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

Co-Founder

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.

Dorian Ouer

Dorian Ouer

CTO

Dorian Ouer has two decades of experience working in online games and massively scalable services, from the level of individual content development and game server engineering, to senior leadership roles building and leading multi-disciplinary organizations of 100+ engineers, product and project managers, quality assurance testers, and technical leaders. His teams have experience developing everything from online desktop and mobile games, to machine learning-based fraud and abuse evaluation systems, autonomous interactive robots, direct-to-consumer video streaming, and VR cave systems for real-world theme park layout design.

Mat Broome

Mat Broome

Studio Art Director

Mat Broome has created art and visual technical pipelines in games, television and film, working as an Art and Visual Director. He has shipped cross platform co-op and multiplayer games in genres that include MMO’s, RPG’s and Battle Royales. He has shown leadership during challenging productions, and worked on successful games such as DC Universe, H1Z1 and Planetside 2, as well as in media production, including Amazing Spider-Man, film projects with Legendary Film Studio, and Marvel Entertainment. In addition, as a professional illustrator Mat drew over 100 titles for Marvel, DC, and other publishers, and has been a Wizards top 10 creator on multiple occasions.

Jessica Hartung

Jessica Hartung

Senior Producer

Jessica has over a decade of experience in games, software, and consumer products, as well as a deep personal passion for gaming. She's worked for companies like Disney, Metaplace, and Playdom in a variety of roles, as well as spending time working with The Op to create tabletop games featuring some of the most beloved brands and IPs in the world. In addition to her professional experience in the games industry, she is also deeply involved in several tabletop and live action RPG communities and has helped facilitate events for groups ranging from three to three thousand participants.

(pronouns: she/her/hers or they/them/theirs)

Brian Crowder

Brian Crowder

Lead Server Engineer

Brian Crowder is an industry veteran with experience shipping and leading live-operations for web, console and mobile games scaling into multiple millions of daily users. He also spent several years at Mozilla extending and improving the JavaScript engine in the Firefox web browser, and working on mobile ports of the browser itself.

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.

Stacey McMahon

Stacey McMahon

Director of Business Operations & HR

Stacey McMahon is a strategic business partner offering twenty years of progressive, wide-ranging experience throughout the computer gaming industry. She’s a leader who understands how to integrate HR strategy with operations to drive change, build organizational alignment, further leadership goals, and improve the employee experience.

In her free time Stacey enjoys traveling the world, reading a good novel, and spending time with her husband and 2 dogs. She is also a member of a whiskey society, a beer club, and more wine clubs than she cares to admit to, but it's good to have hobbies!

(Pronouns: she/her/hers)

Michael Seare

Michael Seare

Lead Client Engineer

Michael Seare is an industry veteran with over 17 years of experience developing interactive entertainment technologies and products. He developed and shipped many successful mobile and console games for Disney, Sony, THQ, and Namco Bandai. He also created several products for Walt Disney Imagineering, including an award winning alternate reality experience based on The Haunted Mansion.

Patrick Ferland

Patrick Ferland

Lead Gameplay Engineer

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)

Ian Shadden

Ian Shadden

Lead Technical Artist

Ian has 12 years experience working in multiple facets of the industry, be it production focused technical art and animation or developer relations providing support and documentation to thousands of developer teams, he has had a singular focus on being a force multiplier. He's supported both internal and external developers at Epic Games, Emergent Game Technologies, Magic Leap, and Kung Fu Factory.

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.

Robert Ortega

Robert Ortega

Senior Concept Artist

Robert is a skilled concept artist with over six years of experience creating immersive and narrative driven character art for PC, mobile, and tabletop games. Notable contributions have included character concept art for studios such as Riot Games, PocketGems, and Level-5. He has also had the opportunity to share his passion and technical skill teaching at Laguna College of Art and Design, his alma mater.

Light Bates

Light Bates

Prototyper

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)

Allen Danklefsen

Allen Danklefsen

Senior Server Engineer

Allen has been in games and the gaming industry for over 15 years, at companies such as LEGO, Warner Brothers, and Hard Rock. A versatile engineer and technical leader, he's been involved in many aspects of development including open source engine creation, game play for MOBAs, tools and database work for the hospitality and gaming industry, and live operations for the mobile and MMO space. An accomplishment he's most proud of is helping to lead the live efforts for LEGO Universe, and he desires to bring the best experience to players!

Brian Hughes

Brian Hughes

Senior Client 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.

Davina Armstrong

Davina Armstrong

Lead Quality Assurance Engineer

Davina brings more than 25 years of QA experience with her to Playable Worlds. She started out as a black box tester with no experience with computers whatsoever. After completing Berkeley's Computer Science Reentry program, she returned to QA as an SDET. Over the years, she has become more and more passionate about QA and the role that it plays in successful companies and products.

In her free time, when she's lucky, she spends time with her adult children. Otherwise, she hangs out with her 4 cats and mini dachshund, often while watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer (currently on her 17th re-watch).

(Pronouns: she/her/hers)

Steve Meretzky

Steve Meretzky

Senior Designer

Steve was born in Yonkers NY, where he grew up rooting for the Mets and against Richard Nixon. He graduated from MIT, and got his start in the game industry for the legendary adventure game company Infocom, where his titles included "Planetfall," "Zork Zero," and "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." Steve was co-founder of Boffo Games, and has held leadership positions at Disney, GSN, and King. He has done consulting work for Activision, Blizzard, Harmonix, Hasbro, Draft Kings, Google, and many more. Steve is co-organizer of the annual Game Designers Workshop, is an advisor to the GDC's Free-to-Play Summit, and is the founder of Postmortem, the monthly gathering of Boston-area game developers. He enjoys bicycling, movies, board games, and heavily-peated Scotch.

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."

Sean Hewitt

Sean Hewitt

Lead Technical Animator

Sean Hewitt has over a decade of experience in the games industry working on everything from kids' games like Club Penguin to FPS games like Halo. He's worked with companies such as Wargaming, Microsoft, Google, and Disney, where he built production pipelines and oversaw the development and setup of characters, vehicles, weapons and animations to run on mobile, console, PC and AR platforms.

In his spare time Sean does 3D prints. He customizes and paints various figures (Mostly Transformers) and he's done Bujinkan (Ninjutsu and Jujutsu) for over 10 years.

(Pronouns: he/him/his)

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.

Steve Moore

Steve Moore

Lead Character Artist

Steve Moore has been making characters and art since he was a young lad. He started working in the games industry back in 1998 and has thoroughly enjoyed the ride ever since. He's worked on 15 shipped titles to date, including a number of the Ratchet & Clank games from Insomniac Games, and more recently the critically acclaimed "The Walking Dead" series by Telltale. Steve's focus has always been character creation and he draws inspiration from many places, including comics, games, film, illustration, and life. In his free time Steve likes to surf (not very well, but he has fun) and sketch ideas for new characters and stories.

Richard Hopper

Richard Hopper

Senior Animator

Richard's career in the animation industry has spanned 15 years, including cinematic work on titles such as Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, Death Stranding and The Last of Us Part II. He has also spent several stints in New Zealand working for Weta Digital as a motion editor on award winning movies like Planet of the Apes and Alita: Battle Angel.

Outside of work he enjoys drawing, rock climbing, and exploring San Diego with his wife.