Funomena is an independent game studio located in downtown San Francisco, California. The company was founded in January of 2013 by Robin Hunicke and Martin Middleton - two passionate game developers who believe that games can have a positive impact on the world. If you are curious how to say Funomena - just use this little song as a guide.
We are working on a mostly-unannounced commercial game, a cool for-change game project with UC Davis and the National Science Foundation... and a new game that we'll be announcing at this year's IndieCade. In the meantime - we'd love to introduce you to the current crew of Funomenauts!
Robin Hunicke: CEO/Empath
Robin is Funomena's co-founder and CEO. She is a game designer and producer, with a background in fine art, computer science and applied game studies, best known for her role as Executive Producer on the award-winning PSN downloadable title, Journey. Recognized this year for her role as an Ambassador for Woman in Games, Robin is an evangelist for diversity of thought and participation in game design and game culture. She co-organizes the annual Experimental Gameplay session at GDC, teaches and lectures extensively on how developers can create novel, experimental designs by focusing on the feeling.
Keita Takahashi: Designer/?
Keita is the Creative Director on Wattam. A Japanese game designer and artist. He studied at Musashino Art University from 1996 to 1999, where he studied in Fine Art and Sculpture, gaining a degree in the latter. His commercial titles (Katamari Damacy, We Love Katamari and Noby Noby Boy) all express a deep fascination with childhood, physical play, sculptural objects and the feeling of being small. His games and interactive installations have been exhibited around the world, most recently at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Martin Middleton: Tech Director/Funomenologist
Martin is Funomena's co-founder & Tech Director. In 2006 he joined thatgamecompany to work on the AI and constraint systems for the creatures in their first title, flOw. He then built the procedural geometry systems and distributed grass simulation for Flower. On Journey, Martin developed the game's distributed, deformable sand terrain system, and its unique peer-to-peer networking solution, which connects players seamlessly as their paths cross during gameplay.
Ben Kutcher: COO/Squire
Ben is the Chief Operating Officer at Funomena. Prior to joining us in early 2015, he spent 10 years at Intel, working in their developer relations and corporate finance groups. Before that, Ben studied accounting and finance at The Ohio State University. A passionate fan of board and card games, for much of his youth Ben built and role-played in online text-based Transformers-themed MUSHes. More than meets the eye!
Glenn Hernandez: Art Director/Lumberjack
Glenn is the Art Director on Luna here in the studio, as well as our non-profit game Terra. A talented artist and illustrator, Glenn has a background in music, animation and a deep passion for illustrating children's books. He earned his Bachelor's in Studio Art from St. Olaf College and spent several years immersing himself in visual storytelling. He is excited to help create games that color outside the lines of convention and help promote change.
Austin Wintory: Composition & Curiosity
Austin is our composer for Luna. Austin's incredibly moving and dynamic score for Journey was nominated for a Grammy! It was also the second highest debut for a game soundtrack in Billboard's history. His passion for composing has led to a career spanning over 200 productions, encompassing film, television, commercials, video games and beyond. Beyond composing, Austin is also a very active member on the Board of Directors for Education Through Music –Los Angeles.
Brad Fotsch: Sound & Silliness
Brad is our all-purpose, never-say-no sound designer, composer and interactive audio connoisseur... currently making amazing interactive soundscapes for Wattam. His energized and experimental approach to creating audio comes from almost a decade of making games (Command and Conquer, Medal of Honor, and the Boom Blox series). He has a deep curiosity for how music and sound guide our feelings and a life-long quest for adventure travel. He studied music and technology at Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Vikram Subramanian: Engineering & Wierdness
Vikram is a software engineer and new father! He began his career at Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, where he earned a Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech.) in Computer Science and Engineering. In 2001, he joined Microsoft, where he worked on network solutions for a variety of applications, including Xbox Live. In 2010 he moved to New York City to join Google, where he also became involved in the independent game arcade Babycastles. His collaboration with Keita in the summer of 2012 was the beginning of their work on Wattam.
Lauren Cason: Artist/Shape Shifter
Lauren is a talented concept and 3D artist who works on Luna. Her adventures have led her from studios like 38 and Zynga to Harmonix, Proletariat and eventually Funomena! She's worked everything from iPhone and Facebook games, to action figures, MMOS, and the Xbox One. She is passionate about making games, alternative teaching styles, and where those things intersect. Her volunteer work includes time spent making games with incarcerated youth, as well as mentoring at the Intel Computer Clubhouse.
Ted Aronson: Engineer & Rocket Surgeon
Ted collaborates with Glenn on the Terra project. A talented programmer and game designer, Ted started making games for the public good at the Center for Autism Research, where he helped create therapeutic Flash games for children with autism spectrum disorders. He spent some time building out gameplay features for Frontierville at Zynga East in Baltimore, and then moved on to build development tools at MindSnacks. His passion for making games do more than just entertain has been an inspiration to all of us here in the studio!
Ryan Mohler: Animator & Puppet Master
Ryan is Funomena's animator extraordinaire. Along with his skills as an animator and rigging artist, he brings a lot to the table with his artistic eye, technical knowledge, and design sensibilities. While at Ohio University Ryan co-founded a student organization and put together trips to industry events such as GDC to get a head start on his career. Ryan has a passion for making games and animation that can make people laugh, smile, and feel.
Jon McElroy: Lead Engineer/Explorer
Jon is Funomena's Lead Engineer. He studied Film, Fine Art and Language in school at Ithaca College in New York and the University of Tsukuba in Japan but later realized his hobby of programming games should actually be something he spent all his time doing. He has worked for SOE, 38 Studios and Electronic Arts on console, PC and mobile titles but most recently his work has been in experimental gameplay, rendering and embedded hardware. He is currently cultivating wild yeast to make the most incredible bread ever.
Marc Fletcher: Engineering & Puns
Marc is a Software Engineer. An alumni of the math faculty of the University of Waterloo in Ontaria, Canada, he moved to California in 2004 to pursue his video game career at EA, LucasArts and 2K Marin. Marc has dedicated himself to the gameplay systems on all of his projects, and has always been interested in delivering the fun through that interface between game and player!