Harebrained Schemes is a small team of passionate game developers led by Jordan Weisman, the creator of Shadowrun, Crimson Skies, BattleTech, MechWarrior, and many other acclaimed properties. Founded in 2011, the Seattle-based studio is centered around collaboration between 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.
Mike is a grizzled vet of the gaming wars for over 25 years. He was there when stuff you read about in history books actually happened. He has gone full circle on Shadowrun first working as lead designer on the table top RPG Shadowrun to Systems Designer on Shadowrun Returns. Mike has designed games for such diverse properties as Marvel Comics, Major League Baseball, Disney Pirates, NASCAR, Halo, DC Comics, Star Wars and, of course, even more Shadowrun than even you can imagine. He’s lived in Seattle for 15 years, but calls Chicago home. He loves sports and comic books and movies, but then again, who doesn’t?
Trevor got his start at Flying Lab Software, working on missions for their MMORPG Pirates of the Burning Sea. He joined Harebrained Schemes in 2011 to create some levels for Crimson Steam Pirates and ended up making nearly all of them. Since then, he’s been working on content and design for Shadowrun Returns, creating large parts of Dead Man’s Switch and Dragonfall – so it seems his pirating days are over. Trevor’s favorite games are Ninja Gaiden: Black and Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines, but most of the time you can find him playing co-op games on Steam.
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”)
Brian seems to add new responsibilities to his hat-rack of duties on a regular basis. Originally joining HBS as a Producer and Metrics Analyst for Strikefleet Omega, Brian has also contributed Level Design and Kickstarter Management to Shadowrun Returns. Now Brian visits China regularly for his role as Product Manager of Golem Arcana and also works with Mike and Jordan on the Design Team for Golem.
AJ graduated from Full Sail University and moved to Seattle to work at Hand Held Games. HHG was eventually acquired by Smith and Tinker (where Jordan sunk in his hooks and never let go). At Harebrained, AJ has served as Lead Engineer on Crimson Steam Pirates and Strikefleet Omega, and worked on Shadowrun Returns and Dragonfall.
Chris “Bones” Kohnert
Chriswas 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 maybe 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 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
Mike sports a fine collection of figurative hats at Harebrained Schemes including, but not limited to, art director on Shadowrun Returns and creative director on Dragonfall. He is currently working on a new unannounced project. Mike has two cats. His favorite cat is Khan. His second-favorite cat is Khaleesi. He has no plans of adding to the cat brood at this time.
After graduating from UC Berkeley, Chris spent some time as a classroom teacher before breaking into the Games Industry. He has been with HBS since Crimson Steam Pirates and was Character Lead on Shadowrun Returns. Currently, Chris is Creative Director for Golem Arcana. Chris believes in the potential of games to deliver new and rich experiences- luckily at HBS he is surrounded by like-minded people. Follow him on Twitter @benimblequick
Programmer and peaceful Canadian, is a self-proclaimed “member of the hard game club.” The fact that he graduated from the University of Calgary with a BSc in Software Engineering is only slightly more important than the fact that he’s beaten most of the Megamans (Megamen?) and Contras on hard mode. Sheridan also likes to kick it forward—he’s backed 31 Kickstarters to date. If you feel like sending Sheridan food, he enjoys miso-glazed salmon, okonomiyaki (mmm), and Egg Nog.
Hollie is an artist and animator who came to us a graduate of the Art Institute of Seattle, with a degree in media arts and animation, which is apt because she is quite the animated individual. Her work has graced Strikefleet Omega, Shadowrun Returns, Shadowrun: Dragonfall, and Golem Arcana. She has also illustrated a few children’s books! Fun fact: when walking around the HBS office, if you come across objects with googly eyes on them, it’s Hollie’s doing. Blog: http://hollisketch.tumblr.com Portfolio: http://hollie-mengert.squarespace.com Twitter: @hmengert4
Fiona rides to work on a whimsical pink bike, the Pinktastrophie, every day. Fiona came to HBS from Flying Lab Software, where she worked on Pirates of the Burning Sea and Bakugan Dimensions. Remember Dante from Dragonfall? Her dog was the inspiration for him (and her cat continues to feel left out)! Fiona likes finding free stuff, including the pet tarantula she found on the street last winter. Her favorite candy is Cadburry Mini Eggs, which are only available once a year for Easter, so she hoards dozens of packages of them and rations them all year.
Maury graduated from the Art Institute of Seattle, interned at Sony Online working on The Agency, and finally landed here at HBS. Maury’s first shipped game was Shadowrun Returns, and he also worked on Dragonfall. Currently, Maury’s main job is sculpting all the badass figures for Golem Arcana– his favorite is the Valkali (and it should be yours, too). His favorite game is Secret of Mana for the SNES, and his book of choice, like many of us here at HBS, is The Hobbit. While he does 3D character art at work, Maury’s other hobby is landscape sketching and painting.
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 a gentle and optimistic guy who resembles a Viking that has been with us for two years joining our engineering team just as we were finishing up Strikefleet Omega and moving out of our old office (which was affectionately known as “the closet”). Garret is able to give accurate traffic reports for a half mile stretch of the 405 from his desk. Word to the wise– there’s a police car that sometimes camps out on the 405 North ramp who pulls people over a lot. Slow down out there!
Chris is a FASA fan from way back– he even backed Shadowrun Returns before he was hired at HBS! He worked with Jordan on Nanover Evolution, and was a little wary to hop back on the Weisman roller coaster, but what’s life without adrenaline? Chris enjoys cars, scotch, and fondly remembering games he played back when he wasn’t a parent to two wonderful little boys.
Brenton joined HBS in 2012 to help usher in the Sixth World, and is largely responsible for the labyrinthine mystery that is the Shadowrun Returns editor. He fondly remembers that fateful day his life was forever altered when he first played Mechwarrior 2 on a friend’s shiny new Windows 95 machine, not knowing it would drive him towards the long, winding road of programming that would ultimately lead to the man behind the stompy robots. He is also the only member of the team with a diorama featuring the Macross Quarter, Optimus Prime, AND Voltron engaged in fisticuffs.
No. Appearing: 1
Armor Class: 7 (2 if wearing robe)
Hit Dice: 2
Treasure Type: A, V (Apple Products, Video Games)
No. Of Attacks: 1 (Recite obscure conspiracy-orientated fact)
Special Attacks: He wishes
Special Defenses: Shortsightedness
Magic Resistance: Immune to the appeal of Led Zeppelin
Intelligence: He does alright I guess
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Size: 6’ (Appears 5’)
Psionic Ability: Guess next song on the radio with 35% accuracy
Katherine, or Copy-Kat, Associate Producer Extraordinaire, graduated Reed College with a degree in Religion, and was at one time the only living Polologist. Her thesis was titled, “Through a Venetian’s Eyes: Marco Polo and 13th Century Tengriism,” which is cool, but was pretty much only useful to start a cult. And so, Kat moved onto the less lucrative, but more honest, work of video games.
Mike came to HBS fresh off the DigiPen boat, where he studied Digital Art and Animation. Shadowrun Returns was his first shipped game, and we’re glad to have given him that milestone. After work, Mr. Cech locks himself away in his secret underground lab (no HBS-ers allowed!) and tinkers with weapons and mad science to take over the world! (I.e., he makes props and replicas.)
Jeffrey went to the Academy of Interactive Entertainment, where he sought after the longest diploma title ever: the Advanced Diploma of Professional Game Development Specializing in Game Programming. After the program, he jumped aboard the USNS Harebrained, and has been clinging hard to her ever since. When Jeff goes home at night, a tiny cat, aptly named Mini, welcomes him.
Joel left his previous job at The Cave of Wonders, Florida (AKA Disney World), and flew to Seattle to pursue his dream of adopting all the dogs in existence. By day, Joel makes gorgeous art for HBS. He tends to be somewhat angry and easy to provoke – on his second day he threw his Raven (© DC Comics) figurine at Kat’s head. Otherwise he’s a pretty decent guy.
John showed up in a Viking longboat, demanding tribute and Metal. Looking as though he jumped straight out of the Prose Edda, we put him to work stress-testing our various projects with his mighty hammers. As he proved himself a great warrior, we then set him as a leader of raiding parties, amassing war bands together to claim dominion for Eretsu and sending Emissaries to plunder game stores around the world. Now we just need to get him to stop issuing challenges of hand to hand combat to the delivery guy.
Minotchka is probably the best cook at HBS, in part because she learned how at Le Cordon Bleu. After deciding that cooking for herself, rather than for obnoxious customers, was more fun, Mino (also affectionately known as Gumbo and Nemo) changed her career path to the cutthroat world of video game testing. Mino’s previous shipped titles includeMario Kart 7, Rhythm Heaven Fever, Marvel: Avengers Alliance Tactics. If you’re feeling generous, please send Hi-Chews.
Robin is usually the least geeky person in the room at HBS, but is still pretty geeky. Robin enjoys interacting with passionate people which means she is well suited for her role as Community and Social Media Manager. She has produced three long-term projects over the last 21 years in the form of geek children. For breakfast, Robin eats a hard boiled egg just about every morning. She has a deep love of the “perfect protein.”
Andrew, game writer, came to HBS after nearly a decade of toil in the art mines of the casual games industry. Leaping at the chance to write stories about orks for a living, he landed the position of Lead Writer on Shadowrun: Dragonfall, effectively closing the gap between “things he did obsessively for fun in his mid-teens” and “things he gets paid to do in his mid-thirties.” Perhaps not surprisingly, he elected to stay on with HBS after Dragonfall, and is planning on riding this ship wherever it takes him.
Rebecca is a producer who was offered her position on St. Patrick’s Day– talk about lucky! She’s been in video games for 7 years, starting as a tester with Microsoft back in 2007. She has two cats, Mayu and White Cat (which is probably the best name for a cat ever). They’re “the most adorable little lumps on the planet.” It’s good that we keep candy stocked here because Rebecca eats it constantly. She loves Pokemon, and is also an archer, which is possibly the coolest after-school activity that anyone at HBS has.
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!