Now entering its fourth year of game development, the AppStore has evolved from an indie gold mine to a competitive and overcrowded marketplace. How can an indie developer adapt? Come listen to a group of indie iPhone developers tell their tales of successes and failures. What makes some developers close up shop vs. what makes some developers prosper (and others hang on by the skin of their teeth)? The panel members consist of content creators, engineers, business specialists and members who wear all those hats at once. Their companies range from a team of one to a team of many. What strategies have worked and allowed them to survive and what strategies have failed? We will discuss the process from development to market. The panel will touch on developmental tips and tricks and promotional ideas. Finally, we will discuss where we see the future of indie development going through the iPad and beyond.
Mr. Knitowski is Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Phunware, Inc., a mobile application infrastructure company. Previously Mr. Knitowski served as President of Alternative Investments for Curo Capital LLC, and Co-Manager of both the Curo Capital Appreciation Fund I LLC and the Trymetris Capital Fund I LLC. He has also served as Founder and Managing Director of Ecewa Capital Group LLC, Director of Windspring, Inc., Advisor of Edgewater Networks, Inc. and Angel Investor in numerous technology, media, biotechnology and energy companies, including Bazaarvoice, RingCentral, InfaCare and Min-X Holdings, Inc., now known as Vonage (NYSE: VG).
Previously, Mr. Knitowski was Managing Director and President of Strategic Investments for Trymetris Capital Management LLC. He was also Co-Founder and Director of Telverse Communications, a next-generation advanced services ASP focused on wholesale communications services for carriers, service providers and value-added resellers, which was acquired in July 2003 by Level 3 Communications (NASDAQ: LVLT). In parallel, Mr. Knitowski was Director of Marketing for the Voice Technology Group at Cisco Systems and was responsible for business, market and community development, including business planning and strategy for Cisco’s global packet communications initiatives. In November 2000, Mr. Knitowski joined Cisco as part of the Vovida Networks acquisition, where he served as Co-Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer and led the company from idea conception through its eventual acquisition by Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO).
In the past, Mr. Knitowski was an Angel Investor and Director of vCIS, a proactive software behavior analysis and anti-virus security company, and helped negotiate and structure its acquisition by Internet Security Systems (NASDAQ: ISSX) in October 2002, which was subsequently acquired by IBM (NYSE: IBM) in August 2006. Additionally, he was a Founding Director of both the Open Multimedia Protocol Alliance (OMPA) and the International Softswitch Consortium (ISC) in 1999, which were subsequently merged and scaled to nearly 200 companies prior to renaming itself to become the International Packet Communications Consortium (IPCC) in 2003. During his tenure at the consortium, Mr. Knitowski served as its Vice Chairman, Co-Chair of its Government Liaison Working Group and one of its external evangelists.
Previously, Mr. Knitowski worked in various operational, line management and consulting roles with The Results Group, Nortel Networks, Hewlett-Packard and the United States Army, where he served as an Airborne, Air Assault and Ranger qualified Captain in the Corps of Engineers both domestically and abroad. Mr. Knitowski holds an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley, an MS in industrial engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a BS in industrial engineering from the University of Miami. He has delivered and moderated general and executive sessions at various events and conferences within the communications industry, has appeared on radio and television to discuss next-generation networking, packet communications, mobile applications and outsourcing and has delivered educational sessions on next-generation networking and packet communications to the United States Federal Communications Commission. Mr. Knitowski resides in Austin, Texas, with his wife Kelly and their four young children, and currently serves as a member of the President’s Council of the University of Miami. He also serves as a member of the Central Texas Angel Network (CTAN) and the Austin Technology Council (ATC).
David Kalina is co-owner and principal engineer of Tiger Style, the independent game developer behind the award-winning iDevice smash "Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor." David spent his formative years developing artificial intelligence systems for big budget console games (Splinter Cell, Deus Ex: Invisible War, Thief: Deadly Shadows) before teaming up with fellow industry veteran Randy Smith to form Tiger Style. In between coffee shops and karaoke jams, David can be found working out of his South Austin home on Tiger Style's next game.
Heather Kelley, also known as moboid, is a media artist, curator, and game designer. Currently Ms. Kelley heads her interaction and experience design studio Perfect Plum. Perfect Plum’s first product is the OhMiBod app, an intuitive and beautiful iPhone interface to control a connected vibrator. She is co-founder of Kokoromi, an experimental game collective, with whom she has produced and curated the renowned GAMMA event promoting experimental games as creative expression in a social context.
Peter Franco is founder of Dr. Fun Fun LLC, based in Austin, TX. Dr. Fun Fun is focused on creating quality casual games and entertainment, with outstanding visual imagery.
Peter has over 13 years experience in the video game industry. He studied fine art in New York City, and before that, art history, and is classically trained in traditional oil painting. Always passionate about video games, his interests merged in a job that brought him to Austin, Texas, a video gaming mecca, where his background in traditional art was put to use on titles such as The Hobbit, Area 51 and the Turok franchise.
Over the last 9 years, Peter has served as an Art Director and has managed teams that have varied in size from 10 to 100. For the iPhone, Dr Fun Fun partnered with Smashing Studios to developed “Hi, How Are You” amongst other titles.
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