Located in downtown Vancouver (Canada), Luminawesome is a start-up studio that was formed by Michelle and Kyle Rocha. In 2014, Kyle and Michelle were one of the winning teams for the October Unreal Game Jam with their game Bump. They loved the concept and decided to develop it into a full game. Over the past three years the mechanics and visuals have evolved considerably and the name was changed from Bump to Lumote. The team doubled in size with the addition of Aaron Arndt and Paul Ruskay. With the new found horsepower the team moved away from the Unreal Engine and built their own custom engine called rEngine. In 2017 Luminawesome received funding from Creative BC which allowed everyone to work on Lumote full-time. This spurred a burst of creativity and fueled a focused push to make Lumote into an even more better experience. Now, as Lumote is nearing completion and final polish is underway, everyone is looking forward to revealing Lumote to the world.
Kyle is originally from Cambridge, Ontario but moved to Vancouver in 2009 when he was recruited by United Front Games to work on Sleeping Dogs. Prior to that he completed the 3D Game Art program at Seneca College, and then got his start in the industry after he was hired as a tech artist by Silicon Knights in 2005. Since founding Luminawesome three years ago, he’s now shifted the focus of his creative endeavours solely to the company.
Kyle loves working in games because it is a world of unending challenges and discoveries that always has an opportunity to learn something new. Some of his favourite games are Zelda: Link to the Past, Bloodborne and Halo 3. On a more personal note, he has a blue Betta fish named Chips and a large collection of oil paintings from his past life as an artist.
Michelle was born and raised in Vancouver, and went on to earn a double degree from UBC in Music and Computer Science. Even though she is a professionally trained violinist, she found her calling with computers and decided to pursue it as a career after realizing that video games were the best way to meld being creative and pragmatic. Some of her all-time favs include Loom and Psychonauts.
The motivation to co-found Luminawsome came from her love of developing non-game software, and the desire to transform her ideas into something engaging that people could play and share.
It was at the tender age of ten when Arn decided that he was going to become a game coder. Fast forward to present day, and he’s become a veteran programmer who has over 20 years of experience making AAA titles while specializing in engine architecture, rendering and tools development.
Arn broke into the industry back in 1994 as a co-op student at Radical Entertainment. Then in 1998, he co-founded Black Box Games (Nascar, NFS: Hot Pursuit 2), which turned into EA Black Box four years later (NFS: Underground, Underground 2, Most Wanted, Carbon). After that he went on to co-found United Front Games in 2007 (Mod Nation Racers, Sleeping Dogs, LittleBigPlanet Karting). Now with numerous AAA titles under his belt and having chaired, organized and presented at several workshops and conferences, it’s safe to say he’s come a long way from his early days of using the Commodore64, Amiga 500 and BBS boards.
Arn’s reputation for immaculately clean performant code, combined with his breadth of experience makes him a valuable addition to the Luminawesome team. His all-time favorite games include Dark Souls, Ultima IV and Zelda, and in his spare time he loves to eat out at fancy restaurants, code for fun and deejay.
Paul was born and raised in Kingston, Ontario and was initially studying to become a dentist at Queen’s University, but switched degrees after he managed to convince the Dean of Music to let him into the music program. Then in the early 90’s he moved to Vancouver to attend Music College, and shortly after was swept up in the growing video games industry. Now 22 years later, he’s still producing audio every day and loving every moment of it.
Paul’s initial start came when he was hired on by Radical Entertainment for a short-term contract position, and then subsequently given an audio lead role in 1994. After staying with them for close to five years, he decided to venture out and start his company, Studio X Labs. This premiere full service audio production studio has worked with many top developers and publishers (Disney, EA, Nintendo, THQ, Take2, Activision, Rockstar, Sega, Microsoft), and gone on to win multiple Leo awards. The most memorable project he’s worked on is the original Homeworld (1999), and his top three games to play are Robotron (stand-up, coin-op, only), Super Metroid (SNES) and Half Life 2.
Paul loves producing audio for game worlds, and follows a mantra that involves using his creative intuitions and coming up with unorthodox solutions to create memorable experiences. He’s a true audiophile at heart!