Studio history

TGM Game Makers are Cat Bluemke, Jonathan Carroll, and Iain Soder. Founded in 2024, the studio is the latest creative venture in their ten year collaboration. Previously, they’ve worked together as the Tough Guy Mountain art collective. Combining their dynamic aesthetic and compelling narratives to create unique expanded reality experiences, their games explore a fantasy universe where magic and monsters draw from modern culture.

The Tough Guy Mountain Art collective was founded in Toronto 2012 as a performance group working with new media and integrated technology. The collective was made up of recently transplanted Nova Scotians, and the friends they made in Toronto’s art scene. The group’s frequent live performances at art institutions and public spaces led to commissions from the AGO and OCAD U, a Canada Council Media Arts project grant, Toronto Arts Council project grants, and a new theatrical production at the Summerworks Performance Festival.

Renoviction in 2016 resulted in the collective opening a new artist studio called The Brandscape, on Dupont Street in Toronto. There, they created web-based projects and virtual reality works for Trinity Square Video (TO), Nuit Blanche (TO), and Rhizome and the New Museum (NY).

The studio closed due to the pandemic, but the trio continued to develop work that delivered their characteristic style through virtual means. They published an augmented reality graphic novel through Eyelevel Gallery (Halifax), created a new video game work (commissioned for Blackflash Magazine and EQ bank), performed a virtual reality puppet show (commissioned for Vector Festival 2020), and a new live performance about returning home at Nocturne (Halifax).