-certified and serves as a Japanese-to-English interpreter for the Bloomington-Izumi Sister City Organization. Outside of Target, Michael co-founded video game development studio Intropy Games and worked closely with Japanese publisher CrossFunction in order to launch a localized title on Nintendo consoles in Japan.

He earned a Bachelor's in Computer Science with a minor in Japanese from Purdue University and is currently pursuing a Master's in Computer Science from Georgia Tech.

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