By Oscar Tong / March 19th, 2013
Five Pixar artists—Sequoia Blankenship, Andrew Dayton, Jonathan Hoffman, Joshua Qualtieri, and Jason Topolski—have founded a new game development studio, Steel Wool Games. Describing themselves as “over achievers,” “masochists,” and “clinically insane,” Steel Wool intends to “create worlds that are funny and whimsical but dipped in gritty tones”—a philosophy they have termed “grimsical.”
Steel Wool has partnered with publisher Ripstone to release their first game. Although not mentioned in their press release, Steel Wool’s website features artwork and five December 2012 blog posts for a game called FlyHunter, currently scheduled for summer 2013. Steel Wool has not specified the platforms FlyHunter will run on.
To learn more, read the full press release below. Steel Wool Games is neither affiliated with nor endorsed by Pixar Animation Studios.
Introducing: Steel Wool Games
Team of Feature Animation veterans laugh in the face of a good nights sleep and decide to make games.
OAKLAND, California – March 19, 2013 – What do 5 Pixar artists decide to do in their after hours from work? They form a gaming studio. Steel Wool Games to be exact. Sleep is for the weak! Are they over achievers? Perhaps. Masochists? Quite possibly. Clinically insane? Highly likely. But they love what they do and wouldn’t have it any other way. Thankfully, nobody has been maimed. YET.
Steel Wool Games consists of Co-Founders Sequoia Blankenship, Andrew Dayton, Jonathan Hoffman, Joshua Qualtieri and Jason Topolski. Important Disclaimer since we love our day jobs: Pixar Animation is in no way affiliated nor endorses Steel Wool Games.
Steel Wool Games is working on their first title. What’s it called you say? Calm down sparky, we will get to that down the road, just you wait. Somehow Steel Wool Games had convinced publisher extraordinaire, Ripstone to fund their little adventure. How? We have no idea. Hypnosis, possibly.A genius move on their part, in our humble opinion.
Andrew Dayton offers an insight into their development style: “We have an internal phrase that we use to describe our style: “Grimsical”. It’s our fundamental principle as a company. We create worlds that are funny and whimsical but dipped in gritty tones.”
About Steel Wool Games
Steel Wool Games is made up five artistic types from Pixar that decided to take their combined 60 years of experience and their passion and creativity to make games and start their own indie studio. The team have worked on such films as Brave, The Incredibles, Toy Story and many others.
Steel Wool games looks forward to announcing their first title in 2013 that will be published by Ripstone.
Visit http://www.steelwoolgames.com for more information.
Josh – In addition to his role as a Technical Artist during the day, is Co-Director of our first title. He also owns Zombiesmith which is an award winning tabletop gaming company. Clearly Josh owes the mob lots of money because one side company isn’t enough. His need to diversify revenue streams worries our lawyers.
Jason – Production Management by day, hardcore gamer by night, actor on the weekend. He is the resident thespian and repository for all arcane and esoteric game knowledge. He is our Tome of Gaming Obscura. 9 times out of 10 if he says “Have you ever played X”… you haven’t. Jason has 3 volume settings 0 – 10 – Crazy.
Sequoia – Our animation leader. He can make inanimate things move. How? We don’t know. Not sure if he knows either. Animators are special, unique, beautiful little snowflakes. He is no exception. He may not know how to actually turn a computer on but once it is on, hold on baby! Stuff is gonna happen.
Jonathan – Cool, calm, collected. Designer, Creator, Co-Director of our first title. His talent, eagerness, kindness, and passion is clearly annoying at first but it grows on you like a fungus until you are covered in happiness moss. If he wasn’t married, you would let him date your daughter.
Andrew – What is there to say that hasn’t been said? What hasn’t been said is that everything that has been said cannot be proven in the court of law. Technical Artist by trade, somehow weaseled his way to exec producer at Steel Wool Games. We suspect some form of extortion.
FlyHunterpress releaseRipstoneSteel Wool Games