Catherine Croft, Ph.D.,                                                  Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer

A lifelong lover of board games, Catherine earned her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Virginia after graduating with her B.S. in Biology from Duke University. She then performed eight years of neuroscience research, with five years at the National Institutes of Health and three years at MindSpec.  Her research focused on the formation of synapses and their role in neurodevelopmental disorders, specializing in autism.

Throughout her scientific career, she actively participated in science outreach and developed a passion for transforming science education.  In 2015, she decided to combine her passion for games with her science expertise in order to excite children about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) topics. As the mother of two young children, Catherine understands the importance of exposing kids to STEM topics early and is thrilled to see them engage with complex topics in a fun, simple way.  She also teaches Biology at Fauquier High School.


Orville Paynter,                                                      Chief Operations Officer

Orville Paynter is an artist whose skill set focus revolves around 2D and 3D content creation. Beyond extensive skill sets in major programs, such as Unity, Autodesk and Adobe products, among others, he began his passion as a traditional artist. Practices in graphite, oil, photography, and sculpture, as well as a deep rooted love of the game and media industry helped form a burning passion for creation.

Throughout his career, Orry has acted as Project manager, 3D artist, animator, coding compiler and lead designer, and story board artist. Some projects include basic third person games with fully animated and textured character models, a top down shooter game with infinitely random level generation, a plot heavy thriller game, time-trial steampunk blimp racing, and many more. His interests include educational games, architecture and 3D realistic visualizations, virtual reality serious games, and military training simulations.


 

Keegan Herschel,                                                 Game Designer

An up and coming game designer and graduate from George Mason University, Keegan Herschel has worked on a variety of games throughout his time as a student both in high school and at George Mason University. Through this he has learned how to program(specifically in Java, C#, and C++), use 3d modeling software (such as Autodesk 3DS Max and Autodesk Inventor) and adapt to multiple game engines such as Unity3D and Unreal Engine 4.

Keegan was an accelerated student who has completed multiple advanced academic programs including the Pre-Engineering program at Grassfield Highschool in Chesapeake VA. (a top 500 school in the U.S.), the physics program at Governor’s School @ Innovation Park, as well as other elevated education programs. Because of these accelerated programs, Keegan Herschel has graduated from George Mason University a year ahead of schedule, at the mere age of 20.

In addition to his academic accomplishments, Keegan Herschel has an avid interest in 3D printing, playing games both digital and physical alike, using his free time to write and design a campaign for the Dungeons and Dragons group he is Game Master for.


 

Elizabeth Cherry,                                                 Graphic Artist

A current student at George Mason University, Elizabeth Cherry has a love for making art, and finds that the Computer Game Design program was the perfect program to make art for. She is a dedicated worker, and is determined to work on a project until the end.

She focuses on making 2D and 3D art assets for many different projects in the program.

 


 

Lisa Harrison,                                                         Game Artist

Lisa Harrison is an artist with a focus in game art asset creation.  She has been creating art for video games for over 5 years and studio pieces for over a decade.  She graduated from George Mason University in May 2018 with a degree in computer game design.  Throughout her time at George Mason, she has taken advantage of many internship opportunities as a texture artist, 3D environment artist, senior instructor of art and animation, consultant for the Virginia Department of Education, and quality assurance tester.  Her experiences have led her onto the path of serious games with an especially high interest in creating educational games and virtual reality training simulations.

Aside from 3D modeling, texturing, digital painting, and creating visual effects for different projects in her free time, Lisa also enjoys playing Dungeons and Dragons in multiple campaigns, organizing board game nights with her friends, and playing co-op games with her husband.  Check out her portfolio at lcharrison.weebly.com.  She is always looking to improve and is open to critiques via messages from her contact page.


 

Nicolo Allado,                                              Game Design Intern

A freshman in the Honors College of George Mason University majoring in Computer Game Design, Nicolo is part of the Student Senate, Honors College Connects, and Phi Beta Lambda. He has been invested in becoming a video game designer ever since sixth grade. He is a creative and artistic individual. In the game design process, those traits translate into him excelling at conceptualizing ideas for games, as well as him creating unique character and environment designs. He seeks to go above and beyond in terms of effort in his work ethic, and promotes teamwork at all times.

 


Former Team Members



jon high resJon Nardolilli, 
Co- Founder, Former Chief Creative Officer

Jon is an engineer and educator by trade and a tabletop gamer by passion.  He earned his Civil Engineering degree from Carnegie Mellon University and has an extensive background in both Magic: The Gathering and being a Dungeon Master.

He currently teaches at Nysmith School for the Gifted.

 

 


Oliver Steenman                                                

Currently a student at George Mason University, Oliver’s love for game design has set him on a course to truly understand what makes game look and play so well. He is determined to make any project he is in be a huge success.

He is involved in several projects and gaming events, learning everything he can like a sponge.

 


 

Rumtin Aidun                                               

With a passion for designing games, Rumtin began focusing on programming and audio early on in high school.  The passion he has stems from the Nintendo games he played growing up as well as many board games, like Settlers of Catan.  He has lead a team of 50+ students at George Mason University’s Game Analysis & Design club, developing a small game he pitched himself with less than 24 hours of total work time.  His goal is to create games and products that not only entertain, but educate.

 


 

395ca2_1e5b6184e88f444ebd0f8e7e13f6a48bTyler van Vierssen

A lifelong gamer, Tyler started with PC and Nintendo classics such as Myst, Descent, and Dragon Warrior. Though he originally trained as an artist, he graduated George Mason University with a degree in Computer Game Design, and an emphasis on programming for games.  Tyler’s diverse experience also includes work in education and youth sports, having been both a private and corporate swim instructor for over 7 years.

He currently teaches at Mason Game and Technology Academy, working with elementary and middle school level kids in STEM and Game Design related fields.


MichaelMichael Petersen

A current student at GMU, Michael’s love for games has set him on the path towards being a designer himself. He’s determined to help out on as many projects as he can towards this goal. He has involved himself in a handful of game building events, and by doing so, he’s hoped that these experiences can teach him not only the essentials of designing a game, but also how to be a team player.

 


Marco Quiroz

marco-cropped

Marco Quiroz is a Computer Game Design graduate of George Mason University, specializing in 2D/3D game art. He has experience in traditional and digital art mediums including 3D modeling, sculpting and texture rendering. Having previous knowledge in fields of Computer Engineering and Pediatric Nursing, Marco brought his academic knowledge to help create fun and innovative games at Catlilli Games.

His portfolio can be found here:www.marco2d.com


11254452_377178235805944_422314766_nRhiannon Gupta

Rhiannon is a graphic designer based out of Trumbull, CT. She grew up on Long Island and has a passion for all things artistic and gaming related, graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a Graphic Design B.A. in 2011 with a thesis specializing in educational gaming.

By day Rhiannon works as a corporate designer in Stamford, CT, and she moonlights as a baking blogger and freelance designer for anyone in need of her special set of skills.

You can check out her portfolio at rhidesign.com and her blog at bakerhi.com.


iliana_portrait_boxIliana Vazuka

Iliana Vazuka graduated from George Mason University’s Computer Game Design program in 2014. She has been interested in Game Art and Design since she was 12, and has been pursuing the industry in almost every avenue ever since. She has expertise in both the plastic and digital arts, including 3D modeling, texturing, concept art, animation, digital painting, drawing, painting and stippling. In addition to her artistic skills, Iliana has about 8 years of programming experience, in both object-oriented and scripting languages, making her well-rounded in her field. Iliana has been teaching Game Development topics in art, programming and design since 2007, and she is even an Adobe Certified Educator for Photoshop CS5.1 and Adjunct Faculty at her alma mater. Whether it is teaching how to make games, or teaching with games, Iliana loves the impact she has on the next group of innovators.


f71a8961c21cb10a26d5607e2c4c549fEdward Chang

Edward Chang graduated from George Mason University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Computer Game Design. Although he primarily dealt with 3D animating and modeling during his college years, his hobbies also include board and card games. Working as a part time tutor, education turned out to be an unexpected yet rewarding experience for him.

 


 

Orlando profile picOrlando Rivera

An upcoming junior in George Mason’s Computer Game Design major, Orlando has been playing games, both tabletop and video, for much of his life. Although his education is still in progress, he has good experience with most facets of game design, particularly programming, having taken several classes where he took an active part in coding games for projects. In addition to his experience with game design, Orlando also gained the rank of Eagle Scout in late 2014, showing a good work ethic and a considerable drive to succeed.