GDC 2024: Meet the Developers Behind Some of the Year's Biggest ID@Xbox Games

From ninjas to Greek gods, there's something for everyone in this year's ID@Xbox lineup.

March 17, 2024
Meet the Devs hero image

Next week, thousands of game developers from across the game industry will be converging on San Francisco, where the annual Game Developers Conference will allow them to do everything from sharing ideas and pitching their next game to networking with like-minded individuals and learning from their peers. We’ll be at the show in full force, starting with an ID@Xbox event that we’ll be putting on to allow creators and press to play the latest ID@Xbox games and meet some of the developers bringing them to life. We figured that would be the perfect opportunity to introduce some of those developers to you, too!

Dungeons of Hinterberg (Developer: Microbird Games)

Name: Regina Reisinger (she/her)
Title: Co-Founder and Art Director
Where is your team based: Vienna, Austria
How big is your team: 9 people
Describe your role: As an Art Director I developed a lot of the art style and visuals for Dungeons of Hinterberg. I take care of the art team, and take part in creating both character and environment assets. As a Co Founder I am also responsible for managing the studio.
What is the inspiration behind Dungeons of Hinterberg? Dungeons of Hinterberg is inspired by the beautiful landscapes of the Alps, and by a love for creating unique places where magic and realism meet.

Echo Weaver (Developer: Moonlight Kids)

Name: Chris Sumsky, he/him
Title: Co-Founder
Where is your team based?
US, fully remote (Atlanta, Portland OR, Spokane)
How big is your team? 3 full-time partners, 2 part-time collaborators 
Describe your role: "Game Director", game and level design, programming, writing, project management
What is the inspiration behind Echo Weaver?
We wanted to combine the constant discovery and metroidbrainia "mastery of knowledge" from Outer Wilds with the fast, fluid platforming and "mastery of controls" of a Celeste or Ori and the Blind Forest.

Go-Go Town (Developer: Prideful Sloth)

Names: Cheryl Vance (she/her) and Emily Hummel (she/her)
Where is your team based? Brisbane, Australia
How big is your team? 7 full-time, 2part-time
Describe your roles: Cheryl is Director of Prideful Sloth and Design Director and Emily is Director of Community and Social Enagement
What is the inspiration behind Go-Go Town: The inspiration behind Go-Go Town! comes from a few different sources; a want to revisit the nostalgic 'fun tycoon sims', how some small towns are putting efforts into reviving themselves and attracting new and old residents in, and also answering the 'what if I could...' questions the team has from some of the existing genre's we play.

L to R: Hollie Emery, Juan Castaneda, Dima Shen, Regina Reisinger

inKonbini (Developer: Nagai Industries)

Name: Dima Shen (he/him)
Title: Game Director
Location: Tokyo
How big is your team? 8 people
What is the inspiration behind inKonbini? With its rich, dynamic world, innovative gameplay mechanics, and intense 1980s atmosphere, Shenmue is the most influential game in my life. It's a game in which I visited a Japanese convenience store for the first time. Without Shenmue, there wouldn't be inKonbini for sure.

Luna Abyss (Developer: Bonsai Collective)

Name: Hollie Emery (they/them)
Title: Managing Director
Where is your team based? United Kingdom
How big is your team? 17 developers
Describe your role: What is the inspiration behind Luna Abyss: Luna Abyss was inspired by our love for classic anime and manga, weird worlds, and story-driven action games from our youth.

L to R: Chris Sumsky, Cheryl Vance, Alex Kanaris-Sotiriou, Felix Wagner.

Mythwrecked: Ambrosia Island (Developer: Polygon Treehouse)

Name: Alex Kanaris-Sotiriou (he/him)
Title: Creative Director / Lead Developer
Where is your team based? Polygon Treehouse is a remote team headquartered in Dundee, UK
How big is your team? We have a small core team of three, but we collaborate with other creatives at certain points in development, like composers, actors and writers.
Describe your role: As the Creative Director and Lead Developer in a small studio, Alex wears many hats but specializes in the character art and animation for the game.
What is the inspiration behind Mythwrecked? At the height of the COVID lockdowns, we started to dream of a game where you could go on holiday and meet new people (in this case, the long-lost Greek gods.)

Shadow of the Ninja – Reborn (Developer: Tengo Project)

Name: Felix Wagner, he/him
Title: Publishing Producer
Where is your team based? Germany
How big is your team? About 50 people
Describe your role: Coordination of own development projects, setup/administration of projects, age ratings, licensor communication.
What is the inspiration behind Shadow of the Ninja – Reborn? Inspired by the already very well received platformer Ninja Game, brought to Xbox for the first time and on an enhanced 2024 level - made by the original team.

The Sinking City 2 (Developer: Frogwares)

Name: Paul Milewski, he\him
Title: PR manager
Where is your team based? Ukraine
How big is your team? Around 90 people
Describe your role: Marketing communications and public relations.
What is the inspiration behind The Sinking City 2? A sequel to one of our most successful games and a pivotal moment for our studio as we transition to a “horror-first” focus with gameplay primarily built around combat & exploration.

L to R: Francis Fincke, Joseph Brown, Emily Hummel, Paul Milewski.

Sonzai (Developer: 2 Odd Diodes)

Names: Joseph Brown (he/him) and Francis Fincke (he/him)
Titles: Joseph is President of Top Hat and Francis is Product Strategy & Business Development
Where is your team based? Sonzai's developers are based out of Kolkata India, and Top Hat is a distributed US & UK team.
How big is your team? Sonzai's developer, 2 Odd Diodes, is 2 people. Top Hat is about 8 people.
Describe your roles: Joseph oversees the operations for Top Hat overall, and assists on guiding the co-development of Sonzai, as well as acting as executive producer. He helps with mentoring design and balancing feedback, production tasks, scheduling and planning, and also overseeing the porting process. Francis handles the strategic elements for the title, including partner relations and liaison contacts, and helping develop and execute on strategies for the title's success.
What is the inspiration behind Sonzai? Sonzai is deeply inspired by the sense of contemplation of what it means to "be" and how you connect with those around you and your environments, as told aesthetically through the developer's own experiences with underground Japanese culture and their own unique backgrounds.

Sopa (Developer: Studio Bando)

Name: Juan Castañeda (he/him)
Title: Creative Director & CEO
Where is your team based? Primarily throughout Latin America - Colombia, Mexico, and Argentina, as well as the US.
Describe your role: Running a small, tight ship requires me to wear many hats, including writing, storyboarding, and coding. But my real job is to make sure that everyone has a shared vision, and once that's clear, to get out of the way and empower the team to do the best work they can.
What is the inspiration behind SOPA? We wanted to transmit our experience of witnessing family stories being born and passing down a generation, of seeing them transform and change and grow into wonderful tales that are fantastical enough to doubt, but that contain the truths that define us.