Raph Koster

Raph Koster

CEO

Raph Koster is a veteran game designer who has been professionally credited in almost every area of the game industry. He’s been the lead designer and director of massive titles such as Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies; a venture-backed entrepreneur heading his own studio (Metaplace, sold to Disney Playdom); and he’s contributed design work, writing, art, soundtrack music, and programming to many more titles ranging from mobile and Facebook games to single-player games for handheld consoles. His book A Theory of Fun for Game Design is one of the undisputed classics in the games field and was recently revised for a 10th anniversary edition. In 2012, he was named an Online Game Legend at the Game Developers Conference Online.

(Pronouns: he/him/his)

Eric Goldberg

Eric Goldberg

President

Eric has been a pioneering online game designer (including MadMaze, the first online game to draw 1MM players), a game company executive, and a founder of multiple start-ups. He's recently an advisor and board member chiefly in consumer-facing technology sectors, including games, mobile, consumer Internet, virtual worlds, edtech, social media, and monetization. Notable recent affiliations include Art+Craft, EA, Goldman Sachs, Pixelberry, Playdom, PlaySpan, StoryToys, and three US venture capital firms.

Gordon Walton

Gordon Walton

Chief Product Officer & Executive Producer

Gordon Walton has been authoring games and managing game development since 1977. He is currently Executive Producer & Chief Product Officer at Playable Worlds, Inc.  Prior positions include VP and Executive Producer at Monumental LLC., Co-founder, President and Executive Producer at ArtCraft Entertainment, Inc. which created Crowfall®, VP and Exec Producer at Playdom Austin, VP and co-Studio General Manager at BioWare Austin working on Star Wars®: The Old Republic™, VP, Executive Producer and Studio Manager at Sony Online Entertainment in Austin, working on an unannounced product and Star Wars®: Galaxies™, prior to this he was VP and Executive Producer of The Sims Online® at Electronic Arts/Maxis, and in the same role for Origin Systems managing Ultima  Online™; He also served as Senior VP and General Manager of Kesmai Studios, where he oversaw the development of several MMOGs including Air Warrior™ and Multiplayer Battletech™.

Gordon has also owned and managed two other development companies and was development manager for both Three-Sixty Pacific and Konami of America, Inc.  He has personally developed more than 30 games and overseen the development of more than 200 games.  Gordon is a regular speaker at industry gatherings and advises multiple game educational programs.

Greg Costikyan

Greg Costikyan

Lead Designer

Greg Costikyan has designed more than 30 published games. His tabletop games (including Paranoia and the original Star Wars tabletop RPG) have won 5 Origins Awards, and he is the recipient of the GDC Maverick Award for "tireless promotion of indie videogames." He designed the first online game to attract more than 1m players. Things he has written are used in game studies courses across the globe. In recent years, he has been working in F2P mobile games, and is challenged and delighted to be involved in this new venture.

Patrick Ferland

Patrick Ferland

Director of Engineering

Patrick Ferland is a 20-year software veteran, having developed software ranging from industrial AI to e-learning to online games. He has worked at companies including Metaplace, Playdom, and Disney in roles that varied from software engineering to product management to game design and scripting. Recent notable contributions have included Club Penguin, Disney Infinity, and the Marvel Playmation toy series.

Patrick is a fitness enthusiast and is currently certified to teach two different mixed-martial-arts fitness formats.

(Pronouns: he/him/his)

Brian Elias

Brian Elias

Senior Gameplay Engineer

Brian Elias is an excited and highly motivated software engineer. His previous roles covered a breadth of technical responsibilities from web design, game development design and scripting, internal tool development, and automation testing. While gaming is his go-to pastime, he doesn't just "play" the games. He deconstructs them until he is confident in understanding their inner workings and design. Now he is eager to contribute his professional skills and personal "field research" to deliver a truly spectacular experience.

Light Bates

Light Bates

Technical Designer

Light is an enthusiastic game designer with a versatile, technical skill set whose previous work includes several published games and a virtual graduation experience developed for their Master's cohort. Nothing excites them more than a creative problem in need of an even more creative solution, and they love crafting those solutions into engaging systems and memorable player experiences.

When Light isn't busy making (or playing) games, you can probably find them geeking out with their tabletop RPG group, trying to learn a new instrument, or curled up with a good book and a cup of tea.

(Pronouns: Any)

Brian Hughes

Brian Hughes

Lead Server Engineer

Brian Hughes has been involved in game development for over 30 years. He started at Sierra On-Line with adventure games in the mid 80's, and has also been on the Sega Dreamcast launch team, designed and built audio recording software, and spent several years in cyber-security. He has been involved in the development of many client-server and multiplayer projects, including eight MMOs.

Little known facts about Brian:

  1. He was big into D&D back in the late 70's, and has always maintained his world since. Although he doesn't play anymore, he did pass the bug on to his youngest daughter, who runs games weekly. He is currently writing several books about his world for her.
  2. He designed and built the audio software for Acoustica that he uses in his own home studio where he recorded two albums that are in a perpetual state of "almost but not quite ready for release".
  3. Brian hates mushrooms.
  4. He successfully deciphered the "I know half of you half as well as I should like, and like less than half of you half as well as you deserve" comment from Bilbo Baggins.

Glen Heide

Glen Heide

Senior Tools Engineer

If you remember playing Flash games in your browser back in the late 2000s, there's a small chance you might have played one of Glen's earlier works. Working for Fuel Industries, an advergaming company, he developed flash games for Candystand, McDonalds, HBO, and Microsoft among others. In the decade following, he worked for Disney developing software to help with game development, art pipelines, and digital asset management systems. Even so, he got his true start in game development from writing games out of Compute!'s Gazette magazines for the Commodore 64 back in the 80s. According to his parents, the first word he could read was "Load."

Addison Barnes

Addison Barnes

Senior UX/UI Designer

Addison is a multi-faceted artist and designer that has lent their skills to various MMO and live service titles over the last decade. From an early career as an environment artist on City of Heroes to designing UI/UX on Star Trek Online, they have always sought to find a balance between visuals, design, and usability with the player's experience being the forefront priority.

Outside the games industry, they are a self-proclaimed fungi-phile and amateur mycologist. When not digging through the duff they can be found reading up on gardening and permaculture practices, participating in creative kitchen experiments, or hunched over one of the various artistic endeavors that they have decided to undertake.

Marco Grubert

Marco Grubert

Principal Graphics Engineer

Marco started out learning machine language on a game console in the 1980s. Since then, he's published programs in disk magazines, designed a VR headset in the 90s and now has over 20 years of commercial software development experience, most of which is games-related.
He has worked on several mobile titles (including Emoji Blitz, Club Penguin, and Star Wars Rivals).

Marco’s love of creating things extends outside the workplace. He can often be found constructing something using woodworking, metalworking, sewing, 3D printing, or electrical engineering. He also plays all types of games (and several instruments), enjoys ballroom dancing, and is a certified pilot and scuba diver.

Likes: strongly typed languages
Dislikes: undocumented code

Danielle Bartholomew

Danielle Bartholomew

Senior Community Manager

Danielle is a passionate, dorky gamer with over a decade of experience in the gaming industry. She’s worked on such titles as DC Universe Online, Planetside 2, and Ashes of Creation in customer support and community management. Danielle enjoys being able to get her creative juices flowing and engage with communities in fun, positive ways. She especially loves connecting with people through social media - you’ll often find her on Twitter sharing gifs, cat memes, and supporting fellow gamers.

When she’s not gaming, she can be found baking new recipes (who wants cookies?!), nerding out about Harry Potter, hiking, and traveling with her husband.

(Pronouns: she/her/hers)

Dan Silberberger

Dan Silberberger

Head of Business Development

Dan Silberberger focuses on business and corporate development for Playable Worlds. Starting in the earliest days of mobile games, Dan wound up touching virtually every part of the business. Dan previously served in various roles for numerous companies, including Huuuge Games, Venan Entertainment, EA, JAMDAT, Nextel, Saban, and DreamWorks, where he focused on distribution, publishing, and licensing.

At home, Dan occupies his time biking, hiking, and playing video games with his family.

Bruce Ferguson

Bruce Ferguson

Chief of Staff

Bruce Ferguson has had a sordid history. Starting in Hotel Management, then on to Mortgage Collection, he has touched many aspects of game development. He started in the Games industry in the age of text based MUDs, as a GM/Game Designer/Customer Service/GM. Moving on to Sony Online Entertainment, he worked as a Community Representative, before moving on to help bring EverQuest II to market. Eventually he became the Director of Project Management for all the SOE studios. He later spent some time with Disney on another cancelled project, before moving on to RockYou, where he helped manage several overseas studios. The most recent stint was with Electronic Arts in Austin, TX. He loves steak, drinking cola, and playing board games.

Abby Suarez

Abby Suarez

Senior Gameplay Engineer

Abby has worked in several places in San Diego, mostly in Frontend Development roles, though her responsibilities would often crossover into Backend and DevOps. She’s worked in product liaison roles where, especially at small startups, there is no product owner and she’s had to make sure to guide and focus the product as well as architect and implement development.

Abby is a big fan of JS, Typescript, and React because these technologies have allowed UIs to reach new levels of performance, organization, and speed. Not to mention they also have ability to deploy to basically any platform, web, native apps for mobile and PCs, servers, and even micro controllers.

Abby has been playing video games since she was a kid. And since learning that anyone can make them, has been self-studying to be able to make her own. Games are what inspired her to learn how to program and from that she became more interested in the web development world. Although she’s yet to publish a full game title, she’s always working on some small game and finds that her studies carry over really well to creating performant and easy-to-use web UI.

(Pronouns: she/her/hers)

Samuel Corbin

Samuel Corbin

Senior Gameplay Engineer

Sam is a linguist-turned-cognitive-scientist-turned-game developer. He got started in the industry as a MUD developer, and has always maintained a special interest in how players learn game systems and how those systems shape and interact with the social world of multiplayer games.

Sam has played a wide variety of games as far back as he can remember, from MMO raidleading to competitive FPS to story-heavy RPGs and experimental indie games. He's yet to find the game that doesn't have something worth looking at more closely. In his spare time, when he isn't playing video games, he's designing and running tabletop games.

Rodney Haza

Rodney Haza

Producer

Rodney has 15 years of experience in the gaming industry working on games ranging from the Everquest Franchise, PlanetSide, and Free Realms to console products on the PS3 and PSP. He has worn many hats over the years working in QA, CS, Programming and Production. Outside of work, he can often be found defending the world from the zombie apocalypse and playing other sandbox games.

Sarah Inman

Sarah Inman

Senior QA Analyst

Sarah has been breaking games and finding their secrets since she was a wee human. When she gets a game, she is finding their easter eggs, the hidden passages, the secret levels and getting into areas she was not supposed to be. With an endless amount of curiosity, she has done many different things during her career life, but video games are her passion.

In her free time, Sarah likes to hang out with her cat and discuss current events. Such as, the best napping locations and how the birds in the tree outside are plotting devious plans. She also enjoys drawing, painting, sculpting and being in nature.

Nick Hand

Nick Hand

Character Artist

Nick Hand is a character artist and recent graduate with experience creating vibrant and exciting characters for the games industry. He has worked with companies such as Netease Games and Rushdown Revolt developing 3D characters for production. He is passionate about seeing the characters he creates come to life and become a relatable part of a larger world and experience.

In his free time he enjoys exploring a variety of creative activities like 3D printing, building PCs, or playing games online with his friends.

Brian Youn

Brian Youn

Senior Concept Artist

Brian Youn is a concept artist with ten years of professional experience creating wondrous environments at companies such as Blizzard and Gameloft. He enjoys his free time playing video games, watching movies, or collecting and/or assembling Gunpla.

Tony Davis

Tony Davis

Human Resources Director

Tony is an HR veteran who loves video games. He spent several years leading the Human Resources department at J!NX, overseeing multiple employee-only video game tournaments in addition to his HR duties. He also has experience in the legal, shipping, and medical industries. Outside of his main career, Tony also performs as a referee for several independent pro wrestling promotions in Southern California. In his spare time, Tony enjoys comic books (Transformers, Judge Dredd, Punisher), video games, collecting Hasbro WWF figures, watching re-runs of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and listening to heavy metal.

John Brown

John Brown

Principal Animator

John has been making games since the 90’s. While working one day, he overheard some co-workers discussing the troubles their Sims were going through at home after one of them burned up in a kitchen fire. Immediately concerned for the lives of The Sims, John joined Maxis and spent 18 years creating animations for Sims 2, Sims 3, and Sims 4. He even helped put the Sims on the Nintendo 3DS. After a brief stint with ZeniMax Media on Elder Scrolls Online, John found a place to contribute with Playable Worlds.

Tyler Cook

Tyler Cook

Client Engineer

Tyler is a Unity developer with 10 years of experience. About 9 of those years have been used for developing business applications with Unity instead of games. Some examples are level design tools for people conducting research with how a department store or hospital room is laid out. He's from a small town of less than 500 people and has enjoyed playing MMOs since he first got the internet back in 1997. He is sometimes somewhat amazed that he is helping Playable Worlds make their new vision.

Aiden Wallace

Aiden Wallace

Producer

Aiden is a newcomer to the gaming industry, though she brings with her 8+ years of software team management, business development, and marketing experience. So far, her career has spanned such diverse industries as OSHA compliance, fleet telematics, and veterinary medicine. She’s worked for a variety of companies ranging in scope from 3 person startups to the Watson Data Platform department of IBM.

In her free time, Aiden is an avid fan of the God of War franchise, plays tabletop RPGs, and goes to way too many LARPs. She has two very spoiled cats, and an ever-growing collection of houseplants.

Kevin Burns

Kevin Burns

Art Generalist

Kevin is an industry veteran who started making games professionally in 1996. He has created environment levels, props, and artwork for PC, console, and handheld games. His career has been mainly focused on MMO titles like EverQuest, Planetside 2, and DC Universe Online, but he has also developed games on PlayStation 2, Playstation 3, and Sony’s PSP.

When not creating or playing video games, Kevin enjoys tabletop games, as well as hiking, cycling, and cat memes.

Ben Giacobbi

Ben Giacobbi

Prototype Designer

Ben is a game designer, level designer, programmer, digital artist, and writer who loves to build projects from the ground up. He’s eager to get done well before the deadline and then add his own personal touches. His favorite way to relax from working on projects is to work on other projects, always seeking to add a few folds to his brain.

In his free time, Ben writes, draws, bowls, and gets lost in decades-long media franchises. He loves watching perspectives change, stories expand, and design processes evolve, and always wants to stick his nose into something that will last a lifetime. Right now, he’s probably agonizing over another RWBY hiatus.

(Pronouns: he/him/his)

Cindy Armstrong

Cindy Armstrong

Chief Administrative Officer

Cindy Armstrong is an online entertainment, internet and games industry executive with over 25 years of experience in general management, start-ups, finance, operations, strategic planning, product development and business development. Cindy’s first foray into product launches was with Nintendo of America where she worked directly for the president forecasting and then purchasing hardware, software and accessories for the Nintendo 64. Cindy’s background includes serving as Co-Studio head for an unannounced Activision title, Regional Director of Administration at Wargaming.net, CEO of Webzen America and Vice President of Business Development and International Operations at Sony Online Entertainment. Cindy thrives in start-up environments where she can help build teams, stressing innovation, accountability and efficiency.

Yvette Han

Yvette Han

UI/UX Designer

Yvette has a mixed background in tech, art, and psychology. She has worked on several mobile titles such as Love Nikki and has been actively participating in various game projects in different roles. She is dedicated to combining points of artistic aesthetics to enhance and evolve a delightful and intuitive game experience.

Besides playing or making games, Yvette enjoys anime, Lolita fashion, reading, learning new skills, and volunteering to make other lives better.

Meghann Bledsoe

Meghann Bledsoe

Designer/World Builder

Meghann is a designer with a passion for odd ball games and mechanics who tends to geek out over the topic to anyone around. She started out in QA and has been focusing on learning from every team she can.

In her spare time, she reads a lot of fantasy adventure books and plays D&D with her fantastic group of creative friends.

William Carson

William Carson

Associate Gameplay Engineer

Carson is a hobby game dev who found his way to a professional career by arguing with other hobby game developers on Discord. His dream is to grow a Rasputin beard and he was voted "Most likely to program a sapient AI that goes on to destroy humanity" class of 2013. Carson prides himself on having spent thousands of hours playing games like "Path of Exile" and "Rainbow Six: Siege" while still managing to be pretty bad at them. He has a fat lazy cat and a skinny energetic dog, both of whom he loves very much."

(Pronouns: he/him)

Brandon Hooks

Brandon Hooks

Technical Animator

Brandon is a technical animator with a passion for animation and is excited at making characters come to life. He is a newcomer to the games industry but is no stranger when it comes to video games. He is always ready for an adventure and looks forward to new challenges.

In his free time, he enjoys going camping, playing video games, reading, learning, and watching films. And now for something completely different, he is also a fan of Monty Python and anything made by Mel Brooks.

Rick Reynolds

Rick Reynolds

Marketing Director

Rick first fell in love with MMORPGs as a beta-tester for Meridian 59 and helped convince his employer The 3DO Company to acquire the developer, Archetype Interactive. He launched Age of Conan in North America for Eidos & Funcom. He has been a marketing director for CCP Games, The 3DO Company, Infogrames, Hudson Soft, Empire Interactive, 38 Studios, and Hands-On Mobile. He led the Player Studio project at Sony Online Entertainment/Daybreak Games. He leads a null-sec alliance in EVE Online and plays Dungeons & Dragons with the same group since the late 1970s.

Pronouns: he/him

Lee Wagner

Lee Wagner

Lead Environment Artist

Lee has been in the game industry for around 14 years, working on a variety of games from MMOs such as Wildstar, VR, to Metroidvanias such as Bloodstained and more. Every game is a new and wonderful problem, in visual and gameplay needs, to solve together with the team as well as the opportunity to dig in and be creative. That experience of game development is an everyday passion and will be for years to come.

Outside of work Lee likes to spend time in a number of ways: playing games of all sorts, reading, hiking/biking, doing historical research projects, spending time with friends, making art, and making/building things.

Majick Robinson

Majick Robinson

Finance Manager

Majick is a detailed and highly ethical accounting and office management professional with over 25 successful years of combined experience in office management, accounting operations, events/meeting/conference planning, purchasing, and staff/vendor relations. She is a powerful force in the workplace and uses her positive attitude and tireless energy to encourage others to work hard and succeed.

In her free time, she loves watching sports, playing video games, hiking/walking, listening to audiobooks, and playing with her critters!

Alan Reck

Alan Reck

Senior Gameplay Engineer

Alan C. Reck is a veteran game engineer and designer, with over twenty years of game development experience.  Alan has led quite a varied career, from leading an independent game studio (ZoopTEK) for twenty years, to pioneering VR game technology, running an e-sports competition in Austria, designing and teaching game engineering curriculum, to building 3D asset pipelines, oftentimes all in parallel!  Alan has developed dozens of titles, and was one of the earliest independent game developers on Steam.

Mike Paddock

Mike Paddock

Engineering Program Manager

Mike is a lifelong lover of games in all their forms: card games, TTRPGs, board games, physical games (e.g., billiards and bowling), and especially video games. He began his career in online games during the mid-1990s, doing customer service while learning game scripting in his free time. He then quickly moved into roles overseeing technical design, gameplay implementation, and game technology development. Mike is a spouse, and a father of two. When he and his family aren't gaming, they are often hiking, camping, or otherwise exploring.

Arthur Littlefield

Arthur Littlefield

Client Engineer

Arthur has been creating interactive software for over a decade, from consumer products to military applications and until now had only worked on games for fun. For fun he plays DND, works on game jams, and practices bass guitar at his home in Portland with his wife and two cats.

Valerie Zaroli

Valerie Zaroli

Art Manager

Valerie has been making games since the mid 90’s. She has worked on PC, Console, Mobile and Social Games. (Sims 2, Sims 3, Nascar games*, The Godfather)*

She is passionate about working with artists and collaborating with all the different teams to create strong pipelines and high impact visual content. Working on a game is always a new adventure!

Outside of work Valerie likes to paint, particularly birds, (a bit obsessed with birds), hike, run, and spend time in nature.

Datwon Mitchell

Datwon Mitchell

Test Automation Engineer

Datwon has loved video games since he was a 4 year old, starting with Crash Bandicoot on Sony’s Playstation One console. He got into game dev after his father built him a PC around the age of 10, creating small scale 2D multiplayer games with his friends in a programming language called DM. He ended up picking up test automation and quality assurance as other hobbies during his high school years while attempting to find better ways to debug the game projects he was working on.

After getting married and overcoming some of the obstacles that life has to offer, Datwon pivoted for 5 years to the software development industry and found that while developing applications were challenging and inspiring, what was missing was the passion Datwon had for games. After some failures and heartbreaks, as well as critical lessons learned, Datwon is allowed the opportunity to come back to the world of game development at Playable Worlds.

Outside of work Datwon enjoys playing video games with his wife (usually MMOs), programming, watching anime, caring for his two cats, and weightlifting.

Sean Weeden

Sean Weeden

Graphic Designer

Sean is an experienced graphic designer and digital marketing professional who is excited to be joining the team at Playable Worlds. His background in the consumer packaged goods industry and history as an artist has readied him to tackle branding, marketing, art, and design in the world of gaming.

In his free time, Sean plays a wide variety of games (FPS, RPGs, Rogue-likes, open-world, action/adventure, MMOs, etc.), plays guitar, writes music, and is a photographer.

Evan Galleguillos

Evan Galleguillos

Concept Artist

Evan Galleguillos is a concept artist and illustrator with a passion for delivering well-crafted imagery that resonates with the viewer. He's spent over eight years cultivating his skills through work in video games, live action, stylized film animation, and more.

As a major gamer at heart, Evan loves exploring fantastical worlds along with the characters, creatures, and places within them. Whether it be a world of his design or yours.

Hayley Ancona

Hayley Ancona

QA Manager

Hayley has been in QA since 2012, and has worked on titles such as The Last of Us, Beyond Two Souls, and Gravity Rush 2. People are often surprised when someone continues to pursue a career in QA- but Hayley enjoys the feeling of seeing a game as it's being built. To her, investigating defects feels a bit like being a detective, and creating a test strategy feels like being a city planner.

In her spare time, she loves playing games- and learning more about them. She also enjoys road trips, growing her succulent plant collection, celebrating Halloween three months too early, and Youtube video essay deep dives on obscure topics.

(Pronouns: she/her)

Stephen G. Wells

Stephen G. Wells

Lead Character Artist

In almost 28 years in video game development, Stephen G. Wells has been an expert Lead/Senior Character artist, Outsource Art Manager, Art Director, Gameplay Story writer and on top of all of that, has found time to be a 3D Instructor (both online and in-person classes) for the past 15+ years as well. Having been an artist his entire life, he fell into 3D modelling and never looked back! Often referred to as “The Monster Guy”, Stephen has a passion for creating anything from Godzilla to Bambi and all while keeping an upbeat, positive attitude throughout saying: “When I wake up in the morning, it’s a good day…….because I woke up in the morning!!” Besides having almost 8000 action figures, Stephen's now exploring the world of 3D printing so he can look to make his own figures and statues. Stephen is also a big horror aficionado (“Go Lovecraft!!!”), loves sci-fi, fantasy, good animated comedies and classic black and white silent movies....oh, and chocolate...lots of chocolate!