About the founder: I’m Shawn Alexander Allen and I am a visual artist, animator, writer, advocate for minorities to inhabit the games space, and other things. I¬†was born and raised in New York City and started working in the video game industry at a Rockstar Games in 2007. In the close to 5 years that I worked there I was a part of many facets of the AAA publishing side of the games industry with some minor hand in game development. My primary job was working on video related marketing assets, including trailers, webclips, short films and a tiny amount of cutscenes, using in game tools to create footage. I also wrote and performed voice for characters as well as helped out with editing and motion graphics and animation. I took a brief detour as a Game Analyst and learned a great deal about QA and bug testing as a whole before I left.

2012 was a pretty fulfilling outside of that; a major highlight was getting a game that I helped create during the Global Game Jam where I worked on the core mechanic as well as half of the art for featured on Kotaku. And now it’s on the iPad appstore, for free, where it belongs. CHECK IT OUT!

My interests in the industry involve a zeal for game design and analysis therein, 2D art/animation, narrative design and as odd as it may sound lumped in with the creative side, market trending and analysis. I have a rather deep knowledge of video game history from the NES era on (I’m always so happy that the game industry is so important that knowledge like that isn’t just considered superfluous). I feel it’s very important to have an expanded view of the industry because in many instances knowing the past of a genre or game mechanic can help your own game be much better, much quicker.

Most people know me as a rather candid, opinionated and passionate (visceral??) person. I have a very management/leadership oriented mind to the point where if I’m not in charge or in the know on a project I get very frustrated and work to figure out how to make things better anyway. At the same time I like to feel like I’m just one of the guys and don’t like lording over people with a superiority complex. In fact my management style has always been one of suggestion over direct orders when possible and being open minded about other people’s opinions and preferences.

I’m a bit of a narcissist and I am always eager to give my opinion on something, which I realize isn’t always the best thing, but I do it anyway. Oh boy do I do it, but I also try to be very careful with jumping headfirst into a situation unless I know what I’m doing. With that said, I like to take risks and when I have a goal I won’t stop or take no until that goal is reached; then I just raise the bar for myself. I set a goal to reach management in my game retail job back while I was in school, and I did within 2 years despite bureaucracy and a company takeover. I set a goal to break into the game industry within a year of graduating, I managed to do so within 5 months.

Currently I am the CEO/Owner/Game Design Director of Nuchallenger. I love to write, create characters (both visually and story wise) and think up new game design mechanics or new ways to present old favorites. I always like to imagine new ways to get a player from point A to point B while making it fun and relevant at the same time. As a jack of several trades this allows me to be a full on creative force in any games I work on.

Besides games I have a lot of other interests. I like to study mythology and history. I have a broad and eclectic taste in music, ranging from Classical to Alternative with many forms of metal, pop, evil clown music, hip hop, video game tunes, some Otis Redding, a bunch of Mindless Self Indulgence and much more jammed in there. I watch a lot of movies ranging across the span of the industry and I watch some current TV as well as older live action and animated shows. I find it hard to concentrate on books, despite having a collegiate reading level since I was 10.

For professional inquiries contact me on gmail at shawn AT nuchallenger DOT com.

About NuChallenger: Nuchallenger LLC is the game company that the game Treachery in Beatdown City is being worked on under. I have a lot of goals that I would like the company to one day be able to accomplish, such as employing and training minorities in an industry where that is not the norm. 2015 will

Favorite Games: (while trying not to be too repetitive in series/genres) This list was hard to come up with, and I’m probably leaving something out. Well, I KNOW I’m leaving something out because any top 10 for me turns into a top 100 rather easily. A good example is how much I love SF Third Strike… and yet SF II had a much larger impact on me mostly because it shaped my outlook of the vast gaming spectrum forever, so it’s on this list and Third Strike isn’t. One day I’ll add descriptions for why I love these games so much.

Super Mario Bros. (NES)

Street Fighter II (Arcade/SNES)

Double Dragon (NES)

Final Fantasy III/VI (SNES)

Montezumas Revenge (Apple IIc)

Questprobe Featuring Spiderman (Apple IIc)

Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (Gameboy)

Super Metroid (SNES)

Metal Gear Solid Ghost Babel (Gameboy Color)

Fire Pro Wrestling Returns (PS2)/Fire Pro Wrestling D (Dreamcast)

Donkey Kong (Gameboy)

Ogre Battle (SNES)

Secret of Evermore (SNES)

Mario Kart 64 (N64)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time (SNES)

MDK 2 (Dreamcast) *updated 03/01/2011

Killer7 (Gamecube) *updated 06/27/2011

Super Meat Boy (Xbox 360/PC) *updated 06/03/2012

Gungrave (PS2) *update 06/25/2012