Steamroller Studios started with nothing more than a sparkle in my eye. It was 2008 and Apple had just blown the barrier of entry away for game development. Never before did the prospect of making a game seem so attainable. Now keep in mind, this was before the rise of the indies. It was like the wild west, with aspiring game developers everywhere trying to make it big. I’m an illustrator/designer by trade, but with no formal training in game development (other than playing games from Atari through PlayStation.) I didn’t really consider game development as a realistic career path. Around the same time, I got the awesome news that I was going to be a father, but of course, that meant my window for risk-taking was closing quickly.
I decided to act and gave my childhood friend Keith Lackey a call to see if he was interested in working together on a game for the app store. We started our first business together at 16 when we would cut all our neighbors’ lawns. So, I knew I worked well with him, but I also really needed a programmer. When I called, I believe I said something like… “Hey bro, let’s make a game together!” to which he responded with roars of laughter. After all, at the time he was one of WETA Digital’s best programmers—not a job you give up lightly. But what he didn’t realize, was that day a seed was planted. A few months later he called me back and pitched a game idea he had. Eight months later we released our first game, “Super Shock Football.”
Around that same time, we got the attention of Keith’s coworker, Jalil Sadool. He and Keith had met while working on Avatar and discovered through some side projects of their own that they both had a strong work ethic. He asked if he could work with us on something, and it just so happened that our next game “Deadwood: The Forgotten Curse” was in dire need of some animation, something Jalil knew a little bit about. So, he joined us and our partnership duo became a trinity. Over the next few years, we would all continue to work our day jobs. Keith stayed at WETA, Jalil moved on to DreamWorks, and I kept running my design business. But Deadwood was never far from our minds and we would still work on it as often as we could.
Then in the summer of 2014, Keith paid a visit to Jalil over in L.A. He told him that he and I were quitting our jobs to work fulltime on Deadwood. This time Jalil laughed at him. But once again, a seed was planted. A few months later he was moving down to mine and Keith’s hometown of Eustis, Fl to officially start Steamroller Studios. Since then we have ramped up production on Deadwood, while also taking on contract work. The three of us have grown to over eighty and counting. It’s been a crazy ride, and I can’t wait to see where it takes us next.
Adam Meyer, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer