Unknown Worlds is an independent game company in San Francisco, CA (team and office videos). Our goal is simple, but not easy – to unite the world through play.
- May 2001 – Started full-time on Natural Selection
- October 2002 – Released Natural Selection
- October 2006 – Max and Charlie found Unknown Worlds, start on Natural Selection 2
- November 2006 – Released Zen of Sudoku
- October 2007 – Released Decoda
- April 2008 – Investment received, moved into office
- June 2008 – Hired Cory Strader as Art Director
- July 2008 – Announced custom engine for NS2 (Spark)
- October 2008 – First engine footage shown
- January 2009 – Angel investment received
- May 2009 – NS2 site and teaser video released
- November 2009 – NS2 pre-alpha released
- April 2010 – NS2 Engine Test released
- May 2010 – NS2 Engine Test and tools released on Steam
- July 2010 – NS2 alpha released to ~15,000 players
- November 2010 – Fade movie released, enters closed beta.
Charlie “Flayra” Cleveland – Game Director
Charlie attended Case Western Reserve University and received a B.S. in Computer Engineering. He worked as a software engineer at IBM, Papyrus, CogniToy and Stainless Steel Studios, on Grand Prix Legends, MindRover and Empire Earth. In May of 2001, he left Stainless Steel to start writing Natural Selection.
Max “Max” McGuire – Technical Director
While still in high school Max worked as the assistant to Dr. Benoit Mandelbrot at IBM Research. After graduating from Carnegie Mellon University in 2001 with a B.S. in Mathematics and a double major in Computer Science, Max joined Iron Lore Entertainment (Game Developer Choice Best New Studio) as the first employee.
While at Iron Lore Entertainment, Max served as the Lead Engine Programmer and held a key role in developing the technology and tools behind their first two titles, Titan Quest and Titan Quest: Immortal Throne.
Cory “Squeal Like a Pig” Strader – Art Director
Cory attended the Massachusetts College of Art, majoring in Illustration. He worked at Stainless Steel Studios as a digital artist for over five years doing 3D modeling, texturing and concept work on Empire Earth, Empires: Dawn of the Modern World and Rise & Fall: Civilizations at War. He then worked as Senior Texture Artist and Concept Art on Lair and several unannounced titles at Factor Five.
Brian “Chops” Cummings – Technical Artist
Brian (Alpha) joined the team in late 2009 after graduating from the Art Institute of California San Francisco. Before moving here, he worked as a contract 3D Artist on two published PC titles in Birmingham, Alabama.
Initially hired to help with managing the art pipeline, Brian now fills the gap between artists and engine. He has also worked as the editor for several Natural Selection 2 cinematics including the Fade Reveal, Lerk Reveal and Gorge Belly Slide video.
Brian “Murphy” Cronin – Programmer
Brian is overall a useless human being unless he is working on games. I wouldn’t trust him in any of the following situations: wrapping a birthday present, farming, space travel or colors. He is a programmer. His beard is also a programmer.
He has worked on a few games before joining Unknown Worlds such as The Da Vinci Code cell phone game and a PC go kart game called Zero Gear. Brian enjoys endlessly “debating” people on a wide range of pointless topics such as oxygen, bear fights and carrot(s).
Dushan Leska – Programmer
Dushan hails from London, where he cut his teeth at Sony on The Getaway. There he reveled in intoxicating pursuits like collision detection, memory management and loosely coupled modules.
He moved to the U.S. to work on Fantastic Four, then LucasArts on Lucidity and then was as co-lead on Secret of Monkey Island – Special Edition. Then he built core engine tech at Telltale on many titles including Jurassic Park and The Walking Dead.
Along with a dual cat/beer obsession, Dushan derives a near-unhealthy amount of pleasure from programming. Upon hearing of a mountain of physics code to be untangled and rebuilt, he visibly brightened while his fingers gently started poking the air.
Hugh Jeremy – Business Administrator/PR
Hugh is Australian, but we try not to hold it against him. He attended the University of New South Wales and received a BCom in Finance and Accounting. For a while, he applied these skills in a big office tower. Wanting a change, he decided to fly across the Pacific Ocean to play video games and make movies all day.
Now he handles our PR, community events, outreach and any other task that doesn’t quite fit into anyone else’s role.
Some of Hugh’s other official duties around the office include gardening, interior design and carpentry.
Marc – Programming Intern
Marc is a Frenchman.
Other contributors We also work with many off-site folks. Not all of them are full-time, but we absolutely rely on these talented folks all over the world to build NS2:
- Andreas Urwalek – Game programming (Austria)
- Bill Smith – Environment art (USA)
- Michael Schouten – Level design (UK)
- Oliver Hobbs – Level design (Wales)
- Marc Newton – Level design (UK)
- Andrew Jones – Level design (UK)
- I Gede Mahendra – Animation (Indonesia)
- Colin Knueppel – Animation (USA)
- Simon Chylinksi – Sound FX (Australia)
- Steven Bodnar – Animation (USA)
- David John – Music (Canada)
- Art Bully Productions – 3D art (marine models)
- Fox 3D – 3D art (alien models)