Ryan Clark’s Bio

Hi! I’m Ryan Clark, an independent game developer probably best known for designing the game Crypt of the NecroDancer. Check out my other exploits:

  • 1984: Dad taught me to code in BASIC when I was 6, on our Apple IIe. I made terrible text and ASCII art games for a while.
  • 1990-1995: Dabbled in QBasic, Pascal, and C++ as I got older. I made terrible line drawing games about nuclear apocalypses.
  • 1998: Got a job coding accounting software in Visual Basic.
  • 1999: Started making DirectX games in Visual Basic and created a (now defunct) website to help others learn how to do the same. Made less terrible games about space combat and galactic trading, but never finished them.
  • 2000: Finished my bachelor’s degree in Microbiology! So useful 🙂
  • 2004: Created the Game Programming Wiki (which went offline in 2016 after 12 years of service). My advice to you: If you ever want to get good at something, try teaching it to others! My game dev skills improved dramatically from ’99 to ’04 because I was trying to help other people via these websites.
  • Late 2004: Co-founded my first game company “Grubby Games”. We created seven games at Grubby Games, three of which were nominated for the Independent Games Festival, and one for the PAX 10. (The most well known were Professor Fizzwizzle and IncrediBots.)
  • 2009: For various reasons, sold Grubby Games to Big Fish Games. Enjoyed making games as an “Executive Producer” at Big Fish for 2.5 years, but left just before 2012.
  • 2012: Created EarSighted, a free app to help visually impaired people train to “see” with their ears.
  • 2013: Founded Brace Yourself Games and designed my 10th game, Crypt of the NecroDancer.
  • 2015: Created Pebble Seizure Detect, a free app that helps people with seizure disorders by detecting seizures and sending GPS coordinates to friends and family.
  • 2016: Co-founded Claren Academy with my ex wife. A technology & creativity focused school, in Vancouver.
  • 2023: Brace Yourself Games has been growing and growing, adding some amazingly talented developers to the team.  We are now working on about 8 game projects, and having a ton of fun doing it!

I write game industry articles on my Gamasutra blog, I was an advisor for the GDC’s Independent Games Summit for 5 years, and I streamed regular game industry analysis on YouTube and Twitch for 6 years.  I’m frequently a speaker at GDC, PAX, TwitchCon, and other conventions.

If, strangely, you’d like to know even more, feel free to follow me on Twitter.