True Gameworks is a serious game/interactive drama game development division founded with and owned by the racing video game developer UltraNitro Studios, under the guidance of Clark Gonzalez, Jason Harris, Eijah and Jill Miller.
Pre-True Gameworks era/Sharkhill, Inc era (1999-2015)
Clark Gonzalez and Jason Harris met in DigiPen University in 1999, at a 3D Computer Animation class. They were freshmen and were considering to become game developers after they graduated, so they also were at Game Design classes. They graduated in mid-2000s, and were hired by Turn 10 Studios in 2006. There, they met Eijah Miller, who was an intern and contributed on programming.
Jason, Clark and Eijah left Turn 10 Studios in 2007, to pursue their dreams and started developing an independent video game. During their brainstorming session, Eijah suggested the Sharkhill, Inc. name for the group, because it sounded hilarious, legit and random. One day, Eijah told that his sister, Jill Miller, was coming over to help them in development, and complimented Jill's musical talent and creativity in sound design. Jill lived in Sheffield back then, and "probably got a master degree in music and sound design recently". Jason also bought PrimeSense middleware and a game controller, only because he could include gesture recognition and game controller support, while Clark bought a domain name sharkhill.com.
In 2009, Jill Miller was hired by 4J Studios, to program and do models for 4J's next XBLA port Perfect Dark. Also in 2010, they released a Xbox Live Indie Game, The Fabulous Adventures of Mr. Flutehead, under the name Sharkhill, Inc. and was published by Microsoft Studios. Microsoft soon modified their Kinect to be compatible with PrimeSense's middleware used in development by Jason Harris. Jill left 4J Studios in 2011 to continue being a full-time developer and a part of Sharkhill, Inc. The experiment Jill was creating was created from experience from 4J Studios and a lot of learning in programming, sound, music and animating. This experiment ended up being a 3D tower defense/action game called The Marshmallow Castle, released to Xbox Live Arcade, developed by Jill, all by herself, and published under Sharkhill, Inc, in 2012.
In 2012, they published a self-developed sequel Mr. Flutehead and the Chaos at Interpolis. Jill invited translator Duncan Grodin, the husband of Taylor Grodin (who is now part of Wingstar Studios), character and cinematic artist Sam Katz (brother of Jill Katz, also currently part of Wingstar Studios), 3D animator and motion capture engineer Rhee Gun-Woo, "game planner" Ken Sato, and AI programmer Masahiro Kobayashi into Sharkhill, Inc. Duncan then resided in Vancouver (now moved to Montréal to work for Wingstar Studios), and can translate games to Chinese, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese and Korean, and worked with many companies, like Electronic Arts, Konami, Capcom and Atari.
In September 2013, Eijah, Jill, Clark and Jason moved into an apartment building at London, England.
In November 2013, Eijah, Clark and Jason managed to hire couple of employees who have worked for Microsoft's Salt Lake Games Studio (Indie Built), GameInsight, the Microsoft Xbox Live Arcade group, Crytek, Griptonite Games, Zynga, Techland, Wargaming.net, Codemasters, Danger Close Games, Chillingo, Jamdat, EA Mobile, EA Salt Lake, EA Tiburon, EA Mythic, BioWare Victory, BioWare San Francisco, EA Bright Light, Quicklime Games and Playdom.
In December 2013, Sharkhill, Inc. launched their first cross-platform game The Marshmallow Castle 2: Online, which supported cross-platform, cross-generational multiplayer. It was released to Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Android, iOS, Symbian, Blackberry, PlayStation Vita, Linux, Mac OS X, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, MorphOS and PlayStation 2.
In August 2014, they started developing a concept which combines interactive drama with artistic style of games such as Journey and Ico. After few months, they registered the trademark True Gameworks. They were seeking funding since November 2014 until March 2015, when they received "FBS - the funding, backing and support" from UltraNitro Studios, and successfully founded True GameWorks, as part of UltraNitro Studios, in April 2015.
Also in March 2015, Clark announced that Sharkhill, Inc will closed down in favor of focusing on True Gameworks's upcoming projects.
Post-Sharkhill, Inc era/True Gameworks era (2015-)
True Gameworks established 5 additional offices to "boost game development" and UltraNitro Studios moved around 200 employees to the studios. A week later, True Gameworks and Lionsgate Entertainment announced a partnership deal to create and publish games based on Lionsgate's selected intellectual properties. Masahiro Kobayashi (the AI programmer) and Rhee Gun-Woo (a 3D animator and a motion capture engineer) announced their departure. They went on to co-found Pentasaurus Media.
- Jason Harris, a programmer, game scenario and lead writer.
- Clark Gonzalez, an ex-animator, now a lead designer/planner, programmer, a CEO and a quality assurance tester.
- Eijah Miller, a programmer, artist and writer.
- Jill Miller, a sound designer, programmer, modeler and musician.
- Ken Sato, game planner.