Mary Kurek Consulting


Composer/Lead Orchestrator (Games, Film, Television)

FROM PENKA KOUNEVA: GDC'15 - Audio Highlight - Women in Game Audio

Women In Game Audio is a panel lead by veteran composers and top audio leaders. We will discuss cultivating a career in game audio, and specifically how women can successfully forge and sustain a career. Two of the panelists are top audio leaders making hiring decisions (at Microsoft and Ubisoft). They will discuss all considerations in hiring a composer/sound designer. The panel will examine the required skill sets, talent, some success stories, and the political and business savvy needed to sustain a progressive career. We will also look at what has worked for women in other creative careers (development, design, programming), and will discuss branding, opportunities for growth, and navigating the minefields on a high-stakes job. Men, women, decision makers are invited to attend.

Thursday, March 5, 5:30-6:30 PM, West Hall Room 3006

FROM GDC's official site:

This panel, led by veteran composers and audio professionals, will present an inspiring discussion about how women cultivate careers in game audio and about the diverse voices women can bring to games. The panel will address a core question: is there any difference between the way a man and a woman composes music? What are the pros and cons of versatility (writing powerful music in many conventional idioms) versus having a unique, distinctive voice? Why is it important for women in the game industry to support each other? How can men help? How can women and men balance issues of work and family? How can women convince decision makers to trust them with big budgets and high stakes? We will examine the challenges of cultivating a career, the required skill sets, and the success stories, along with the political and business savvy needed for a progressive career path. The panelists will also discuss patterns of cultivating careers as a game composer, what has worked for women in other creative tracks (development, design and programming), opportunities for professional growth, navigating the minefields on a high-stakes job, overcoming career stagnation, and branding/re-branding.

The takeaway from this panel is an open and honest discussion of the challenges facing women in game audio, exploring issues of cultivating a career in game audio, and how to find solutions that will encourage a more diverse and plural community.
Intended Audience

This panel is relevant for both emerging and mid-career composers of both genders, as well as game audio leaders, creatives and executives. It explores issues critical to the success of women composers/sound designers/audio professionals in the rapidly changing industry. It suggests opportunities for diversity in a vibrant area of game development.


Penka lead-orchestrated "Elysium" - Sony's $120M sci-fi action feature directed by Neill Blomkamp ("District 9") -- first time a woman was a lead orchestrator/score producer on a studio film with such a budget. She worked with Steve Jablonsky on "Ender's Game."

Penka also contributed her considerable talents to DreamWorks "Need for Speed."

She released her first album entitled "A Warrior's Odyssey" Oct. 2012. It won three awards and nominations. A cut from this album, "MINOTAUR BATTLE," Click to listen has been submitted for Grammy nomination. Her second album is in the works now.

Penka has contributed her lead orchestration talents to a big horror Japanese game for release soon by Sony on PS4. Other orchestration work focused on the TV show, Revenge and WoW.

Consultant, Fuller Game Production, LLC
Author of Beyond Critical, Improving Leadership in Game Development
Beyond Critical on

Keith was a featured speaker for the IGDA’s Leadership Track at SIEGE 2013. Recent work with Deep Silver, developer of widely acclaimed Saint's Row IV, resulted in the following comment from their leadership: “Keith was able to present a high-level road-map and risk analysis which turned out to be very relevant for us and has helped us navigate an evolution of our culture.”

Keith is collaborating with another Mary Kurek client, Mike Acton of Insomniac Games, on a service designed to provide game studios with improved productivity and leadership, morale, employee retention, and ability to compare employee engagement to industry benchmarks. The service is called Fulcrum

KEVIN POWE Voice Artist, Games
Visit Kevin Powe

Kevin voiced the key antagonist for AUTHENTIC IN ALL CAPS by transmedia maven Christy Dena, who was recently awarded Australia's first Digital Writing Residency.

After being introduced by Mary Kurek, Kevin collaborated with sound/music games veteran, George Hufnagl, to create "Balmodar" Click to check out Balmodar, a DOTA 2 announcer, receiving great community feedback. George reports a great working relationship that is sure to produce more collaborations.

Kevin can now be heard as the virtual secretary in the announcement trailer for Fractured Skyline by Preliminal Games (video) and has just finished recording three great adventures for Brisbane's 2014 Street Reads. He's currently beavering away on ALTERED, which you can find out more about here

Urban Games Designer - Specialty in Raw Food Tourism

Visit Krister Gustafsson

Krister's background includes industrial design work for the largest museum in Australia, called the Powerhouse Museum. He is taking his design skills and experience in games and sim development and moving it to the mainstream in the exciting world of culinary tourism. Krister's unique events will connect fan crowds and regionally themed events to keep "flow" and provide a higher level of experience than one normally finds in a festival environment. Krister and Mary Kurek mapped out an intensive business trip to Europe and the US over the summer of 2014 where he interviewed chefs, food media, tourism professionals, and major food festival organizers. Now, back in Australia, Krister is designing his launch event to take place late 2014.

Inquiries to Krister are managed by


Composer - Producer - Orchestrator
Visit Spencer

Spencer has worked in film/TV and games with credits that also extend into the commercial field. The Legend of Fat Ninja with Zephyr Games is of note, as well as Nickelodeon Halloween TV spots, for which Spencer was nominated for an Emmy.