Full name

Lara Kehler

Title

Game Developer

Location

Mission, BC

Blurb

Game Developer: Pixel Pusher, Voxel Wrangler, Spreed Sheet Shape Shifter, Design Diva.

Biography

I have been working in the game industry since 2006 as both an Artist and more recently a Game Designer, but really I have been making games since the 80's on my Mac Classic using HyperCard, some simple coding and lots of pixel art.

I was home schooled as a kid and learned that 'learning' is the true 'spice' of my life. I have applied that understanding to everything I do since and predominantly enjoy putting myself in new and challenging situations in order to learn the most I can from them.

1999 - 2004
I traveled Europe, complete college, and then learned how to use Flash to create interactive media and games. I enjoyed the freelance life style working as a Flash/Web developer on various web games and interfaces, pixel art for early mobile apps as well as interactive content for online course ware.

2004 - 05
Received a grant to attend Art Institute - Burnaby in the Game Art & Design program. I completed this 1 year program, as well as took colour theory & sculpting at CAP college.

2005 - 06
Started my "official" career working as an artist in the animation industry on the Broken Saints DVD project and then at Mainframe Entertainment in the Marketing Department creating high rez post imagery using photoshop post processing & compositing from 3D assets. I also worked on various direct to DVD productions to create Heads up display motion graphics and title sequences.

2006 - 09
Threewave Entertainment & Gnosis Games - I was part of leading a small team through all stages of prototyping, IP creation, pitching to clients and releasing games for PC, Big Fish & Facebook.

My art director Eduardo Gonzalez really invested in me throughout this time and I view my experience working with him as a highly valuable education towards my design thinking and process.

2009 - 10
Worked on some indie projects under the title Frogtoss Games. We released Zombie Minesweeper after winning a place in a Kongragate Unity contest and I worked with my friend and collegue Graham Jans to bring this to iOS, Android and PC download.

2010 - 14
I've worked with Spryfox (Triple Town), Turborilla, and Fit Brains as either contractor or full time senior Artist or Art Director.

Since 2014 I have been at East Side Games in either senior positions as Artist or Game Designer.

At East Side I have learned about the economies of Free to Play games, the up and down side of self publishing, taking risks, failure and "not planning" for success. ESG has given me a wealth of freedom and opportunities to experiment, flex unused muscles, expand my design skills and really grow my soft skills.

2014 - Present
Along side my work in games, I started a unique school called 'Fraser Valley Free Learners' with my some friends and colleagues. Democratic/Free Schools have become a passion of mine and since we didn't have one locally in the Fraser Valley we decided to make it happen. This has been a life changing endeavor and I am very excited to see this project come to life and the students thriving here.

Family Life
I live with my husband and two young kids in Mission, BC. We love to go camping with our tiny trailer, make & build stuff together and play games.

Experience

Senior Game Designer

East Side Games

Vancouver, Canada · July 2017 – Present

With the success of Trailer Park Boys: Greasy Money ESG decided to stop investing and exploring the puzzle genre and I moved over to design for Bud Farm: 420 & then onto the LiveOps team for Trailer Park Boys (TPB).

As a designer on TPB I have helped improve the work flow by creating better design practices for weekly events. This includes improving our Google Sheets to save hours of design time per event, creating design docs to help focus and track event designs in order to better iterate and create a diversity of events.

Senior Game Designer

East Side Games

Vancouver, Canada · Dec 2013 – June 2017

I started as a senor artist and worked on many projects in the studio from Facebook to Mobile games. I pitched a game to the studio (a puzzle battler rpg..this was just before Puzzles&Dragons made the news) and they put me as the lead on that project and gave me 2 programmers and a few months to make a prototype.

For the next 4 years they had me lead small teams and either prototype or produce 3 mobile puzzle games. Mighty Bots, Heroes Path, & Match 2 Hatch.

Game Developer

Frogtoss Games

Vancouver, Canada · June 2009 – Sept 2010

Worked independently as concept artist and game designer with Graham Jans & Mike Labbe on an unreleased 2D platformer (see portfolio for art ‘sand god’).

We also created and released for IOS, Android, and PC the game ‘Zombie Minesweeper: A Love Story’ after winning an award on Kongregate. Zombie Minesweeper was met with rave reviews from fans and reviewers and was featured on Google Play.

2D Artist

SpryFox

Tele-Commute · March 2012 – Nov 2013

Created in game assets & marketing material for Triple Town and Steam Birds. (Steam Birds has since been re-made from the ground up)

Supervising Artist

Gnosis Games

Vancouver, Canada · Jan 2006 – April 2009

Concept through to final art for PC/Online, Social network games and new IP. Responsible for leading a small team of artists through all stages of production.

Worked closely with game designers to establish the flow and game play elements both visually and from a game play perspective.

Specialties

Concept & Production art, Game Design, Graphic design, Character Art, IP creatior, Logo design, Voxel Art Design & Creation

Skills

Photoshop Wizard, Flash Guru, Game Design - Free to Play Economy, Game Design - Puzzle, Unity Game Dev, UI Design, Voxel Modeling & Art Design, 2D Animation & Motion Graphics, Art Direction for Mobile Games

Elsewhere