Receiving an award for your hard work on a game could be thought of as one of the greatest events in a game designer’s career. This year, Forbes have honoured the young stars who have made the 30 Under 30: Games & Apps list – the designers who were nominated by readers around the world and judged by a panel of professionals. The list includes the likes of Kim Swift, the designer who led the team that developed Portal, Matt Charles, a producer at Gearbox Software who worked on Borderlands 2 and Emmett Shear, CEO of Twitch.
In no particular order, check out the list below:
1) Kim Swift (29) - Creative Director at Airtight Games. Swift was the designer who led the team that created Portal, the world famous puzzle game boasting that ‘the Cake was a lie’. It’s now sold over 4 million copies and is one of the 14 games selected by the Museum of Modern Art for inclusion in their permanent collection.
2) Anthony Burch (24) – Lead Writer at Gearbox Software. After starting off as the creator of “Hey Ash, Whatcha Playing?”, he’s now the lead writer for Gearbox and helped to write Borderlands 2.
3) Matt Charles (26) – Producer at Gearbox Software. Matt worked as the lead producer on Gearbox Software’s hit title Borderlands 2.
4) Brian Cho (27) – Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. Cho is one of the few young investors who “gets the game business.”
5) Nick D’Aloisio (17) – Founder of Summly. He has recently launched Summly, an iPhone app that aggregates and summarizes the news. The company is backed by Li Ka-Shing.
6) Peter Deng (29) – Director, Product Management for Facebook. Peter is one of the behind-the-scene guys working on applications such as Messages, Groups, Photos and Events. Cheers for keeping everything working!
7) Suhail Doshi (24) – CEO of Mixpanel. Mixpanel is a real-time mobile and web analytics alternative to older firms like Omniture.
8) Stephen Espinosa (25) – CEO of AppStack. His startup creates mobile websites and mobile ads to get small-medium sized businesses more customers. He is backed by Google Ventures.
9) Alexander Garfield (27) – CEO of Evil Geniuses. Maybe you’ve heard of them, Evil Geniuses are a profesionnal gaming team.
10) Ooshma Garg (25) – Founder of Gobble. Garg created Gobble, a service that sends people customised dinners every night. Yum!
11) Dan Gerstein (28) – Lead Scripter for Toys For Bob. Gerstein maintains the code that allows Activision’s Skylanders toys to interact with their ‘Portal of Power’ and come to life in the game.
12) Carly Gloge, Isaac Squires (28, 29) – Cofounders of Ubooly. The husband and wife team were first founded on Kickstarter, and make ‘smart’ stuffed animals that run with iPhone or iPod touch inside them.
13) John Graham (26) – COO of Humble Bundle. John was involved with the creation of the Humble Indie Bundle so many designers and gamers know well. The revenues from their video game collections are split between developers and charities.
14) Joe Green (29) - President of NationBuilder. NationBuilder is an online platform for organising political campaigns, and was Harvard roommates with Mark Zuckerberg.
15) Zain Jaffer (24) - CEO of Vungle. Jaffer created a mobile video ad company which launched in June and works with Amazon, Hotels.com and Priceline.
16) Palmer Luckey (20) – CEO of Oculus VR. Palmer is the founder of Oculus Rift, a consumer-priced virtual reality headset which was funded through Kickstarter and has been dubbed “the next big platform for gaming”.
17) Amitt Mahajan and Joel Poloney (28, 26) – Cofounders of Red Hot Labs. After creating Farmville and building Zynga’s reusable game engine, their new startup provides infrastructure for mobile game developers which cuts development time in half.
18) Apoorva Mehta (26) – Founder of Instacart. Mehta created an app which delivers groceries to people via a network of drivers.
19) Anton Mikhailov (27) – Senior Engineer, R&D Group at Sony Computer Entertainment America. He helped to develop the Playstation Eye and Playstation Move for SCEA’s user interface group.
20) Matt Nava (26) – Concept Artist at Otis College of Art and Design. He created the look of critically-acclaimed games including Flower and Journey, recently released for Playstation 3 by thatgamecompany.
21) Jesse Pickard (29) – CEO of MindSnacks. MindSnacks makes popular gamified educational apps for learning languages and SAT questions, backed by Sequoia Capital.
22) Courtney Powell (28) – CEO of PublikDemand. Powell started PublikDemand, which gives people a place to lodge complaints against large companies and also provides chances for deals if they switch to other brands.
23) Amir Rao (28) – Cofounder of SuperGiant Games. Rao is co-creator of the action role-playing game Bastion.
24) Greg Rice (29) – Producer at Double Fine Productions. He was the producer of Double Fine Adventure, which raised $3.45million in a groundbreaking Kickstarter campaign.
25) Matt Schlicht, Mazy Kazerooni, Ben Parr (24, 22, 27) – Cofounders of Tracks.by/#DominateFund. Schlicht and Kazerooni created Tracks.by, which provides social media marketing for musicians, and teamed up with Parr to start their own seed venture fund.
26) Emmett Shear (29) – CEO at Twitch. Perhaps another company you’ve heard of, Twitch is a video platform and community for gamers which has 23 million unique viewers per month.
27) Bart Stein, Robby Stein (25, 27) – Cofounders of Stamped. These two guys created an app for collecting favourite books, movies and the like. It’s even been acquired by Yahoo this year!
28) Kevin Systrom (29) – CEO of Instagram. The famous photo and image app now has more than 100 million users, and is a key part of Facebook’s battle against Twitter for the primary photo app for mobile users.
29) Sujay Tyle (19) – Head of Business Development at Scopely. After starting Harvard at 15, he now heads business development at Scopely, a mobile gaming startup.
30) Brian Wong (21) - Cofounder of Kiip. Kiip is a mobile rewards startup which boasts clients including Pepsi, Best Buy and Disney.
This is definitely a great honor for the 30 people on this list, and if these ladies and gents can do it then maybe there’s hope for us lot as well! Congratulations to all of the 30 Under 30!