About Us

Create, Communicate, Collaborate.

Whim Independent Studios is an independent game development company. Established in 2012 by three friends, we have grown into an international team of designers, programmers, artists, musicians, and voice actors.

Our Vision

Whim Independent Studios prides itself on providing challenging and rewarding experiences to individuals committed to developing truly excellent gaming experiences.

Meet the Admin Team

Grover Wimberly IV

Producer / Director

Grover is the Producer and Director of whimindie and oversees development of multiple projects within the studio. He is the Producer and Director of ‘Selatria’, and the Producer of ‘ANTics’ and ‘Dastardly Dairy Debacle’. In his spare time he enjoys travelling to new places, spending time with family and friends, and playing through a growing ‘stack of shame’ of video games that he never seems to have time for.

Favorite Games/Inspirations: Super Mario Galaxy, Super Mario Bros. 3, Lufia, Donkey Kong Country 2, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Final Fantasy IX, Final Fantasy XIV, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Bayonetta 2, Ori and the Blind Forest.

Social Media:

Nintendo Switch Friend Code: 0934-9678-1875

Matthew Estrada

Producer / Director

Matt has done exceptional work on Selatria. He designed many of the boss battles, puzzles, and dungeons to bring the most out of the the game’s engine. In ANTics, he has worked on boss battles and UI programming.

There are many more battles and scenes in production, and he can’t wait to see how players best his various schemes.

A long time gamer, with a background in programming and math, he is always looking to both accept and give new challenges in both technical skill and logic.

Favorite Games/Inspirations: Pokémon, Paper Mario, Sonic, Super Mario, Starfox, Tales of series, as well as many others.

Paul Vela

Administrative Director

“If it wasn’t for Paul, the studio would have shut down years ago.”

What started as him just wanting to help a friend out has become one of the many labors of love (although it could vary depending on the day) he has taken up. Paul “Mr. Fun” Vela oversees agreements, budgets, day-to-day operations, and makes sure that appropriate business matters are taken care of so development on current, and future, projects can proceed.

While some days are definitely better than others, Paul thoroughly enjoys seeing our various team members hone their skills, gain experience, and pursue their life goals, interests, and dreams.

Favorite Games: Mass Effect 2, Ace Combat 5, Assassin’s Creed 4 Black Flag, Red Dead Redemption 1 & 2 , Star Wars Battlefront 2 (for the PS2, the superior Battlefront 2)

Inspirations: Yacht Club Games, Games by Lucas Pope, ConcernedApe LLC

Jabari Lewis-Smith

Director of Marketing and Advertising

Originally starting of as the Casting Director, as of April 2019, Jabari has stepped up as the Director of Marketing for Whim Independent Studios, which consist on pulling gamers into the world of  Whim Indie games and encouraging sales to help support Whim Indie’s game development activities and events. Jabari is currently in university pursuing a masters in an interdisciplinary study titled “Multimedia Project Production and Management for Entertainment” which is a tailored course of study focused on Video Production, Business Management, and Marketing. Jabari is excited to share his new knowledge and apply it to the endeavors of Whim Indie.

Favorite Games/Inspirations:
The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario, Banjo Kazooie, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, Parappa The Rapper, Shantae, Sonic the Hedgehog, and basically anything Nintendo. Animation: Cats Don’t Dance, The Avatar Last Airbender, School Rumble, Inuyasha, Yu Yu Hakusho, The Adventures of Gumball, Powerpuff Girls, so much more…

Meet the Team

Jessica M. Jacuinde

Artist / Graphic Designer / Video Editor / Social Media Manager

Jessica is an artist and designer who provides a variety of visual assets to whimindie. She has worked on the video game trailers for “ANTics” and “Selatria: Advent of the Dakk’rian Empire”; she is also the artist for “The Dastardly Dairy Debacle” who worked on Concept Art, Character Designs, Backgrounds, Animations, and UI assets. Currently, she is working on animation projects and designs posts for our social media accounts and helps monitor them. Her creative hobbies include streaming on Twitch, cosplaying at conventions, and creating YouTube videos.

Favorite Games: Adventure Quest 3D, Harvest Moon series, Final Fantasy series, Beat Saber, indie horror games.

Social Media

Edwin Baranov

Lead Programmer

Edwin is currently the lead programmer on an unannounced game who programs and directs several other programmers in creating all of the core mechanics needed for the project.

In his spare time if he’s not gaming, he’s on Reddit looking at different game development pages and looking at what other people have made, how they made it, and overall learning and expanding his skill set for game development.

Favorite Games: First person shooters like Titanfall 2, Rainbow Six Siege and Apex Legends.

Social Media

Nikolai Gilliland

Lead Artist

Niko is one of the lead artists for whimindie and works mostly on sprites and tilesets, but does some other stuff here and there!

Niko grew up in Texas until departure to the west coast in 2006 to attend Digipen Institute of Technology. An open nerd to all who loves to create and just hopes to make people smile and raise their spirits when life is hard.

Growing up, Niko played all sorts of games, but due to an attachment to music, is especially keen on rhythm games and RPGs! Also, (Not so) secretly known to get addicted to MMOs. (Oops!)

Outside of drawing and gaming, Niko spends time self-studying Japanese and hopes to become fluent with another goal of becoming a Polyglot.

Favorite Games/Inspirations: Legend of Zelda series, Persona Series, OZ(Over Zenith), Chrono Cross, Final Fantasy, Silent Hill 1-4, Fatal Frame, Phantasy Star Online, Guild Wars, Osu! Tatakae! Ouedan!, Gitaroo Man, DDR, Idolish7.

Jonathan Dishaw

Systems Developer

Jon originally signed on as a tester, in the days before whimindie had its name. After telling Grover all the ways his game was bad, Jon switched majors and learned programming to help work on Selatria. When he’s not doing that, Jon works as an advocate and liaison for Las Vegas-area streamers and developers, or simply works on his tabletop RPG campaigns.

Favorite Games: Final Fantasy (except VII and XV), Super Mario World, Borderlands, Armored Core, Pokémon (still protesting Dexit), Super Mario RPG, 7 Days to Die, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Loren Petty

Concept Artist

Loren joined the whimindie team in June of 2019 as a Junior Concept Artist designing props and backgrounds. She has always had a passion for art and a need to bring her ideas to life. She has previously worked on other projects such as a children’s book (The Lion and the Rose) and a graphic novel (Mutilated at Medicine Mound) as well as done QA testing for Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XV. One of her favorite pastimes is sketching up ideas for animated music videos since music is a major source of inspiration for her.

Favorite Games:
Shadow of the Colossus, Bastion, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Portal, The Last of Us

Inspirations: Artists on IG such as J.A.W Cooper, Jed Henry, Gabriel Picolo, Jenna Barton, and hundreds of others in the art community.

Social Media

Matthew Hawkins


Matt has been a programmer for whimindie since November 2016. He graduated from CSUSB and worked as the lead programmer for ‘The Dastardly Dairy Debacle’ which was released in 2018. He is currently working as a programmer for a currently unannounced project. He likes tabletop gaming and cooking and currently lives in Texas.

Favorite Games/Inspirations: Final Fantasy series, Age of Empires 2, Total War Series, Okami

Leigh-anna Griswould


Leigh-anna is a Programmer/Scripter who has worked on Selatria. She graduated from CSUSB and currently works as a QA Engineer in her day job. She aspires to learn more about programming for games and web development, but also to expand her creative energy into writing stories. She hopes to one day write a story for a game and have it released on multiple platforms. One day.

Favorite Games/Inspirations: FFXIV, Persona series, Xeno series, Fire Emblem, Bayonetta, Kingdom Hearts, Nier, Yume Miru Kusuri, Eternal Aselia, FFX-2, and others.

Ashley “Shadoe” Trammell

Sound Engineer

Shadoe is the sound engineer for whimindie. They graduated from CSUSB with a BA in Music Performance and Music Technology. They aspire to be a professional bassoonist, and have worked with several small, local orchestras.

Favorite Games: Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy XV, Magic the Gathering

Favorite Composers: Rachmaninof, Ravel, John Williams, Mendelssohn, Vivaldi

Morgan Lakeotes

Art Director

Morgan is the art director of an unannounced project for Whim Indie, helping guide her fellow artists and perform tasks for the game as they are needed. She has previously worked on other indie projects, such as Harem Protagonist and Reapers. When not doing work for the studio, she enjoys long walks on the beach, spilling coffee on herself in sleep addled states, and playing video games for ‘research purposes’.

Favorite Games: Bayonetta 1-2, Papers Please, Cyberpunk Bartender Action Val-Halla, FFXIV, and Asterix & Obelix XXL for the PS2.

Donald Alfieri

Lead Game Designer

Born within the golden bosom of the mystic turtle, the being commonly known as “That Guy” emerged and looked upon the universe. And it was pretty OK. Now, with glorious extension of his magnanimous sloth, he chose a mortal form! …But got stuck with this one instead. Nevertheless, this angelic mass of cells and fluid had to admit that funny thing called life has not cheated him. He went to strange places and worked unusual roles. And the grotesqueness within his mind had to agree, that ain’t too bad. He also does cut scenes and stuff for whimindie. Just because.

Favorite Games/Inspirations: Pac-Man, Martian Dreams, Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge, Wing Commander, Day of the Tentacle, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, The Sims, Final Fantasy XI, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Final Fantasy XI, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Dark Souls, Super Mario Maker, Oxygen Not Included

Active Team Members

Deborah Groves
Geno Quesada
Christopher Nuño
Gerren Willis
Andrew Sanchez
Alejandra Marquez-Saldivar
Jasmine Flores Baro
Lucia Eun Hyeung Lee
Josh Jansen
Kevin Picotte
Emily Weiland
Collin Davis
Dominique Hodnett
Shannon Berrios

Talent We Have Worked With

Artists we’ve worked with:
Jonathan Flynn
Hannah Bottenberg
Derrick Frainee
Katie Harris
Paul Diggs
Brittney Weiland

Musicians/Sound Engineers we’ve worked with:
SSD Studio
Luke Simpson
Wes “Chiaki” Shamloo
Donald Brown
Will Salazar
Chase Bethea

Web Developers we’ve worked with:
Sami Ayyoub
Peter Chau

Programmers/Game Designers we’ve worked with:
Cameron Bouroumand
Jennifer Waterson
Hamza Khan
Timothy Blanchet
Kristian Howard
Diego Quinonez
Christopher Huber
Luna Andrine Engh

Writers we’ve worked with:
Airen Blakovich
Ryan Homme

Voiced Talent we’ve worked with:
Jabari Lewis-Smith
River Kanoff
Kristyn Mass
Michelle Deco
Bowie Alexander
Alex Beckham
Holly Lindin
Aimee Smith
Miguel Moran
Jordan Cruz
Alex Melius
Adriana Peterson
Jonathan Cooke
Duffy Weber
Toria Bell
Chris Wielink
Rachel Davenport
Karen Wetherell
Jamison Ward
Lindz Steindler
Anthony Balmung
Neil Stucky
Catty Donnelly
Ariel Highwind
Andrew Boa
Brittany Lauda
Elissa Park
Karen Elizabeth Wetherell
Rachel Davenport

Testers we’ve worked with:
Mailanee Anderson
Kevin Flores
Daniel Royer
Eric Groves, Jr.
Marco Intrieri
Arturo O. Alvarado
Joaquin Castruita
Monica Castruita
Nicholas “Fuego” Moore
Lacey Lenderman
Jesse Fierro

Miscellaenous Companies:
EISS Photography

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