John Romero is an award-winning game development icon whose work spans over 130 games, 108 of which have been published commercially. Romero is the “father of first person shooters” having led the design and contributed to the programming and audio design of the iconic and genre-defining games DOOM, Quake, Heretic and Hexen. Romero is also was also one of the earliest supporters of eSports and a current competitive DOOM and Quake player. To date, Romero has co-founded eight successful game companies including the likes of id Software. He is considered to be among the world’s top game designers, and his products have won well over 100 awards. Romero most recently won a Lifetime Achievement award at the Fun & Serious Games Festival in Bilbao and the Legend Award at 2017’s Develop: Brighton. One of the earliest indie developers, Romero began working in the game space in 1979 on mainframes before moving to the Apple II in 1981. He is a completely self-taught programmer, designer and artist, having drawn his inspirations from early Apple II programmers.
Brenda Romero is a BAFTA award-winning game designer, artist and Fulbright award recipient who entered the video game industry in 1981. As a designer, she has worked on 47 games and contributed to many seminal titles, including the Wizardry and Jagged Alliance series and titles in the Ghost Recon, Dungeons & Dragons and Def Jam franchises. Away from the machine, her analog series of six games, The Mechanic is the Message, has drawn national and international acclaim, particularly Train and Siochán Leat, a game about her family’s history, which is presently housed in the National Museum of Play. Most recently, in 2018, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award (the Bizkaia award) at the Fun and Serious Games Festival in Bilbao, Spain, and the inaugural Grace Hopper Award presented by Science Foundation Ireland at the Women in Tech conference in Dublin, Ireland. In 2017, she received the 2017 Development Legend award at the Develop: Brighton. That same year, she won a BAFTA Special Award for her contributions to the industry. In 2015, she won the coveted Ambassador’s Award at the Game Developers Choice Awards. In 2014, she received a Fulbright award to study Ireland’s game industry, academic and government policies.