game designer and writer


Moving to Square Enix Montréal

I am immensely excited and terrified… because I have major news to announce. There has been a lot going on in my life with the release of Hyper Light Drifter -- an outpouring of love from friends, fans and critics -- it has been overwhelmingly humbling and joyous. But with that momentous release raises questions of “what’s next?” Today I am finally ready to say what’s next for me:

I will be joining the incredible team at Square Enix Montréal, as a Creative Director! 

I’ll be arriving along-side my new friend and future collaborator Renaud Bédard, whom you probably know and love from his work on Fez and Capy’s Below, to begin work on a project together with the team.


To be perfectly honest, this opportunity blindsided me. I have been fiercely independent now since 2011 when I left Disney Interactive to found Rad Dragon and eventually join Heart Machine. I figured that after shipping Hyper Light, I’d either make a new thing with Heart Machine, or start a different indie game.

But then I met the team at Square Enix Montréal, and was amazed. I was already a massive fan of their work on Hitman GO and Lara Croft GO -- brave, weird, original games, elegantly executed. This team knows how to design a small-scale game that lets them take creative risks. I’ve been indie long enough to be wary of Big Company pitfalls, but conversation after conversation convinced me that this team have created a studio that protects the creative process, with the first priority being original, valuable, beautiful work. This studio is doing it right.


On a personal note, to me there is a poetry in this next chapter of my life. Hyper Light Drifter was a vessel for me to pour my love of many Square(soft) games I loved as a child ~ Secret of Mana, Final Fantasy 7, Super Mario RPG. I’ve also been running Square Bowl with Adriel Wallick for two years now -- a charity event born of our love for Square games. Plus, I get to collaborate with Renaud -- the two of us have shared a composer (Disasterpeace scored Fez and Hyper Light), and a genre (Below and Hyper Light are weird cousins, cut from a similar cloth).


This means that I am leaving Heart Machine when I move to Montréal in a few weeks. Hyper Light Drifter is great, and everything is on schedule! No worries! I’m ushering through our co-op feature before I go, and console ports are well underway. Alx Preston continues to lead Heart Machine with relentless energy and focus. I’ll continue to be involved in decisions we make about Hyper Light Drifter, and Heart Machine has a bright exciting future ahead!

Thanks, all my friends, family, and internet friends from the very bottom of my heart for your support, friendship, and advice. I love you all!

So yeah, cue victory fanfare I guess!


Teddy Diefenbach