We Make Games

For the love of games

WHY WE MAKE GAMES

We want to entertain players in a way that's dynamic, wholly-interactive, customizable, and evolutionary.

Play our games and surprise us with what you do.

HOW WE MAKE GAMES

We start with a simple sandbox, add a bunch of toys, and make sure they interact in surprising, consistent, and amazing ways.

We want to make a playground for our players.

WHY WE LOVE YOU

Without you we have no purpose. You're the heart and soul of what we do and why we do it.

The world is weird; we'd like to make it fun when it is.

CHILL WITH US

We want to be transparent and contribute what we know as we can to everyone. You're part of our community.

Everyone is welcome to chill and give feedback (join us on Discord!).

Trent Polack
founder and ceo

I started C++ development when I was 14 years old. I had almost given up on it about, oh, a million times or so. Then one day I got back home from a cross-country meet and finally was determined to figure pointers out. And I've been programming since then. Eventually I became a designer, specializing in system, combat, and level design. For a while after that I was the Creative Director, Executive Producer, and Lead Designer for a mobile studio. And then a Visual FX artist and technical artist on an MMO. Then I lead the games development team on an educational technological platform intended to be a full replacement for traditional school curriculum.

And then I decided I had to get back to the games that got me into this industry in the first place. And Steel Hunters is exactly the game to do that.

I started Joy Machine because I'm tired of stories about lay-offs, studio closures, companies calling a new game a "New IP", gross over-expenditures on games that never could have made that money back, and an intense deviation to produce top-quality AAA assets despite the extensive cost of doing so. Throughout my career, I've worked on games like Galactic Civilizations 2The Political MachineDemigodStarhawkCat vs. AliensSPACE COLORSRooster Teeth vs. ZombiensCrowfall, and more. I know that great games can be made more efficiently through very well thought-through workflow processes, creative use of modern tech, a game design that has encourages flexibility in all of its system to produce wholly dynamic results, and, beyond all that: the strength of an incredibly talented small team with the right attitude.

Mostly, though, I just wanted to start a studio where people can have fun working on challenging projects for players.

BUT ENOUGH ABOUT ME! Except if you want more about me, there's a trent-polack.com just for you.

Melissa Brown
Chief Operating Officer

My career in the video games industry started in 1999 while providing sales and marketing to a programmer-centric website, www.GameDev.net. I now work directly with developers and tech providers to fuel marketing/PR and developer outreach programs, organize strategic meetings and events for publishers looking for content, support the IGDA, OGA, and similarly focused developer groups nationwide, produce websites and virtual worlds, and provide extensive business development support with consistent closing. I continue to foster strong relationships with developers, publishers, and platform holders around the world, and cultivate and maintain a large Rolodex [Ed. Note: lols what's a rolodex] of contacts within the games industry.

For Joy Machine, I basically make sure Trent doesn't accidentally destroy things.

Jason Cherubini
Chief Finance Officer

Jason Cherubini, CPA has over 15 years experience in international development, strategic planning and reorganization of start-up to mid-stage companies. He has specialized in capital raising and maximizing shareholder return through operational efficiencies. He has worked across a variety of industries including manufacturing, real estate, government contracting, and renewable energy, but his core area of focus has been in the technology industry, specifically focusing on education and entertainment.

Fredrik Skarstedt
Art Director

I'm working closely with Trent to establish the unique personality of the Steel Hunters world through its visuals, style, and general aesthetic. And make sure we get exactly what we want going into the game at all times. I’m also responsible for making the UI look awesome and work easily when you click buttons and navigate menus.

Besides directing art, I also do illustration and graphic design work both inside and outside the game industry. I also worked on Card Dungeon!