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Jon Shafer

Game Designer, Programmer and Founder of Conifer Games


Jon Shafer is the president and founder of Conifer Games, a small game development studio originally established in Michigan in 2012 and now based out of Maryland. Jon is also currently the designer and gameplay/AI programmer for At The Gates, an upcoming 4X strategy game in which players are tasked with leading a barbarian kingdom to glory amidst the fall of the Roman Empire.

Jon joined the industry in 2005 as a programming intern for Firaxis Games, and over six years working on the Civilization franchise eventually served as lead designer and principal gameplay/AI programmer for Sid Meier’s Civilization V. He subsequently joined Stardock Entertainment as a design consultant and project lead for an unannounced project before eventually founding Conifer.

For most of his career Jon's primary focus has been hardcore PC strategy games. Since becoming independent he has started branching out into other genres, and the mission statement he now pursues through his studio is to be "committed to crafting a new generation of games that are deep, meaningful, and forever replayable." Jon also maintains a personal game design blog titled Jon Shafer On Design, and was formerly a co-host of The Game Design Round Table podcast.

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