Justin is an attorney. Damn good one. But mostly he loves games. So, after 20 years in the halls of justice, he gave that all up to start Restoration Games. How’s that going? You can tell the answer by the big grin on his face. Justin lives in South Florida with his wife (a “real” attorney), his two daughters, their dog Shyann (lab-whippet mix), and Laurel the cat (ragdoll). Between Justin and Rob, Justin is definitely the better cook. Game-wise, Justin likes to play all sorts of games from heavy Euros to pure Ameritrash, kids games with the kids, solo games with, well, himself. His favorite game of all time is Robinson Crusoe by Ignacy Trzewiczek, published by Portal Games. (But his second favorite game is Pandemic Legacy: Season 1.) Justin runs the day-to-day operations of Restoration Games, which means that when something goes wrong, it’s his fault. But don’t worry, he’ll fix it!
Chief Restoration Officer
Rob is a game designer and has been for 18 years now. As Chief Restoration Officer at Restoration Games, his job is to find old games, fall in love with them again, and then edit and polish them for modern times. This means playing a lot of old games, which is a burden but someone has to do it. Rob lives in western Massachusetts with his wife and kids (although one is going off to college!) and designs original games in addition to restoring old ones. He has a passion for baseball and history, even so far as to have his college degree in Classical Civilizations. Rob has been a professor, copywriter, and PROFESSIONAL COOK, JUSTIN. He cut his teeth on 1st Edition AD&D and never stopped being a gamer.
Visual Restoration Wizard
Despite his obvious lack of rhythm Jason is known to rock a nasty air drum solo in the middle of a brainstorm session. This explains the numerous dents on his Wacom pen and pencils. Jason brings that same enthusiasm into all his design and illustration projects. But of all the projects he’s ever worked on, board games are by far his favorite. No other project offers such a large and varying canvas to paint stories onto. His favorite game is a toss-up between Settlers of Catan (when he can convince 2 out of 3 of his kids to play), Heroscape, and Star Wars: Escape From Death Star (1977) (the first board game he ever played). Jason handles all of the art direction and graphic design for us. Basically, he is the guy who makes all of our stuff look amazing. And he has graciously offered to judge the cook-off between Rob and Justin.
Game Restoration Guru
In 1978, Michael Gray started working for Milton Bradley, where he designed 36 games in 3 years! He was lured away to TSR by the Gary Gygax, where he designed games, acquired books, and wrote DL16 World of Krynn for you Dragonlance fans out there. In 1984, he made the jump from TSR back to Milton Bradley, which was acquired by the newly renamed Hasbro, Inc. As the toy giant looked to get even bigger, Mike started out as a straight-up game designer, including such classics as Fortress America, Dream Phone, The Omega Virus, and Mall Madness to name just a few. By 2004, he was the Head of Global Games Acquisition for the largest game company in the world. In short, he might be responsible for more games on more tables around the world than anyone alive today. If you ever get a chance to meet him in person, do whatever you have to, call in every marker, offer everything under the sun, for a chance to check out his basement.
Lindsay Daviau began her illustrious career in tabletop games at Hasbro, where she served as graphic designer and art director on projects such as Heroscape, Sorry Sliders, Bop It!, Guess Who, and many more. She began working with Restoration Games to help out during the hectic production schedule on the company’s first three games and quickly revealed herself to be invaluable. As Production Superhero, she not only helps make the games look good, she makes sure they get done right and on time. Just so happens, the company’s CRO, Rob Daviau, is her husband. So she’s officially banned from judging the cook-off. Sorry, that’s just the way it is.
J.R. recently burst onto the board game scene, but now he’s hard to miss with his keen insight and unflagging energy. He has worked with numerous companies and designers on numerous games, most recently as lead developer on SeaFall and co-designer of Fantasy Fantasy Baseball. If you’re ever board, check out his Twitch stream (JayAhre13): (a) He’s probably on there, and (b) he’s, well, “entertaining”. As Tinker-in-Chief for Restoration Games, he sets the strategy for getting the games ready for production. His skills as both a designer and a developer ensure the company’s releases are going to be fun for the players and profitable for the company. J.R. pretty much joined the company just to judge the cookoff.
In the dark drear that is the Internet, Suzanne is a bucketful of sunshine. She is a regular contributor on the Dice Tower Network, including segments on crowdfunding and board game apps, and she is a mainstay on board game twitter (@425suzanne). She has been a vocal advocate for inclusiveness, diversity, and accessibility in the hobby —- core principles of Restoration Games. As Master of Fireworks, she makes sure people take notice of everything we’re doing and that we put on a good show, from our digital face to community outreach to convention presence. As for the cookoff, she has one thing to say: “May the best pie win!”