Rachael Presser

Principal, Sonic Toad Media LLC

Rachel Presser is a game developer, writer, consultant, business educator, and speaker from The Bronx. Former CFO and Executive Producer of Himalaya Studios, Rachel runs Sonic Toad Media and Consulting which is dedicated to helping people understand the business of games, and empowering indie developers, writers, artists, and other creative professionals transform their careers in lieu of working a day job. She also does B2B consulting and project management for organizations interested in working with game developers or the industry as a whole.

Rachel is the snarker-in-residence at home design blog Home Stratosphere and her work can also be found on Gamasutra and Medium. She is currently working on a visual novel, It's Different When It's Your Own.


One of the biggest misconceptions about game development is that you'll get to sit in the back of the office and just code by yourself all day, and that going indie isn't any different except you've traded your home for the office. This couldn't be more wrong! Poor communication can cause projects of any scale to go completely awry, whether it's a low-budget indie sidescroller or the latest AAA blockbuster. But when it comes to independent game development efforts, communication can become more challenging if you're not used to working with a remote team that doesn't have set office hours. You might also be unsure what to do if you've had one role most of your career but find it difficult to adjust to the many hats needed in indie games. Improving your communications skills and learning how to work with people in specific roles can level up your game in no time.

Topics will include:
 -The basics of communication skills and why we need them
 -Handling the challenges of working with a remote team
 -How to define your studio's and your game's message
 -How to work with artists, composers, writers, and more!

Presenters: Toiya Kristen Finley, Rachel Presser, Alexandra Lucas, Michelle Clough

When we talk about networking, going to conferences, getting secret invites to parties, and joining groups online are some of the things we usually cover. But another major aspect of networking that we hardly ever discuss is speaking at conferences like ECGC.

Giving a lecture, taking part on a panel, leading a workshop—that’s all networking! Presenting at conferences is a great way to introduce yourself to large audiences, reveal your expertise to the industry, and convince people that you’re somebody to get to know and work with.

If you’ve ever thought about submitting talks to conferences, but you’re not sure if you’re ready, this panel is for you. We’ll cover

  • how you determine which conferences to pitch to,
  • how you know when you’re ready to pitch,
  • what to pitch,
  • how to pitch, and
  • how to brand yourself through your talks.