Harebrained Schemes is a small group of wildly talented people, crammed into a closet, making whatever cool thing inspires us next. Lead by serial entrepreneur Jordan Weisman; founder of FASA, Virtual World Entertainment, FASA Interactive, Wizkids, 42 Entertainment, Smith & Tinker, and creator of BattleTech / MechWarrior, Shadowrun, and Crimson Skies, the Harebrained team is a combination of seasoned veterans and fresh talent.
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The Harebrained Team
(Grizzled. Blah, blah, blah. Made lots of games. Blah, blah, blah.)
Like Jordan, Mitch started in the paper RPG business and then made his leap to video games around 1995. Jordan hired Mitch at FASA Interactive as a Producer/Designer. The first project they started together, codenamed “Corsairs”, eventually became Crimson Skies. After working together on MechCommander, they moved to Seattle when Microsoft acquired FASA Interactive. Mitch stayed at MS for a dozen years before breaking from the Borg, teaming up with Jordan, and co-founding Harebrained Schemes together. Mitch also lectures at the Academy of Interactive Entertainment.
Joe was SVP of New Concept Development at Walt Disney Imagineering in 1994 and was leading the company’s digital initiatives when Jordan first met him and got to work with him on the creation of DisneyQuest. In 2003 Jordan and Joe co-founded 42 Entertainment which pioneered alternate reality games such as “I Love Bees”, “Dark Knight”, and many others. Joe and Jordan have been partners ever since.
Dawne has built several companies and one family with Jordan acting as an Art Director and Chief Wrangler respectively. Dawne brings two dogs, a deep knowledge of graphic design (the Pratt Institute kind), and an element of class to the studio. While that element of class has yet to impact the denizens of our little closet, it’s only a matter of time until we start dressing better and stop sticking our gum to the bottoms of our desks.
Mike worked with Jordan at FASA Corporation way back in the early 90s, leading the development and storyline of the game. Mike joined Jordan again at Wizkids where they developed many games together including the Pirates of the Spanish Main constructible game. At Smith & Tinker, Mike worked on the core mechanics and balancing of Nanovor. Mike also teaches at the University of Washington.
Trevor joined Harebrained Schemes last year to create some levels for Crimson Steam Pirates and ended up making nearly all of them. Trevor got his start on Pirates of the Burning Seas MMO at Flying Lab Studios–that’s two pirate games for him. He was MIA for a few months but we’ve got our hooks sunk deep this time and he ain’t getting away.
So apparently Kevin moved up to Canada when he was a “wee lad,” and has this adorable story to share of his time there: I stayed there all the way up to and bit past my graduation from the University of Calgary with a BA in Communication Studies (which is actually really helpful in design, go liberal arts!) and I was there at the same time as Sheridan (one of our software engineers) and as a matter of fact he grew in a neighborhood just next to mine . We never crossed paths that we remember but I am sure we would have greeted each other politely and discussed our favorite Tim Horton’s donut, hockey player and Tragically Hip song.” Yeah he has professional qualifications, yada yada, but look how great he is! He used a smiley face in his bio! Also we’ve learned from this that all Canadians know one another.
Brian Poel (pronounced “pool”–don’t know why he insists on the goofy spelling)
Brian clawed his way into the studio by applying superior logic, math, and improv skills. “Give me a game, a common household object and a chance to prove myself!” He does the things Mitch can’t/doesn’t/won’t do and thus claimed his place as Producer and Business Analyst.
After graduating Full Sail University, AJ moved to the Seattle area to work at Hand Held Games, which was eventually acquired by Smith & Tinker (where Jordan sunk in his hooks and never let go). At Harebrained Schemes, AJ has served as Lead Engineer on Crimson Steam Pirates and our brand new space game, Strikefleet Omega.
Chris “Bones” Kohnert
Chris was hired to help out for a couple of weeks on Crimson Steam Pirates and just never left. Perhaps it was his boyish good looks or perhaps his curmudgeonly design feedback, but we fell for him (hard) and started calling him CTO. Eventually, Chris put it on his business cards, so we guess that’s that. Chris brings the extensive experience in hardcore PvP online RPGs he gained at Iron Realms Entertainment and as co-founder of a graphical MMO company, Sparkplay Media, in 2006.
Jordan met Mike just as he was graduating from the University of Washington and was blown away with the diversity and quality of his artwork. Mike worked for a couple Jordan-related startups after college, before heading up art at another small Seattle studio, Moonshot Games. His first project at Harebrained was as Art Lead on Crimson: Steam Pirates and he continues in that role for our brand new space game, Strikefleet Omega.
After teaching high school art for 10 years, Chris joined Smith & Tinker as a production artist and animator. At Harebrained Schemes, Chris is our Animation Lead, Special Effects Designer and Voice of Reason. Chris has also taught at the University of Washington and the Lake Washington Institute of Technology.
Sheridan, the adorably peaceful Canadian (perhaps redundant), is one of the newer members of our software engineering team. A self-proclaimed “member of the hard game club,” he’s beaten most of the megamans and contras on hard mode. So basically, we know he means business.
After distinguishing herself on Strikefleet Omega, Hollie (now known affectionately as “Nebula”) officially earned her bones. Holly joined us as an artist and animator after graduating last year from the Art Institute of Seattle and makes sure that all the new people get introduced around the way she never did.
Riding to work every day on a whimsical pink bicycle, Fiona is clearly the most environmentally-conscious of the 3D artists. She comes to us from Flying Lab where she worked on projects like Pirates of the Burning Sea. So far, she’s shown a particular talent for illustrating some unruly dwarven chest hair, so it’s clear we’re lucky to have her.
Maury, with grace and poise, recently relinquished his “Most Visibly Tattooed Employee” title to our new UI designer, Noah. He recently graduated from the Art Institute of Seattle and has one of the most beautiful and obsessively organized sketchbooks in existence. We’re proud to have him on our 3D art team.
Steve’s extensive knowledge of supremely bad movies is matched only by his skill in 3D art. Joining us around the same time as Maury and Fiona, he’s quickly revealed himself to be someone who possesses the extraordinary talent of understanding both art and computers, which makes him pretty much unstoppable.
Gordon joined Harebrained Schemes last year right out of DigiPen Institute of Technology. Gordon’s specialty is the creation of editors and tools for our designers and he’s really looking forward to working on the Shadowrun Returns because players will be able to use his editor to create their own missions.
Garret is fresh off the boat from DigiPen and has already distinguished himself as an engineer who “gets things done”. We like Garret–his gentle demeanor, his fresh-faced optimism and his Viking-like form. If you look at a crowd scene from The 13th Warrior, you’ll probably see someone who could be Garret.
Chris is a software engineer coming to us straight from Smith & Tinker. He’s hard-working and friendly, and really just fit in here right from the start. He’s got a lot of monitors, an adorable son, and is currently wearing a Space Invaders t-shirt. Also, that’s really how you spell his last name.
Ah Brenton–still a cipher. He’s a highly-recommended journeyman engineer who just joined us aaannnd. . . is pretty quiet so far. We’ll let you know more about him when he says more things. Should be great!
Pam is our Office Manager, Den Mother, and Hive Queen. She and Jordan have been together for over 10 years, moving from company to company. All hail Pam, Deliverer of Paychecks!