Employee Spotlights

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Elaine Fath

Advanced Designer

What is the weirdest job you've ever held?

I think it's a tie between working a summer on a chicken farm that had a second-hand one-eyed llama, and as a "celebration consultant" at a bakery that specialized in cakes shaped like diaper bags. "Celebration consultant" mostly meant that I made the coffee. But I also got to use the frosting printer. Once somebody requested a cake where I photoshopped their friend "standing on top of a mountain and punching a bear."

What is your favorite all-time game?

Harvest Moon 64.

What games are you playing right now?

I'm playing Night In The Woods, Persona 5, Pokemon Go, and Stardew Valley.

What motivated you to begin working in the game industry?

When I was six, the first thing I did when my dad took me to "take your kid to work day" was make a Toy Story memory match game, so I don't really remember a time when I wasn't interested; my dad's an engineer and was making games for the Commodore 64 in college in his spare time, so I'm a second generation game designer! I used to teach and I saw how much the games I would make or bring in for lessons would change the tone of the room. I think games have the potential to make kids unafraid to fail, and there's a lot to be gained on the other side of failure.

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What inspires you?

I taught for several years and the thing that gets me out of bed in the morning is figuring out how we can be making better quality, more impactful, more useable educational games and getting them to the kids who have the least access and the most need and the teachers working to help them.

What is your proudest achievement?

Teaching someone to read.

What piques your curiosity?

Anytime games have big constraints based on learning standards or transformational goals. I like the challenge of trying to figure out how it can still be fun and easy to use. For example, one of my favorite projects is still one that I did as a graduate student for a local school that wanted to introduce puzzle games to a group of 9 to 12-year-old boys who mostly played shooting and driving games. How do you make a thoughtful puzzle game feel like all-out power and destruction? It took a long time to get the theming just right to where it felt like the kinds of games they enjoyed but they were doing the kind of thinking that was closer to turn-based strategy or chess.

What is your hidden talent?

I can cook pretty well! Especially scratch-made sauces.

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What is the best thing about working at Schell Games?

The fact that everyone here has a conscience about what we're making and wants to take care of one another.

What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

I make games for indie bands and labels on the side. I made Japanese Breakquest for Japanese Breakfast last year.

How long have you worked at Schell Games?

A year and a half.