Bradly Halestorm | Founder & President
Bradly began his career in the video games industry where he worked as a journalist before moving into the localization sector some years ago. He was inspired to work in localization at a young age after playing a few Working Designs RPGs on the Sega Saturn and finding out that people actually got paid to localize text in Japanese video games. Since then, he’s gone on to be a project manager and lead editor on popular MMOs and visual novels such as Aura Kingdom, Grand Fantasia, Clannad, Clannad: Side Stories, Tenshin Ranman, and Rewrite+, to name a few. Despite his love of video games, though, his passion for tabletop games goes back equally as far. In fact, it goes back to the sixth grade, when he created his very first board game over the course of a school year during recess. He eventually channeled this passion to found LionWing Publishing last year, combining his love of Japanese games with localization, in hopes of bringing to the West the many fantastic digital and analog games that have never left Japan’s shores.
Christopher Pool | Translation
Christopher broke into localization by way of the visual novel fansubbing community after reading the fan translations of Fate Stay Night and Clannad. Such experiences would go on to propel him into pursuing linguistics in his university studies where he fully immersed himself in translation and learning its techniques properly. It wasn’t until he came back to Clannad in order to ‘fix’ its fan translation, some ten years after first reading it, that he was noticed and picked up by Sekai Project—the publishing studio who had obtained the rights to localize the famed visual novel in the West. It was here that Christopher and Bradly met and worked together for the first time. Upon Clannad’s release, as well as working on another visual novel together shortly thereafter, the two realized they had good working chemistry and thus decided to team up to work on their shared love of Japanese hobby games and doujin games.
Tyler Ehrnschwender | Graphic Design
Tyler’s a graphic designer by trade and has always had a preference for print-based design and illustration work; a preference that ultimately led him to LionWing Publishing. He has an affinity for board game design in specific, with a special interest in tile-laying dungeon crawlers and tabletop roleplaying games. He has a love and passion for Japanese culture and in particular its contributions to video games, and is excited to use his design sensibilities for the physical layouts and graphical aspects of the studio’s localized projects.
Nicole Mejias | Public Relations
Nicole has loved video games since she was a kid and she’s amazed to see how much they've evolved throughout the years. She is known for writing about otome games on her blog, which led her to break into the gaming industry to do PR work. Having assisted in the release of over 30 games on Steam over the course of a year among various other tasks, she gained insight of how the localization process works. It’s Nicole’s hope that she can help bring more exciting and fun games, both digital and table top, for all to experience, play and enjoy using the skills and knowledge she has gained.
Ben Knapp | Sales
Ben’s passion for gaming was conceived decades ago when he was first introduced to a few obscure, story-driven Japanese titles that captivated his imagination. Having worked in sales for the majority of his professional life, he wants to help introduce the very same types of games that got him into the medium to new audiences. He hopes to be able to connect with the many fans out there who have always wanted to play certain types of Japanese games but have never been able to because of the language barrier.
Rema Neufeld | Translation & Japanese Relations
How LionWing came to be:
"It had been a dream of mine, ever since I was a kid, to start my own game company. I had a particular affinity for Japanese video games growing up, and upon finding out that people got paid to localize games developed outside of North America, I made a promise to myself that I would one day start my own company that specialized in publishing Japanese games in English. LionWing ultimately came to fruition from that very idea. After years in the video game localization field, I decided that I wanted to use my experience to contribute to what had become my passion: tabletop games. Thus, after the realization that there simply weren't a lot of people translating and publishing Japanese board games for the West, I figured, with my background, it was time to make good on that promise I had made to myself all those years earlier."
What makes for a great localization?
"Steins;Gate is a really good example of solid localization. You can practically feel the amount of effort put into its script and acting. The dialogue in specific always feels like it's spoken by real human beings, which is more than a lot of localization projects can claim. Not to mention, there's an honest willingness by the localization team to go beyond what is in the translated text by truly envisioning situations in their entirety and then creatively imagining how the lines presented would sound in English. That, in and of itself, is the very essence of localization; a good team will make the work read or sound as if its localized languages were the original language of the product."
Give us a funny gaming story.
Well it certainly wasn't funny at the time, but... It was during a D&D campaign a few years back. My party and I had been followed for several days by unknown assailants. When we arrived at a nearby town one night, I got fed up with being stalked and spearheaded an operation to grab and interrogate one of our pursuers. While questioning him, though, his buddy noticed the dude we grabbed was gone and thus started looking for him. As he closed in on our position, my group was indecisive about what to do with they guy we'd nabbed, so I, um, well, sort of freaked out and impulsively broke dude's neck. We were then descended upon by a whole bunch of the guy's comrades, and my actions ultimately led to a good friend being tortured and my love-interest kidnapped. It was not one of my finer moments.