- Alumni included -


Roberto likes nothing better than to dress in black garb and hide around the tree house, ready to ambush you. Despite the small confines of our treetop studio, Roberto likes to conceal himself inside cupboards, behind doors and under mats. Because he is the boss, we put up with this behavior and, more often than not, pretend we haven't seen him and let him hide away, giggling to himself.





Born and raised on a remote farm in Cedar Rapids, Iowa comes Atsuko. Atsuko certainly knows a thing or two when it comes to corn. In fact, Atsuko means 'field' and Kubota means 'Corn' in her native Iowan. In another fact, just the slightest mention of golden kernels makes her eyes mist over as she remembers many of the adventures in the lazy summer fields of her childhood. Atsuko's ability to whittle anything from a cobb makes for some interesting furniture and unlikely decor about the tree top.





Fresh. Hip. Sassy. Unfortunately, young Dan can't be described with any of these words, but he just makes the place feel better due to his cheery bongo playing, endless energy and an aroma that can only be described as 'original.' Snappy dresser, calm under pressure and ox-like determination are, unfortunately, three other things that can't ever be mentioned in the same sentence as Dan.





Jason is the resident survival expert. He's got us covered if it ever comes down to eating those things that shouldn't be eaten. Jason knows 3 ways to cook a bear and just what you should do if the bear should realize that it's being cooked. Here in the tree, he's made his own desk, managed to live off the same flask of water for 3 months and often stops meetings in their tracks when he puts his head to the ground to listen for potential meals approaching.





Not much is known about Lesley other than that she's never seen around the treetop without a piece of paper that she refers to as 'the rules'. The rules are not allowed to be read by anybody other than her, and they apparently state that a) We must give everything we own to her and that b) she must choose where we eat for lunch each day and that c) we must pay for all her meals. A new rule came into effect last week, which was d) Before going to the bathroom, we must first throw 3 d20 and score at least 60 to be able to continue on our journey.





Jared likes to think he can pass himself off as a member of the British aristocracy. He has taken to wandering about the tree top in a powdered wig with a small, delicate tea cup permanently affixed to his little finger. He always approaches you with a look of distaste and then cries, "Oh, this simply won't do, simply won't do," before scurrying away, back to the chamber to play his Spinet.





Fresh from a little-known Eastern European country comes a man who calls himself 'Colin'. Colin sailed to America in a boat constructed out of his own hair with a simple and honest dream: To sail to America in a boat constructed out of his own hair. Discovered half drowned and hair-wrecked on the beach, he was rescued and brought here where he makes us ropes, rugs and hanging baskets from his plentiful locks.










We think Justin still works here, but it's really hard to say, because on his first day, we were all walking to lunch. "I've just got to go do the bank across the street," he proclaimed before skipping off through traffic and into the bank. Eleven seconds later, the alarm was sounding and Justin came running out the door with two large sacks in his hands. He hasn't been seen since.





One morning, we discovered Mike at the base of the tree. He had an angry look on his face and an even angrier axe clenched firmly in his mighty hand. It seemed that Mike had a problem with us being up a tree, in his garden. Instead of dropping a heavy object onto him, we decided to invite him up for a look around, hoping that he would like it and let us stay. He ended up liking it a lot more than we anticipated and has been here ever since. He still carries the axe, but he has now taken to cheerfully swinging it at any squirrel unfortunate enough to find it's way into our nest.





The Jason Skiles is a complete mystery. Nobody can remember when or how he got here. All we know about him is that he is a large block of granite that rotates slowly about his y axis at approximately 11 degrees every 30 minutes. At nightfall, he emits a low frequency hum which continues until dawn. At this point, the humming stops, and the high pitched whining begins. This usually dies down just before lunch. Somebody claims that they once saw him drink coffee. Somebody else claims that they once saw him lick the mouse. We don't believe either of them.





Weighing in at roughly 1/10000th of an ounce, TJ is perhaps the smallest person in the world. Although tiny, he is capable of some truly great things. One of these great things is spider wrestling, which has become our new lunchtime sport of choice. Watching TJ clad in a miniature Lycra body suit, fighting 10-or-so spiders in a tea cup arena gives us indescribable pleasure and adds a touch of excitement to the afternoon.





"I can read your mind - I know what you're thinking," was how Jon introduced himself to us at a local diner one lunchtime. He produced a rabbit from his sleeve, followed by a small dog, a llama and eventually a horse. "I'm a MAGIC person - I can do MAGICAL THINGS," he screamed. That was good enough for us. We hired him on the spot because we liked the idea of somebody being able to produce random animals for us on a whim.





The tree shook, but it wasn't an earthquake. We looked out after the first tremor and saw an angry ball of fury shaking the tree loose with his bare hands. The ball glared up at us and screamed, "Hey, you bunch of !@$#%!!! I'm Alex !#%!&$ Hampton and I'm here to give you grief." The tree shook again and again. And again. 3 days later, and he's still there shaking the tree and hurling abuse at us. We're assuming he's never going to leave, so we might as well make a feature of him.





"GET IT OFF ME," screamed a frightened Matt as he scrambled up the ladder and through the trap door. "PLEASE, HELP ME GET IT OFF! ARRRRRGH!" We watched helplessly as he hopped around screaming and batting his arms. He fell to the floor twitching and frothing at the mouth until something small jumped from his back and scuttled behind our decorative plate cabinet. Finally, Matt was free and could breathe a sigh of relief.





When we pulled Craig from behind the plate cabinet, it was obvious he was just as frightened as Matt. His eyes bugged out and he tried to catch his breath. He explained that he was just wandering through the forest, picking berries, when Matt jumped out from behind a bush and threatened him with extreme angry shouting and other nasty things.





"But we don't need a deep sea diver", we cried. Avery clearly wasn't listening as he stomped his way up the ladder and into the tree house, where he began to hang nets, floats and other nautical nicknacks around a vacant desk. Any time that we approach him to mention our concerns for his lead boots stomping past our sizable plate display, he simply points towards his harpoon gun leaning against the wall, chuckling softly.





Carl Grande, an antique plate display cabinet, is believed to have been brought over to the United states by traders in the early 1900s. He has a solid oak construction, a little wood worm damage to the rear legs and appears to have had minor repairs made to the drawers. At first, the door hinges appear to be original, but on closer inspection it is revealed that they are nicely crafted reproductions. We paid around $50 for him, but a fine example of Scandinavian cabinetry such as Carl could fetch around $60 or more at auction.





Daesup Chang debuted on the vaudeville stage in 1902 as "Baby Chang", where he enamored audiences with his delightful antics. However, by 1926 he had lost much of his childlike cuteness, and fickle audiences turned a blind eye to his comeback efforts "Chang's Wild Poodle Show", and the 1929 silent comedy, "Baby Chang Goes to the Cinema". Ultimately, he was forced into a career in the games industry to keep off the streets.





Baker, baker, bake us a cake. Ricardo describes himself as 'the ultimate baker' and it's not difficult to see why. The office is always knee deep in oven fresh treats - Cakes, pies, cookies and bread. He has also managed to find a way to bake things which were not traditionally made from pastry - His car, all his clothes and even the computer he works at all day were created from a simple concoction of flour, eggs, butter and milk.





"Greetings, earthlings!" says Jean with her best attempt at a dramatic space alien voice. "I come in peace" she tells us each morning before vanishing into her office for the day. We have serious doubts about Jean's claims. For one, she doesn't look particularly alien. And for two, we know for a FACT that she holds a valid California driver's license. The ray gun she likes to threaten us with is simply a hair dryer and her spaceship looks more like a brown 1987 Toyota Camry than a vehicle capable of interplanetary travel. Hmmmm indeed.





"I'll be out in just a moment!" came the muffled voice from within the sack. 30 minutes later, the sack asks for "Just a few more seconds". It's difficult to judge the abilities of Joan seeing as it has been almost 5 months since her initial promise of escape. She's still in there and still announcing "An amazing spectacle of Houdiniesque unshacklement....Any moment now" We quite like Joan, apart from the constant noise and us having to explain what she's doing in there when guests come over.





Oliver Wade is the most placid man on earth. Clothed only in soft buttercups, he plays the pan flutes for us at lunchtime. Many are sobbing when he finishes, whilst others fall asleep nestled in his beard, only to be shaken awake by his jovial laughter. Then he gives us a delicious old fashioned candy, perhaps a humbug or a piece of saltwater taffy, and sends us on our way.





David is a strange and intangible thing. Nobody has seen him or heard him speak, but everybody agrees there is a certain 'feeling' near the kitchen. That feeling is David - A feeling of joy and bouncing happiness. Some say he's more of a vibe than a feeling. Others argue that he is taste, or perhaps a smell. One of us thinks he is just a breeze blowing through a crack in between the planks.





Adam believes he is the largest person on earth. He stomps along slowly making giant monster footstep sound effects, occasionally roaring before swiping tiny imaginary biplanes out of the air. The effect is quite stunning, but all this slow-motion giantness means that it takes him 90 minutes to go from his car to his desk.






Dancer Tyler Wells dropped his Capezio bag of bottled water, extra tights and headshots on the floor of our office. He then went straight into his routine. We tried to explain that we were making games, not holding broadway auditions, but the theater is apparently in his blood, so he would not hear a word. This routine has been going some months now, but we are too caught up in the magic to ask him to stop.





Justin isn't officially here. The truth is, he just came in to use the rest room and we thought that it would be funny to kidnap him. (You have to understand that it was a spur of the moment thing and we just got a little bit carried away.) We hid the trapdoor with a carpet and he hasn't found his way out yet. Chortle!





"YEAH! YEAH! YEAH!" That's all he says! Even though it's novel, we have tried to teach him further vocabulary with videos, learning toys and flashcards. Still, with time we have learnt to understand his unique intonations and subtle gestures. For instance, we now know when he is hungry, when he wants a drink and when he wants a quiet nap under his desk. YEAH!





Ron first appeared at our office searching for the lost sword of C'thuthm'lak, which first appeared to him in a dream. After very rudely searching all of us in a humiliating incident, he finally admitted none of us had it either on or within our persons. He is certain the sword will appear here soon, if only he waits for his chance, and remains pure of heart.





"Now, this, this and this will have to move..." says Dallas, pointing to Avery's harpoon gun and nets. "That cabinet will have to go over there, and I'd like a window over here," he continues, pointing at a supporting wall as several removal men move a gigantic oak desk into place. "My fridge will go here, but I'd like a smaller fridge under the desk... just for soda," he continues before hopping out the door to see if his leather sofa and drinks cabinet have arrived.





"Whoooooooooo!" came the sound from inside the dark conference room. "Whooooooooaaaaaaahhhharrrgggggh... I'm the spirit of the tree and I'm angry you built this house within my bough." Although we were frightened, we bravely turned on the light and decided to investigate. Instead of a furious spectra, we discovered who we now know to be Jeff, sitting covered with leaves in the dark.





"No, no, no," cries David when he is shown his profile. "You can't say this about me," he screams while hitting the delete key on the keyboard until there is nothing left. "Can we mention the beekeeping?" we ask. "No", he sharply replies. "What about the cat you taught to drive?" "No," he says, getting more and more irritated. "And what about the Racoon that takes on light housework, like laundry and washing dishes?" "No, especially not that." Hmm.





Eric insists everything he does must be accompanied by a drum roll and cymbal crash. When he takes a sip of water. When he opens a door. When he is about to embark on a dangerous bite from his lunch. He says that it adds drama and an element of uncertainty to things. "It even makes even simple tasks seem dangerous and exciting," he says after an extra long drum roll, pause and crash.





"This place is filthy," says Ken, wiping a white-gloved finger over the top of our desks. "I can't believe you people live like this," he continues, pulling a duster from his bag. "Dirty desk, dirty mind," he quips as he flicks moldy pizza crusts and crumbs into a small sack. What he actually does with all this grime is unknown, but there are a lot of sacks piling up behind his desk, and he gets quite grouchy if we ask him to move them.





The forest fell oddly silent. The air hung soupy and thick. Whatever was coming was big. Really big. The silence lingered awhile before a loud crash startled a flock of birds to take wing. After the crashing sound came a guttural roaring sound. And after the roaring came the screaming. Soon after were the explosions. Trees fell. The roaring got closer and closer. And closer. We don't know what happened next because we were distracted by Tom on his rollerskates wearing a leopard print kilt and a 9ft tall neon top hat.





"You know, a lot of sound designers get it wrong..." Sugar Shane blurted out one day as I entered his office. "They think they can recreate the sound of things like bones breaking by snapping carrots and celery sticks. Amateurs! If you want authenticity you have to make sacrifices!" Just then I noticed a small pool of blood and a hammer on his desk next to a microphone wrapped in plastic. "Here, I'll prove it to you... put your hand next to that mic. What's your pain threshold? If you scream it will mess up the recording." I pretended my phone was ringing and excused myself. None of us go in there anymore.





Sunghoon comes from the far away place know as, Texas. At least we think so. He's always wearing spurs, big belt buckle, and a cowboy hat. Always yelling, "Yeeehaww!" when he gets an email. We just wish he gets his spittoon soon.





Jess is only here seasonally. This is his "hobby" job. He makes his real living as a deckhand on a fishing boat catching Alaskan King Crabs. We asked him why he did such a dangerous and tough job? His response, "Seaweed, I love seaweed."





"If I build it, they will come." is all Jared mutters as he works. We are getting tired of making mashed potatoes. But man, he does some great work for our environments. Maybe our next level can have some sour cream and chives. Ooh and butter! Definitely butter!





Levitucus had a freak accident late one night. He was microwaving some dinner when a huge power surge occurred. What he did not notice is that the floor was was wet. He slipped and grabbed the TV as he fell. With a great bang and fizzle he hit the ground. Everyone around rushed to see if he was O.K. Somehow he was sucked into the TV set. He now lives only in that television.





Following in the footsteps of his idol Arnold Schwarzenegger, he is currently trying out for the role of "Conan the Lost King." He's the epitome of healthy. Always challenging everyone to pull-up challenges and leg wrestling. He says if the movie thing doesn't work out, there's always politics.





He came to HIG dressed in full boy scout garb. He was selling candies for his troop. It seemed suspicious when he had no candies in his box. What he did have were bags of honey roasted airline peanuts. Everyone loves those!





Be very quiet around Ellen. She is very sensitive to loud noises. In fact she has her own sound proof work area. Lucky for us she left the door unlocked today. What she doesn't know is that the secret word today is, "Hi." Oh, here she comes now...Hello Ellen. "Hi." Aggghhhhhhhh!!! Whaaaaahooooooo!!! Yeah!!! El, Ellen...um, can some one coax her from behind the copier? Maybe it was a bad idea. Look we even broke her Andy Warhol mirror.





Gerard is an exemplary employee. He's courteous, respectful and a joy to work with. In fact, here he is. Hey Gerard! Hey what are you doing! Hey let go of my keyboar.,hflsfxb.....Please help me! I don't know how much longer I can i"pqR3zzzzzzz. Nice talking to you Gerard.





Born in the rain forest of Brazil comes Eduardo Otero Jr. He has a rich family background in "Lucha Libre" (professional wrestling), and goes by the name of "El Mono Rojo." Loosely translated as the "Red Monkey." Since he wears a mask we really do not know his true identity. His signature move is the "Gorilla Elbow Drop", which he performs from the top of our rafters. He where is he anyway? Oh no!





"Will work for Phil Collins tickets..."





From the hard streets of South Bronx comes Haroon. Better known as the, "Furious H." Furious was a background breaker in Breakin' 2 the movie. Now, Furious H and Sugar Shane are on the breakin' battle underground tour. Coming to a city near you! Word!





"Gilbert Wong" is the alias we're using. He's in the witness protection program. He blew the wistle on the underground gopher fight cartels. That's all we can say for now.





"Level 70, Destruction Warlock, with tier 6.5 gear AND with The Sword of a Thousand Truths."





He is not as stealthy as Roberto but he's pretty close. Christopher can alter his molecules. He can turn himself into origami animals. Only simple folds; not too complicated or he'll implode. Quite stealthy indeed! The only thing that gives him away is when he giggles also.





Jody's claim to fame is being in a 80's tribute rock band. His band was about to be signed at a Las Vegas casino, but due to faulty wiring, the lead singer/guitarist suffered an unfortunate pyrotechnic accident. The band has since then disbanded.