Wind Catcher Games

Games by Josh Raab

Leaving Mohawk, Visiting France

At the end of September, I amicably parted ways with Mohawk Games. I wasn’t happy there for a variety of reasons I won’t get into here, but I do wish them the best with 10 Crowns. Since then I’ve been feeling a lot better and more creative. I’ve started working on a new prototype that I’m very excited about. My plan is to see how it’s going by the end of the year, then make a decision on whether to continue pursuing it or start looking for a new job.

In other news, in July I took my first trip overseas since Iceland in 2015-2016. This time I went to France. I started in Paris, then visited my friend Pierre’s family castle in La Reole near Bordeaux. From there it was quick stays in Carcassonne, Nimes, Avignon, and Marseille before an early-morning train back to Paris and then home.


Part of the castle in La Reole.

France is as beautiful as they say, in both its architecture and landscapes. I saw a lot of the greatest hits, like the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Pont du Gard, and Versailles. Except for the Eiffel Tower and Versailles being too crowded, which was my fault anyway for going in summer, they all exceeded my high expectations. Other highlights included Sainte-Chapelle and Napoleon’s tomb in Paris and the Notre-Dame de la Garde Basilica in Marseille.


The Eiffel Tower is way bigger and cooler than I thought.


Interior of Marseille’s Notre-Dame de la Garde Basilica.


View of Marseille from the Chateau d’If, the island prison from the Count of Monte Cristo.

There was of course a ton of great food, but the clear winner was a dish called cassoulet from Meli et Zeli in Carcassonne. It’s an Occitan specialty and pretty straightforward, just a stew of white beans and meat (in this case a pork sausage and duck leg) served in bubbling hot gravy. Nevertheless, along with the pear-and-goat-cheese tart appetizer, it may have been the best meal I’ve ever eaten.

That’s all I’ve got for now. One random note, Twitter deleted my account because I left it deactivated for too long, so don’t look for me there. Anyway, I may show up at MAGFest or GDC, but otherwise I’m going to be keeping a low profile and focusing on my new game prototype. Until next time!


More Mohawk

Hey all, not too much to report since last year. Sumer has been out for the Switch since last April. We’re planning to resume work on the Steam version so we can finish up online play and finally take it out of Early Access. Otherwise, I’ve just been working away at Mohawk. Everyone there is super smart and world-class at what they do, so even though it can be intimidating I’ve been learning a lot. (They’re also really good at games – I’m not used to being one of the lesser gamers in the room!)

I’m about to head off to France for a two-week vacation. I’ll be in Paris for five days and then blazing through several cities in the south. I’ve been spending an hour a day practicing my French on Duolingo – I doubt I’ll be able to have any kind of real conversation, but I’m hoping it will at least help me read signs, menus, etc. It’s also just fun to learn languages in general.

One other thing I got to do this year was to be a Conference Associate at GDC for the fifth time. They have a great community, and I was happy to be able to see old friends and make new ones. Hoping to return in years to come.

Ah, and I also got to be the best man at my oldest brother’s wedding. I successfully stood at the front of the room and didn’t lose or fumble the ring, and my speech at the party seems to have gone over well.

That about wraps it up. Until next time!


Mohawk, Sumer, and More

Hi all! I’ve barely posted since I started at Big Huge Games, since there wasn’t much to report while I was working full-time.

First off, my big news: I’ve left BHG and will be joining Mohawk Games at the end of March to work on their upcoming 4X strategy game 10 Crowns. Working on DomiNations, I learned a lot about the massive free-to-play market, but ultimately it wasn’t a good creative fit for me. Mohawk will be a return to the kind of work that made me want to be a designer in the first place. I’m excited to get back into it.

Second, Sumer is coming out very soon for the Nintendo Switch. It’s been in Steam Early Access for quite some time already – the full release will come when we’ve added online multiplayer. The Switch is a perfect platform for the game, hoping it does well on there.


Otherwise, I’ve settled nicely into Baltimore. I’ve always liked small cities, so it’s much more my speed than New York ever was. I made a lot of friends at BHG and intend to keep hanging out with them. Since Mohawk is very close by, I won’t even have to move for the new job.

The kitties are full size now, but at 2 years old they’re still kittens at heart. They each have their favorite toy and distinct personalities – Freya’s athletic and outgoing, while Persephone is a bit more strategic and shy. They’re both very sweet and loving, and having them in my life has been amazing. Here they are chillin on my bed:


I’ve also been cooking up a couple side projects, but nothing really worth reporting on yet. I’ll post updates if those pick up any more steam. That’s it for now – until next time!

Life Update

Well, it’s been about eight months so… time for an update!

I’m still at Big Huge Games working on DomiNations. So far, I’ve led the design on Expeditions and a few other small features. I also manage two-thirds of our live ops design, specifically our events and limited-time discounts (another designer handles sales).

Adjusting to free-to-play design has certainly been a learning experience and sometimes a struggle, but there’s a lot to like. The company environment is wonderful, and I love working on games based in history. I also enjoy being responsible for a lot of the new text that comes out, including historical descriptions for all sorts of things.

Sumer has been coming along nicely following the successful Kickstarter. We’re constantly adding polish and improving the tutorials and readability. The biggest remaining tasks are an overhaul of the voiceover and adding online play.

The game is currently in closed beta for our Kickstarter backers. We intend to release it Early Access within a few months, and hope to be able to do the full release (including online play) sometime in late 2017.

In more adorable news, I’m now the proud owner of two sweet little kitties! I got Freya and Persephone as kittens back in May, and they’re now playful adolescents. Here they are being silly (Freya is in the foreground):


I don’t really know anyone in Baltimore outside work, but I’m never lonely with my little kitty sisters around. Gotta say, moving around a lot was fun but I’m grateful to be in a more settled situation where I can take care of kitties!

That’s about it for now. Until next time!


Big Huge Games!

I have very exciting news to share: I’ll be starting as an Associate Game Designer at Maryland’s Big Huge Games in April! This will be my first long-term full-time position at a game studio. I used to love their first game, an RTS called Rise of Nations. Their current game, DomiNations, takes that concept and builds a quite fun free-to-play mobile game around it.

They seem like a really great company, and I’m happy to be going somewhere that will combine my love of strategy games with my love of history. Can’t wait to start!

As for Sumer, we had a great showing at the Indie MEGABOOTH at GDC. We’re expecting to be launching a Kickstarter relatively soon, so keep an eye out! Of course I’ll have to take on a much smaller role now that I’m going to be working at another studio full-time, but I will remain involved with Sumer and Studio Wumpus to some extent.

One of the first orders of business after I get settled in Maryland will be to get a kitten, so hopefully kitty pics are coming up soon.

– Josh


Major news: We’re going to be showing Sumer at the Indie MEGABOOTH at GDC this year!

The MEGABOOTH is a showcase that appears at festivals and conferences to highlight exciting new indie titles. Only 15 games were accepted into their GDC showcase, so it’s quite an honor and a great opportunity for us.

It’ll be up and running all week, so if you’re going to GDC this year, stop by and check it out! I may not be there myself, since I was lucky enough to be selected as a Conference Associate again, but the rest of Studio Wumpus will be around.

Check out this Gamasutra post to see a full list of this year’s MEGABOOTH games.

See you in March!

New site!

The site overhaul is finished! I’ve done away with a lot of stuff about older prototypes and added more info and screenshots about my newer games, including my MFA work. Check it out!


Time for an overhaul! The new version of the site will do a much better job showcasing my more recent work. I’ll be removing some old stuff and structuring things a little more cleanly in general.

It’s going to take a little while, but as every game designer knows, sometimes the best course of action is just to throw everything out and start over from scratch. Here we go!

Back in the US

Iceland is an amazing place. Almost anywhere you are, even in the heart of Reykjavik, a majestic vista of snow-capped mountains is no more than a few minutes away. The people are warm and welcoming, and they definitely know how to celebrate the holidays. I got to experience some of its natural beauty close up just before leaving, venturing into a lava cave and snorkeling between continental plates.

A few more pictures from my time there:


On Sumer, we’re gearing up for Steam Greenlight and Kickstarter campaigns. We’ve been busy preparing our promotional materials as well as continuing to polish the game. Artist Jet Landis has been working with art director Sig to create striking new versions of the goddess Inanna, the central personality of the game: she’s the one demanding sacrifices and bestowing her favor on the best divine servant.

On a personal note, as much as I love and am proud of Sumer, funds are low and I’m currently seeking full-time employment. It’s a stressful process, but I’m hoping this new game design MFA degree of mine (plus those sweet sweet NYU connections) will hold some weight. I’m also not a winter person; I expect the next two months to be rough, emotionally. But spring always comes in the end, right?

– Josh


Hey there! Since the incubator ended, I spent a month just sorta working on Sumer and then gallivanted off to Iceland.

I’m currently living on a tiny farmhouse in the remote north as the first participant in the Kollafoss Gamedev Residency.


The guy who runs it, Johannes, is a sound designer and experimental musician, and a great host. If living out in the middle of nowhere with no distractions and two sweet, adorable kitties sounds like something you’d enjoy, I highly recommend it. Plus, even including all the transportation costs, I’m actually saving money over a month in NYC.

I recently visited Akureyri, the biggest town in Iceland outside Reykjavik. I say “town” because it’s still fewer than 20,000 people, but it’s a cultural center and an extremely beautiful location. Mostly mentioning this trip so I can have an excuse to show these pictures:


As for Sumer, we made a big push to polish it up for our IGF submission. The art, animation, and audio all received major improvements. Special thanks to our super-talented new artist, Jet Landis, who stepped in when our super-talented original artist, Adam Alexander, got a full-time job.

We’ve begun overhauling the tutorial and adding actual menus, and we’re also redesigning the narrative to be more dynamic and appropriate to a digital board game. We’re also pushing toward a Steam Greenlight launch with an eye toward early access, and discussing the possibility of a Kickstarter. As part of our ongoing efforts to get the game out there, we’ve showed at various festivals including the Boston FIG, Metatopia, and Gameacon.

Oh, and since I’ve been here I started working on a secret side project as well. It’s not even interactive right now and probably will never be developed into a full “game,” it’s just kind of a cool system I’ve been wanting to make for a while. As much as I love collaborating, it is nice to work on a solo project for a change!

And that’s about it. I’m not expecting any big announcements anytime soon, but maybe once we put up our Greenlight page. Until next time!

— Josh


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