Peace, I’m Shawn Alexander Allen, co-founder of NuChallenger, a Black led video games company that makes dope games driven by art, music, and culture.
I’m a hip-hop obsessed visual artist, game designer, writer, project leader pushing the culture of games to be better. I have over 13 years of experience in making & marketing games, from large scale AAA behemoths selling tens of millions of copies to tiny award winning game jam games, and everything in between.
In 2020 NuChallenger launched its first commercial title, Treachery in Beatdown City on Nintendo Switch & PC. The LA Times called it “The most relevant, antiracist game of 2020”. We’ve got more Beatdown City goodness coming up soon.
Previously I worked at Rockstar Games for close to 5 years. I helped launch every game from GTA IV to GTA V including Red Dead Redemption, Max Payne 3, and LA Noire.
Speaking and Writing
I am an international speaker, having spoken at numerous conferences/institutions including the Game Developers Conference, AMAZE Fest, Indiecade, PAX, SXSW, and multiple schools including NYU and Depaul University.
My focus tends to be in unique mixes of game design, narrative, combat design, animation, and thinking of games as bigger cultural works.
My focus used to be speaking and writing about race and representation in the games industry. I no longer do that, as it’s a very basic way of analyzing the games industry and only kept me in a “diversity” corner, which helps no one.
If you want to book me for speaking, feel free to email me at shawn at nuchallenger dot com.
I don’t do Advocacy/Diversity talks anymore, because I don’t think those do anything. I found that direct action is better than spending years talking about it.
I also tend to focus on trying to get adults the tools they need to get into//advance their games careers. I don’t do basic career talks.
Mentorship / Organizing
I am a co-organizer of the Game Devs of Color Expo, the first games conference in Harlem. In 2020 we had our first virtual conference.
You can find out how to sponsor here.
On the independent side I have been involved in game design and various roles for small independent games, including a commissioned board game that ended up in the Museum of the Moving Image.
I also make political art.
You can find me here – Twitter: @ShawnDoubleA