Urban Arts is thrilled to announce the latest addition to our advisory council—Renee Gittins, the driving force behind the indie studio, Stumbling Cat, based in Seattle. Renee brings with her an impressive multidisciplinary background, boasting expertise in business operations, software engineering, and creative direction. Prior to returning to indie development, she was the General Manager of Phoenix Labs, Vancouver.
Many in our community will also recognize Renee from her commendable tenure as the Executive Director of the International Game Developers Association. Through her leadership at the IGDA, Renee has been an unwavering advocate for developers, consistently championing for diversity within the gaming industry. Her endeavors from her time at the IGDA align with Urban Arts’ mission of fostering educational opportunities for underrepresented students to improve the diversity and work culture of the game industry for all.
Renee’s current title, Potions: A Curious Tale, also aims to inspire the next generation of game developers to craft stories that resonate and reflect a multitude of experiences. Through the journey of its young witch protagonist, Luna, players are introduced to global folklore, intricate puzzles, and engagement with fantastical creatures where direct combat is rarely the answer. Luna’s path, filled with challenges and learning, mirrors the real-world dilemmas faced by young women and emphasizes the power of wit, perseverance, and self-belief.
Urban Arts’ game development programs aim to nurture young talent from diverse backgrounds, providing them with the platform and guidance to bring their unique perspectives to the world of game development. With Renee’s addition, we’re excited to further bridge the gap between industry professionals and budding developers. Her role as Chair of the IGDA Alumni Board, coupled with her consulting endeavors for multiple organizations, will provide our programs with additional unparalleled insights and guidance to empower our students.
Renee’s outspoken advocacy for increased diversity in the game industry and her desire to enhance the gaming landscape for all resonates deeply with Urban Arts’ goals. Together, we aspire to make the game industry more inclusive, more diverse, and more representative of the world we live in.