Photo of Gemma Thomson wearing a black, wide-brimmed fedora - as usual - and gothic makeup. The photo was taken by Sebastian Bularca, in Karlshamn.

Gemma Thomson

Game designer and diversity campaigner

I work on a variety of game types, keeping my methods adaptable whilst striving for inclusivity. I believe that everyone benefits when games are made with diversity in mind - be that diversity of mechanics, content or the people who create them. I am a proponent of paper prototypes and am a keen game jammer.


Noah's Arks

A fast-paced action game for two players sharing a single touchscreen. As one of many workers at the Noah Shipping Company, you must work together to quickly arrange animals into pairs and dispatch them along a procession of arks. Pair off as many animals as possible within the time limit!

'Noahs Arks' title screen, depicting a blue flag on a pastel-shaded shoreline. The flag reads 'Noah Shipping ltd.' FMV screenshot in which a benevolent-looking God commands a burly Noah to do the impossible.Gameplay screenshot, depicting two arks laiden with animals at either end of the screen, as seen from a top-down perspective. Scores are shown in the middle; one is upside down to accomodate a player facing that direction.

A Planet Wakes

A narrative-driven strategy game for solo players, developed as part of Antholojam - curated by Zöe Quinn and Alex Lifschitz. You have been dropped in to rescue a struggling terraforming project, restoring the team and the planet to their full potential. Meet or exceed each area's resource goal in order to progress, and unravel the ominous mystery of this planet's past...

"A neat little gem that’s begging to go from prototype to polished game" ~Paste Magazine

FMV screenshot in which Prel, an amphibian-looking businessman, greets the player with a comics-style text caption.Gameplay screenshot, depicting an alien-looking base. Assorted colourful buildings are rendered in 3D isometric fashion, with resource indicators spawning from them. The UI includes a total resource readout, and a palette of buildings yet to be constructed.

Rymdströmmingen (The Space Herring)

An abstract puzzle game using real NASA data, developed as part of a SETI-Jam satellite event, for which I was a co-organiser. Starting on the left side of the screen, you must navigate between star systems on a vastly sped-up voyage towards the centre of the galaxy. Each move costs one probe, and you can only replenish these if you find a solar system capable of sustaining life. Observe the stars' pulses and navigate the maze from any point along the chain you create.

Gameplay screenshot with a chain of linked stars. The player currently has a choice of two stars to launch to, as demonstarted by a circular range eminating from their current position along the chain.


Game Jam Projects

Links lead to my blog, with play links (where applicable), recaps of the event, and details of the game's development.

Planetary Caretaker (King Game Jam Sthlm) Noah's Arks (Lyst Summit 2015) A Planet Wakes (Antholojam I) Rymdströmming (SETI-Jam) Oddballs (DreamHackathon 2014) Play-tex (Lyst Summit 2014) Mimic (Global Game Jam 2014) GenePets (Cancer Research UK GameJam) Donkey Kog Country (XX Game Jam)




I currently stand as chair in this, a Sweden-based body which collaborates with industry, education, media and communities to promote inclusivity and diversity in games.



I am LadyCADE's co-founder and branding/events manager, responsible for many of its women-friendly social gatherings and games showcases.



I am vice-chair of the board and a behind-the-scenes volunteer at this Sweden-based game development club for girls and women.

Game Jam Stockholm

Game Jam Stockholm

I mentor game jammers and help to run our events at this non-profit, inclusive venture to foster a strong community for the creation of games in Sweden.