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: Enabler. 2 Favorite Things: Geology and Origami
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.
Martin Middleton: Bits & Bytes. 2 Favorite things: Reading and Sunshine
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.
Keita Takahashi: ? 2 Favorite things: Soba and Gardening
Keita is the Creative Director on our largest unannounced game project. 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.
Vikram Subramanian: Software Engineer. 2 Favorite Things: Dosa and Yoga
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 the game.
Charlie Huguenard: Builder. 2 Favorite Things: Coffee and Monkeys
Charlie is a bit of a swiss-army knife: a programmer and game designer with a background in music and audio production! An idealist and tinkerer with a penchant for getting in over his head, he found his calling with video games, and dreams of making games that make the world a better place. He got his start doing exploratory work for 7 Studios and Activision, where he designed and prototyped interactive music performance systems, DJ games, and music-powered mobile games. At Telltale Games, he made systems for choice tracking, action sequences, and character control for The Walking Dead.
Eileen Hollinger: Fixer. 2 Favorite things: Kittens and Sushi
Eileen is Funomena’s multi-talented producer. She is a game designer & programmer whose background spans video production, urban school reform and software development. After earning her Master’s Degree in Computer Science at the University of Chicago, she spent two years at Riot Games producing events and special projects. She is fascinated by the intersection of games, learning and empathy, and is committed to supporting the efforts of experimental and independent gamemakers. She helps organize Indiecade,the Experimental Gameplay session and Game Design Workshop at GDC.
Brad Fotsch: Audionaut. 2 Favorite things: Travel and Spinning Poi!
Brad is our all-purpose, never-say-no sound designer, composer and interactive audio connoisseur. His energized and experimental approach to creating audio comes from almost a decade of making games, a 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. He helped create realistic immersive worlds in Medal of Honor and Command and Conquer at Electronic Arts until leading the sonic madness of Steven Spielberg’s Boom Blox series with Robin. He is excited for this indie game making adventure with Funomena.
Glenn Hernandez: Artist. 2 Favorite Things: Japanese Wood Cuts & Ramen
Glenn is the Lead Artist on Terra and another unannounced game project here in the studio. Glenn is a talented Artist and Illustrator with 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. Before joining Funomena, he worked as Lead Artist at XEOplay Inc for three years where he graduated to the position of Art Director. He is excited to help create games that color outside the lines of convention and help promote change.
Ted Aronson: Rocket Surgeon. 2 Favorite things: Building stuff and Karaoke!
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!
Austin Wintory: Composer. 2 Favorite things: Cosmology and Kittens
Austin is collaborating with us on one of our unannounced titles. His passion for composing has led to a career spanning over 200 productions, encompassing film, television, commercials, video games and beyond. His first major game score FLOW in 2006 earned a BAFTA nomination and triple GANG nomominations. 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. Beyond composing, Austin is also a very active member on the Board of Directors for Education Through Music –Los Angeles.
Ryan Mohler: Puppeteer. 2 Favorite things: Cooking and Film
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: Geometer. 2 Favorite Things: Bicycles and Bread
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.
Lauren Cason: Shape Shifter. 2 Favorite Things: Swing Dancing and Whistling.
Lauren is a talented concept and 3D artist. Her work at 38 studios, Zynga, Harmonix and Proletariat has led her 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 previously incarcerated youth, as well as mentoring at the Intel Computer Clubhouse.
Isaiah Reed: SuperIntern. 2 Favorite Things: Making Games and Running Track
Isaiah first came to Funomena thanks to the groundbreaking BVAC summer internship program. After spending a few months helping us with all manner of QA, office management and programming tasks, he joined us as a part-term intern while working on his degree at City College of San Francisco.