The geeks behind the curtain
You’ve checked out the Alteil: Horizons Kickstarter. Maybe you’ve pledged your support - many, many thanks if you have! You’ve read the Kickstarter page back to front, watched our videos, and hopefully learned enough about Horizons to get you as excited about it as we are.
But you probably don’t know very much about the team that’s working to make Horizons a reality. Just who are these Apocoplay guys and gals, anyway?
Who needs a teddy bear when you’ve got Starscream?
Sean is our Project Lead for Alteil, the guy you’ve seen and heard in our videos - partly because he’s a handsome devil, but mostly because he’s got a long, long history with Alteil and the game industry in general. Not too long ago, Sean worked for the company that originally held the US license to Alteil. He was able to live the dream of many gamers - to actually get paid to work on a game he loved playing. When that company was ready to shut the old Alteil down, Sean and Jeff decided to act - and that’s how Apocoplay came to be.
Over the last year, Sean’s worked ridiculously hard to keep the old Alteil up and running while designing and developing Horizons. But that’s not the only thing he works hard on. He’s got a day job working for a major e-commerce company, and he moonlights as a TV scriptwriter. He works on all of these things in addition to Alteil because he has a family and a one-year-old son, and Alteil isn’t yet at a place where it’s paying the bills. But he loves Alteil and what it can become. The thrill of living the gamer’s dream keeps him going as he’s pounding out 18+ hours of work every day.
Buffy likes to jump on Jeff’s keyboard and is Apocoplay’s Chief Typo Officer.
Jeff’s Alteil forum username is “MysteryMan”, but it’s time to throw back the veil and tell you a bit more about him. Jeff is our tech genius and CEO. He’s the brains behind the Horizons game engine. But he didn’t become a programming guru overnight. For over twelve years, Jeff built big software applications for healthcare, web searching, and even the US government. He learned a lot, contributed a lot, and could have easily spent the next 30 years with a nice, comfortable career as a senior software engineer.
But he didn’t love what he was doing.
Jeff loves games. He loves playing them and building them. He wanted to live the gamer’s dream. So when the opportunity to turn a favorite game into something truly great became a reality, Jeff scraped together his savings, left his old software job, and started Apocoplay with the goal of getting a kick-ass sequel to Alteil live this year. It’s been a crazy busy year for Jeff with a lot of sleepless nights and Ramen for dinner, but he’s bringing Horizons closer and closer to reality every day - and having a blast doing it.
Anime nerd queen, artist, and mom - Merideth wears many different hats.
A lot of you have told us that Horizons looks like it’ll be visually amazing. Most of those kudos go straight to Merideth, our Art Director. She’s got a long history of making games, TV shows, and toys look great - including the original incarnation of Alteil, back in the day. When the opportunity arose to continue her work on Alteil and create an awesome sequel, Merideth took the leap and devoted herself full-time to creating a beautiful interface for Horizons.
Like Sean, she’s always loved games, and is thrilled to have the opportunity to make a favorite game even better. Like Sean, she’s taking care of a one-year-old son while working crazy hours on Alteil… hmm, is that a crazy coincidence? Nope, it’s a marriage! Yes, Apocoplay includes a wife-and-husband team of game gurus extraordinaire. Let’s hear it for geek love!
This cube is now occupied by someone other than Josh.
Part wordsmith, part strategist, part marketer, 100% nerd. Josh is our chief communicator, tasked with getting the word out about Alteil to as many people as possible.
Josh used to work in software, helping big companies use technology to do their marketing more effectively. It was a good job, pretty challenging, and even fun - his old company once took him and a bunch of other employees to Brazil as a thank-you for a job well done. But when Jeff showed him Alteil and told him about the awesome things Apocoplay was doing, he decided he needed join the adventure. So he made a budget, said goodbye to his old co-workers and his old paycheck, and started spreading the word about Alteil. From time to time, Josh gets nostalgic for the corporate perks he gave up… but after seeing someone’s eyes light up as he tells them about Horizons, he knows he made the right decision.
Each one of us is lucky to be able to apply our skills making something we truly love. With Horizons, we hope to give you something you’ll enjoy playing as much as we’ve enjoyed building. Your support means everything to us as we do that. Thank you - from the whole team.