Design & Studio Operations@amirsrao
Amir grew up in the very place in which Supergiant Games was originally headquartered – the same home in which he took up hosting pen-and-paper role-playing sessions at the tender age of 10. To this day, he still DMs to the same group, which includes our very own Darren Korb! Contrary to the impression this must give, he did move out of his parents’ house for a while. After majoring in English at Columbia University, he joined Electronic Arts to work on the Command & Conquer franchise, where he was responsible for design on Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars and Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3. Along with his colleague Gavin, he left the studio in 2009 to form Supergiant Games in his ongoing quest to give back to gaming what gaming’s given him. At Supergiant, Amir oversees production of our games, designs and tunes much of the gameplay in them, and takes point on many other day-to-day operations. However, his greatest accomplishment may or may not be the following Diablo II-inspired music video.
Diablo II (PC), Defense of the Ancients (PC)
Engineering & Design@gavinvsimon
Gavin was born in the same month the Nintendo Entertainment System shipped to North America, and it wasn’t long before he wrenched that controller away from older kids’ hands. And he never let go. Like a modern-day boy-raised-by-wolves (OK maybe not), Gavin was fostered by the likes of Mario, Link, Samus, Mega Man, and other iconic heroes from the golden age of games. Gavin got his start in the game industry at the wee age of 15, when he joined Westwood Studios as a tester on Command & Conquer: Yuri’s Revenge, and subsequently worked on every title from that team including C&C Generals and Zero Hour, The Battle for Middle-earth and its sequel, C&C 3, and Red Alert 3. During this tenure, Gavin soon rose from the ranks of QA due to his proficiency as an engineer and designer, as well as his surpassing skill as a player – he was 1v1 ladder champion on both Generals and C&C 3. At Supergiant, Gavin lends his mad APM to building our engine and tools, and all aspects of our games, from systems to characters and everything in between.
Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES), Command & Conquer Red Alert (PC), The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES)
Music & Audio@darrenkorb
A childhood friend of Amir’s, Darren likewise hails from the exciting and completely flat city of San Jose, CA, which afforded him with the peace and solitude in which to follow his muse and hone his musical craft from a young age (and play a lot of D&D). Darren is a composer and musician who’s worked in film and television, in addition to authoring songs for the Rock Band network – something that combines his lifelong love of music with his lifelong love of games. It tells you something about this guy that in 2010 he reigned as the Rock Band 2 national champion. Seriously, you should see the photos. At Supergiant Games, Darren is a one-man band who provides all of our outstanding audio, from creating sound effects to recording all the voiceover that brings our games to life, and, of course, to crafting the award-winning and unforgettable musical scores so vital to the atmosphere. He also seems to know more good places to eat than anyone who has ever lived.
Marble Madness (NES), Fallout 2 (PC), Rock Band 2 (Xbox 360)
Jen hails from beautiful, sunny Seattle, which was so sunny, in fact, that she was forced inside from out of the oppressive heat and light and into cooler places such as Dracula’s castle and Shadow Moses Island. Like the rest of the team at Supergiant, she’s been playing games practically since she can remember, even as she honed her artistic abilities in media ranging from comics to tabletop games to massively multiplayer online games. We were instantly impressed with her incredible talent for creating vivid characters and places, and she somehow managed as the only artist on our team throughout development of our first game, Bastion. As our fearless art director, Jen now operates alongside an S-tier squad of elite artists who together form a sort of Art Voltron. Among them, Jen continues to create the lush, imaginative hand-painted artwork that defines the distinctive look of our gameworlds and all their colorful denizens.
Metal Gear Solid (PS), Final Fantasy Tactics (PS), Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PS)
A Boston native, Andrew is your typical Red Sox / Patriots / Celtics / Counter-Strike fan with a master’s in computer science and electrical engineering from MIT who worked on Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2. Fact: We have never seen this guy lose his cool. NOT ONCE. And that's from having worked with him for years and even shared paying the rent for an L.A. apartment for a while, so safe to say we’ve been through enough situations together in which lesser men would have gone ballistic. But not Andrew. He's been some places, too. He’s taught computer science in China and volunteered at an orphanage in Morocco among other things. Though, once all that pesky philanthropy was out of his system (temporarily, at least), Andrew proceeded to join Infinity Ward where he worked on a couple of amazingly successful shooters. He since joined Supergiant Games, where he serves as our chief technical officer, seeing to it that any game we make runs beautifully on any platform we decide we want to be on.
Sid Meier’s Civilization (PC), Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness (PC), Counter-Strike (PC)
Writing & Design@kasavin
After his parents whisked him away from the land of tolerance and freedom that was the Soviet Union, Greg must have subconsciously decided to take full advantage of the land of opportunity here in the United States by spending a disproportionate amount of time playing video games as a kid -- just about anything he could get his hands on, from quarter-munching arcade shoot-’em-ups, to sprawling computer role-playing games. He started writing about games professionally in high school, and wound up working at the gaming web site GameSpot for more than 10 years, during which time he rose from intern all the way to editor-in-chief (earning degrees in English literature and business administration on the side). In spite of this long stretch in the gaming press, Greg never lost sight of his childhood dream of making games. He finally got his first shot in 2007 when he joined EA LA, where he met Amir Rao and Gavin Simon while working on Command & Conquer 3 and Red Alert 3. They became fast friends, and reunited at Supergiant, where Greg is responsible for conjuring up the gameworlds, characters, and stories that define our games.
Ultima V (Apple II), Street Fighter II (Arcade)
A longtime friend of Darren’s and Amir’s, Logan hails from San Jose but moved back east to study… just about everything besides acting. Yet by the time Logan finished college, he knew that acting was his true calling, thanks in part to an education rife with classical theater and visual arts kids. Armed with this realization, he took the obvious next step: He moved to Brooklyn and “got jobs shelving comic books in Times Square and tearing tickets at an arthouse cinema in Greenwich Village,” as he puts it. Thankfully he does fit some acting gigs into his schedule from time to time, and has “appeared in countless low budget/no budget movies.” We were very pleased, then, to feature Logan Cunningham in his first starring performance in a low budget/no budget game, which was our debut title, Bastion! To this end, when Logan first starting doing voiceover work for Bastion in early 2010, he only needed to step into Darren’s bedroom to record since the two of them were roommates at the time. As the voice of Bastion’s narrator, Logan not only delivers the game’s story but also gives it its humanity. His incredible performances have featured prominently in every one of our games since.
The Secret of Monkey Island (PC), Wing Commander II (PC), Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II (PC)
Michael survived a childhood in Orange County, CA to become stronger, more resilient, meaner… qualities that made him well suited for a variety of vocations ranging from (we’re not even kidding) Disneyland crowd-herder, wine steward, canoe guide, taqueria chef, and elementary school tutor, to name a few. He joined Supergiant as our office manager, where he was basically all these things at the same time. He's since taken on matters of greater and greater import to the fate of our universe, and is responsible for studio operations from HR to finance, overseeing our increasingly elaborate presence at various shows and cons, connecting us with platforms and ratings agencies, delving deep into the darkest reaches of legalese, and (sometimes unfortunately for Michael) much, much more. We're pretty sure that he could name you the director of every movie ever made, and he even claims he can speak fluent French, further rousing our suspicions that he’s in fact an international spy come to liberate all of the Bastion narrator’s darkest secrets that we locked away on zip drive and then misplaced while we were moving from San Jose to San Francisco.
Castlevania (NES), Half-Life 2 (PC), Kingdom Hearts (PS2)
3D Art & Animation@MiloAnimates
To list the talents of Mr. Camilo Vanegas would require more room than exists on the Internet, or less exaggeration, but suffice it to say he made it very easy for us to increase the size of our art department by 100% when we met him not long after finishing work on our first game. Not that it was easy to find an artist of Camilo’s caliber. For one thing, he does it all: modeling, rigging, texturing, and animating. And he stood out as having a very rare talent for capturing in 3D the kind of nuance and texture that’s key to our art director Jen Zee’s style. On top of that, Camilo’s vibrant animation brings out an emotional depth we couldn’t have achieved before, often in stunningly efficient fashion thanks to downright cruel frame-count limits imposed by game design or complicated technical constraints. Nonetheless, he's brought to life such characters as Red from Transistor and Rukey from Pyre, and in fact, pretty much anytime you see something moving wonderfully throughout one of our worlds, it's by Camilo's hand. Camilo graduated from the Academy of Art in San Francisco not long before joining us. His past work has appeared on TV and in advertising as well as in art exhibitions and festivals, though it's been our pleasure to feature it in video games for the first time.
SimCity (PC), Age of Empires (PC)
QA & Production@mwren
Morgan developed a discerning eye for games, and a knack for breaking them and picking them apart, in the halcyon days of console gaming. He brings to Supergiant his significant experience testing games on both sides of the North American coast: After getting his start doing QA on a variety of games from the 2K Sports lineup (such as the mesmerizing Amped 3), he later made his way to New York, where he joined Area/Code, makers of the classic mobile game Drop7 and the wildly popular social game Parking Wars. His time working with smaller independent teams on original games made for some of his best development experiences, so one day he came to Supergiant in search of more. Turns out he was just the guy for the job. Maybe it was his closet full of T-shirts of obscure Northern California garage punk / metal bands (e.g. Barren Altar), or his stories of train-hopping across the coast. Or maybe it was his disposition as a methodical, no-nonsense bug hunter and his good taste in games. Either way, he very quickly earned his stripes as Supergiant’s in-house quality assurance expert, and now spearheads not just our own QA, but the production of a bunch of our internal projects. He still makes time for music and rugged adventures in the great outdoors.
Secret of Mana (SNES), River City Ransom (NES), Shining Force II (GEN)
Visual FX & UI@kirbyLFO
At a key point during Transistor’s development, as we were gearing up to publicly unveil the game, a lone artist swooped in like Batman and made the whole game look so much better in so little time, that, well... to be honest it was kind of embarrassing for the rest of us. His talent for producing crisp, visually stunning effects work couldn’t have been more obvious. In hindsight, this was no surprise, as Mr. Josh Barnett came very highly recommended by none other than Jen our art director, who worked with him at Gaia Online. Josh’s other strong suits include such virtues as modesty and determination, for when asked to cite some of his notable accomplishments, he was quick to describe the time in Dark Souls when he took down Great Grey Wolf Sif while rocking his then-1-month-old daughter to sleep. With no blue phantom support or anything! Before he got started in the industry, Josh was fascinated by the PC demoscene, how visual art, music, and technology could produce beautiful results — sometimes in just 128 kilobytes or so. It took playing through Final Fantasy VII back in high school for him to realize that his love of computer art and his love of games could not only be reconciled, it could become a career. Whenever you see something spectacular light up in one of our games, you rest assured that's Josh.
Doom (PC), Final Fantasy Tactics (PS), Planescape: Torment (PC)
John-Paul, to whom we refer by acronym, is your modern-day renaissance man insofar as he's done everything from English tutoring at community college, to shooting and editing positively gorgeous wedding videos, to technical support at a very popular technology store chain designed in California, to brewing cups of coffee (or pints of beer) you could buy for less than the price of one our games on a Steam sale. Through all this we were lucky to find him, because he instantly became the backbone of our previously-backbreaking efforts such as shipping all the wonderful merchandise available at our online store, keeping our studio so well-stocked that everything is magically at our disposal always, making sure we make a splash whenever we take this show on the road to various events, and more. Thanks to his help, our studio has grown, and found a permanent location in the heart of San Francisco, where JP works with everybody else on team, and thousands of our customers, to make sure all is well. A Southern California native, he and Michael go way back -- they've been through thick and thin together in the past, and nowadays get to soak up still more of that good old Life Experience together here at Supergiant.
Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem (GameCube), LIMBO (Xbox 360), The Beginner's Guide (PC)
When he wasn't busy absolutely crushing other kids at foosball (sometimes literally single-handedly), a young Dexter Friedman kept plugging away at GameMaker, teaching himself the intricacies of the craft. This know-how, the game development experience more so than the superhuman foosball talent, brought him to Pocketwatch Games, where he helped develop the excellent real-time strategy game, Tooth and Tail. At Supergiant, Dexter has the vital responsibility of bringing our small but growing library of titles to more and more platforms, so as many folks out there can play them as can be! Dexter hails from California's Bay Area, where he's the eldest of three siblings. Some of the games that left an indelible mark on him range from Nintendo classics such as The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and Super Smash Bros. Melee, to deep strategy games such as Civilization V and FTL: Faster Than Light. But if he really had to narrow it down, these are his...
Sim City 4 (PC), Metroid Prime (GC), Rocket League (PC)
In the days of yore, if you wanted to become a game developer, basically you needed to drop out of comp sci and use your nerdy programming know-how not to make banking software but rather to make 2D sprites render onscreen then do stuff when someone pressed a key or a button. Nowadays, thankfully, they have honest-to-goodness schools to teach folks how to do all this properly, sometimes even using polygons instead of sprites. And, Eduardo here rose through the ranks of one of the most famous of such schools: DigiPen. His senior project, a game called Guardian of the Gears, even was a 2018 Independent Games Festival finalist. We were struck by his mindset toward collaborative game-making, as well as his experience with his student projects and his past work as an associate designer on Marvel Heroes, and he's been helping us make better games from the moment he joined. Born in Mexico and raised in San Diego, Ed grew up playing everything from platformers to strategy games to massively multiplayer RPGs, and even somehow learned to cook a mean paella for good measure.
World of Warcraft (PC), Age of Mythology (PC), Super Mario 64 (N64)
Engineering & Design@alonkulous
Alice brought to us that most-excellent and quite frankly overpowered character class combination of game design and engineering expertise, multiplying our capacity to actually make stuff work pretty much overnight. No wonder, as we were super impressed with her personal game projects (playable at https://umbrella-isle.itch.io/), not to mention her experience. Hailing from the suburbs of Philadelphia, close enough to the city's epicenter to where everybody knew the theme to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air by heart, she picked up plenty of know-how working at PopCap Games (creators of Plants vs. Zombies among many other titles; PvZ was one of the games that inspired the founding of Supergiant), and later this one company you've probably never heard of that makes a search engine and stuff and rhymes with 'frugal'. More importantly, she claims to have made her very own Horrible Ball of Teeth using materials purchased online and some sculpy; this was not part of her background check, and we haven't pursued the matter in further detail, to be honest.
Final Fantasy VI (SNES), Cave Story (PC), Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective (DS)
Our games here at Supergiant have taken on some signature characteristics over time, not the least of which is their distinctive visual style if-we-say-so-ourselves. So, it's not just any artist who can walk in here and not just live up to the look and feel of our past work, but help us make even more vibrant, imaginative, fantastical worlds than we've ever made before. We are, of course, referring to Joanne, who joined us after having worked at EA Visceral and Sledgehammer Games, where she produced these stunning and incredibly moody environment concepts for those studios' spectacular first-person shooters. That work won us over straightaway, and here at Supergiant she instantly took to our weird proprietary tools and got busy making wonderful-looking places we're excited for you to see. When she's not casually belting out stunning works of art, Joanne has been known to mass-breed some of the most vicious strains of Pokémon this side of Kalos region, and is rumored even to be able to bust a mean rhyme.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (NS), Persona series (PS), League of Legends (PC)
Studio & Community@sofreshsales
Caitlin came to us from the SoCal town of Whittier, where she'd been working on stage productions, from costumes to lighting and much more, after having done stints at major retailers, major coffee chains, and even at a major theme park where she got to do her best old-west accent while in full costume, to the delight of children all the world over. This roll-up-her-sleeves attitude, and her long-standing affection for the kinds of games that inspired many of us here, made her the perfect individual to help us do everything from grow our vast merchandising empire (she personally fulfills your orders from our online store), our player community in places like our official Discord, our presence at events like PAX, and much more. Caitlin once portrayed the goddess Athena herself in a college production of The Trojan Women, and apparently some of the goddess' wisdom and power must have rubbed off, to the good fortune of the rest of us who get to work with her now.
Legend of Mana (PS), Fallout: New Vegas (PC), Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations (DS)