> SCHELL GAMES

MAKING EXPERIENCES WE’RE PROUD OF WITH PEOPLE WE LIKE TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE

Founded in 2002 by award-winning game designer and author Jesse Schell, Schell Games is the largest full-service educational and entertainment game development company in the United States. We make experiences across various platforms, and we specialize in four vertical areas, including Health and Wellness, Education, Home Entertainment, and Theme Parks and Museums.

In addition to creating original games and learning tools, we count some of the world’s most respected brands as clients, including The Walt Disney Company, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, LEGO, Yale University, Universal Studios, Fred Rogers Productions, The Smithsonian Institute, and the US Department of Education.

Our company motto is to create experiences we are proud of, with people we like, to make the world a better place.

We make games strictly for entertainment like Until You Fall, a VR sword fighting experience that doubles as a fun and demanding workout, or I Expect You To Die 2, the second entry in our VR escape room franchise. Regardless of the intended audience, we work hard to positively impact the people and organizations we serve and make sure they have fun while doing it.

We also aim to show people that educational games can also be entertaining and that VR games are for everybody. We partnered with the University of Pittsburgh to develop a game that reduces diagnostic errors by doctors in the emergency room. We also worked with The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and Twin Cities Public Television to create a hands-on, paleontology-based museum exhibit called Deep Time Detectives.

However, we couldn’t do any of this without the wealth of knowledge, passion, and perspective our employees bring to Schell Games. We live by the principle that “diversity makes us strong.” This belief is a core part of our company culture, and it guides the way we create experiences for clients and the gaming public. We embrace diversity because we feel every employee has a voice and that listening to different perspectives leads to lasting change. Studios, organizations, or groups that don’t embrace the power of a diverse workforce are missing out. And though we may not have all the answers, we strive to discover the correct answer and act upon it.

Take accessibility, for example. Accessibility in gaming is top of mind when we’re developing experiences because if we aspire to create a game with everyone in mind, it expands our potential impact. We created a tool we call “The Accessibility Matrix” that draws from several years of work done at Schell Games. It breaks down accessibility into goals that are then categorized and used to evaluate each project to bring the highest levels of accessibility to our game within scope and budget.

Because of this process, we were able to add accessibility options to many of our games. I Expect You To Die 1 & 2 are seated VR experiences that gamers can play with one hand. Until You Fall is a high-energy swordfighting game with standing and seated play modes (and seated players don’t lose any of the fun). Motion sickness is a significant concern for most people who play VR, so we fine-tune our games to ensure motion
sickness is minimized, if not non-existent, for those who tend to suffer from it. From intentional design decisions to groups like our Accessibility Champions, who regularly meet to share best practices and brainstorm solutions, our company culture insists that making games accessible is necessary and achievable.

Creating experiences with everyone in mind wouldn’t be authentic if our company culture didn’t embrace and support its employees regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, religion, and sexual orientation. We built a recruiting process that draws from the most diverse talent pool possible and employs equitable philosophies and approaches to every aspect of an individual’s employment. Some of our methods include:

  • Ensuring there isn’t gender bias regarding fair pay.
  • Actively seeking qualified job candidates outside the games industry norm.
  • Developing inclusive teams that enjoy working and communicating with each other during a project’s life cycle

We also work with local advocacy group Vibrant Pittsburgh to expand the breadth and depth of training modules addressing unconscious bias, inclusivity, feedback, and anti-harassment. To date, Schell Games has been a BizJournals Best Place to Work for ten consecutive years, with the most recent achievement being named a 2021 US Best Places to Work by GamesIndustry.Biz, from whom we also received the Diversity Award.
The Global Industry Game Awards also nominated Schell Games for our diversity and inclusion efforts.

As we continue to build upon the knowledge, relationships, and creativity that has fueled our studio for the past 19 years and years to come, we look forward to contributing to the growth of the gaming and virtual reality landscape. The power of gaming as a force for good is an idea we firmly believe in, and we’re proud to continue growing the space by creating experiences we’re proud of, with people we like, to make the world a better place.

SCHELL GAMES

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