Meet the Monument Valley team

Now that Monument Valley has been out for a couple of weeks, it seems like a nice time to tell you a little about ourselves.  Quite frankly, you probably weren’t interested before.

ustwo is a digital product studio, with almost 200 employees. Of these, eight of us form the games team, based in Shoreditch in London. We're very fortunate to share a creative environment with so many talented folk, while enjoying the freedom to make games the way we want to.

Listed in alphabetical order, ladies and gentlemen I give you, ustwogames:

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Michael Anderson

  • QA lead on Monument Valley
  • More titles under his belt than any other team member
  • Too Kawaii to live, too Sugoi to die

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David Fernández Huerta - @davidfhuerta

  • Artist and animator on Monument Valley
  • Lead Artist on Zombie Panic in Wonderland and Animal Boxing
  • Serious side-burns

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Daniel Gray - @dan_gray

  • Executive Producer on Monument Valley
  • Previously worked on the Fable and Joe Danger series
  • Likes big butts and he can not lie

Van Le

  • Programming on Monument Valley 
  • Creating games since J2ME days
  • Body made of steel

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Neil McFarland - @parishair

  • Director of games at ustwogames™
  • Did the artwork for Whale Trail  
  • Interested in coach livery

Manesh Mistry - @mnshm

  • Programming and audio on Monument Valley
  • Game design and programming on Blip Blup
  • Loves 90s Bollywood

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Peter Pashley - @two2heads

  • Lead Developer and level design chores on Monument Valley
  • AI Lead on The Outsider at Frontier Developments
  • Sates full-geek game design urges by doing trickle-speed development on sequel to own game Aftermath

Ken Wong - @kenwongart

  • Designer and artist on Monument Valley
  • Art director on Alice: Madness Returns
  • Once made a game about kicking cats

In addition to this full time team we contracted sound designer Stafford Bawler to help create the game's audio.

So there you have us, in all our glory. We're glad you like our game or were interested enough in it to read this far. Thanks. 

On top of the world

Monument Valley was released around the world for iOS on Thursday, April 3. It's Monday now, and we're still in a bit of shock. The whole team is overwhelmed and humbled by the response the game has had. Thank you to every single person that bought or played the game, or recommended it to someone else. Thank you also to the ustwo family, whose inspiration and support made this all possible.

Seeing the response people have had to the game in real time over Twitter and through blogs has been amazing. We are especially thrilled to hear from people who rarely or never play video games, who report completing and enjoying Monument Valley. Others have tweeted about playing the game with their kids, or with older parents.

Meanwhile, some gamers have wondered what it means for our $3.99 short-form game and a $9.99 spaceship simulator to find critical and popular success in the same week on the App Store.

Featured on the App Store! Missing is Van Le, our the elusive third programmer.

Featured on the App Store! Missing is Van Le, our the elusive third programmer.

Monument Valley:

We'll talk download numbers sometime in the future on this blog. For now, what we can say is that the game will make back it's budget in the very near future.

Frequently Answered Questions

  • Due to popular demand, we're going to be making more levels. 
  • Monument Valley will arrive on Android devices later this month.
  • Prints for your wall and a soundtrack for your ears will be available in the future.
  • We'll write more about how we made the game in future blog posts.

In the meantime, read about what we think makes Monument Valley special on the ustwo blog. Post some fanart or fan-creation to the official Tumblr. If you haven't already, download Monument Valley from the App Store, and tell us what you think on Twitter.

The Precipice, and Games as Art

I have often been asked what our hopes are for Monument Valley.

There is nothing quite like the feeling of releasing a game to the public. Months or years of hard work, battles we fought and lost, scheduling victories and creative concessions, all lead to one product - The Game. A game that will come under intense scrutiny - dissected, jeered at, forgotten - or to be explored, breathed in, reflected, celebrated. As a team, we stand upon the precipice, success within our grasp, and a dizzying chasm of failure below.

My hope for Monument Valley is that it might contribute to the argument that the medium of entertainment we call video games is in fact art.

But is it art?

But is it art?

What does it mean for video games to be described as art? It means recognising games as a medium of expression, a medium through which we can deliver moving experiences and convey ideas to each another. It means games have cultural significance - that through them we can understand some small part of what it means to be a living, loving, dying, feeling, thinking being. 

My ten years of experience making games and a lifetime of dreaming and drawing have all lead to this point. Monument Valley is shaping up to be the greatest work I have ever done, and I am so proud of this team and so grateful to have been given this opportunity. 

Standing on the precipice, proud of what we have created together, we have already won.

Willow wins again!

For those who don't know, we made a game by the name of Whale Trail a couple of years ago. It was our first foray into games as a company and like your first boyfriend or girlfriend we love it like no other.

We continue to support the game on multiple platforms, providing regular updates and before Christmas we even submitted it to a competition for the Tizen platform. It turned out to be a nice little challenge porting it across and it's always nice to have a new kid in the playground, in the coming years I'm sure iOS/Android/WP8 will have a new friend to play with.

So after months of waiting we finally got the results. Out of probably one billion apps submitted, we finished Runner-Up in the Games category!

Interesting little "side quest" whilst completing Monument Valley for us, and we want to congratulate the other devs who entered. Full results below!