Anthony Valterra, Lisa Brunette, and Dexter Woltman at the Riot Games office in St. Louis, back in 2019.
By Lisa Brunette
I’m thrilled to announce three promotions within our team this year. First is Dexter Woltman to a lead role, taking responsibility for our core creative crew. In this young industry, Dexter’s practically a veteran at this point, having completed his first Brunette Games assignment as a freelancer back in 2018, when he was simultaneously studying scriptwriting at Webster University. It’s been personally gratifying to have recognized Dexter’s potential in my game design classes and then watched him make a real name for himself as a game writer and narrative designer. He’s been integral to Brunette Games’ success.
In addition to that key promotion, Anthony Valterra is now chief operating officer. As my husband as well as my right hand, Anthony has been a terrific partner through this now seven-year indie adventure. We all continue to admire how well he wears various hats, whether that’s contract guru, payroll whiz, or creative consultant. We rely on his past experience in both brand and grant management, and we appreciate the color he brings to our table reads with his distinct character voices.
Lastly is my own move to chief executive officer. I’ve known faux “CEOs” at tiny startups who attempted to fill those shoes too early on, and mainly by default. But as the studio’s sole owner, I believed it was important to create a real career path for myself, and I wanted to earn that title––which I did, over seven years. While I never set out specifically to become a CEO, as I saw the opportunity to create and lead a dedicated team of interactive storytellers, I naturally advanced into it. My strategic vision for Brunette Games has held us in good stead as we’ve grown since 2016, having designed, written, and continued to support the narratives on 36 released client titles and counting, for some of the greatest studios in the industry, including the world’s best-known IPs.
Here’s a round-robin Q&A featuring those of us in new roles.
Dexter Woltman, lead writer | designer. This pic prompted a teammate to say, "Remember us little people when your modeling career takes off."
What can clients expect from working with Brunette Games?
Clients can expect top-of-the-line service from industry professionals—both veterans with decades of experience and rising standouts with an exceptional knack for storytelling. With a focus on teamwork, we deliver quality narrative design with an always-fresh perspective. We work hard to ensure our clients are satisfied, and top-performing titles like Merge Mansion and Sweet Escapes showcase the utmost dedication we bring to a project.
What's one of your favorite stories in a TV show, movie, or book?
My favorite movie of the last year is “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” It's a satisfying, character-driven story that doesn't get lost in the shuffle of its multiverse hijinks. With powerful performances and top-notch writing, it mixes humor and emotion with spectacular set pieces. Ultimately, it's a story about acceptance—and I think we can all learn a little from it.
COO Anthony Valterra, sporting a sweatshirt emblazoned with the classic brand he once managed at Wizards of the Coast.
What's your favorite thing about working for Brunette Games?
Getting to see a game we have worked on find its audience and be appreciated. We’ve worked on a number of indie titles that performed above expectations. That is always very satisfying.
What does a perfect day look like for you?
A project completed, followed by a new project coming in. It is always a joy to see a project completed. And it is always exciting to see something new coming in the door!
CEO Lisa Brunette, who started the whole thing.
Lisa Brunette, Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
What makes Brunette Games’ work so valuable to clients?
Without expert narrative input at the concept stages, I don’t think Lily’s Garden and Matchington Mansion––two of our most well-known efforts––would have become the hits they are today. Our clients get a lot of bang for their buck working with us, and we don’t even charge royalties on any of these games, which earn millions of dollars a month.
What’s a surprising/interesting fact about you?
I’ve been writing for 30+ years, and I was a journalist prior to finding a home in the game industry. I interviewed a lot of quirky characters, including the designer of the Batmobile! For that I got autographed photos of the car for my two brothers, who were both mechanics at the time.
Join me in congratulating Dexter and Anthony on the promotions, and a shout-out to our clients, who make our work––and their games––possible.