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Our Quest


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Our Quest


What kind of stories could we tell

 

If we focused MORE on character development

 

and LESS on gore?

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About


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About


Who Are We?

Hello, my name's Tommy *wave*. I'm a founder at FableLabs and this is my story:

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I met Amanda in 1991.  I took this photo of her the moment after she revealed she had just been fatally bitten by a medusa and will become one shortly. Before I ended her life, she begged me to take her dying tears to bring her brother back to life (he's been turned to stone). Even though this was over 20 years ago, I remember this moment in Final Fantasy Adventure very clearly. But a decade ago I graduated from Berkeley, ranked 3rd in my engineering class and it occurred to me recently that I can't remember how to do calculus anymore as I haven't touched it... well... since graduation.

How is it I am able to remember an obscure story from my childhood but I can't remember basic math that was the building block for my engineering education?

Simple. Humans are fundamentally WIRED for stories. Before we learned to write in 3200 B.C., we told stories to pass information down through each generation. Those able to absorb these stories were able to survive and reproduce (the rest were probably consumed by lions). Stories have the ability to TEACH us, INSPIRE us, make us CRY, make us LAUGH. Stories may very well be the most valuable intangible asset in our lives.

But modern storytelling has been a hits-driven, risky business as storytellers work with no data, archaic tools, and old media distribution models that haven't changed in decades. Technology has made just about every aspect of our lives more interactive and we believe storytelling is ripe for change. The greatest stories of our generation have all been passive and that's about to change.

FableLabs builds NOTHING but awesome story-driven games for the tablet and web. Our first few titles range from Sherlock Holmes recreated as a middle school nerd, to tall tales of an "Indiana Jones of the Sea", to a mother searching for her daughter in the depths of Hell. As much as we love the sci-fi and Tolkien fantasy genre, there's so many other stories we'd like to bring to bring to life with our gameplay systems. Our games borrow elements from traditional adventure / role playing games but are reimagined to be accessible and fun for those who don’t have 8 hour blocks of time to spare. We take the best storytelling elements of adventure / role playing games but make the gameplay accessible, free-to-play and fun for those who don’t have 8 hour blocks of time to hack and slash through dungeons. We think it's time interactive stories moved beyond dragons & princesses for teenage boys.

Hollywood and Silicon Valley have never seen eye to eye. We are going to change this.


Executive Team

Thomas WuCo-Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Former investor at Elevation Partners, banker at Morgan Stanley, engineer at Berkeley.

Thomas has been on both sides of the table, as a private equity investor (BioWare, Pandemic) as well as building free-to-play games from the trenches that have acquired millions of users. Current interests include structured data, IP creation, and beef noodle soup.

 

Aaron MatthewCo-Founder & Chief Technology Officer

Former technical director at Meteor Games.

Aaron last worked with a team of 50 as the Technical Director and later Lead Game Designer on the fatally cool casual MMO Twin Skies (was too cool to ship). He's developed and designed large scale data systems, 3D graphics software, scripting languages, operating systems, tabletop rpgs, casserole recipes. Current interests: generative art, xeno-linguistics, cyberpunk-era artificial intelligence accidents.

 

Storytellers & Technologists

Our team of creatives and technologists from BioWare, Maxis, LucasArts, Popcap,  Dreamworks, and Neopets have built and scaled products with millions of users. We're building an environment for micro-teams of storytellers (we're talking 2/team) to create epic games with great storytelling.

You should follow our adventures here --->

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Games


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Games


So, what's on tap?

We often get the question, "So what GAME are you guys working on?"  We don't believe in putting our entire team on 1 game; we believe more individual ownership creates well rounded teammates and far better products.  The games below were conceived and are being created by the creatives at FableLabs.


Nerd Detective

Twelve year old Carlton Honeycutt is a modern-day Sherlock Holmes with a nerd twist. Mint condition comic book collection gone missing? Call Carlton. Autographed dungeon master’s manual stolen? Call Carlton. Whenever crime spins its web around the nerds of Cod Lake, Carlton Honeycutt is there to untangle it.


Project RT

Too early to say anything...


Project DNK

Tall tales in an old timey world.  Not much else we can share at the moment, stay posted!


Project LH

When Celeste Crowe’s plans were cut short by her untimely death, she thought things couldn’t get any worse. But when her daughter Fiona’s spirit appeared in the afterlife, it left her with only one choice -- descend into the hellish realm of the Labyrinth and get her out. The damned souls of the Labyrinth and ancient beings of the Library will hammer her resolve, but in thousands of years, no one has seen a spirit as determined as Celeste’s.

  • Explore two bizarre twin realms, one filled with the obsessive dead and one filled by lost souls whose only desire is to prey on each other
  • Enter the memories of the damned and pull out their most treasured objects from civilizations all over the world -- then redeem their spirits or turn against them in the soul-eat-soul world of the Labyrinth
  • Shape the world and its inhabitants as you decide to forgive those who trespass against you or condemn them to a fate literally worse than death

Project Mysteria

My dearest child.  If you're reading this, I'm either dead... or worse, in the hands of my enemies

A father's last letter to his child.  A shadow pendant of a beautiful woman.  Secret societies investigating the father's research. The world of Mysteria is filled with surprises and fans will need to uncover clues from the past to solve the disappearance of their father.

 
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Jobs


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Jobs


So you’re a DEVELOPER.  You've got a few options:

  1. Work for massive AAA studio on ONE title for a few years
  2. Work at an indie studio on a couple titles and hope you get viral distribution
  3. Come to FableLabs and use your sweet tech skills to create systems that will be used by tens of internal storytelling teams
  • Do you want to build amazing content authoring tools for writers and automated pipelines for artists?

You should apply to be a TOOLS DEVELOPER (Unity, JavaScript, Google Script, Scripting languages)

  • Do you want to prototype gameplay systems for each game and then rebuild them in a robust fashion when you’ve found the fun?

You should apply to be a GAMEPLAY DEVELOPER (Unity, C#)

  • Do you want to scale our systems and manage the massive amount of data we generate through our game content and player data?

You should apply to be a PLATFORM ENGINEER (Python, C#, NoSQL databases, Unity)

  • Do you want to build reusable graphic systems (shaders, vfx, animation, rigging) and assist with look-dev?

You should apply to be a TECHNICAL ART DIRECTOR (Unity, Maya, Photoshop, After Effects)

 

SO YOU’RE A CREATIVE.  Let's Find The Right Position For You:

  • Do you want to work with narrative designers and concept artists to design free-to-play HOPA games and RPGs? Are you both fluent in spreadsheets/metrics as well as creative applications of gameplay/metagame systems?

You should apply to be a PRODUCT MANAGER (Game Designer / Producer)

  • Do you want to create interactive stories through episodic storylines, gameplay-driven narratives, cinematics and character dialog?

You should apply to be a NARRATIVE DESIGNER (Game Designer / Writer)

 

So You're "Complicated"

We're a small team and would like to keep it that way. Gaming studios often brag about the size of their army and staff their teams with 100-300 people, but we'd rather win the war with Seal Team 6 (ok we're more around the lines of 13). If you fit the bullet points below but we haven't listed a position that fits your unique snowflake personality, tell us your story at jobs [at] fablelabs [dot] com (no Word Docs).

  • Entrepreneur not employee. No one wants to babysit you.
  • T-Shaped: Broad generalist but able to add deep value on a particular skill set.
  • Curious: Like a cat. Willing to challenge traditional methods by asking why? Why???
  • Multiplier: Create ways to amplify the work of others.
  • Tough: Hard to kill like a weed and able to thrive in the turmoil of a startup. Opposite of a Panda.

How We're Different

We Believe In Generalists

AAA studios often create amazing products but the process is often lengthy and dehumanizing.  As projects swell in size, individual responsibility/insight declines as does passion/excitement.  We think our core team members can wear multiple hats instead of requiring they specialize in one facet.  A well rounded generalist is 10.2x more dangerous than a specialist.

We Are Data-Informed, Not Data-Driven

Letting short term metrics dictate the development of your strategies works when there's low hanging fruit and your competition are vampire biting applications.  Now that the market has been saturated with soulless clones, creators need to have a strong vision for their products and let the metrics validate their assumptions. We don't outsource product design to our users.

We Are Missionaries Not Mercenaries

We are creators who wish to build a sustainable creation engine by starting with great stories that benefit from superior economic and distribution models, not folks who piled in to make a quick buck. As such we emphasize continuous learning rather than continuous sprints and prize folks who think about the team before themselves.  We work on the games that both we are excited about and can generate cash-flow so that we can continue doing what we love to do. The ideas come from the team, not from CEO mandates.

We Believe Software Should Be Reusable

How many times do we need to rewrite pathfinding, localization, or crafting systems? We believe developer time should be spent making libraries and tools that empower several game teams.  We are inherently lazy and prefer to write something once and use it for multiple projects.

We Focus On Storytelling

We've seen many short-term trends in consumer media and witnessed the rise and fall the players who chased these shiny objects. Just because we CAN build a product doesn't mean we SHOULD.  If you’re looking for us to make the next Clash of Clones, CSR racing, Kardashian social casino game, you might be holding your breath for a while.

We Are Long Term Investors

We invest heavily into our new hires.  We’re building for the long haul, not a quick flip.  The time spent on training is a tiny blip in a long term partnership. Each sprint team members get a couple days to do FDT ("Free Development Time").  Some of our most interesting game ideas came out of FDT.

We Believe In Leadership Not Management

We believe creatives can be self-managed if provided the right environment, dashboards, and tools. Come here if you miss building something with your own 2 hands. Not the place for fancy titles and armies of reports.


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Location


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Location


HQ: Hatchery, 645 Harrison St. Suite 200, San Francisco

Heart of SOMA. Close to Bart, Muni, Caltrain, food and bars.

 

Contact


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Contact


Content providers, distribution partners, or agencies can contact us at:
Partnerships [at] FableLabs [dot] com

Press and other general inquiries please contact us at:
Info [at] FableLabs [dot] com

Feedback for our products can be sent to:
Support [at] FableLabs [dot] com

Want to change the world with us?
Jobs [at] FableLabs [dot] com