We Make Games

For the love of games


We make games because we want to entertain. We want to entertain in a way that's dynamic, interactive, and evolutionary. We want to show you a game and surprise us with how you play it.


We treat our games like a playground. We start with a simple sandbox, toss in a whole bunch of toys, and then make sure that those toys interact in constantly surprising and amazing ways. And we do it efficiently and on-time.


Without you, our games have no purpose. You are the heart and soul of everything we do and why we do it. So, we like to make games that can constantly challenge, constantly amaze, and constantly evolve with the way you want to play them.


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.


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.

Pasted image at 2017_02_25 08_31 AM

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.


Elgn Davidson
Chief Production Officer

I'm into people.

I like to organize things. To a borderline obsessive degree. I like things to be on a schedule, you know? Make sure people don't save it all until the very end and come to hate existence. I also like video games. And dissecting them. I also like golf.

Everyday I'm thankful to be up on two feet.


John Doe
Lead Developer

Who am I? I'm a mystery wizard.

I'm a, well, life-long developer. I've spent entirely too much time in the full-stack, backend, networking development space. So, I guess Trent thought it was finally time I work on a game.

I'm sure my name and face will eventually be "announced". Trent still hasn't promised the big press event for that, though.


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!


Jan Kaluza
Lead Technical Designer

Among other things, Jan is a programmer, designer and artist. After life as a wannabe rockstar then cultural anthropologist, he decided to start making games instead. He also spends his time helping new developers find their legs in the Unreal Engine community and running his own little company.


Peter Laurent
Sr. 3D Artist & Animator

I'm a 3D artist and animator from New Zealand. I've worked through the entire creative process of an animation production having worked in the gaming, litigative, and architectural graphic industries for over a decade. I've also, you know, written two science fiction novels. Which reached the top 5 Kindle bestseller list in 2013. Just saying.


Reb Astle
Social Media Manager

Reb handles social media and online marketing. When Reb isn't serving up content on social media, they like to hang out with dogs, make music and, of course, play video games.