Scarlet City Studios is about telling redemptive stories through digitally driven media. We want to engage this generation in the environments they inhabit with narratives and experiences that bring them to encounter hope and truth. We craft excellent media containing life-affirming messages, like a scarlet thread in a tapestry that draws people’s attention and so lead them to experience the world in a new way. We want to build a place in their virtual worlds that reaches into their real world, connecting with them through digitally driven media that captures their imaginations. By using the cultural narratives they know and live out of, we seek to connect messages of redemption and hope with the stories that give them identity. We create compelling worlds and captivating stories based on this conviction that allow people to explore what hope and truth means for their lives. By crafting beautiful media products that faithfully represent these themes, we want to reveal the world we were intended to be part of.
Carl had a 25 year career in state education concluding (in 2005) with his service as an Intermediate School Principal for eight years. Since then he has served in church ministry as an Executive Pastor, Acting Pastor and Ministries Coordinator; studied theology (at both Laidlaw College and Carey Baptist College), become a consultant to Christian Schools, written Christian curriculum for Christian Schools, advised boards on governance and strategic planning matters and chaired two school boards. He is passionate about education and theology in the context of the school environment. He is constantly looking at creative ways to help students engage their lives in the greatest true story of all time
Tim has been writing all his life – sure it started with forged report cards but that takes real skill when you’re 7. However, Tim isn’t just a writer – he’s a thinker, creator and a gamer. He’s Australian so he pretty much thinks he can do everything better than anyone else. We forgive him for that because sometimes he is right. Tim is passionate about the work of Scarlet City Studios because as a young teen he was captured by the power of C.S. Lewis’s Narnia work and believes this could be as ground breaking for a current generations as Narnia was for many others.
Paul has been designing games since he was 7 and programming them from even earlier. He believes games have a unique ability to teach important truths by letting the player feel and experience them even before players fully understand, which makes them an excellent way to communicate the subtleties and complexities of the christian faith. Not content to build games that are just fun, Paul wants to create games that give meaningful experiences to their players.
Brook is a learner and a thinker, who loves helping to bring about change. He graduated from The University of Auckland with a MSc in 2010, and in 2011 completed a Graduate Diploma in Applied Theology at Carey Baptist College, whilst working in a project management role for Legacy Projects. Brook is passionate about systems, processes, and good strategy. Brook’s role as the Producer involves overseeing the team and holding the project on schedule.
Andrew hails from cold Canadian winters to share in his knowledge of video game art, his passion for the relevance of the Bible, and his appreciation of warmer climates. He enjoys problem solving, developing efficient work strategies, and spending time with his wife and children. When he’s not at work you can sometimes find him reading a book or peering through a telescope.
Richard grew up reading Asterix and Obelix, Tin Tin and The Illustrated Bible, so he knows a good picture can add a thousand words to a good narrative. After spending years drawing in the back of his school books, he went to Freelance Animation College NZ and earned a Diploma in 2D animation. He went on to a job as a computer game concept artist for a Children’s Virtual World and is a published comic strip artist. In his spare time he is an amateur stand up comedian and hopes one day everyone else will get the joke
Outside of battling Titans high up in the Southern most part of the Alps Bronson has a fiery love for painting things that look pretty, to put it simply. Though ‘pretty’ in his terms, can be somewhat barbaric and heavily Frazetta inspired. Bronson moved away from his home town in Timaru after graduating from High School and began to study digital animation, art and video. He is a firm believer in the Bible and its teachings, and relishes the opportunity to pay testament to its texts through the media of video gaming!
Del’s passion for art and animation began in her childhood through Disney and Pixar movies. Her brothers however had other interests and eventually every screen in their home was for playing games. This childhood launched Del on the path to study Digital Design at AUT, where she graduated in 2013. As you can imagine, she is uniquely suited to interning here at Scarlet City Studios, where she specialises in Animation, 3D Modelling and 2D Art. Contrary to popular belief, Del was not named after her laptop.
Growing up, Josh spent endless hours playing Sega Megadrive, and when not playing video games, he was drawing and painting the ideas that sprang out of his imagination, inspired by games like Pokemon Red/Silver and Final Fantasy. Josh wanted to make spaces that fuel people’s imaginations as well as enable them to experience magical places like those from his childhood. Art literally oozes out of Josh – he even wrote a 6000 word essay at university on the hand-painted texturing style!
Playing games as a child, Kimleng was captivated and immersed within stories, characters and environments. The thought that everything he was experiencing in this game had come from someone’s mind inspired him to create himself. Kimleng dreamt of using his own imagination to create and inspire others as well. When not creating art, Kimleng can be summed up by the following loves: dragons, martial arts, green tea and eating chicken.
Gaming has been a huge part of Eric’s life since he was a little kid playing Street Fighter. Nowadays, he spends a lot of his spare time playing League of Legends and Counter Strike, and as such he is fully aware of the impact that gaming has on today’s youth. He has worked with a range of different 3D art styles, but hand painted textures are a personal favourite. When not gaming, he loves using his imagination to draw new and unique things that no one has seen before.
Paul loves words. For him there is something special about shaping just the right phrases to communicate truth in ways others can grasp. He has degrees in both Theology and Media Studies and has refined his craft across several vocations over a number of years. Paul is a movie buff and gamer, and fell in love with steampunk genre from the first moment he discovered it. He is extending his writing experience now into the field of game design, exploring where story and play converge to make an experience richer.
Andy has had a love both for playing and creating games since a young age. As a child he would create sprawling Lego adventure games with vast dungeons scrawled in maths books. He later progressed to creating computer games on his home PC. He completed both a Bachelor of Media Arts and a Bachelor of Computer Science before starting his professional career as a Web Developer. The passion for creating games stayed with him though and he would spend large amounts of spare time working on game ideas. He is excited to now be able to pursue his passion as his vocation and intends to help make The Aetherlight into a quality game that many players will enjoy.
Mike has a passion for history and finding out how everything connects together. From an early age to today, Mike designs board games, card games, and miniature games to explore and learn about the world around him and to have fun with friends and family. He believes that games should tell stories and that players should walk away from them having overcome challenges as well as have had an enjoyable experience. Mike’s journey has brought him from his native USA to New Zealand in 2007, where he has joined the team at Scarlet City Studios in 2015.
Philippa is a teacher who is passionate about education, theology, and 21st century pedagogy. She loves the intermediate age group – children on the cusp of adolescence keen to learn lots about the world and their place in it. Philippa was recently awarded the position of Apple Distinguished Educator – an acknowledgment of excellence in forward thinking classroom practice.
Stephen is a passionate game developer from Australia, eager to create new and surprising types of games. Delighted by the prospect of helping more people understand God and his work in the world, he is excited that his programming and Unity skills can be put to good use at Scarlet City. Stephen’s favourite games are those he played when he was young and he hopes The Aetherlight will become something that others will form fond memories of as well.
Weber Li was born in Taiwan, in a family that was full of puzzle games and logic toys. This shaped him to like solving problems and finding answers – eventually he studied Computer System Engineering at the University of Auckland. After he graduated in 2011, he started his first job at Outsmart Ltd as a software developer. As a Christian, he always wants to work for his beliefs and decided to join the team after knowing the purpose of the studio. In his spare time, he likes to compose music, write musical dramas and play ‘creative’ games.
Alistair has always loved playing and creating games, whether they be board games, video games or completely imagination driven games. He has developed a deep interest in both the technical and artistic components of game development and is always learning new techniques for creating games and experiences. He started as an intern at Scarlet City Studios after graduating from a Digital Design degree at AUT. He now works at Scarlet City Studios part time whilst studying a Master of Creative Technologies at Auckland University of Technology.
Craig has been making and recording musical noises since he was a lad. He received a BMus with Honours majoring in jazz piano from Massey University but has always aimed to listen, write and play music in every situation possible from grooving club music to string quartets to heavy rock bands. Craig has a particular interest in the unique and increasingly sophisticated role of audio in games, and is excited to be telling God’s story through the music and sound design of The Aetherlight. When not dabbling in audio-related things, he enjoys taking his wife out for fancy dinners, or attempting to cook them at home.
James has been fascinated with computers ever since his Dad came home with a Amstrad PCW. James soon learned how to type the commands necessary to active the game ‘Test Drive’ and was soon hooked. This passion lead James to study Computer Science at The University of Waikato, graduating in 2003. Since then he worked as a computer programmer and SysAdmin for various companies, including Fonterra. When not in front of a glowing screen, James likes to make things out of old pallets, play board games, and even enjoys the odd run.
At a young age Lance was utilising the many iterations of RPG Maker to formulate easy-to-create video games for him and his friends. By this time he’d already garnered many accolades in games; from beating Sephiroth in the centre of the planet thereby averting global destruction, to defeating Sarevok under Baldur’s Gate and preventing civil war. After getting in touch with Scarlet City Studios, and explaining his passion for gaming and creation, the team was persuaded to hire him to test their visionary game. He currently works at beating up automatons for a living and spending any spare time he can find studying to create games. So really, things haven’t changed all that much.
While on maternity leave, Villette saw the role of ‘office manager’ advertised and immediately applied to join the Scarlet City Studios Team. Villette knew she just had to be a part of a Kiwi organization who had the innovation, nous and determination to create an online biblical game! As a Mum with years of experience covering various admin roles in not-for-profits & churches while bringing up her children, and before that being a Youth Worker and Production Assistant in media environments she has plenty of experience to be able to support the team. And as a previous Executive Assistant for some top corporate Exec’s she does a good job of looking after Carl too.
Elizabeth is the ‘student co-ordinator’ for the postal and email Bible lessons, and has been working in the PSSM office for over 20yrs. Her current role is mainly co-ordinating with the students and volunteer markers of the monthly Bible lessons (sent out by email or post) – answering their letters and emails, editing and preparing the lessons for printing each month, and keeping all their computer records up to date.
When Sam was a kid his brother and him didn’t have many toys. As a substitute he would draw out their favourite characters and monsters and they would play with the paper cut-outs of those drawings. Years later, after completing school and studying graphic design at university, he has set out to create his own characters, worlds and stories for others to enjoy.
Mitch is an experienced Digital sector entrepreneur with a passion for designing, building and scaling digital technology products for a global audience. As the Co-founder of the teen-targeted virtual world SmallWorlds, Mitch Olson raised investment from The Disney Corporation to build New Zealand’s largest social gaming company with nearly 30 million registered players worldwide. He is a director and investor of a number of digital companies in New Zealand.
David Williams is an accomplished writer and academic. Williams began his career as a journalist before earning his PhD in Theology. During his tenure as Professor at Laidlaw College, in Auckland, New Zealand, Williams has designed a new counseling degree program. In 2010, Williams left academia to return to publishing. He launched The Garden, a new monthly news magazine delivered free to 20,000+ homes in the Mt Eden area, a suburb of Auckland. He also consults and speaks on topics of communication, human relationships, epistemology and theology.
The Aetherlight, is a new online, action-adventure game. Join the Scarlet Man and the Resistance as they set out to liberate Aethesia from the Grand Emperor, his army of Automatons and the fog that holds the land captive. Join the Resistance movement to restore the Great Engineer, the Scarlet Man to his rightful place on his throne.
Set in a steampunk world, the story of The Aetherlight mirrors a much older story of scripture that spans centuries, from the ancient story of Genesis through the Exile in Egypt, ultimately unfolding across the Old and New Testaments. Taking an approach similar to that of Narnia, though for a digital generation, The Aetherlight enables kids to play, craft and quest their way through the story of the Bible as it unfolds in the online, steampunk world of Aethasia.
Our in-built Resistance academy incentivizes players to connect the dots between the characters they’re familiar with from the game and the prominent figures and storylines of the Bible. Somewhere between washing up on the shores of Aethasia and liberating Aethasia from the Grand Emperor so that the Scarlet man can return to his rightful seat on the throne, players learn that they are actively participating in a narrative of redemption.
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