Meet The Team

Hinterland is a team of veteran game developers who are passionate about expanding the boundaries of the medium.

Raphael van Lierop

Raphael van Lierop

Founder & Creative Director

Raphael van Lierop

Raphael van Lierop

Founder & Creative Director

Raphael has been making games since 2001, as a director, writer, producer, and designer. He’s had the good fortune to work at renowned game studios including Relic Entertainment and Ubisoft Montreal, and contributed to award-winning titles like Company of Heroes (still the highest rated real-time strategy game of all time), Far Cry 3, Dawn of War, and Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine.

As a creative consultant, he’s helped several major entertainment companies develop new intellectual property in the film, television, and video game spaces. He’s also spoken internationally on a variety of subjects related to the development of original IP, and game development methodology. Raphael is passionate about storytelling, creating original IP, and pushing the boundaries of the medium. He lives with his wife and children at the foot of a mountain on picturesque Vancouver Island, where he founded Hinterland in 2012.

Alan Lawrance

Alan Lawrance

Technical Director

Alan Lawrance

Alan Lawrance

Technical Director

Alan is a 16-year veteran of Illinois-based developer Volition Inc. There, he held roles as technical director, lead programmer and lead designer for several games on console and PC. In addition to lead roles on game projects, Alan contributed to the core technology used by all Volition’s games in the role of principal programmer. Alan was the technical director for Saints Row on the Xbox 360, which spawned a best-selling series that sold more than 12 million units.

Along with his passion for programming, Alan has extensive game design experience, having held the lead designer role on the console action game Red Faction for the PS2. His credits include: Freespace, Freespace 2, Red Faction, Red Faction 2, Saints Row, Saints Row 2, Red Faction: Guerrilla, Saints Row: The Third, Red Faction: Armageddon, and Saints Row IV. Alan was also the systems architect for InSane, Volition’s collaboration (now shelved) with renowned film director, Guillermo del Toro.

Terra Brown

Terra Brown

Studio Administrator

Terra Brown

Terra Brown

Studio Administrator

Terra joined the Hinterland Team in November 2013 and has watched the team grow from two to twenty-four in a very short time. Terra is new to the games industry, but always looks forward to learning on the job. Terra has passion for her children, community, and work as a professional bookkeeper. Each day on the team brings new experiences and Terra thrives in this environment. She has worked as a professional bookkeeper for the past 15 years with clients in a wide variety of industries.

Terra’s professional background and work experience along with a Bachelor of Business Administration, Accounting Major, give her the tools necessary to carry out the varied tasks required of a Studio Administrator.

Eric Gabas

Eric Gabas

Environment Lead

Eric Gabas

Eric Gabas

Environment Lead

Eric Gabas joined Hinterland as an artist during The Long Dark’s 2013 Kickstarter campaign. Eric has over 15 years experience in the Game and TV/Film industry. His game credits include James Bond: Everything or Nothing, Scarface: The World is Yours, Clash of the Titans and ModNation Racing. Eric has worked in TV/film as a compositor and 3D generalist on projects such as Cloud Atlas, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, J. Edgar, and Dark Shadows. He has also taught CG at the Vancouver Film School and the Art Institute of Vancouver.

Originally from the Philippines, Eric moved to Northern Canada at a young age. He grew up in snowy town of Kitimat (Haisla name for snow people) where he remembered snow reaching rooftop and where his backyard is miles of Canadian wilderness.  This is a big part of why The Long Dark’s Canadian wilderness feels a lot like his backyard.

Max Ramirez

Max Ramirez

Envrionment Artist

Max Ramirez

Max Ramirez

Envrionment Artist

Max develops and refines game environments and assets for The Long Dark, a project that drew him in through its gameplay and art style. He also researches and implements art-related tech into Unity. With his background in MMOs, Max appreciates how involved the The Long Dark’s community has been in its ongoing development as well as the way the mostly-Canadian development team is carrying its own unique perspective into the game.

Born and raised in Guatemala, Max Ramirez moved to the United States to pursue his dream of becoming a game developer. As an avid autodidact, he began acquiring knowledge in the modding community that would guide him in beginning his art career.

After landing his first games industry position as a QA representative at MMO developer Flying Lab Software, Max joined the indie scene where he got his first art job collaborating with the successful Kickstarter game Grim Dawn. Following that, he worked as a production artist on The Lord of the Rings : Online and attempted his own Kickstarter campaign for the horror-survival game Raindrop.

Andre Da Rosa

Andre Da Rosa

Programmer

Andre Da Rosa

Andre Da Rosa

Programmer

On The Long Dark Andre Da Rosa works mainly on UI, as well as achievements, localization, Steam Workshop, and Mac support. A graduate of the University of Alberta in software engineering, Andre got his start in the games industry as a QA tester on Dragon Age 2 at BioWare. A lifelong fan of games, he did his first programming on a graphing calculator in 10th grade math. Within two years he’d created a full, text-based RPG.

The Edmonton resident enjoys the small-team atmosphere Hinterland has built to produce The Long Dark, his first major project in game development. Prior to joining Hinterland, Andre spent two years at Fluik Entertainment developing mobile games where he focused mainly on gameplay and UI programming.

Warren Heise

Warren Heise

User Interface

Warren Heise

Warren Heise

User Interface

A graphic designer and illustrator, Warren Heise has worked in the games industry for over 10 years. Warren contributed UI art to Jade Empire, Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age 2, and Dragon Age: Inquisition. At BioWare he was responsible for shaping the look and feel of the games’ presentation. Crafting the layout as well as all user interface assets including; typography, icons, maps, menus and animated transitions. Warren also contributed to BioWare’s brand development through graphic design and illustration content that appeared on websites, t-shirts, and other marketing products.

Alongside his work in games, Warren has been active since 1999 as a freelance artist for a wide variety of clients ranging from snowboard brands to musicians. These include MTV Canada, Palmer Snowboards, and Alberta Venture Magazine, among many others.

Additional information on Warren can be found at his website: www.warrenheise.com.

Simon Harris

Simon Harris

Enviro Artist

Simon Harris

Simon Harris

Enviro Artist

Simon has worked in Games for 16 years and joined Hinterland at the end of 2014. He was excited by the art aesthetic, the uniquely Canadian feel and vision of The Long Dark, and the chance to work with a small team of incredibly talented developers.

Born and raised in England, Simon attended art schools in London and Manchester and painted murals for a number of years after graduation. He started his games career learning the ropes at Ocean software in Manchester, UK, and helped work on the ambitious, but stalled, HMS Carnage. Simon then went on to work on a number of titles at Sony Liverpool and Warthog games in Manchester. Titles included Psybadek, F1200, Starlancer and Loonytoons , Animaniacs, and World Rally championships.

He was then offered an opportunity to come to Canada to work with Radical software on Crash Bandicoot: Crash of the Titans  and  Crash: Mind Over Mutant. Simon also held a position as Art Lead at DeNA’s new studio in Vancouver, which was his first introduction to working with mobile technology for games. In addition to his game studio work, he has also taught Maya and Zbrush at LaSalle college in Vancouver.

Maciej Kowalski

Maciej Kowalski

Technical Artist

Maciej Kowalski

Maciej Kowalski

Technical Artist

Prior to joining Hinterland in October 2014, Maciej Kowalski worked as a technical artist at Electronic Arts, Next Level Games, and Threewave Software. An industry professional since 2002, he works primarily on the artistic and technical dimensions of game development. Maciej’s contribution to The Long Dark focuses on workflow and asset optimization, custom shader creation, performance optimization, and general artistry. It was the game’s art style and use of the Unity game engine that initially drew him to Hinterland.

As a technical artist Maciej  enjoys creating art accents in the game and adding life to objects that would otherwise be static. One of the passions and challenges of working with Unity is performance, and constantly staying on top of all the new art coming in by making sure it runs efficiently in The Long Dark. But there is also a delightful satisfaction for Maciej in knowing he can eek out the last bit of performance while keeping the visual quality, or even improving it.

Throughout his career, Maciej has specialized in art integration and managing the artistic backend, scripts and tools for designers to improve workflow, and documentation about pipelines, walkthroughs, and proposed features. He has also spent time at CG company Goldtooth Creative to help with pipeline and to ramp up its work with game engines such as Unity and Unreal 3 and 4.

Katie Sorrell

Katie Sorrell

Design Lead

Katie Sorrell

Katie Sorrell

Design Lead

With a background in level design, Katie Sorrell joined the Hinterland team in November 2014. Prior to her work on The Long Dark, since 1993 she has held design positions at Propaganda Games, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, and Millennium Interactive. Katie’s design credits include work on the MediEvil series, Primal and 24: The Game as well as Turok and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Katie enjoys the unique beauty of life on Vancouver Island and was happy to discover Hinterland right up the road. And after working in some large game studios in the past, she appreciates Hinterland’s tight-knit atmosphere. In addition to its distinctiveness, both visually and in its play style, Katie appreciates how varied her work is on The Long Dark. She could be sketching level layouts, tuning wolf placement, or helping guide a bear back to his cave. And the fact that all this takes place in Early Access, where she can act directly on feedback from players, is an interesting dynamic that she had not encountered to this extent on previous projects.  

Aaron Hildebrandt

Aaron Hildebrandt

Story Artist

Aaron Hildebrandt

Aaron Hildebrandt

Story Artist

Aaron Hildebrandt is an award-winning visual designer based out of Vancouver, Canada. He has worked with a number of major studios to define and deliver the visual language used in their games and films, including 343 Industries, DONTNOD, Warner Bros, Disney, Sony Santa Monica, EA, and Deep Silver.

Originally from Manitoba, Aaron’s design work has seen him take on a variety of different development roles, including programmer, animator, technical director, and story artist. Some of the projects he has contributed to include Remember Me, What Remains of Edith Finch, and multiple entries in the Halo series.

Aaron has also been active outside of the games industry, working as a VFX designer on the web series H+ and an animation lead on episodes of Mortal Kombat: Legacy, Hanazuki, and The Cobol Job (the prequel to the movie Inception).

As one of the only employees at Hinterland to have spent much of his life at -40°c (and below), Aaron is uniquely qualified to estimate just how miserable the characters of The Long Dark must be.

More information on Aaron and his work can be found at his website, aaronhildebrandt.com.

Glenn Jamison

Glenn Jamison

Audio Director

Glenn Jamison

Glenn Jamison

Audio Director

A composer and sound designer, Glenn Jamison has worked in game development since 1998. After stints at Radical Entertainment and Next Level Games, Glenn would go on to spend nine years at Relic Entertainment where he contributed to projects such as the Company of Heroes and Dawn of War series, Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, and The Outfit.

For Glenn, directing audio production for The Long Dark’s virtual world is the most fun he has had making a game. Not only does he love small game studios, but he feels The Long Dark is perfect for sound design: “It’s a game where people will need to use their ears to make better gameplay decisions and that’s a dream for a game audio artist.”

In addition to his work in games, Glenn has composed music heard in a variety of films, TV shows, and commercials. More information on Glenn and his work is available at his website.

Roberto Robert

Roberto Robert

Concept Artist

Roberto Robert

Roberto Robert

Concept Artist

Roberto works on concept art and visual development at Hinterland. Active as a freelance artist since 2012, he has collaborated with multiple game developers, including Relic Entertainment, WB Studios, and Microsoft Game Studios. Prior to that he held positions as a concept artist at THQ Canada, Krome Studios, and Pseudo interactive where he contributed to multiple game releases on the Xbox 360, Wii, and PS3.

He feels the cold and remote landscapes of The Long Dark present a special artistic challenge, but one that lets him take a bold approach to the game’s style. A Vancouver, British Columbia resident, more information on Roberto, as well as examples of his work can be found at his website.

Ken Finlayson

Ken Finlayson

Technical Art Lead

Ken Finlayson

Ken Finlayson

Technical Art Lead

With a background in digital art that stretches back to experiments on his family’s Amiga computer, Ken Finlayson has more than 10 years experience in a variety of entertainment media. In terms of the games industry, his work as a character artist and production leader saw him contribute to BioWare’s Dragon Age and Mass Effect series as well as Insomniac’s Sunset Overdrive, among many others.

Passionate about bridging the gap between the artistic and technical sides of game development, Ken is well-versed in character customization and digital acting as well as asset performance and optimization.

Ken engages with The Long Dark on several levels: “It’s a very Canadian project set in the Canadian wilderness and it makes no apologies about that. I am proud to be associated with this approach. It breaks from the norm in that it is a game about planning and serenity, not reflexes and carnage. And lastly we are not afraid to make brave artistic choices, and to me who has been dabbling in 3d for going on 20 years, breaking new ground becomes more and more desirable than evolving the well beaten path.”    

More information as well as examples of his work can be found at Ken’s website.

Matthew Miller

Matthew Miller

Programmer

Matthew Miller

Matthew Miller

Programmer

After getting his start in QA at Electronic Arts, Matthew Miller moved to Radical Entertainment where he worked on Dark Angel and Simpsons Hit & Run. While at Radical he began programming and helped release Crash Tag Team Racing as well as both entries in the Prototype series. Subsequent programming projects included Microsoft’s Kinect Joy Ride and WB Montreal’s Batman: Arkham Origins before he came to Hinterland to work on The Long Dark.

Active as a professional in the games industry since 2002, Matthew pinpoints two elements that led him to his career in games: a 1994 short film on the the making of Donkey Kong Country for the SNES and the encouragement of his high school programming teacher. In terms of his work at Hinterland, he appreciates The Long Dark’s strong community as well as the way the studio’s outlook is in line with his own ideals.

Matthew grew up on Galiano Island, British Columbia. He’s also invested time in becoming a committed world traveler, visiting countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania. A highlight of his travels was attending a three-day lecture on enlightenment given by the Dalai Lama in India.

Patrick Carlson

Patrick Carlson

Community Engagement

Patrick Carlson

Patrick Carlson

Community Engagement

Patrick’s work at Hinterland sees him making contributions to community engagement across Hinterland’s various forums, social media platforms, and podcast. With a deep interest in post-apocalyptic film and literature, his writing and research cross the conventional boundaries that separate popular and academic culture.

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Patrick was active there as a musician and newspaper reporter before his fascination with all things apocalyptic led him to graduate school and extensive work on German culture, atomic weapons, and the Cold War. He is also a past contributor to PC Gamer, where he covered the news and also wrote a variety of feature articles for the magazine’s web site.

For him, The Long Dark is an unsettling and beautiful alternate history of the present. It’s also a world he can’t stop thinking about.

Skylar White

Skylar White

Testing Lead

Skylar White

Skylar White

Testing Lead

“Like many people I grew up playing Atari and NES and was always interested in games. When I was in my early teens my brother introduced me to Doom modding, and I was interested in making games ever since. Some years later I heard EA Canada was hiring (funny enough again from my brother.) I landed a Compliance Testing contract and have been in the game industry ever since. I’ve worked with most of the systems of the last two generations and shipped two console launch titles. My most recent experience prior to Hinterland was as a Designer at Capcom Vancouver.”

The three things that have drawn Skylar to The Long Dark:  “I grew up on Vancouver Island and being able to support a VI game company is great; the uniquely Canadian arty style and feel of the game; and lastly it offered a different take on survival that pits players against nature instead of zombies or mutants.”

On working for an independent studio: “While I’ve enjoyed my time at larger studios, working at Hinterland is rewarding in a whole new way. It presents unique problems and opportunities that you only get with small teams. I think the unique style and tone of the Long Dark show just how powerful independent games can be.”

Paul Kelley

Paul Kelley

Character Artist

Paul Kelley

Paul Kelley

Character Artist

Paul’s Career has been consciously built around his love for video games.

This has taken him from working in video game retail, running  his own video game store, to the past 10 years as a 3D Artist/Character Modeler in the video games industry. The latter he believes to be his vocation.

Paul has worked across multiple platforms on many original games and popular franchises including Lara Croft, Call of Duty, and Runescape.

Kaelin Lavallee

Kaelin Lavallee

Designer

Kaelin Lavallee

Kaelin Lavallee

Designer

Kaelin’s journey to Hinterland started in 2008 when he landed his first game design job at Bioware. During his stay there, he worked as the Lead Narrative Designer for the Dragon Age franchise and the latest Mass Effect title: Andromeda. After that, Kaelin dabbled in VR with Cloudhead Games, helping to define storytelling in the new, booming medium. From there, it was a hop, skip and a jump to Hinterland, a little further up Vancouver Island.

The Village of Cumberland is exactly what Kaelin was looking for when he moved from his home city of Edmonton – a small town with friendly faces surrounded by nature. The online community that Hinterland has fostered is just as welcoming and great to be a part of!

Realm Lovejoy

Realm Lovejoy

Art Director

Realm Lovejoy

Realm Lovejoy

Art Director

Bio coming soon

Joel Baker

Joel Baker

Programmer

Joel Baker

Joel Baker

Programmer

Bio coming soon

Mel Guille

Mel Guille

Community Engagement

Mel Guille

Mel Guille

Community Engagement

Raised in a small community in northern British Columbia, Mel has loved video games since she first picked up a NES controller at age six. With a varied background in technical writing, marketing, and customer service, she first entered the games industry in 2012 and forged her player-wrangling skills in the fiery depths of competitive, free-to-play gamer communities.

Mel jumped at the opportunity to work on an innovative game that evoked the character of the rural Canadian wilderness. These days she enjoys working with Hinterland’s dedicated and patient player-base, whom she loves to bits.