St. Louis Game Development Feed

Ringing in the New Year with Local Industry Friends

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Sara Hardin and Dexter Woltman posing for a 'sweet' portrait.

On January 22, the St. Louis Game Developers Co-op celebrated a long-awaited in-person event with a holiday party at a local St. Louis brewery. The St. Louis Game Developer Co-op is a great resource for local game developers looking for fellowship and network opportunities. In addition to fostering a welcoming place for game industry folks to collaborate, they also signal-boost small creators and serve as an educational source for developers and creatives across all gaming mediums.

Dexter Woltman and Sara Hardin attended as Brunette Games representatives and enjoyed an evening socializing with local game-industry professionals and hopefuls. In addition to local game developers, designers, and programmers, there were a couple of games available to demo. Sara and Dexter had a great time trying out an in-development project from Shiny Dolphin Games called Zap Blastum: Galactic Tactics, a top-down, twin stick shooter.

The event took place at Earthbound Beer, a well-known St. Louis brewery.

To top off the event, the organizers acknowledged participants' released games from 2022 and commemorated their achievements with patches. Brunette Games repped with an impressive list of released titles featuring our narrative work over the last few years:

Jane Austen Solitaire, Super Gaming (2020)
Disney Frozen Adventures, Jam City (2020)
Crime Mysteries: Find Objects, G5 Entertainment (2020)
Ava's Manor: A Solitaire Story, Uken Games/Mighty Kingdom (2020)
Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff, Jam City (2021)
Family Guy: Another Freakin' Mobile Game, Jam City (2021)
Animal Island, Gear/Tilting Point (2021)
Kingdoms of Heckfire, A Thinking Ape (2021)
Cooking Confidential, Archosaur (2021)
Magnum Quest, Tuyoo Games (2021)
Jellipop Match, MicroFun (2022)
Merge Mansion, Metacore/Supercell (2022)
City Escape, Sparkling Society (2022)
M&M'S Adventure, Gear/Tilting Point (2022)
Mergeland: Alice's Adventure, NewBornTown (2022)
Jigsaw Puzzle Villa, ZiMAD (2022)
Solitaire Grand Harvest, Playtika (2022)
Cash Journey, Jumbo (2022)

These milestone patches were awarded to local developers.

As a St. Louis-based company, participating in St. Louis Game Developer Co-op events is just one way Brunette Games engages with the local community. We frequently hold in-person meetings and workshops at the Mid-County Chamber of Commerce, through which Brunette Games has supported small, local businesses for years via continuous membership. The Chamber has shown its own support for Brunette Games by featuring us in a Business Spotlight and a Founder Feature on Lisa Brunette.

We look forward to attending future St. Louis Game Developer Co-op events, where we can congregate - and commiserate - with the area's best and brightest in the gaming field! 

Brunette Games at GDC 2022!


We're pleased to announce that Jenna Hume and Dexter Woltman will represent Brunette Games at the Game Development Conference this year.

Jenna celebrated her first anniversary last month with a promotion to Writer|Designer II. She's worked on six released titles already in her year on the job, with many more unannounced projects still in development. A great fit for the crazy mashup of creativity and technical prowess that game writing requires, Jenna came to us with an MFA in writing already in hand and a zillion hours logged on Pokémon Go. She even met her husband playing that game!

Dexter is employee No. 3 here at Brunette Games, and he's been with the company since 2018. He leads our writing and design work on two Family Guy titles and has worked on 17 other released games, with many more still in development. He's developing special expertise in two main areas: humor writing for games and story/gameplay integration. He's written articles on industry topics for IronSource's LevelUp in addition to this blog, and he's presented at Geekle and at public events sponsored by the St. Louis Game Development Co-Op.

Jenna Hume and Dexter Woltman.

Their conference focus is participation in the Game Narrative Summit, with a day set aside for meetings as well. We encourage you to reach out to us via the contact page to schedule some time to talk with our team during the conference. We wish all GDC attendees a fruitful, safe, and engaging conference this year!


Brunette Games Team Promotions!

Dexter Woltman, recently promoted to writer|designer II, sporting his Brunette Games logo jacket.

Brunette Games has grown by leaps and bounds over the past year. We're now a crew of six full-time writer/designers, supported by a pool of five contract voice actors who voice our scripts. One measure of our success is the individual professional growth you can see in our many team promotions in the first half of 2021. Here's a breakdown, and note that we use the title "writer/designer" to capture our team members' dual roles as both game designers and writers of all manner of in-game text, from character dialogue to tutorial messages.

Dexter Woltman: Writer|Designer II

Employee No. 3 at Brunette Games, Dexter has worked on 16 released titles to-date, which includes a wide variety of casual and mid-core games, from My Beauty Spa to Kingdoms of Heckfire. He joined us as a contractor during his senior year in Scriptwriting at Webster University, stepped right into a full-time job as writer|designer I once he graduated in 2019, and was just promoted to writer|designer II, in recognition of his increased leadership and innovation on our clients' projects.  

Jenna Faulkner: Writer|Designer I

Writer/Designer Jenna Faulkner proudly displaying her new biz card.

The fastest promotion our company's ever seen happened this winter when Jenna went from writer/editor to writer/designer I after just six weeks on the job. Maybe it's the fact that she came to us with a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing already in hand, or maybe she was just born for this kind of work! Whatever the case, Jenna's been a key asset as writer and editor for our G5 titles, Homicide Squad: New York Stories and Crime Mysteries: Find Objects, as well as pitching in on Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff and a couple of meaty, unannounced projects where she's already proved her mettle at designing narratives and characters that integrate superbly well with gameplay. 

Amanda VanNierop: Associate Writer|Designer

Amanda VanNierop, associate writer|designer, in her spiffy Brunette Games polo.

In just a year and a half on the job, Amanda has racked up credits on eight released titles, including the high-profile games Sweet Escapes and Disney Frozen Adventures. Wise beyond her years and in possession of enviable talent and confidence, she started out as an editor but quickly took on both writing and designing duties as well, proving she could handle some tough assignments, hence the promotion to associate writer|designer. Amanda's with us full-time for the summer, but the rest of the year she keeps up the good work while finishing her double majors in English and Psychology. In her spare time, she wields a sword in her fencing classes, too! We're all in awe.

Anthony Valterra: VP Game Design & Strategy

VP Game Design and Strategy, Anthony Valterra, one-half of Brunette Games leadership.

Along with our creative team promotions, with a growing staff has come expanded roles for leadership as well, with two key title changes.

First, Anthony's done a bang-up job as business director over the past two years, and a good deal of our tremendous growth is to his credit. He's also written, designed, and consulted on 14 released titles since joining Brunette Games, including Ava's Manor: A Solitaire Story and Sweet Escapes. He's more than earned his new title as vice president, game design and strategy, which does a better job of encompassing his dual roles, too, as well as showcasing his veteran status in the game industry, having shepherded illustrious brands such as Dungeons & Dragons and Avalon Hill prior to the top-grossing games currently under his purview.

Lisa Brunette: Chief Creative Officer

CCO Lisa Brunette, with her award for five years at the helm of Brunette Games.

Last but not least is founder and owner Lisa Brunette, a game-industry influencer who shaped the way we design stories and characters in casual games through her work on top titles Matchington Mansion, Lily's Garden, and literally hundreds of other released titles in her nearly 15-year career in games. With one foot in the narrative puzzle genre and the other in interactive novel apps, Lisa has grown Brunette Games from a solo act to a highly respected team of creatives in just five years. While she never imagined herself in C-level shoes, she finally found the right title for her work in this one: chief creative officer.

Join us in congratulating the team on their well-deserved promotions! Here's to another successful year.