Year in Review

2019 Year In Review


As the end of 2019 passes and 2020 begins, we’d like to review and celebrate the exciting things that happened in the past year.


Until You Fall Launched for Early Access

Gamers with a hunger for immersive swordplay action rejoiced as Until You Fall launched in Early Access on Steam and Oculus. The game was orig­i­nally available for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift but later received OpenVR support which provided compat­i­bility with Valve Index, Rift S, and Windows Mixed Reality headsets. Our team has released three content updates containing new weapons, envi­ron­ments, voice acting, enemies, and diffi­culty settings. We also shared a public roadmap and Discord channel to encourage feedback from players and discuss future updates.

GDEX awards with team

Until You Fall Won at GDEX

The devel­op­ment team showcased Until You Fall at the GDEX expo, a conven­tion dedicated to a love of games and creative tech­nology in Columbus, Ohio. Until You Fall won Best in Show for AR/​VR and Best in Show Overall, the top award. These were the first two awards that Until You Fall received and we’re thrilled to see the positive response from fans and awards.

Two New I Expect You To Die Missions

Our team released new free down­load­able content this year for our escape-the-room VR spy puzzle game I Expect You To Die. We released the final two levels: Seat of Power and Death Engine.

When I Expect You To Die launched three years ago, none of us could have imagined the incred­ible level of support we would receive from fans. We are proud to have made a game that has stood the test of time for so many players,” said Schell Games CEO Jesse Schell.​“Without the ingenuity and skill of our devel­op­ment team, I Expect You To Die would not be the success that it is today. For the sake of fans every­where, the team hopes to be able to continue this franchise into the future.”

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Game Informer Covered Until You Fall

Video game magazine Game Informer spoke with CEO Jesse Schell and Project Director Dave Bennett about Until You Fall in their article previewing the game.The author states that​“Until You Fall is another great showcase for VR’s potential” and​“the expe­ri­ence manages to make me feel as close to a knight as is probably possible.”

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I Expect You To Die Featured as Oculus Quest Launch Title

The Oculus Quest released in May this year, and I Expect You To Die was among its launch day and cross-buy titles. Jesse Schell noted that​“fans were requesting that we bring I Expect You to Die to the Oculus Quest long before the headset was even announced and we listened.” Two of our devel­opers spoke with UploadVR on the porting process and what obstacles they faced while adapting the game.

Histo­ry­Maker VR Awarded Phase II Funding

Histo­ry­Maker VR is a playful virtual reality puppeting tool that allows students to embody histor­ical char­ac­ters in immersive settings. In 2018, this expe­ri­ence received a Phase I SBIR award from the U.S. Depart­ment of Education and, in 2019, Histo­ry­Maker VR was awarded Phase II funding to further expand the devel­op­ment. This expe­ri­ence will launch in 2020.

HoloLAB Champions Received Honors

HoloLAB Champions, our virtual reality lab practice game show, received many honors this year. In April, EdTech Digest announced its winners of the Ed Tech Awards. HoloLAB Champions, under the​“Cool Tool” segment, was a winner in the​‘games for learning/​simulation’ category, and a finalist for the​‘new product or service’ category. In May, the game was nominated as a finalist for the Games for Change Awards under the category​“Best Learning Game”. During the 2019 Inter­na­tional Serious Play Compe­ti­tion in July, the Labstrava­ganza received the Serious Play Gold award in the​“Education Games for Use in K12” and​“Virtual Reality Games” segments.

Schell Games Titles featured in Little

The movie, Little, which stars Regina Hall (Girl’s Trip) and Issa Rae (Insecure) is about a high-powered busi­ness­woman (Hall) who is trans­formed back into her childhood.

Schell Games provided some game art from I Expect You To Die, Orion Trail, Water Bears VR, and Happy Atoms to decorate the office space. Thank you to the talented team behind the Little movie for the oppor­tu­nity.


Jesse Schell Won 2019 KAPi Pioneer Award

CEO Jesse Schell has been announced as the winner of the 2019 KAPi Pioneer Award. The KAPi Pioneer Award is given to a profes­sional or orga­ni­za­tion that has forged new methods, practices, or philoso­phies regarding chil­dren’s inter­ac­tive media.

10th Edition Book

10th Anniver­sary Edition of The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses

With an updated design and full-color illus­tra­tions, the tenth-anniver­sary edition of The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses was released in 2019. This edition includes a new section on Presence, with real-world examples for designing and devel­oping games for virtual and augmented reality (VR/​AR). It also examines best practices from other popular games.

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Schell Games Named One of Pitts­burgh’s 2019​“Best Places to Work”

For the tenth consec­u­tive year, Schell Games was recog­nized by the Pitts­burgh Business Times as one of the city’s​“Best Places to Work.” Each year, a survey is sent out to companies across the city for its employees to fill out anony­mously. Once the results are compiled, the business has to reach a certain score in order to receive recog­ni­tion. We’re proud of our amazing team members and thankful they enjoy creating expe­ri­ences at Schell Games!

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Digital Trends High­lighted Schell Games

Schell Games has been in business since 2002, growing to become the largest full-service education and enter­tain­ment game devel­op­ment company in the United States, and the company has never suffered a layoff. This fact inter­ested Digital Trends, who wrote an article about the company’s approach to compe­ti­tion, creativity, and crunch, all the while main­taining stable job security for its 120+ employees.

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Schell Games Partnered with play2PREVENT to Tackle Opioid Addiction and Preven­tion

In an effort to deter adoles­cents from using and misusing opioids, Schell Games is working in conjunc­tion with the play2PREVENT (p2P) Lab at the Yale Center for Health & Learning Games to develop a digital game that will serve as a resource in the fight against youth opioid addiction. This project is being funded by a grant from the National Insti­tutes for Health through The Helping to End Addiction Long-term, or the NIH HEAL Initia­tive.