Any James Taylor fans out there?
Today is my last day at HitPoint Studios, where I’ve served as president for three years.
What’s it been like working at HitPoint? Exciting, humbling, rewarding. I worked on many deeply satisfying projects during my tenure at HitPoint.
But it’s more than the specific projects and revenue, of which I am justifiably proud. (HitPoint made the Inc 5000 list of fastest growing companies this year: https://www.inc.com/profile/hitpoint). It’s about the people I’ve come to know and admire. I originally thought that HitPoint’s strength was its engineering talent, especially in AR and backend server technology, but now I know that the UI/UX, product management, art and interactive design staff are also topnotch. And CEO Paul Hake is the heart and soul of HitPoint. I thought I knew about managing a small business, but I learned so much watching Paul create a fun, transparent, disciplined, respectful and productive company culture. I’ve said this to numerous clients and it’s true…HitPoint is the best managed game studio I have ever worked with.
Let me highlight just a few of my favorite projects over the past three years:
1. In 2019, HitPoint participated in a contest sponsored by Niantic to build a product on their platform, “to show what’s possible.” Given that I grew up within a stone’s throw of the Gettysburg Battlefield, I was thrilled that our pitch to create an educational, fun app for families visiting Gettysburg was funded. We learned so much about location based, AR, multiplayer experiences, what works and what doesn’t. I’m hoping HitPoint has the opportunity to build on that experience in the near future. http://ariellalehrer.com/learning-history-with-location-based-ar/
2. MindLabs Energy and Circuits is a NSF and NIH funded magical STEM learning tool for children ages 8 and older. It combines a digital app, physical cards and AR in a fun and exciting approach to learning core science concepts. And it was designed from the get-go for remote, collaborative learning – ideal for virtual education. MindLabs goes on sale October 1! https://learnwithexplore.com/
3. Venture Valley, about to soft-launch in Canada with Super League, is an esports game that exposes players to the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and financial literacy. It’s a gutsy attempt to support high school and collegiate esports leagues with a relevant game that is fun-first but also aligned to their educational mission. Kudos to the Singleton Foundation’s vision for funding such an innovative, amazing product. https://venturevalleygame.com/
So what’s next for me? A friend told me recently, “You’ll have lots of jobs; just make sure the last one is the best.” While I was working for HitPoint, Legacy Games, a company I founded 22 years ago, continued on its merry way selling casual CDROM games to retail. I am returning to Legacy, to help guide it into the future and hopefully build on its core strengths in publishing and distribution. (Of course I also want to spend more time with my growing, and delightful, brood of grandchildren.)
…Though I lack the art
to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written.
I am not done with my changes.
– Stanley Kunitz, Poet Laureate
I hope you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy.