Intrepid Studios

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Intrepid Studios

Founded in 2015, by Steven Sharif and John Moore, with the goal of finally advancing the MMO genre, Intrepid Studios is the independent developer and publisher of Ashes of Creation. Intrepid got its name because of the bold, ‘intrepid’, vision for the company. Based in Southern California, Intrepid has assembled a veteran AAA team of tremendous talent and experience in the MMORPG industry. They hold to the philosophy of making games with no pay-to-win or cash grab elements. Intrepid has made a commitment to transparency and communication with their community. [1][2][3]

  • There are currently over 100 people working on Ashes of Creation and growing to 200 before the end of the 2018. [4][5][6][7]
  • Intrepid has teams in France (engineers) and Malaysia (artists), allowing the studio to be working 24/7. [8][7][9]
    • The development studio in France, just north of Paris, is mainly for engineering.
    • The development studio in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is mainly for Art. [10]



The Team


Steven Sharif - CEO / Creative Director


I’ve been an avid gamer for over 25 years, and time after time I find myself playing MMORPG’s. There is something about the Massively Multiplayer part of the game that has always intrigued me. Nothing compares with the experience of playing with thousands of people, from across the world. Everything in my design for Ashes of Creation, stems from that role of “community” in our game. I want to see the players dictate the direction of our story. I want to see the world we develop, adapt and react to the player’s actions. Most importantly, I want to see a game built by gamers FOR gamers.[11]

John Moore - President / Chief Operating Officer / Chief Financial Officer


As Chief Financial Officer here at Intrepid Studios, it’s my responsibility to oversee the economic scope of our endeavors. Creating an MMORPG is a large financial responsibility, especially one of this magnitude. We have brought together a team of veterans from the MMO industry to facilitate this project’s development. Most importantly, we are engaging our community directly in an effort to show greater transparency than any other game developer has before. I’m personally very excited to see our community grow, as we share the next greatest MMORPG, Ashes of Creation.[11]

Jeffrey Bard - Lead Game Designer


I’m the resident bard, a jack-of-all trades who wears a bunch of hats (even that one, sitting on your head, right now). I write lore and fix our internet when it needs fixing, troubleshoot the untroubleshootable, and make sure that our game actually runs when it doesn’t want to. But primarily, I’m working on making Ashes of Creation. I’ve been doing most of the scripting to get our core systems up and running, as well as carefully curating our lore and storylines. Game design is something I’ve been doing in one way or another since I was six, when I ran my first Dungeons and Dragons campaign. I’m all grown up now though, having worked on some amazing projects with some amazing people. That trend continues with Ashes of Creation and this group we have here at Intrepid Studios – the talent is off the charts, and I’m already amazed at everything we’ve built so far. I cannot wait to share this project with the world.[11]

Jason Crawford - Technical Director


As Technical Director and principal engineer at Intrepid Studios, I am charged with overseeing the studio’s software development pipeline and the technical design of Ashes of Creation. With over 15 years in the entertainment software industry, I bring vast experience and leadership working in publishing, game design, quality assurance, software engineering, and e-commerce across a multitude of successful indie and major AAA game titles. I am passionate about role-playing games in general and am a regular player of MMOs, single-player JRPGs, and numerous variants of pen-and-paper RPGs. I also enjoy listening to and composing music, working on and customizing my car, building LEGO sets, collecting comic books and manga, and watching vintage and modern Japanese animation.[11]

  • Over 15 years in the gaming industry as an engineer, mostly for Sony.[12]

Michael Bacon - Senior Environment Artist / Generalist


As a Senior Environment Artist at Intrepid Studios, I focus on making cool environment stuff, and I make a lot of cool environment stuff in Ashes of Creation! My goal is usually to give each location something visually interesting, cool silhouettes, something unexpected in the design language, but always trying to strike a balance of having one foot firmly on the ground while the other is always looking for a twist on convention and thinking outside the norm. Mostly I just like to create stuff. My credenda on AoC is simple: Use the great powers of the Game DEV god to make cool “EPIC” environments of ridiculous scale with extraordinary magnitude! That’s my shtick, and it’s worked out pretty well so far. I say “usually”, because I’ve been in the game industry like forever, so my other job here is annoying my younger Intrepid Ilk with an endless stockpile of references to really bad 70s / 80s movies and television, and telling tall stories of game developer past. When not here in the office, I’m usually at home mind-bending the wife and kids or vice versa, playing way too many noodles on an assortment of Fender Stratocasters and/or watching/directing really bad genre films! Pack all that into a panel van and not a bad life this one has![11]

  • Started back on DukeNukem! and has spent over 20 years as an artist.[12]

Trystan Snodgrass - Senior Environment Artist / Senior Level Designer


As senior level designer, here at Intrepid Studios, my primary role is the design and development of the in-game world. This involves protyping and blocking out areas, sculpting and painting the terrain, vegetation and prop placement, atmospheric elements, cinematic development, and much more. I’ve always been passionate about the world and the environment we see around us every day, and am thankful to be able to recreate, experiment, and elaborate on it in the digital world.[11]

  • Worked with 2k prior to coming for the team as a level designer.[12]

David Thornfield - Senior Animator


My role as a Senior Animator at Intrepid Studios involves rigging, skinning and animating characters and creatures. This involves placing a virtual skeleton inside of the characters and attaching the skin and clothes to the bones so they can be manipulated by the animator. Once the rig is setup, I move onto the animation process. Using the controllers of the rig, I can pose the character frame by frame creating the “illusion of life” known as animation. Once the animation is completed I then implement it into the Unreal game engine. I have had the privilege of being a professional animator for over 9 years. Ashes of Creation is by far, the coolest project I have had the honor of working on, to date.[11]

  • Been in the industry for several years and worked on gears of war, and call of duty.[12]

Jon Arellano - Senior Environment Artist


As Sr. Environment artist with Intrepid Studios, it is my job to create beautiful and visually engaging 3D environments. It is a passion of mine to constantly push and improve, so I can find the best ways to build environments that players can immerse themselves in. I have the opportunity to work closely with industry experienced team members to build a world from the ground up. From the smallest of props to the largest of temples, I help to design, concept, model and texture assets to fill the game world. I am constantly working with our talented team to bring you the best looking environments for Ashes of Creation. Since I was a kid I always wanted to become an artist, from drawing on my notes in class to actually taking the steps and enrolling at the Art Institute of San Diego. I studied Game Art and met other strong willed artists who have aided me through my journey. This project is my dream.[11]

Keith Kovach - Senior Character Artist


Since early childhood, art and video games have been a huge passion of mine. Getting to marry the two together in a career, is a dream come true for me. As a Senior Character Artist at Intrepid Studios, I’m responsible for creating 3D Characters and Creatures. I sculpt the high-resolution models from both my own design, and our talented concept artists. After this process, I fine-tune and make them ready for in-game production. Ashes of Creation is a Fantasy MMO-RPG because of this style of game the sky really is the limit for creativity and originality. As senior character artist I am thrilled to bring back classic creatures with a new twist and bring to life beasts never yet imagined! I am grateful to work with such a talented group of people, and most importantly on a game I know I would love to play myself.[11]

Jeff Delierre - Senior Concept Artist


As the Senior Concept Artist at Intrepid Studios, I have the glorious task of creating some of the visuals for Ashes of Creation. This includes ideas for characters, creatures and environments, as well as full-blown illustrations and UI. The concepts are supremely fun to work on, with some fresh takes on traditional fantasy lore. I’ve had the pleasure to work on great projects in the past but this one is by far the most rewarding! We’re as eager to create this game as we are to play it.[11]

Peter Pilone - Senior Game Designer/Associate Producer


I’ve learned a lot of lessons in my life through the medium of video games; fighting games showed me my love for competition, RTS’ taught me the value of efficiency, and MMORPGs let me see the things great teams can accomplish. I try to employ each of these lessons for my work on Ashes of Creation, whether it be while designing dungeons to explore or an economy to leverage. Working with this team has been an amazing experience so far, and I know everyone has the same goal in mind: making a great game.[11]

Rocco Scandizzo - Lead Economic Designer[13]


Rocco has almost 20 years experience in the video game Industry, owns a Ph.D. in Economics, and MBA in Marketing and a BA in Economics. Prior to joining Psyop Games as managing director, Rocco spent more than ten years working in positions of new business, strategy, and marketing. Formerly an Agent at CAA, Partner at ISM, Director of Franchise and License Development at Activision, Director of Strategic Growth at Vivendi Games, and previously at THQ and Atari.

Kevin McPherson - Lead Programmer[13]


Kevin has had the opportunity to work on many MMO's over the past 20 years, including EverQuest 1 & 2, Planetside 1 & 2, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, and Shadowbane. Intrepid is excited to have Kevin's experience and passion contributing to making Ashes of Creation the penultimate fantasy MMORPG experience.

Akil Hooper - Lead Technical Designer[13]


Akil Hooper has a long and storied history in the game industry. He's been a designer, a lead, a producer, and a creative director, on games such as EverQuest, EverQuest II, and Fallout: New Vegas, and companies like Sony Online Entertainment, Obsidian Entertainment, and Disney Interactive. Akil is a master at his craft, and is able to find the fun in any system he's involved with, and he'll be bringing those skills to his position at Intrepid Studios.

Matt Broome - Senior Character Artist[13]


Matt Broome is an experienced game developer and professional illustrator with over 15 years on multiple AAA MMO games. Mat has shipped seven cross-platform game titles including the hits H1Z1, Planetside 2, DC Universe Online, the Everquest franchise."

Alex Khudoliy - Programmer[13]


Graduate from the University of Washington with a bachelor's degree in Computer Science and Engineering in 2012. Soon after, began working for Amazon as a software developer for the past 5 years. Alex is an experienced programmer, having released multiple products such as AWS Mobile Analytics and AWS Pinpoint.

Chris Atkins- Senior Character Artist[14]

Has been making MMO’s for 13 years. He has worked on Everquest 1 and 2, Planet Side, DC, passed around Sony helping ship games, a hammer hitting nails has basically been my career. [15]


Javier Perez - Senior Environment Artist[14]

Has previously worked for Sony Online Entertainment, Zindagi games, Kojima Productions, Activision/Infinity Ward, and Redemption Games. Graduated from The Art Institute of California in 2012. [16] Worked on tribal dwarven housing and lava dungeon


Joshua Epel - Game Designer[14]


Samantha Page - Customer Service Representative


Chris Myers - Senior Animator[14]


Ryan Richmond - Senior Environmental Concept Artist[14]


Ryan is a concept artist and illustrator based in San Diego. He maintains focus on environment design and world-building. [17] Ryan's clients have included 20th Century Fox Fuzzy Door Productions – The Orville, Subharmonic Games – Reticent Protocol, Polymorph Games – Foundation, Steele Games/Vision3Games – Windfall, Plow Digital – Last Front: The Strategy Card Game, and Shrike Studio – Emissary [18][19][20]

Alex McPherson - QA, IT, and Technical Design [21]


Brad Constantine - Senior Animator [21]


Adam Block - Audio Designer [21]


Hector Rodriguez - Senior Web Developer [21]


Mark Storch - Senior Programmer [21]


Eric Kinney - Programmer [21]

Shader Support Engineer, makes all the Artists Cheer [22]


Michael Roca - Senior Gameplay Programmer[4]

Formerly Lead Engineer Disney Interactive, Senior Programmer Daybreak, SOE, EA

Worked on; H1Z1, Everquest 2, Return of the King, Everquest: Next, Landmark, and FreeRealms

22 years in the industry


Grat Crabtree - Senior Software Engineer[4]

Formerly Senior Software Engineer Daybreak/SOE

Worked on; H1Z1 and FreeRealms

15 years in the industry


Devin Lafontaine - Senior Artist[4]

Formerly Lead Artist Daybreak/SOE, Sigil Games Online

Worked on; H1Z1, PlanetSide 2, EverQuest: Next and FreeRealms, Star Wars Galaxies, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes

21 years in the industry


Tad Ehrlich - Senior Artist[4]

Formerly Lead Artist Daybreak/SOE, Midway Games

Worked on; H1Z1, EverQuest II, and Landmark, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, Ready 2 Rumble Round 2

18 years in the industry


Garrett Fern - Senior Game Designer[4]

Formerly Design Engineer, Team Lead at Daybreak/SOE

Worked on; EverQuest II, EverQuest: Next, Landmark, and H1Z1

12 years in the industry


Zin Chiang - Senior Producer[4]

Formerly Sr. Producer, Creative Director at Travian Games/Publishing

10 years in the Industry


Midori Bond - Executive Assistant[4]

Formerly Senior GM and Customer Service

Worked on; Everquest II, FreeRealms, and DC Universe Online at SOE

3 years in the industry


Bear McCreary - Lead Composer [23]

Check out Bear's website. Bear helped score 10 Cloverfield Lane, Scored Battlestar Galactica, The Walking Dead, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Themed Da Vinci’s Demons, He has worked on Black Sails, Outlander, Human Target, credited for Happy Death Day, Scored Colossal, Animal Crackers, Rebel in the Rye, Unrest, Step Up 3D. Other Video game credits include God of War, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate: Jack the Ripper, and Defiance.


External Partners

Panopticon Labs - Game Security Partner[13]


Panopticon Labs is working with Intrepid directly on crafting fraud prevention and detection mechanisms for use in Ashes of Creation. The systems they have designed specifically for Ashes are of paramount importance to the game experience we wish to create and we have made it a pillar of our design from a very early point in the development process to leverage their expertise in gaming, payment processing, and data intelligence.

Team Critical Hit - Contract PR Firm [13][25]


Team Critical Hit is working with Intrepid as their contract PR firm. They handle Public Relations, press releases, scheduling, etc. All Marketing is done at Intrepid internally. Team Critical Hit has, however, done marketing for other companies. Team Critical Hit describes their service as AAA PR and Marketing on an Indie Budget. Team Critical Hit is currently, as of 2/21/2018, assisting Intrepid in preparing for PAX East. Team Critical Hit says they perform PR services because they love games, want more games out there, and good PR strengthens the rise of new and original products that don’t just try to do what’s been done before. [26]

Former Employees

Jennifer "Yaviey" Bridges - Community Manager


I come from a long line of MMORPGs. I’ve played almost everything out there and have managed the community of several titles including EverQuest II, WildStar, Blade & Soul, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, Lineage II, Wizardry Online, Dragon’s Prophet, MXM, Lineage Eternal, and others. My very first MMO was Lineage II back in 2003 and I’ve been hooked on the genre ever since. I love the friends and communities I’ve met in these games. The persistent worlds and on-going updates keep you engaged and always striving to be better. To me at least, that makes me feel as though my time in-game is never wasted.

Besides video games, I enjoy playing tabletop RPGs. I started playing Dungeons & Dragons back in 1996 and have been hooked ever since. Although now it’s way easier to find groups to play board games with, which I have a lot of fun with, too. When I’m not doing some kind of gaming, I’m usually hanging out with my two cats – Lady Voxel and Dandy. Someday I also hope to get a corgi because they’re so darn cute!

My Job as Community Manager on Ashes of Creation

I’ve already gotten a few questions from fans via Discord on this topic so I thought I’d break it down here for you as well. I think the easiest way to explain my function is I am a mediator of information between you (the players) and the development team of Ashes of Creation. While up until now Steven and team have done a fantastic job of answering your questions as they’ve come in, we need to have them focus more on getting the game ready to launch, which is a ton of work. Basically, I am here to field questions back and forth.

I will be full-time on Discord, the forums, our website, and all of our social media channels to find questions, get answers, and keep the hype train running. If you have a question, please don’t hesitate to reach out! While we can’t guarantee that we’ll always have a definitive answer (especially at this phase of the development process), we will try to answer you.[27]

No longer works for Intrepid Studios[28]

Matt Reynolds - Senior Game Designer


As a game designer with Intrepid Studios, I have the pleasure of playing a small part in the design process behind “Ashes of Creation.” As a dedicated gamer myself, I know what people have come to expect out of projects like ours, and it has been a privilege to come into work every day to work on one of my life’s greatest passions. Drawing from a wealth of personal experience with various games across my life, every day at Intrepid is exciting for me to see what new and creative ideas we can build for our players.[11]


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  3. From_The_Ashes_Ep_42_Steven_Interview_2018-4-22#Alpha_Soul:_What_are_your_plans_for_player_.2F_developer_communication_post-launch.3F_We.27ve_noticed_you_guys_have_awesome_communication_and_we_are_wondering_what_the_plans_post-launch_are_and_will_it_persist.3F
  5. Ashes_of_Creation_Livestream_2018-5-4
  6. Fall update - Kickstarer
  7. 7.07.1 PAX_West_Panel_2018-09-01
  9. Ashes_of_Creation_Community_Podcast_024_2018-5-11#.5B23:00.5D_Greypelt:_Is_there_anything_you_can_tell_us_about_the_new_developers_on_the_team.3F
  10. Ashes_of_Creation_Livestream_2018-7-9
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  23. Ashes_of_Creation_PAX_Panel_Making_MMOS_Great_Again
  25. Gamasutra AoC Kickstarter Funding
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All of the flora, fauna (creatures), structures, sounds, and weather define the environment players will explore.