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World's top game artists heading to Auckland

World's top game artists heading to Auckland

Media Design School will give Blizzard and Valve fans unparalleled access to two of the world’s leading game artists as part of an exclusive MDS Games Summit from February 15 to 17 in Auckland.

International guests appearing for the first time in New Zealand include Blizzard’s Allen Dilling (credits include Warcraft 3, World of Warcraft, Starcraft 2) and Valve’s Max Aristov (credits include Wolfenstein, Farcry).

Rounding out the line-up are New Zealand developers Chris Wilson from Grinding Gear Games and Stephen Harris from Ninja Kiwi.

The three-day event will kick off with a LAN party on Friday 15 February. A competition will run throughout the duration of the event in a dedicated LAN zone with participants competing for prizes as they play Starcraft 2 and Team Fortress 2.

The MDS Games Summit will also involve two days of presentations, portfolio reviews (first come, first served) and networking opportunities with the international guests.

Tickets, which include access to the LAN party and an event t-shirt, are available now from

VIP packages including dinner with the speakers, priority seating, guaranteed portfolio review and exclusive VIP gifts are also available.


ALLEN DILLING’s career at Blizzard stretches back 14 years, during which time he has been responsible for modelling, animation and FX on Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, The Burning Crusade, World of Warcraft. He also supervised animation and FX on StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty, StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm and Blizzard All-Stars. Allen’s presentation will give enthusiasts rare insights into his blockbuster projects, creative process and artistic background.

MAX ARISTOV has spent the last three years as an artist at Valve, where he is currently working on DOTA 2. With an impressive career spanning more than 14 years, he has worked in the world’s top game development studios including Raven Software/Activision (Wolfenstein 3, Singularity), Crytek (Farcry) and GSC Gameworld (Stalker). Max is renowned for his technical artistry and unparalleled expertise in everything from characters and props to alien architecture and pipelines. During the MDS Game Summit he will share design and implementation processes for DOTA 2 characters and a technical demonstration.

CHRIS WILSON is the cofounder and lead designer at Grinding Gear Games. The company’s title Path of Exile will enter open beta on January 23 after raising US$1.2 million in crowd-funding complete with an extra 50% of “bloodier” content. Chris will talk about the development and design of the new game.

STEPHEN HARRIS graduated from Media Design School with Distinction in 2005 and went on to found game development company Ninja Kiwi with his brother Chris. In 2012 their game Bloons Tower Defence 5 hit #2 in the iTunes chart, they recorded $5 million in revenue and doubled their staff size after acquiring Scottish game company Digital Goldfish. Stephen will talk about designing Bloons Tower Defence 5 and the rise of Ninja Kiwi.


Media Design School is New Zealand’s most-awarded private tertiary institution and distinguished by its close alignment to industry. The Auckland-based school offers specialist degrees for emerging creative industries including Bachelor of Art and Design (3D Animation and Visual Effects), Bachelor of Creative Technologies (Game Art), Bachelor of Software Engineering (Game Programming) and Bachelor of Media Design. A range of foundation diplomas and graduate qualifications are also available. Media Design School is part of Laureate International Universities, the world’s largest private university group with over 65 universities in 29 countries, including dedicated design schools in San Diego, California, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA; Berlin and Hamburg, Germany; and Milan, Italy. For more information, visit


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