artwork by ry-spirit

Our Story

Hack and Paint is a distributed VR game studio. Our office is wherever each one of us feels most happy to work from. We can work from home, a cabin in the woods, a coffee shop, or even an airplane - at Hack and Paint we are free to choose!

When we thought about creating the perfect studio, location was always an issue. Do we make a studio based in New York, San Francisco, Sofia, or Sydney? Or maybe somewhere where we can get subsidies from the government? What if some great artist or programmer wants to join us, but doesn't want to uproot his or her whole family to a new location? How do we make it simpler for the best people from around the world to join us? We envisioned a company that doesn't require the hustle of a daily commute to a fixed office location. After all, we are building digital products; we don’t really need to be in the same physical place.

We are a team of industry veterans, with experience from the highest levels of Games, Animation, and VFX production. Our talent hails from companies including Pixar, Blue Sky, MPC, EA Games, Rhythm & Hues, Chaos Group, Ubisoft, and RGB. Our members are spread across the world, including New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Brighton, Munich, and Sofia. This diversity brings unique perspectives to creativity.

Values

Happiness

Happy employees make awesome products and awesome products make happy users! At Hack and Paint we all have a stake in the company.

Transparency

Everything in Hack and Paint is completely transparent. You want to know something? Just ask. Financial decisions and information are visible to everyone - including sales, equity, and yes - salaries too! We believe transparency is a vital part of engaging people at work.

Self-management

This is both liberating and very hard to do in practice. Following instructions can be easy. It’s much harder to KNOW what is best for the company in any given moment and decide for yourself what steps to take to accomplish that. Using self management practices increases our capacity for learning and responding to change. We don’t waste talent and resources on needless meetings and Gantt chart shuffling, thus resulting in a more agile and nimble organisation.

Small independent circles

Many great projects come from indie studios because they are made by small teams. When big teams start working on projects together, bureaucracy and politics tend to emerge. We are using a system called Holacracy to eliminate the negative artefacts that we experienced working in big studios. Holacracy removes the usual hierarchy of people and substitutes it with clear processes and rules. Instead of restrictive titles, everyone in the company has defined roles - and these roles can change and adapt organically and quickly based on company needs.

Work-life integration

Some companies talk about work-life balance. Some don’t talk about it at all. At Hack and Paint we talk about work-life integration. If you are happy and passionate about what you do, why should you separate work and life? Work can be part of life! Our individual time management culture brings forward our best contributions. Yes, how much work we choose to contribute affects our individual salaries; but value is not only in money.

What We Are Working On

At present we are focused on designing and prototyping several original VR game concepts and developing robust workflow channels for distributed teams.

There are a lot of distributed software companies, but almost zero distributed Game, Animation, or VFX studios. The reasons are mostly technical, but we have developed a solution.

We are currently building a platform that we use internally for our own projects and also share with the rest of the world! It is called RGB Notes.

Team

Christian
Eriks
Ivaylo
Jonathan
Hristo
Marin
Martina
Miglena
Shimmy
Stefan