Gear Learning is part of the Wisconsin Center for Education Research in the University of Wisconsin-Madison's School of Education

Welcome Greg Shives!

By on June 5, 2017

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve hired Greg Shives as a project manager for the Gear Learning team. Greg brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the team. Greg was nice enough to sit down with me and answer a few questions about himself to help both us and you get to know him a little better.


JR: Welcome Greg! We’re excited to have you on the team. Please tell us a bit about your background.

GS:  I have been making games professionally for 10 years, working across multiple studios and projects. I got started in AAA, working as a technical animator and then later as an Animation Director, shipping titles with Activision including several of the “Call of Duty” games. In 2012 I left that large studio environment to found a small, independent studio called High Iron Studios. There I served in all development roles working on internal properties as well as contracting gigs for numerous small and medium sized game projects. My degree is in computer animation (B.A., Ringling), and prior to getting into games I worked as a satellite engineer in the defense industry. With games being largely a combination of art and technology, it has been the perfect fit for me.


JR: You’re a highly sought-after member of the game development community. What made you choose Gear Learning?

GS:  One advantage of freelancing is that you get an inside view into many different dev teams. How they work, and more importantly, how they work together. I had the opportunity to freelance with Gear Learning on an earlier project and I was impressed by how well the team worked together. They are small, competent, laid back, and focused on creating purposeful game content. In other words, exactly the type of team I wanted to be a part of.


JR: What do you hope to bring to the table as Gear Learning’s project manager?

GS:  As PM, I will be offloading some of the key task management from the leads so they can focus on their work. When you are managing projects and doing day-to-day task work at the same time it can be challenging to keep track of “big picture” targets. Things like improving task flow, automating art pipelines, and gathering the key metrics used in making accurate planning decisions. Also, having prior dev experience, I will serve as a float amongst the art and programming teams, punching in whenever help is needed.


JR: What motivates you?

GS: Solving tough problems, doing good work, and seeing others around me doing the same.


JR: Where can we find you when you’re not at Gear HQ?

GS: Making games, drinking coffee, in a bookstore, or hanging out with my family.


JR: What is the most valuable piece of advice you’d give to someone interested in getting into game design/development?

GS: Making good games is hard. They are a culmination of many intertwined disciplines, any one of which can take you many years to master. So, have faith and don’t get discouraged. Focus your energy around what the player does and why it is important/fun, and continue learning as you go.


Rapid fire! Go go go!


Favorite game of all time

River City Ransom (NES)


Best song ever

Recognizer, Daft Punk


Favorite comic book character



Who inspires you?

Mobius, Shackleton, Pressfield, Rothfuss, Gianfelice, Tonton Revolver, Sparth….and a bajillion others.



For additional information on Greg feel free to visit his profile page here.



Jake Ruesch

Jake Ruesch

Jake Ruesch is Gear Learning's UI / UX / and Web Designer. He's been with the group since 2011 and specializes in a variety of digital media design mediums.

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