Our Vision

A platform built on the mechanics of nature

The scientific world shapes our everyday lives in profound ways. What do quantum mechanics, chemical reactions, and molecular machines all have in common? Well, besides being fundamental to our very reality, they're hard...really hard. But what if they didn't have to be?

We think at the core these concepts are not only interesting and important, but even understandable to the average person. Whether embedded by society or due to cognitive biases, we think people undervalue their intellectual potential by thinking difficult topics are beyond their reach. It's our mission to help people engage themselves at a higher level. Using our diverse experience in science education, software development, and design, we're building a modern platform to simulate the mechanics of nature. Our goal is not to overly simplify or dumb down the concepts, but rather present them in a hands-on format that builds on familiar interactions. We want our users to walk away feeling like they've gained new insight, have conquered a challenge, and have done so while enjoying the experience.

We're game developers, first and foremost. Our ultimate goal is to use this platform to create new experiences that span from gaming to education. This is no doubt a long-term effort, but with support from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and others, we're well on our way.

 
 

Founders

 
  Will Schneller  - Co-founder, President, and Creative Director    An artist by trade, Will is a founding partner and the studio director at Substrate Games. Over the last decade, Will has honed his skills in game development as the art director and producer on Meta!Blast. Now he's embarked on a new entrepreneurial journey to bring amazing science experiences to gamers and students alike.

Will Schneller - Co-founder, President, and Creative Director

An artist by trade, Will is a founding partner and the studio director at Substrate Games. Over the last decade, Will has honed his skills in game development as the art director and producer on Meta!Blast. Now he's embarked on a new entrepreneurial journey to bring amazing science experiences to gamers and students alike.

  Dr. Eve Wurtele  - Co-founder and Vice President of Science and Education    Outside of being a founding partner and our principal science advisor, Dr. Eve Syrkin Wurtele is a professor in Genetics, Development and Cell Biology at Iowa State University. Her research centers on the interplay between the metabolic and regulatory signals: the metabolic network. Eve previously led the development of Meta!Blast.

Dr. Eve Wurtele - Co-founder and Vice President of Science and Education

Outside of being a founding partner and our principal science advisor, Dr. Eve Syrkin Wurtele is a professor in Genetics, Development and Cell Biology at Iowa State University. Her research centers on the interplay between the metabolic and regulatory signals: the metabolic network. Eve previously led the development of Meta!Blast.

 
 

 

Our Company

A distributed team with a unified focus

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Founded in 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa, aka the heart of Silicon Prairie, Substrate Games spun out of research and development being done forty miles north at Iowa State University. Originally conceived to bring Meta!Blast to a global audience, we've now grown into our own and are developing original IP. Substrate Games is proud to call Mainframe Studios, a downtown artist community, it's HQ.

Games are not only hard to make, but their development studios notoriously difficult to sustain as well. To avoid the typical industry cycle of staffing up for a deadline then laying everyone off when the project ships, we practice a fluid model. We maintain a small, distributed core team augmented by external support.

 

 

Careers

We don't hire employees, we enable catalysts.

 

We offer a competitive compensation package that includes health, dental, and vision insurance, PTO and 10 paid holidays. Additionally, team members enjoy a flexible work atmosphere in either our Des Moines, IA or Seattle, WA locations.

 
 

No open positions at this time, but feel free to send a speculative application to careers@substrategames.com.

 

Our Partners