The Red Fly Team and their kids. maddog.jpg

Red Fly Studio – January 2007

The team so far

Red Fly Studio – February 2008


Red Fly Studio – April 2010


dantoon.jpg Dan Borth
Creative Director/ CEO
With 12 years of experience in the industry, Dan maintains a broad range of expertise including modeling, texturing, animation, and sculpture. He has also worked at some of the leading studios in the industry for Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft.
kristoon.jpg Kris Taylor
Art Director
Kris Taylor began working in the game industry in 1996 as a sculptor and cinematic artist, and he has been working on games, film, and commercials ever since. Having worked at leading companies such as Retro Studios, Sony Online Entertainment, and Microsoft (where he was a Lead on a high profile Xbox 360 game title), Kris drives the delivery of the high end work for which Red Fly Studio is well-known.
frank.jpg Frank Teran
Lead Concept Artist
Although drawing since the age of 2, Frank’s “professional” career began in comic books, illustrating stories freelance for all the mainstream publishers like DC/Vertigo, Marvel, Dark Horse and Image Comics for about 7 years before taking the plunge into the murky abyss of game development. Since then, he’s done conceptual/promotional art for Ion Storm (
Thief: Deadly Shadows), Eidos, Breakaway, Obsidian (
Neverwinter Nights 2) and Epic Games (
Gears of War).
Now he’s here with the rest of these maggots at Red Fly Studio.
jeffm.jpg Jeff Mills
Technical Design Director
Jeff started his career at 7th Level with Dan and Kris, serving as Technical Director for
Return to Krondor. Nicknamed “Jeff-3PO” by his peers because of his ability to serve as translator between programmers and artists and his robotic efficiency, Jeff has spent his career as a facilitator among the various disciplines within the development studio structure. Part programmer, part artist, part scripter, his experience gives him valuable insight into the process of developing video games. He spent eight years at Terminal Reality producing
Nocturne, Blair Witch: Vol 1, and the
BloodRayne series. He brought Terminal Reality’s powerful Infernal Engine with him to serve as the foundation for Red Fly Studio’s games.
chad.jpg Chad Barron
Chad Barron has over 12 years of professional game development experience to his credit in various roles across the industry. He has held positions handling internal production projects for various studios to Mar/Comm responsibilities for an industry leader in Middleware to being the External Director for a new handheld platform. In addition to bringing a wealth of PR/Marketing and production knowledge to the Studio, Chad also brings to the team strong connections in the gaming industry, including press, technology vendors and publishers.
James Clarendon
Lead Programmer
James Clarendon started in the games industry at a small arcade repair shop in 1996. After that, he joined Electronic Arts / Tiburon to work on Madden NFL Football 2002 for the PC. From there, he went to Compulsive Development to work on the PC titles Bicycle Cards and Bicycle Casino for Microsoft.
After a short stint at Glass Eye Entertainment, who took over Compulsive, he went to Ion Storm in 2002 to work on Deus Ex 2: Invisible War and Thief: Deadly Shadows for the XBox and PC. Work began on a third title in the Deus Ex universe, but when the company folded he moved on to Fizz Factor (aka the Austin branch of Amaze Entertainment). There he worked on a GameKey game expansion for the JAKKS Pacific TV Game version of The Fantastic Four. When this was completed, he moved on to Breakaway Games to work on serious games as well as forays into next-gen console and handheld work.
He resides in Austin, Texas with an exceedingly gray cat and a gigantic collection of classic (and not-so-classic) game systems, from the Neo Geo to the Atari Lynx.
bob.jpg Bob Frye
Bob Frye has spent the last 14 years working for Origin Systems and Digital Anvil in Austin where he contributed textures, models, and animation for games such as:
Ultima VII: The Black Gate, Ultima Underworld II, Wing Commander: Privateer, Bioforge, Ultima IX: Ascension, Ultima Online and
johari.jpg Johari Templin
Lead Environment Artist
Johari started at Origin Systems in 1993 working on
Ultima 8 and a WWI flight game called
Wings of Glory. For Crusader No Remorse he built props and characters. In 1995 he moved to Simtex/Microprose to work on
Agent Of Justice designing and modeling characters. In 1998 he went to Digital Anvil/Microsoft to work on
Freelancer modeling characters and props. He also created character concepts and large environments for
Enwor and
ozzy.gif Brett Harris
Lead Animator
Brett Harris has 7 years experience in the gaming industry working for Kinesoft and Digital Anvil/ Microsoft on PC and Xbox titles. He has worked as an animator and later as a lead on various projects such as: Crimson Order, Freelancer 2, Brute Force, and Enwor.
wills_boy.jpg Will Kier
Lead Artist
Will’s career started at Sega back in 1991, making simple games for the Game Gear and Sega Genesis where he helped ship half a dozen titles in as many years. The highlight: working on the overkills, vendettas, and sudden deaths for
Eternal Champions: Challenge from the Dark Side, voted most violent game of that year and more recently listed as number one on IGN’s top ten list of best gore effects. Hell yeah!
Will moved to Austin in 1997 to work at Origin Systems on Wing Commander Prophecy and eventually moved to Sony to sculpt environments for Star Wars Galaxies. But after spending seven years working on MMOs Will is ecstatic to once again work on console games, where the games are at their most creative, and there is no such thing as player housing.
zach.jpg Zach Jaquays
Zach cut his teeth in the industry on mobile games with Klear Games, creating sprites for the Catwoman and Batman Begins cell phone games. From there, he went on to modeling, texturing, and rigging in-game assets for Ensemble Studios on Age of Empires III and its subsequent expansion, Age of Empires III: The Warchiefs.
amorris.jpg Andrew Morris
Environment Artist
Andrew has been both an avid gamer and a dedicated artist since his youth. He started creating games early with modifications for the original Unreal Tournament, and his love for creating art for games grew into a career. Red Fly is the first *paying* job he has had creating models and textures for games.
Damien DiFede
Damien began programming games as a founding member of Kokoromi, a game collective currently based in Montréal. He helped organize GAMMA 01: Audio Feed, an indy game presentation/party at the 2006 Montréal International Game Summit and then co-presented the games from that event at the 2007 GDC Experimental Games Workshop. He is also a contributor to the Cubid+ project of the Hexagram Institute for Research/Creation in Media Arts and Technologies.
mattl.jpg Matt Lopez
Environment Artist
Matt came to Red Fly after finishing school in Los Angeles. While there he worked on several mod’s with the Game Wizards production team. He entered the industry as a modeling and texture artist at Climax working on PSP titles. From there he went on to Isopod Labs as a vehicle artist for an unannounced Xbox Live game.
billd.jpg Bill Daly
Lead Artist
In 1996 Bill went to work for 7th Level along with Dan, Kris and Jeff. Since then his career has taken him to Ion Storm, Edge of Reality, Retro Studios, Sony Online Entertainment and Bioware Corp, where he had the opportunity to master his trade. Focusing the past half of his career on character/creature assets and player customization systems for MMORPGs, Bill is excited to direct his skills toward the console game market. Returning to work with his long time industry brethren at Red Fly Studio, he feels right at home.
tasdrawin.jpg T.A.S.
Concept Artist
Thomas A. Szakolczay started his career back in 99. Westwood Studios in Vegas decided to give this kid a break as a concept artist, and it was good! With 3 years and 3 titles under his belt, it was time to move on. Crawling from the dustbowl, T.A.S. decided to explore new opportunities in Los Angeles and landed a job at Gray Matter Studios. T.A.S. was happy in his new home, but all was not as it seemed, a dark cloud descended on the small happy studio and thus began his service for Activision were he pumped out concepts and character models for 3 WW2 games.T.A.S. was at his wit’s end and sought to regain his lost sense of creative expression. Taking pity on poor T.A.S.’s plight, A Red Fly came to visit him, said it would make things better and took him under its creepy translucent wing… and it was great!
Nick Nick Reynolds
Environment Artist
At 18 months old Nick climbed a ladder his dad had been using to fix the air conditioner on the roof, when he reached the peak he sat down and started to draw with the paper and markers he had brought along. After surviving many other life endangering adventures he finished art school and started his career as an environment artist at Pandemic studios working on Mercenaries. From there he went on to work on Spy vs Spy, Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter and Darksiders.
todd.jpg Todd Swanson
Todd made his way into the game industry after spending two years in school for computer animation. In 2005 he was hired at Mad Doc Software where he worked on several unreleased Unreal3 projects. He joined the ranks of Red Fly in hopes of bringing his own individual flavor to the Studio’s already unique artistic vision.
Dustin Dustin Dobson
Producer /
Tech Artist
Dustin has been writing bios about himself since 1999 when he first started in the game industry. He must really love them since he’s moved around quite often he’s had to write a lot of them. When not writing bios he strives to do things that would eventually end up in some bio in the future. For example, he recently worked at THQ and shipped Saints Row as a vehicle art coordinator. He’s also worked in the past as a lead artist, technical artist, senior artist, senior texture artist, senior modeler, fx artist, and before that he worked as just an artist. Studios he’s worked at have include Vigil Games, Volition, Vicious Cycle and several others that don’t start with the letter ‘V’.
Hoping to never have to write another bio (after this one) Dustin joined Red Fly Studio in late 2007.
rudydiaz.jpg Rudy Diaz
Environment Artist
Rudy went to elementary school, he loved it. He played games and drew turtles that were ninjas. He went to art school and then started making video games. First at Vicious Cycle, then time off, then at Vigil, and now at Red Fly. “Austin is nice” he said once. El Paso is the place of his birth, way back in ’82 when you weren’t even born yet. “Making games is fun” he stated once. Just the other day he said he hated the internet, but then changed his mind about it.
erik.jpg Erik Touve
Senior Programmer
Erik Touve started programming professionally in 1995 and entered the games industry in 2000 at Glass Eye Entertainment and began work on the Microsoft Casino team as a game programmer.
In 2003 he went to Ion Storm Austin to work on Thief: Deadly Shadows. After finishing Thief he assisted on pre-production efforts for a new Deus Ex title before Ion Storm closed its doors.
For a brief stint he worked in the cell-phone space and later he joined BreakAway Games working on serious games for the military and pre-production for a next-gen console title. Erik recently worked for EA/Mythic’s Warhammer Online for the PC.
Erik lives in Austin Texas. He and his wife Julia recently owned and operated the world famous “Macho Taco” in South Austin, serving the best authentic food on planet Earth.
damon_hat_crop.jpg Damon Lane Waldrip
Character Technical Director
Damon is a 14-year veteran in the games industry, and has shipped 9 titles (and of course worked on the inevitable few sad ones that have never seen the light of day). After studying art and music at U.T. Austin, he started his career in games at Origin Systems. There, he helped make Wing Commander Armada, Wing Commander 3 (for the 3DO), Wing Commander 4, Wing Commander Prophecy, and also contributed to Ultima 9 and Ultima Online 2. He eventually went on to Sony Online Entertainment to make Star Wars Galaxies. He is pleased and proud to bring his skills and knowledge to the excellent creative team at Red Fly.
zombie_tre.jpg Tre Zieman
Environment Artist
Tre has been a game developer since 1995, and has worked at Acclaim Studios Austin, Wolfpack Studios, Breakaway Games, Junction Point, and now Red Fly. He has been a character artist, environment artist, animator, and lead environment artist over the years, working on several titles, including Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, Turok 2: Seeds of Evil, Turok 3: Oblivion, Turok: Rage Wars, Shadowbane, The Red Star, and others (including some ‘serious games’ and prototypes). He was attracted to Red Fly by the cool projects, the talented team (many of whom he’s worked with previously), and the contagious energy of the studio. In his personal time, Tre enjoys life casting and creating special makeup effects. He can also juggle, which isn’t as useful as one might expect.
ricky.jpg Ricky Cambier
Game Designer
Ricky Cambier thinks video games are where it is at. The only thing better than art you can watch is art you can play. He cut his teeth as a professional game designer at Aspyr Media, right here in Austin, working on three titles in the Sims Stories line. Before arriving in Texas he toured the US and Europe, performing and creating theatre pieces with a variety of ensembles. He is proud to join Red Fly Studio and help realize their vision.
bioimage_justin_small3.jpg Justin Gilbert
Justin Gilbert has been programming professionally for 8 years. He cut his teeth at Leading Edge Media where he created robust database driven web applications and back-end intranets. He then decided to go back to school and obtained a Bachelors Degree in Game Development at Full Sail Real World Education. After graduating he moved his family to Austin so he could work Multimedia Games. After a short stint there he happily moved over to Red Fly doing console development.
bill3wii.jpg Bill Kirkman
Gameplay Programmer
A graduate of the Full Sail Bachelor program, former programmer at Webfoot Technologies (which deals largely in licensed hand-held titles for the DS), and fellow gaming enthusiast. After braving the bitter colds of Chicago, Bill is fortunate to find himself a scripter position with Red Fly in the beautiful Austin area. His interests include: Games (both table-top and electronic), waveboarding (think a skateboard, but with 2 wheels), anime, manga, comics, books, long walks on the beach, and making cheesecake (which, by the way, is neither cheese nor a cake).
herbie.jpg Herbie Piland
Gameplay Programmer
Herbie has been playing and designing video games since the late 80s, when his older sister unearthed a dusty Atari system in order to spare her Smurf collection from being conscripted into yet another lopsided battle against a fierce squad of Lego men. As he grew up, Herbie continued to work on his own games across a variety of genres and formats, picking up two degrees from Old Dominion University along the way before finally breaking into the industry as a Gameplay Programmer at Red Fly Studio. It is rumored he thinks ferrets are really cool, but information on this is sketchy at best.
Alex Haggerty
Alex has loved video games ever since coming home from school and trying to wade through his three brothers so he could play Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He took that passion to California where he graduated from The Art Institute of CA at Los Angeles. Out of school he worked as a Motion Capture Artist on a digital short that was aired on the Ellen Degeneres show. He finally escaped L.A. later that year and got hired on at RedFly as a Junior Animator. He couldn’t be happier.
Liz Becker
QA Tester
Liz has been interested in video games since the day her parents brought home a Sega Master System. She began working in QA for the game industry upon earning her BFA in Studio Art. After working for such companies as Digital Anvil, Ion Storm, and Midway Studios- Austin, Liz now brings all of that QA knowledge to Red Fly Studio.
Josh Parker
Effects Artist
Josh started life out wanting to be a storyteller, eventually deciding game design was the best creative medium for him after serving for four and a half years in the Marine Corps infantry.
Josh started work in the game industry in 2006 as a game artist at Frozen Codebase. He worked on several XBOX Live Arcade titles before moving out to Austin to join the Red Fly Studio team in 2008.
Mike McShaffry
Executive Producer
Mike McShaffry has been in the games industry since 1990 starting at Origin Systems as a programmer working on the Ultima series. Since then he’s worked on more than a dozen shipped games on the PC, Xbox, PS2, and the Wii, in FRPG, MMO, kids, casual, military, action/stealth, and platforming genres. Mike somehow found the time and will to write a book, Game Coding Complete, now in its third edition and published by Charles River Media. On his off hours Mike enjoys biting off way more than he can chew on home projects, helping with the local IGDA chapter and a charity haunted house called SCARE for a CURE, shreading singletrack on his mountain bike, and enjoying good times with his wife of 20 years, Robin, and his friends.
cjones Courtland Jones
QA Tester
This guy is all about anime, motorcycles, UNIX, music and video games. (Proud geek / adventure nerd, nerd of romance!) Graduated from the Art Institute of Houston in 2001, then moved to San Diego for four years and worked for Midway (think Mortal Kombat) as a game tester, initially just looking for a summer job. Six years later and after re-relocating back to Austin, he is now the wiz of everything to do with technical certification and programming guidelines. (That means the nerdiest of nerdy QA.) His first gaming machines were an Atari 2600 and a C=64, and has never stopped playing PC and console games; proudest achievement in the industry so far was to have helped design and implement user interface for a big-budget FPS game released last year.
rusty_head Rusty Parks
Gameplay Programmer
Rusty moved to Austin Texas with the dream of becoming a video game designer. He worked a stint as a QA tester and QA lead at Aspyr Media before finally breaking into their design department. He worked as designer on three Sims Stories titles, then on the educational title futureU.
He also helped out as a combat and item designer for the MMORPG Secondhand Lands for Callipygian Games.
Now he is a designer at Red Fly and is jazzed to continue designing games!
chrisspears Chris Spears
Chris started programming in 1978 when his parents bought him a TRS-80 with a whopping 4K of memory. In high school he taught the school’s programming class because none of the teachers knew how to program. Later Chris taught assembly language, C, and C++ in college to help pay for his addiction to playing and programming on MUDs. Chris foolishly entered the professional games industry after his brother told him it would be great fun! 16 years and more than a dozen shipped titles later and he’s still having fun. In his time in the games industry Chris has shipped titles for PCs, massively multiplayer online games, Xbox, Playstation 1 & 2, iPhone, and even a couple of award winning “Smart Toys”. For almost a decade Chris has lived with the curse of having his best-selling title being “Barbie’s Riding Club”. Chris moved to Austin in the mid 90’s and after 13 years he is pretty darn sure it is the best place on Earth to live. Away from his day job of programming computer games Chris likes to hike, cook, play poker, make his own beer, program computer games, spend time with his lovely wife, and play with his Italian Greyhound.
ronavatar Ron Power
Ron found he had a love for drawing at an early age, when he drew his first comic book before the age of ten. His love of comics and art continued, even when his career path seemed to take a left turn into the realm of academia, where he picked up a Master’s degree in Texas History along the way. When he realized he was doodling much more often than taking notes, he decided to return to the world of art, and combine that passion with one for video games. Ron graduated in 2008 with yet another Master’s degree, this time in Interactive Technology from the Guildhall at SMU. Finally set on the right career path, Red Fly Studio is his first professional “art gig” and his first foray into video games.
grace Grace Liu
Grace enjoys casual and hardcore games alike, and can get really competitive when it comes to Real Time Strategy games like Starcraft. She also likes arguing over thick rule books of nerdy board games. After making the amazing discovery that people actually make a living making games, Grace jumped straight into the Guildhall and practiced like mad. Grace loves to paint people in armors, dramatic lighting, and shiny stuff in general. She still hasn’t shaken the unreal sensation of having a foot in the magical door of the game industry.
Chris Chris Frechette
Gameplay Programmer
Chris Frechette graduated Digipen in 2001 with grand visions of pursuing a life in the video game industry. After getting side tracked for several years as a manager with Gold’s Gym, he decided it was time to make a career change and chase his passion. Since leaving Gold’s, he’s cranked out a few homebrew XBOX360 games and an iPhone game. After a couple months in QA at Aspyr, he joined the Red Fly Studio team ready to begin his career.
Sterling Brucks
Interface Designer
Sterling spent most of his formative years putting things in his mouth he probably shouldn’t have. This probably explains his iron constitution. After wasting time in the University of Texas’ pre-med program, he came to the conclusion that the only thing he really liked to do was doodle and play games. Entering into art school, he pursued a graphic design degree and joined a local Champions group. It was more because of the latter than the former that got him hired on at his first game industry job at Illusion Machines Inc. He worked there for two years on a real-time strategy game called Dawn Of War, which was eventually canceled, leading to his having to look for a new job. Over the next 12 years he did odd jobs at several companies, working on everything from PC gambling games, mobile games, to DS games. In June he was hired on at Red Fly Studios, where he plies his trade, making animating doohickeys and buttons.
Paul Schwanz
Level Designer
Paul has been playing computer games since doing so required insane amounts of commitment and patience. He remembers (with a curious degree of fondness) advancing a cassette to just the right point and crossing his fingers through ten minutes of “breeep…breeep” while keeping at bay by sheer force of will the unhealthy “breeuuuuuurp” that meant he had to start the whole process over again. Paul knew then that he was born to create interactive experiences for others to enjoy, but over the course of a stint in the US Army analyzing intelligence and another stint in college studying religion and culture, he forgot this most obvious of facts. He spent the following decade wearing suits and being very professional before coming to his senses. In 2004, he enrolled at Full Sail where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Game Development. Paul kicked off his design career at Edge of Reality, working on a military-themed, stealth-action game. He joined Red Fly Studio in 2009, where he helps make finely-crafted console titles while disrupting the ping pong leader board. Over three years in, Paul has yet to meet a design task he does not love.
Rebekah Tran
Level Designer
Rebekah’s love of gaming began when her dad brought home a work computer and installed Zork. From Zork to Galaga to Super Mario to Final Fantasy to Ultima Online, games became an integral part of her life (she even met her husband while playing Counter Strike at the University of Texas). In 2003, she was given the opportunity to realize her dreams of creating new worlds when she started her career as a designer on Ultima X: Odyssey at Origin Systems. Since then, she has worked on several massively multiplayer games including: City of Heroes, Guild Wars, Auto Assault, Tabula Rasa and Dungeon Runners. Joining Red Fly marks the start of her working on console games, and she is loving every minute of it.
James Shea
2 years ago, Jim Shea left all of his family and friends behind to move from Maryland to Austin, TX in pursuit of his dream. Unfortunately, sometimes his dream manifests itself as soul-crushing, social life consuming crunch time, but hey, that’s a small price to pay when you do what you love, right? Since moving all of his worldly possessions halfway across the country, he’s earned a living writing code that’ll tighten up the graphics a little bit on level 3 even though his mom said he’d never get ANYWHERE with these video games. Before coming to Red Fly Jim worked at the now dead Fizz Factor on the PSP version of G.I.Joe: The Rise of Cobra and Charm Girls’ Club : My Fashion Mall/My Fashion Show on the DS. When not working, Jim likes to cook, watch movies, silently brood, and play video games, both ones that are World of Warcraft and ones that aren’t.
Andrew Gillis
Andrew’s adventure into games began during his college internship; which through some crazy aligning of the stars happened to be at Turbine working on his then favorite game, Asheron’s Call 2: Fallen Kings. Thankfully that internship became a full time job shortly after obtaining his degree in Computer Engineering. During his tenure at Turbine Andrew would have the opportunity to ship both Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach and The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar.
With his experience in the world of MMORPG’s under his belt, Andrew packed his bags and left his native New England behind to find new challenges, adventures and experiences here in Austin, Texas.
Billy George
Concept Artist
Billy George grew up in Austin and graduated from the University of Texas (BA in philosophy) in 1991. Then it was off to California for another degree from Art Center College and a 10 year stint in feature animation at Walt Disney Studios. Billy did layouts, concepts and storyboards for films like Hercules, Pocahontas, Emperors New Groove and Brother Bear. The lack of explicit content and gratuitous gore led Billy in 2006 to move back to his beloved Austin to work in the gaming industry. Billy was Lead Concept artist at Junction Point and Spacetime Studios before settling in with the like-minded psychos at Red Fly Studio.
April “CuppaJo” Burba
Associate Producer
April started her career in the game industry at NCsoft working mostly as a Community Manager on City of Heroes and as a CM and AP on Tabula Rasa. Console games being much more her taste, April is happy to be at Red Fly making games she will actually enjoy and ship in less than a decade. When not at the office April can be found either choking out the CEO or drinking coffee and laughing with friends.

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