Rise Above by Ascendant Studios

Rise Above by Ascendant Studios

Rise Above season 1 has arrived! New episodes every other Monday. Watch on YouTube or your favorite audio platform. In this series, we speak to industry-leading developers who are masters of their craft in the video game industry and learn about their origin story, their path to success and the challenges they’ve experienced along the way. Each episode aims to provide insights and inspiration for current and future creators, players, and gaming fans alike, as we explore how these leaders Rise Above.


August 21, 2023 62 mins

Join Art Director and Co-Founder of Ruckus Games, Scott Kester, as he shares how his love for comic books and video games took him on an unconventional path into the games industry, and the many lessons he learned along the way.

Scott Kester fell in love with video games as a kid, but didn’t head directly into the industry as an adult. He worked in comic books at first, and eventually landed a job at Gearbox almost by accident. Cre...

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Join us for a special behind-the-scenes look into the inspiration and design of the brand new magical world in Immortals of Aveum. Associate Art Director, Julia Lichblau and Senior Art Director, Dave Bogan discuss what it took to craft kingdoms, costumes, gear, and characters from scratch, and how new tools in Unreal Engine 5.1 helped them bring this world to life.

Rise Above season 1 has arrived! Hit the subscribe button so you do...

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Bret Robbins, game director and CEO of Ascendant Studios, tells how he and lead writer, Michael Kirkbride, envisioned the world and narrative of Immortals of Aveum. He shares insights into character development, the history of the Everwar, why they chose to ground the fantasy world of Aveum in modern dialogue, and the importance of balancing a serious tone with humor in storytelling.

Join us to learn more about Immortals of Aveum...

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Anthony Nicholson grew up playing video games, but always saw game makers as rock star geniuses that did something impossible for everyday humans. Being a professional athlete seemed more attainable. Anthony had a scholarship and played football in the NCAA, but his passion for games never faltered, and he eventually sought a path into the video game industry and never looked back.

Today, Anthony harnesses the leadership skills he...

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In this episode, award-winning game designer, Haden Blackman, shares his journey as a writer and creative lead for incredible franchises including Star Wars, The Force Unleashed at LucasArts and Mafia III at Hangar 13.

Haden Blackman has led teams and built entire studios from the ground up, is an award winning author of over 100 comic books, and is currently CEO and co-founder of his own start-up game development studio.

Rise Abov...

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Approaching three decades in gaming, Kevin Boyle has shipped over 30 titles while working for industry titans like LucasArts, WB Games, SEGA, and Telltale Games. He has worked on multiple Game of the Year award-winning titles with over 90 awards between them, including two BAFTAs. Now he oversees production on Ascendant Studios’ AAA magic shooter, Immortals of Aveum. Join us as Kevin reflects on the challenges of game development a...

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Join games industry veteran and Free Range Games CEO, Christopher Scholz, as he shares hard lessons and inspiration from his years creating games for franchises like Tony Hawk, Spider-Man, and now Lord of the Rings.

Rise Above season 1 has arrived! Hit the subscribe button so you don't miss an episode.

Just like when creating games, we're trying new things and learning along the way as we work to create the best podcast possible. ...

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Join Ascendant’s Senior Art Director, Dave Bogan, as he discusses the evolution of art in video games throughout his nearly 30 year career working on Grim Fandango, Star Wars: Republic Commando, Telltale’s The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Batman: The Telltale Series, Sam & Max, and now creating a brand new world in Immortals of Aveum.

Rise Above season 1 has arrived! Hit the subscribe button so you don't miss an episode.

Just li...

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In this episode, Paul Hellquist shares his journey from gamer to archaeologist to video game designer to Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer at Stray Kite Studios, and what he’s learned along the way. Paul Hellquist is a BAFTA Awards nominated game designer who was the lead designer on the original BioShock and the creative director on fan favorite Borderlands 2. He now leads his own independent AAA game studio.

Rise Above season...

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Embark on an inspiring journey into crafting immersive game environments! Ascendant’s Assoc. Art Director delves into the artistic and technical challenges of designing iconic game environments like Minecraft: Story Mode, The Walking Dead, and Game of Thrones, and the thrilling experience of constructing entirely new biomes in Immortals of Aveum.

Rise Above season 1 has arrived! Hit the subscribe button so you don't miss an episode...

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We are Ascendant and this is our story. Take a behind the scenes look at the origins of our studio and the experienced team developing Immortals of Aveum™.

Immortals of Aveum is Ascendant Studios first game, releasing on July 20th, 2023. But how did it all begin? Get to know the people behind the epic magic shooter, and how Bret Robbins and co. built a studio from a daydream! This is who we are, what we are all about, and how Immor...

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Join us for a candid conversation between Bret Robbins, Creative Director of the 2008 hit Dead Space, and Roman Campos-Oriola, Creative Director of the 2023 Remake, as they share insight into design decisions, the challenges of creating then recreating a game, and what they learned along the way.

Just like when creating games, we're trying new things and learning along the way as we work to create the best podcast possible. Let us ...

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Welcome to our inaugural episode of Rise Above. Today we're speaking with Ascendant Studio's own Bret Robbins about his storied career creating and directing unforgettable journeys like Dead Space and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

Just like when creating games, we're trying new things and learning along the way as we work to create the best podcast possible. Let us know what you think about Rise Above by rating and reviewing the ...

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