Who We Are

Schell Games is the largest full-service education and entertainment game development company in the United States. Since 2002, we’ve worked to create interactive experiences on every platform to enrich the lives of players of all ages. Projects in our award-winning portfolio range from mobile, desktop, and virtual reality games to interactive installations and theme park attractions... and everything in between.

Leadership

Our leaders are industry veterans who understand the value of a diverse and cohesive organization. We empower our team to create meaningful experiences and, in doing so, make the world a better place.

Jesse Schell

Founder & CEO

Jesse Schell is the founder and CEO of Schell Games. Since starting Schell Games in 2002, Jesse has grown it into the largest full-service educational and entertainment game development company in the United States.

He is the author of the critically acclaimed book The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses. The book captured Game Developer magazine's coveted "Front Line Award" for 2008. A third edition of the book was published in 2019.

Jesse also serves as Distinguished Professor of Entertainment Technology at Carnegie Mellon University. Since 2006, Professor Schell has taught the Building Virtual Worlds class, created by ETC Co-Founder and The Last Lecture author Randy Pausch.

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Jake Witherell

COO

Jake Witherell is Chief Operating Officer of Schell Games, where he oversees the operations and business development efforts of the company. Finance, marketing, legal, human resources, IT, and facilities management are among the departments he manages in this position.

Jake has over 20 years of experience in founding, managing, advising, and investing in companies within the technology, telecommunications, retail, and business services industries. He was previously a co-founder and Managing Partner of M Park Capital, a private investment firm focused on acquiring and operating lower middle market companies.

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Reagan Heller

VP of Art

As the Vice President of Art at Schell Games, Reagan oversees the development and communication of the overall artistic vision for each project. In this role, she manages the Art Team and implements staffing strategies to ensure the highest quality craftsmanship for our products. Reagan drives the studio to adopt new art methodologies to keep our experiences on the cutting edge of visual technologies.

She has guided and grown the Art Team through a wide range of projects, acting in various art-related roles and working directly with many of our clients, such as Disney, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Fred Rogers Productions.

Matt Mahon

VP of Engineering

At Schell Games, Matt is responsible for managing the project programming teams, where he utilizes his managerial and technical skill sets. He establishes conventions and workflow processes, assigns tasks and responsibilities, and oversees the technical design of the projects. Additionally he is the first point of contact for other groups dealing with the tech team. Matt works closely with both the Art and Design teams to ensure that the technical aspects of both teams are taken into account and opportunities are exploited. Matt is also the primary technical contact for external partners.

As a 20+ year veteran of the game industry, Matt shares his experience across the company, acts as a sounding board for issues while lending insight from past experience, helps with hiring and company growth issues, and tells long rambling stories about the old days.

Harley Baldwin

VP of Design

Harley Baldwin has been a designer and leader in the AAA console game industry at notable game studios, including 2K, Nihilistic Software, Demiurge, Crystal Dynamics, LucasArts, and Her Interactive. She has worked on many titles and in many genres, from Rock Band and Tomb Raider to Call of Duty and XCOM.

At Schell Games, Harley draws on her formidable experience to mentor, manage, cultivate design culture, and collaborate freely with clients and Schell Gamers to envision exciting, pioneering experiences for players or guests. With each unique project in mind, she understands and deploys the amazing and diverse skills and talents of Schell Games designers. As a regular on the conference circuit, she is often found representing Schell Games as speaker and participant. Harley also makes sure to poke at things, look under rocks, and play every day.

Ed Saxton

VP of Production

Ed Saxton is the Vice President of Production for Schell Games. With a focus on team safety and trust, he supervises the company's production team and sets the tone for the production style.

Prior to joining Schell Games, Ed worked in management and capital project development in the theme park industry. This background led to a deep understanding of priority and process, along with a love of creating experiences that make lasting memories for the end user.

Team

Our talented artists, engineers, producers, and game designers work closely to create experiences that delight and inspire.

Our leaders are industry veterans who understand the value of a diverse and cohesive organization. We empower our team to create meaningful experiences and, in doing so, make the world a better place.

With expertise in all areas of game programming, our engineers are adept at writing code from scratch as well as working with middleware and existing tools. Our flexibility allows us to partner with our clients to determine the best technology plan that enables the successful execution of each project.

Our production staff works together with the team to ensure our projects are on time and on budget. We value an iterative process, transparency among team members and clients, and embracing change at any point in development. Above all else, producers clear roadblocks so team members can focus on their craft.

Our audio team works together with the designers, engineers, and artists to create a fully cohesive and engaging audio experience. They specialize in creating deep, immersive music soundscapes, environmental and ambient sound effects, and memorable character voices.

Our QA staff works to assess the stability and usability of our experiences. They ensure adherence to the functional requirements outlined by internal teams and clients.

Our writers partner with internal teams and clients to create dialogue and narratives that delight players, while providing a conceptual framework appropriate for the gameplay.

Assessment is a vital part of educational experiences. Our Educational Research staff collaborates with internal and external teams and subject matter experts to determine the best ways to design, program, observe, measure, analyze, and interpret changes in the player.

Our artists honor the unique aesthetic vision of each project and work to make all aspects of the experience beautiful. The team is comprised of 2D/conceptual artists, 3D modelers, technical and effects artists, and animators.

Our game designers combine diverse perspectives from many fields such as education, entertainment, early childhood development, psychology, architecture, history, economics, anthropology, and much more. They take great pride in crafting experiences that delight and engage while ultimately achieving project goals.

Jesse Schell

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Jesse Schell is the founder and CEO of Schell Games. Since starting Schell Games in 2002, Jesse has grown it into the largest full-service educational and entertainment game development company in the United States. Under his leadership, Schell Games has produced an amazing array of innovative and award-winning educational and entertainment experiences, including the I Expect You To Die, Happy Atoms, Until You Fall, and some of the most popular interactive theme park attractions in the world.

He is the author of the critically acclaimed book The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses. The book captured Game Developer magazine's coveted "Front Line Award" for 2008. A third edition of the book was published in 2019.

Jesse also serves as Distinguished Professor of the Practice of Entertainment Technology at Carnegie Mellon University. Since 2006, Professor Schell has taught the Building Virtual Worlds class, created by ETC Co-Founder and The Last Lecture author Randy Pausch.

Jesse has worked on a wide variety of innovative game and simulation projects for both entertainment and education, but he is also known for his predictions about the future of gaming technology. Prior to starting Schell Games, Jesse was the Creative Director of the Disney Imagineering Virtual Reality Studio, where he worked and played for seven years as designer, programmer, and manager on numerous projects for Disney theme parks and DisneyQuest. He is a previous chair of the International Game Developers Association.

He is perhaps most celebrated for his design of Disney's Toontown Online, the first massively multiplayer game for kids. Toontown Online has won several awards, including the following:

  • Computer Gaming World "2003 MMORPG Game of the Year"
  • Webby Awards "2003 People's Voice Award, Kids Category"
  • Parents' Choice Foundation "2003 Silver Honor"
  • Children's Software Review "2003 All Star Software Award"
  • WiredKids "2005 Safe Gaming Award"
  • 2005 Webby Awards "Webby Worthy Selection Award"

In addition to his award-winning work at The Walt Disney Company, Jesse has been recognized for his numerous achievements, including the following:

  • Received the KAPi Pioneer Award (2019)
  • Honored as a Pioneer of Immersive Reality at the Immersive Perspectives Awards (2018)
  • Named to Inaugural Fellowship Class for Video Game Education (2017)
  • Honored as 'CEO of the Year' at Tech 50 awards ceremony (2016)
  • Named to Pittsburgh's 'Most Admired CEOs List (2016)
  • Received a 'Creator of the Year' award (2016)
  • Named to 'Most Powerful Pittsburgher' List (2015)
  • Received the Carnegie Science Award in the Entrepreneur category (2015)
  • Chosen as a SMART 50 Award winner (2014 and 2015)
  • Selected as Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2009 Finalist for Upstate NY, Western Pennsylvania, and West Virginia region
  • Named one of the world's Top 100 Young Innovators by MIT's Technology Review (2004)
  • Served as Director and Chairman of the International Game Developers Association (2003-2005)
  • Lead designer of "2001 Thea Award" winner, Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle of the Buccaneer Gold, a virtual reality attraction within Disney's theme park
  • Cut his technical teeth as a Software Engineer for IBM and Bell Communications Research
  • Earned a Master's Degree in Information Networking from Carnegie Mellon University
  • Earned a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)
  • Plied his creative skills as writer, director, performer, juggler, comedian, and circus artist for both Freihofer's Mime Circus and the Juggler's Guild

Jake Witherell

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Jake Witherell is Chief Operating Officer of Schell Games, where he oversees the operations and business development efforts of the company. Finance, marketing, legal, human resources, IT, and facilities management are among the departments he manages in this position.

Jake has over 20 years of experience in founding, managing, advising, and investing in companies within the technology, telecommunications, retail, and business services industries. He was previously a co-founder and Managing Partner of M Park Capital, a private investment firm focused on acquiring and operating lower middle market companies.

Prior to M Park Capital, Jake served as Chief Operating Officer of a division of PGi (NYSE:PGI), a leading global provider of collaboration software and solutions. Prior to PGi, Jake held the position of Chief Operating Officer of Netspoke, Inc., an integrated web and audio conferencing service provider. Netspoke was twice named to the prestigious INC 500, a list of the fastest growing private companies in the United States.

Before Netspoke, Jake was co-founder and President of iMeet, Inc., an internet communications service provider. There he grew it into a $10MM company and oversaw its successful merger with audio conferencing provider Netspoke, Inc. Jake also was the VP of Marketing and Business Development at internet start-up SneakerLabs, Inc.

Recently Jake was appointed to the Pennsylvania Early Learning Investment Commission (ELIC), a group that advocates for quality early childhood education and care. He currently serves on the board of the Mattress Factory Museum of Contemporary Art and HeartPrints Center for Early Education. In the past, he has been a Director of iMeet, Netspoke, and M Park Capital. Jake holds a BA in Economics from Tufts University and an MBA from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University. He also earned a certification from the Entrepreneurial Management Program at Carnegie Mellon University.