Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer
Adrian has overseen the creative output of all of Six to Start’s main projects, including Liberty News, We Tell Stories, and Smokescreen. Adrian is also responsible for new concept and product development at Six to Start across a range of media including the web, mobile phones, and the real world.
Adrian is one of the world’s leading online and alternate reality game designers, having been influential in the genre since its birth. Previously, Adrian was Director of Play at Mind Candy, where he designed and produced Perplex City, the world’s first commercially successful ARG. Some of the venues at which Adrian has spoken include TED, Google, GDC, Nordic Game and the Montreal Games Summit.
Adrian previously studied neuroscience at Oxford University, Cambridge University, and the University of California at San Diego. Adrian writes about technology for The Telegraph and also on his own blog.
Game Designer and Producer
Matt was the lead designer on Six to Start’s Enigma Challenge, produced for Wired UK, and on the Last Word Challenge for New Scientist and Profile Books; Matt first worked at Six to Start as an intern on Smokescreen.
Matt is an award-winning poet and playwright, with his most recent play being one of Three Weeks “Three to see” at the Edinburgh Fringe 2009. In 2007, the production of his first play, ‘Sour Heart’, included an innovative Alternate Reality Game, ‘U-Media’, which expanded the background of the play through live online events and received widespread critical acclaim..
Previously, Matt studied English Literature and Classics at the University of Edinburgh, with a focus on the development of theatre and on gender theory. During his time at Edinburgh, Matt was an active member of the Edinburgh University Theatre Company, managing its Bedlam Theatre for the Fringe Festival in 2007 and directing eleven successful plays, alongside having four of his original scripts produced as part of the company’s regular output.
An avid player of both Poker and Go, Matt wishes he was better at both, but defies you to beat his highscore on Quadnet, a game which has given him the reflexes of a cat on speed. Writing his dissertation on Philip K. Dick has ensured he never quite believes what is happening to him, which is probably a good thing.
Alex is a hacking enthusiast, multitool-carrying technician, and Electronics and Computer Science graduate. While Alex’s successes to date are chiefly academic (including two published papers and the IEC William L Everitt Student Award of Excellence in 2009), an unshakable passion for connecting people by telling stories with technology has brought Alex to Six to Start.
As technical manager for over fifteen shows and counting, Alex has toured productions to theatres in New York, Florida and the West End. Alex received the NSDF Award for Technical Achievement in Sound in 2006. When not working behind the curtain, Alex enjoys drinking, writing dystopian fiction and trains (preferably all three at the same time).
Six to Start’s in-house artist, Estee graduated with a 1st Class Honours in BA Computer Games Design at the University of Teesside, as well as an MA in Digital Games Theory & Design at Brunel University. She has always been very interested in visual graphic styles used in games and how game art aesthetics can entice players and evoke special feelings in them. In the past she had worked as an intern artist and designer at Gamewax, and as an English localisation & QA tester at Square-Enix. She likes a lot of Japanese games such as: Rez, the Beatmania series, Guitar Freaks series, Taiko no Tatsujin, Pop ‘n’ Twinbee Rainbow Adventures, Rhythm Tengoku, ICO, Ōkami, Mystical Ninja, Hotel Dusk, Phoenix Wright, Final Fantasy 8, Animal Crossing, Brave Fencer Musashi, etc.
As well as games, she grew up with a healthy obsession with 80s-90s Japanese anime shows – her most favourite is the original Super Dimensional Fortress Macross; classic Japanese tokusatsu shows such as Kamen Rider and Ultraman; 70s-early 90s Japanese pop music – Anzen Chitai is her all-time favourite; 90s Canto pop music and TVB dramas. She likes collecting toys and cute music instruments – plays piano and guitar; teaching herself different languages – fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese, currently learning Japanese; karaoke with friends; tea with a dash of milk and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and strawberry flavoured sweets. She likes most animals, and her recent favourite is the llama.
Tim holds a portfolio of Non-Executive Chairmanships and Directorships and is currently Chairman of Six to Start Ltd and Clarinet Ltd. He is also a Non Executive Director of Harmonic, a defence consulting company, and a Venture Partner to NESTA. Tim has worked in senior levels in media, software, and IT services companies throughout his working life.
Tim has a Chemistry MA and DPhil from Oxford University and an MTech from Brunel University. He was an early employee with Logica, where he held numerous senior management positions in the UK and overseas. He was later Managing Director of Oxford Molecular Group plc and floated this software based drug design and genomics company. He has also floated Intelligent Environments plc, the London stock market’s first internet company. Read more about Tim at his LinkedIn profile.
Jo has over 20 years’ experience in a range of media and software businesses both as an Executive and a Non-Executive Director.
In 1998 Jo co-founded Mediagold. The company had offices in the UK, France, Italy, Spain and Germany and gave US software publishers access to the European market place. The UK company experienced high growth and solid profitability between 1998 and 2003 and the business was sold to French company Avanquest at the end of 2003. After leaving Avanquest, Jo continued to work with the Board on M&A projects and also worked as interim COO for Ariadne Capital.
Prior to MediaGold, Jo ran the European Sales Division for the highly successful US consumer publisher Broderbund. She was the second employee of the company and took it from start-up to £12million in revenue in two years. Previously, Jo was involved with a number of companies working with different emerging technologies and chaired the British Interactive Multimedia Association (BIMA). Read more about Jo at her LinkedIn profile.
Andrea Phillips (New York)
Associate Writer and Game Designer
Andrea Phillips is a transmedia writer and game designer. Her work includes a variety of educational and commercial projects, including Routes Game, Perplex City, The 2012 Experience for Sony Pictures, Cathy’s Key, and True Blood.
Routes was an educational project commissioned by Channel 4 Education in the UK aimed at teaching teens about genetics and related science topics. To date, Routes has won the Prix Jeunesse Interactivity Prize, a Broadband Digital award, a BIMA, an IVCA Gold and an IVCA Grand Prix award. Perplex City created a persistent online world that gave the player community a physical treasure to dig up and an overarching mystery to solve. It won the Origins Vanguard Innovation Award in 2005 and was shortlisted for a BAFTA in 2006. In 2007 an interstitial episode of Perplex City, Frozen Indigo Angel, was nominated for the Radio Academy Edge Innovation Award.
Andrea is a co-moderator for the first community of ARG players, the Cloudmakers. She writes about games, storytelling, digital culture, and gender issues on her blog, Deus Ex Machinatio.
Associate Writer and Producer
David Varela is a writer and producer who works across a huge range of media – sometimes all at once. He has recently written and produced two epic transmedia games for Reebok and Sony PlayStation, attracting a truly global audience from over 150 countries.
Before all that, David was an in-house writer on Perplex City and was heavily involved in Frozen Indigo Angel, the crossover co-production between Perplex City and BBC Radio 1.
Outside transmedia, David’s stageplays have been performed at the ICA, the Royal Court, Hampstead Theatre and RADA, and his short films have premiered in Leicester Square and been broadcast on ITV. He has also written several one-off dramas for BBC Radio 4 and BBC7.
Naomi Alderman is a novelist, transmedia and games writer and journalist. Her first novel, Disobedience, was published in ten languages. It was read on BBC radio’s Book at Bedtime and won the Orange Award for New Writers. In 2007, she was named Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year, and one of Waterstones’ 25 Writers for the Future. She has published prize-winning short fiction in a number of magazines and anthologies as well as being broadcast on BBC Radio 4, and in 2009 she was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award.
From 2004 to 2007 Naomi was lead writer on the BAFTA-shortlisted alternate reality game Perplex City. In 2008 she wrote the Alice in Storyland game for Penguin’s We Tell Stories and in 2009 created the online story The Winter House. Penguin published her second novel, The Lessons in April 2010.
Naomi broadcasts regularly, and writes on games and technology for the Guardian. She is currently working on a game for BBC Languages, a new novel for Penguin and a Doctor Who novel for BBC Books.
Eric Harshbarger (Auburn, AL)
Eric Harshbarger is a mathematician by education (Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Mathematics from Auburn University) but has made careers out of much more eccentric endeavors. After working as a Java programmer for Sun Microsystems in the late 1990s he then became the first person outside of the LEGO toy company to make a living building sculptures and mosaics out of the plastic bricks.
His interest in puzzle and game design started to take precedence in 2006 when he began working with the team behind the Perplex City ARG. Since then he has not only acted as a puzzle consultant for numerous companies and projects, but has also spent time inventing a great variety of brainteasers for magazines, television shows, and the retail market (most notably his 3D conundrum, DIGITS IN A BOX. More recently, Eric’s worked with Six to Start on a number of projects including the Ununited Eurasia ARG for Muse.
Kate Raynes-Goldie (Toronto)
Associate Pervasive Game Designer and Researcher
Kate is the co-founder of Atmosphere Industries, makers of fine pervasive games since 2007. When she’s not making games, Kate is a Research Associate at Ryerson’s new Experiential Design and Gaming Environment Lab, where she is researching MMOs for kids, and Guest Faculty at the CFC Media Lab, where she teaches social media and internet culture. Kate is also the founder of PrivacyCampTO, Canada’s first privacy unconference series funded by the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and the Mozilla Foundation.
Kate has appeared on MTV and CBC Radio and in The Globe and Mail, Spacing Magazine, and La Presse and has presented her work at a wide range of international academic and industry conferences including SXSWi, NXNEi, and Internet Research. She is in her final year of a PhD program at Curtin University’s internet studies program in Australia. Her thesis is an ethnography of Facebook and privacy.
David Fono (Toronto)
Associate Game Designer and Developer
David is the co-founder of the award-winning Toronto-based Atmosphere Industries, makers of fine pervasive games since 2007. Atmosphere’s games have been played at festivals around the world, including Toronto, London, Los Angeles, New York, Berlin and Perth. Their latest effort, the critically-acclaimed Gentrification: The Game won Best use of Tech and Best of Fest 2010 at Come Out and Play in New York. In 2006, David developed Waking City, a Toronto-based ARG that received substantial coverage in the Canadian press. He has spoken at several Australian and Canadian conferences on the topics of pervasive games and experimental game design.
David is also an accomplished web developer, and has created online games for clients such as PBS, CBC, and TV Ontario. In the non-gaming world, he has built multi-million dollar e-commerce sites, educational software platforms, and research prototypes for Microsoft Research and the Human Media Lab. He has an MSc from University of Toronto, where he specialized in human-computer interaction.
Over the years, we’ve had the privilege of working with some very talented people at Six to Start, including Dan Hon (Co-Founder of Six to Start, now at W+K), Marc McGinley, Claire Bateman, Ben Burry, Paul Mison, Kass Schmitt, Andrew Hayward, and Belen Albeza.