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Brianna Wu      

Video Game Developer, Blogger, and Podcaster; Creator of "Giant Spacekat"

Brianna Wu is an American video game developer. She cofounded Giant Spacekat, an independent video game development studio with Amanda Warner in Boston, Massachusetts. She is also a blogger and podcaster on matters relating to the video game industry.

Brianna Wu was raised in Mississippi by adoptive parents. She grew up in an entrepreneurial environment, as her father was a retired US Navy doctor who opened his own clinic, and her mother ran a series of small businesses. The first video game she recalls being passionate about was Super Mario Bros. 2, in which Princess Peach's being a playable character was a powerful influence. In 2003 she enrolled at the University of Mississippi, studying journalism and political science. At the age of 19, she formed a small animation studio to create an animated pilot episode. The venture was unsuccessful, resulting in her withdrawal from college and a move to Washington, DC to work in political fundraising for several years. She later returned to college to finish her degree in investigative journalism, then worked as a journalist until she was inspired by the release of the iPhone to work as a graphical designer and create a videogame. In 2008, she married Frank Wu, four-time winner of the Hugo Award for Best Fan Artist. In 2010, she co-founded the company "Giant Spacekat" with Amanda Stenquist Warner, adding Maria Enderton as lead programmer.

Wu's company Giant Spacekat demonstrated its first iOS game Revolution 60 at Pax East in March 2013, where the game was listed as one of the 10 best indie games of the conference. In July 2013 the company ran a Kickstarter campaign to fund a PC release of the game in addition to the iOS version. The fundraiser brought in $12,728, over 250% of the original $5,000 goal. The game, created with the Unreal Engine for a total budget of a few hundred thousand dollars, was released for iOS devices in July 2014. Wu, who described the sci-fi themed action-adventure as "Heavy Rain mixed with Mass Effect", was credited as head of development. The game features female protagonists, said to echo the founders of the game studio. The Guardian describes it as "a cartoonish science fiction adventure for smartphones, notable for its all-female cast and cinematic story, a rarity on mobile platforms."One reviewer on Pocket Gamer called it intelligent and "hugely entertaining". Another cited some issues with pacing and a heavily linear storyline, but overall found it "enjoyable and compelling."

Wu is co-host of the weekly Isometric podcast on Relay FM. The podcast was launched in May 2014 and covers the video game industry. Wu also writes essay and opinion pieces about feminism and antagonistic attitudes towards women in game development.

Speech Topics


Brianna takes great pride in speaking engagements that help spread an understanding of the struggles women face in a male-dominated gaming culture. Calling on her experience as a game developer, and the struggles and successes she has found as an individual and with her company Giant Spacekat, she aims to help raise awareness around oft-overlooked opportunities present in the industry.

News


I'm Brianna Wu, and I'm Risking My Life Standing Up to Gamergate ...

My name is Brianna Wu. I develop video games for your phone. I lead one of thelargest professional game-development teams of women in the field. Sometimes ...

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