Based in Plano, Texas, Robot Entertainment is a world-class independent game development studio founded in 2009 by veterans of Ensemble Studios. With a team that has proven experience and expertise in creating games that appeal to massive audiences on multiple platforms, Robot Entertainment is focused on developing titles that set new standards for their respective genres as well as groundbreaking original intellectual properties. The studio most recently launched the critically acclaimed Echo Prime, Hero Academy and Orcs Must Die! 2.
MEET THE BOTS
Donny “Danye West” Alumbaugh
Donny spent 15 years being a programmer in the “real world” before realizing that all the fun stuff was happening in game development. After this epiphany he joined Robot as a server programmer. When he’s not kicking the Hero Academy servers, he’s busy racing motorcycles on the weekend. Just in case his interests weren’t already diverse enough, he’s also a sucker for stray kittens. Programmer, motorcycle racer, and kitten lover. A true triple threat.
Lizette “Lizard” Atkinson
Lizette came into the game industry after burning out in her previous career as a Corporate Event Planner. She should have known games were her destiny, since her dad owned a video game arcade. Lizette has happily taken on a slew of new responsibilities, such as facilities management, payroll, human resources, accounting and a mountain of other random responsibilities, including babysitting a bunch of guys. When not at work, she spends time with her husband and two beautiful girls. Lizette graduated from Texas Tech, so she’ll leave you with a reminder to “Get Your Guns Up!”
Eric “Hateweaver” Best
Hateweaver has been quite content lately.
He conducted a meeting in a good setting recently.
He is quite durable but he is slow to heal.
Hateweaver likes PvP MMOs, Civilization, rage-inducing shooters, and Dwarf Fortress.
He often does the first thing that comes to mind.
A average sturdy creature fond of drink and industry.
Brock “Zilla” Brown
Brock joined the robot hive mind after a short stint at a night shift QA job. In the office, Brock is a bug sleuth; helping to iron out any issues that may pop up. When not at the office, most of Brock’s free time is spent with a pencil, brush or a Wacom stylus in his hand. He enjoys cooking, bad sci-fi movies, dinosaurs, and indie games. He also has the self-proclaimed title of Best Hair in the Office.
Won “Wonanimal” Choi
Won was born in Seoul, Korea, and moved to the States when he was 13. After a short stint in Cincinnati, Ohio, he ended up in Texas. As a teenager, he was fascinated by drawing and playing video games, so it was only natural that he would find his way into the game industry. His career includes positions at Rogue Entertainment, Monolith, Gearbox, and Ensemble. Won has now joined the other art-bots in the yellow pod at Robot, and can often be found drawing something interesting during meetings.
Stephen spent ten years of writing credit card processing client / server code before making the leap to the game industry. When he’s not at the office, he enjoys cooking and playing video games. A fan of all genres of games, he counts Ultima 7, Fallout, GTA, and World of Warcraft among his favorites. Stephen has two beautiful daughters and a wonderfully supportive wife who puts up with him working all the time.
Brad “Crowbot” Crow
Brad is a Texas native who graduated from the Art Institute of Dallas in 1995. He loves FPS games, and enjoys tearing apart his co-workers in epic lunchtime Battlefield 2 matches. Brad’s hobbies include art and exercise, and he loves spending time with his family and friends. A sci-fi junkie, Brad enjoyed the process of being turned into a robot (perhaps a little too much).
Jake “D_Dawg” Dotson
IT Infrastructure Administrator
From workstations to servers to networks, Jake uses the can-do attitude he honed in the U.S. Marine Corps to deliver world-class IT services and support. Outside of work, Jake is a loving husband and father, dedicated friend, and selfless community volunteer. In his spare time he roots for the Cowboys and shoots his AR15 – sometimes simultaneously.
Rob “Xemu” Fermier
Rob has been making games professionally since 1994′s “System Shock,” and unprofessionally since 1979′s “Space Combat Game in Third-Grade Notebook.” He has a degree in Computer Science from MIT, and loves programming and designing games of all kinds. Determining his favorite game would be nearly impossible, but a short list of contenders would include Star Control 2, Chrono Trigger, GTA San Andreas, and Civilization.
Ian M. Fischer
Ian M. Fischer dabbled in several different callings before it dawned on him that, no matter what he was getting paid to do, he always spent his time scribbling away at game designs. He simplified in 1997, joining Ensemble Studios to work on the original Age of Empires as a scenario designer. Two years later he earned his first lead designer credit on the sequel, The Age of Kings. Ian is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with dual-major bachelor degrees in Political Science and English Writing. As a SAR swimmer in the Navy he once rescued a wayward SLQ-48 minehunting robot and later became a founding member of Robot Entertainment. Coincidence?
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Kristen “MiniWhiteRabbit” Fuller
Assistant Community Manager
Kristen’s desire to make games began at an early age on DOS with Pac-Man, Dig-Dug, and Oregon Trail. After dabbling in programming, art, and even a bit of level design, she finally found her home in community as a volunteer in the Curse Network. Since then, she’s been a part of BioWare Austin and Gazillion Entertainment, working on titles such as STAR WARS: The Old Republic and Marvel Heroes. In her off time, you can probably find her buried in a Jim Butcher novel, playing a competitive game, or re-watching Star Trek: The Original Series for the 42nd time
Joe abandoned his B.S. in Molecular Biology from Penn State to seek a career in games. So far, it’s been worth it – he’s been working on games for thirteen years now, including Age of Mythology, Age of Empires 3, Halo Wars, Age of Empires Online, Echo Prime, and Orcs Must Die! 1 and 2. Originally a Pittsburgh-area native, Joe is waiting for global cooling to kick in to turn Dallas into a temperate zone.
Arin Thomas George
Tony attended the University of Texas at Austin for two years before striking out on his own. In 1989, he founded Ensemble Corporation, a systems consulting firm specializing in building custom enterprise systems. Ensemble Corporation was acquired by U.S. Web in 1996. Tony then founded game developer Ensemble Studios, the firm responsible for the hit video game franchise Age of Empires. Ensemble Studios was acquired by Microsoft in 2001. Most recently Tony co-founded Robot Entertainment, a video game developer focused on bringing shared world experiences to the mass market.
Bryan “bimbosoup” Hehmann
After graduating from the Art Institute of Dallas, Bryan entered the game industry in 1998, joining several of his former classmates at Ensemble Studios. While at Ensemble, he worked environments and lighting on the Age of Empires series and Halo Wars. Bryan’s favorite games include Battlefield, Euro Truck Simulator 2 and Kerbal Space Program. When he is not making or playing electronic games Bryan is an avid board gamer. His board game collection is growing at a maddening rate, due to owning everything in the Cthulhu Mythos.
Paul “Elfquist” Helquist
Lead Game Designer
Second semester senior year at the University of New Hampshire Paul realized that a career in archaeology was going to be booooooring. After graduation he quickly shifted his professional path to video games and has been making games for over 15 years now, starting his career as a QA tester at Electronic Arts. His first design job was at Irrational Games where he eventually went on to be the Lead designer on SWAT4 and BioShock. Paul then moved on to Gearbox Software where he worked on Borderlands and was the Lead Designer and Creative Director on the mega-hit Borderlands 2. Outside of designing games Paul is an avid Magic: The Gathering player and is a goaltender in rec ice hockey leagues. (Yes, we have hockey in Texas!)
Lance claims to have a BBA in MIS/Management from Texas Tech University. Game credits suggest he might have been an Art Producer for seven years at Ensemble Studios on projects including Age of Mythology, AOM: The Titans, Age of Empires III, AOE3: Warchiefs, and Halo Wars. At Robot, he fills the role of Lead Producer on an unannounced project, where his tireless efforts inspire us all. Lance also claims to have a wife, two children, a dog and an addiction to Battlefield 2.
Doug “Shade” Houserman
Doug is a Game Designer at Robot focusing on balance and game systems. Due to being the self-acclaimed biggest fan of Age of Mythology, Doug focused on breaking into the game industry to share his enthusiasm. Prior to working at Robot, Doug acquired a Computer Science degree from UAB. He used this knowledge, as well as his natural gamer instinct, to construct multiple game mods and to work at S2 Games as a designer on Strife.
Dion “Pyxlwyz” Hopkins
Prior to becoming a VFX artist, Dion spent 10 years in the U.S. Air Force as an electronic technician. After the USAF, he spent a few years working in multimedia, television, and even a film before turning to video games. Prior to Robot, he worked at Outrage Games, Doublefine Productions, and Ensemble Studios. Game credits include: Alter Echo, Psychonauts, AoE III, and Halo Wars. Interests include Formula One, MotoGP, and most other motorsports, video gaming , and tinkering in the garage.
Patrick is involved in far too much at Robot. Previously, he was an Executive Producer at Ensemble Studios for six years. Before game development, he worked in boring industries that seem even more boring now. Patrick is terribly overeducated for his current role, with a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree from Harvard Business School. He regrets not profiting wildly from the credit bubble that sank the global economy.
Steven “Mosond” Kamp
After many years jumping from one job to the next, Steven decided it was time to find a career. Knowing he wanted to work in the Game Industry he decided to enroll at the SMU Guildhall in Plano, TX. Once he graduated he was hired by BioWare in Austin, TX and worked for three and a half years on STAR WARS: The Old Republic. After leaving BioWare, Steven moved back to Dallas, TX and was hired by Robot Entertainment. Steven enjoys playing many types of video games but is also an avid fan of pinball and used to play competitively. Some of his favorite pinball tables are “Tales of Arabian Nights”, “Theatre of Magic”, “Congo”, and “Bram Stoker’s Dracula”.
Jerome K. Jones
Jerome has been in the game business for over Twenty years, in design roles both large and small, on titles ranging from Felix the Cat to Orcs Must Die Unchained. His favorite games include the Apples to Apples card game, the original N-64 Mario Kart, World of Warcraft and now World of Tanks. Of all the games he’s worked on, his favorites are Age of Mythology and Orcs Must Die Unchained. Before Jerome joined the game industry, he was in the music business.
Gene was born and raised in Aliquippa PA, a small steel town located a tad northwest of Pittsburgh. He spent three years in the US Army as a field artillery crewmember serving in Desert Storm. Following his service, Gene attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Over the past 19+ yrs. Gene has created art for many titles including Anvil of Dawn, Sanitarium, Daikatana, Metroid Prime, Age of Empires III, Halo Wars, Echo Prime, and the Orcs Must Die! series. He enjoys riding his motorcycles, shooting guns, watching his Steelers rack up the Lombardi’s, fishing, games, and creating Fantasy \ Sci-Fi art.
Justin “SixOkay” Korthof
Justin has been playing around on the internet and with videogames for decades. It was around twelve years old that he really got into both, though. He spent a short but intense chunk of his formative years working on a small community sci-fi writing website and spending evenings building DOOM II multiplayer maps and mods. Over the years, he’s worked on several community fan sites for various passions until eventually shoe-horning his way into the videogame industry. He started at EA working on the Medal of Honor and Tiberium franchises out of EA Los Angeles, then moved up to Microsoft Game Studios to spend some time in the trenches with the Gears of War and Halo franchises. These days Justin spends his time watching as many movies as possible, playing videogames, and working to grow the Robot collective.
Dave has been on the assembly line in the art department in the games industry since 1995. He’s an older model, made of 100% pure Pittsburgh steel. Whatever this particular robot lacks in knowledge, he makes up for passion within art. When Dave isn’t busy at the Robot factory, he can be found spending time with his family of droids or plugging additional art modules into his braincase.
David has a BS in Computer Science from Sam Houston State University, and has been playing games from the earliest he can remember. He enjoys all kinds of games, computer and otherwise. Dave worked on the entire Age of Empires series, Age of Mythology, and Halo Wars. His first introduction to the games industry involved sleeping on a cot and waking up to write code on an Intel 286 computer.
Justin “Mastermind” Moe
Prior to becoming a robot, Justin spent two years working on the Command and Conquer franchise at EA Los Angeles. His degree in Comparative Media Studies from MIT might seem odd for a programmer, but it means he can sometimes understand the things designers ask for. Besides games, Justin enjoys reading, collecting computer hardware, and is attempting to convince other Robots that Magic the Gathering can be played with pieces of paper called “cards”, not just online.
Chris “muPPetman” Moffitt
Prior to working with his fellow robots, Chris worked on a few unknown PS2 titles, an animated feature film and most recently Halo Wars. He attended the Art Institute of Dallas where he received a degree in Computer Animation. To this day, he has never learned how to animate – but he did figure out how to push verts around and paint textures. In his free time, Chris enjoys being with his family, playing xbox and working on art projects that will probably never get finished.
Dusty started some fifteen years ago (more by now, but let’s not keep counting, shall we?) working at Midway Home Entertainment in San Diego, where he worked on Hydro Thunder, Ready 2 Rumble Boxing, and others. In 2000 he went to work for Ensemble Studios, and stayed there until the studio was closed in 2009. While there he had the opportunity to work on some outstanding titles, including Age of Mythology, Age of Empires III, and Halo Wars. For the past three years he’s been an independent developer, founding Windstorm Studios, and shipping the retro sci-fi vehicle action game Atomic City Adventures – The Case of the Black Dragon. These days Dusty finds himself working at Robot Entertainment, developing great games like Orcs Must Die! and Hero Academy.
Shovaen “Shoop” Patel
Shovaen began his love affair with games of all types (video, card, sports, board, etc.) at an early age with ancient consoles, 80s Macs, and chess. He earned a Computer Science degree from Georgia Tech, worked as a consultant at Ariba, and attended The Guildhall at SMU prior to robotification. Shovaen is an avid Tampa sports fan, with the obvious exception of his beloved Yellow Jackets.
Chert “Modius” Pellett
Chert’s first job was working with Video Arcade games – fixing videos and pinball machines. He spent a few decades working on a very diverse variety of business systems – from multi-CPU embedded systems, monitoring systems, a 5 blade computer controlled saw, to multi-threaded tax programs. He loves programming games on many platforms – including games iPhone like Crystal Sliders. Two of his brothers are credited with doing major development of one of the first RPGs (DND/PLATO). He enjoys building and launching high power model rockets – which he makes using his laser cutter. Also skilled as a photographer, welder, woodworker, metal worker and does electronics. Once called a Jack of all trades, master of many!
Roy “Royster” Rabey
Roy has a B.S. in Computer Science and over three decades of experience in all aspects of Information Technology. He has been focusing that experience in the video game development industry since joining Ensemble Studios in 1998. As part of the original Robot Entertainment crew he enjoys contributing to the success of the talented group of dedicated people that he is lucky enough to work with. When not at work Roy spends time with his family and is known to engage in any one of a number of activities that increase his geek-factor.
Chris entered the video game world in 1994, doing sound design and scenarios for the original “Age of Empires.” Since then, he has moved into production, and was most recently the Producer for “Orcs Must Die!”, “Orcs Must Die! 2”, and “Echo Prime” Chris is a big fan of pizza and sandwiches.
Barry “Bro” Rooney
Barry was born at a very young age, played a ton of video games, and loved to watch anything that involved animation. He has a special place in his heart for the stop motion sequences involving Calibos in the original Clash of the Titans. He also got his first thumb cramp playing Ikari Warriors all night with unlimited continues . After working in TV, commercials, cinematics and on a feature film, he broke into the games industry where he’s been for over six years and hasn’t looked back! He is married with three kids and expecting another that all aspire to be Robots like their Dad!
Harter’s journey to Robot took a serpentine path; he started as an avid board war gamer and RPG player in his teenage years and worked as a programmer in the oil industry in the late 1980′s and 1990′s before finally ending up at Ensemble Studios in 1997. While at ES, Harter was the Lead Producer on Age of Empires II, and Executive Producer on Age3 and Halo Wars. His education at the University of Oklahoma, marriage to an awesome wife for twenty years, and two wonderful kids have all helped him reach this stage in his life with his sanity (mostly) intact.
Duane “Saint” Santos
Duane graduated from the Art Institute of Dallas in 1995, and has been in the game industry for over thirteen years. He joined Ensemble Studios in 1996, and worked on several titles before being turned into a robot in 2009. Of all the games he’s worked on, Age of Empires II is still his favorite. He also loves MMOs and also enjoys shooting people in FPS games.
Paul “sPankyAce” Slusser
Paul has several associate degrees which never quite added up to the B.A. in Computer Science he wanted. Conquering his hatred of math through art, Paul graduated from the Art Institute of Dallas in spring of 1999 and was quickly hired by Ensemble Studios. He has been fortunate enough to work on several titles, including Age of Empires 2, Age of Mythology, Age of Empires 3, Halo Wars, Age Online, Orcs Must Die, Orcs Must Die 2!, and Echo Prime. Paul’s responsibilities revolve around anything environment/level related in our games.
Chris has a double degree in computer science and software engineering, and a Master’s in computer science. A veteran of Ritual Entertainment and Ensemble Studios, Chris loves a good game of WoW, Halo, Quake, or Starcraft; he’s also been known to get outside for some bike riding, hiking, or gardening. Chris’s workstation will be featured on the 24-hour StarkCam(TM) – coming soon!
Nate “N8″ Stefan
After graduating from Sheridan College in 2001, Nate started working at Ensemble. When the studio closed, he joined up with Robot Entertainment. Nate loves to draw and is always searching for new ways to become a better artist.
Bart “Rice_and_Eggs” Tiongson
Bart graduated from the Fine Arts program at Centennial College and the Classical Animation program at Sheridan College in the temperate sunbelt of Ontario, Canada. He joined Ensemble Studios in 2000, and was turned into a robot on March 1, 2009. Bart’s hobbies include family, friends, drawing, painting, music, film, travel, food, drink, basketball, sun, ocean … rinse and repeat.
Sashank grew up playing N64, Tribes, and Starcraft, while wanting to make video games all his life. Unfortunately, he accidentally got his Electrical Engineering degree from Duke University before he realized this. Recovering, he attended the Guildhall at SMU for Game Development and joined Robot in January 2012. Nowadays, Sashank attempts to act like an adult, socialize with non-programmers, and wear shoes. When not working, he can often be found playing Starcraft, tennis, or go.
Rob, a 1996 graduate of the Art Institute of Dallas, has been in the game industry for fifteen years. His previous projects include Halo Wars, Age of Empires 3, and Spy Hunter.
Born in Scotland, Terry came to the US when he was 10. After time in CA & most recently Las Vegas, NV, Terry took a position in Texas in the credit card industry. Glad to finally be in the gaming industry, Terry is happy to be a Robot. He enjoys reading (esp. sci-fi), computer games and two cats who think they are human. Terry and his wife are enchanted with their long-awaited baby girl born in July 2010.
Sung Yi started in the game industry in 1999 and now found a new home at Robot Entertainment (Awesome!). Proud Father of two beautiful kids. Living the life to the fullest at home and work.