The Socrates Jones team was formed by a group of students and faculty at Carnegie Mellon University who were interested in using games to explore various philosophical ideas. The team – initially composed of Connor Fallon, Valeria Reznitskaya, Matt Klingensmith and Jillian Goodwyn – had previously worked together as part of Game Creation Society, a student organization dedicated to enabling student game development. By collaborating with local faculty member Andy Norman, the students formed an Independent Study to flesh out the core concepts of the game which would become Socrates Jones: Pro Philosopher. While the Independent Study only lasted for one semester, the team’s lasting passion for the idea kept Val & Connor working on the game past graduation until its public release.
Connor Fallon is a professional Game Designer at Schell Games who loves games that tell stories, games with quirky personalities, and games that say something important. His recent professional projects include “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” – a series of games for Fred Rogers Company meant to encourage emotional growth in young children. Connor was also the design lead on an ARG about classical fictional characters escaping into the real world called “The Wall Will Fall,” and helped make “Where is the Button for Love,” a game about the challenges of raising a single child while trapped in a mech suit. He is fond of gnocchi, moral complexity, musicals, and feminism.
Valeria (Val) Reznitskaya is a game developer who graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a degree in Computer Science. She has worked as a software engineer at Panasonic, held a sort-of technical artist position at Disney Research, and puppet-mastered an alternate reality game. However Val's true interest lies in game development, and she tries to use her broad skillset to create cohesive experiences, often juggling the roles of programmer, artist and designer. Val has a weakness for games with compelling worlds and is currently working on two such titles.
Andy Norman teaches philosophy at Carnegie Mellon University and writes about the philosophical foundations of humanism. His research focuses on the logic of inquiry and the norms that govern reason-giving dialogue. His writings explore the nature of wisdom, faith, morality and reason. His work has appeared in many magazines and journals, including Free Inquiry, the Humanist Network News, Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism, Philosophical Quarterly, and History and Theory. His model of the "reason-giving game" shaped Socrates Jones: Pro Philosopher. Andy speaks regularly on topics related to humanism.