We are Aesthetician Labs
A worker-owned games cooperative based in beautiful Rochester, NY.Read More
Who we are
Aesthetician Labs (pronounced “es-the-tish-en”) is a worker-owned games cooperative based in beautiful Rochester, NY. We founded Aesthetician Labs in 2018 after winning the New York State Game Dev challenge with our game, Crazy Platez. Our team has experience building games for many different platforms including desktop, console, mobile, and beyond. We've even built an arcade cabinet!
We want to make games that are silly, whimsical, and subversive while still being sincere, uplifting, and accessible for everyone. As queer creators, we bring our experiences and perspectives into the stories we tell. We're interested in creating experiences that explore identity and contradiction, collapse distances, and embrace radical optimism.
We're children of the internet. We grew up during the golden era of Flash games and as designers, we cut our teeth on game jams like Ludum Dare and Global Game Jam. We've spent years honing our skills building games inspired by online culture, and we continue to bring the quirky, tight, and juicy energy of the Flash era to the games we make today.
Our core mission as a cooperative is to enable our members to focus on their creative passions by cultivating a secure and sustainable environment. AeLa's goal is to serve as a "shield" from capitalism with equitable pay, security, and compassionate production schedules that best support our members.
We're also committed to consensus-based operations, transparency, and accountability. We each have our specialties, but everyone has a voice and a vote when it comes to the decisions we make. We believe this makes for both stronger work and better working conditions for our members.
Aquarial2021 – Jam + Prototype
Embark on a classic hero's journey, recover the golden pearl, and save the day! Aquarial is a visual and technical prototype for a larger fish-based adventure game we'd love to make.
Unluck Quest2017 – Jam + Prototype
Join Dollop, an accidental hero who just wants to get where he's going, as he solves the problems of some unlucky objects and ultimately faces the horrible unluck goblin. Unluck Quest started as a jam game, and is now also a prototype for a larger world of radical consciousness anarchy where we want to explore identity and consciousness through a queer lens with quirky gameplay at its core.
Sometimes all it takes is an image. When Aidan came across an unsettling gif of a cow walking on its udder, he thought "I want a game of this." The result: an udderly ridiculous runner. Balance yourself as you gain speed and try not to hit your head!
Your responsibility as a Crazy Platez delivery driver is to keep the people of Rochester, NY satisfied and full! Race against the clock to deliver plates and refill your tank before you run out of gas.
You're Tearing Me Apart2016 – Jam
An adaptation of and honest homage to an oft ridiculed film. Wreak havoc on a room in a fit of passion just like Tommy Wiseau's Johnny in the cult classic, The Room. Featured in The A.V. Club.
Monster Loves You Too!2022-23
Monster Loves You Too! is an upcoming graphic novel adventure from Dejobaan Games and Radial Games. We're working with Dejobaan and Radial to port and optimize the game for Nintendo Switch and iOS, as well as provide general development support.
Mini Metro is a strategy simulation game about designing a subway map for a growing city. Draw lines between stations and start your trains running. As new stations open, redraw your lines to keep them efficient. Decide where to use your limited resources. How long can you keep the city moving?
We're working with Dino Polo Club and Radial Games to bring the global and China Switch releases up to date and fix bugs along the way!
The Vote Needs U2020
Voting accessibility was a major issue on the ballot in the 2020 US General Election and media agency Partners + Napier was looking for an engaging way to represent that for their voter engagement campaign, The Vote Needs U.
We worked with P+N to build an award winning game within a tight (and understandably immutable) timeline. It communicates the frustration felt by disenfranchised voters, and drives players to take action by making it easy to register to vote.
Awards & Recognition
Squire for Hire2020
Letiman Games and Jon Merchant asked us to help them bring their innovative 1-4 player tile laying table top game to Android and iOS in a way that would make it feel like it was designed to be there in the first place.
The result? A game that "does a wonderful job of capturing the feeling of the original game" while improving on UX issues in the physical game. But we didn't just develop an excellent mobile adaptation of the original game, we also worked with Letiman and Jon to add mobile-exclusive features like challenges, achievements, leaderboards, unlockable content, and more while still staying within their budget.
Awards & Recognition
Aidan MarkhamHe/Him Lead Artist
Sam CammarataThey/Them Operations Manager
Noah RatcliffThey/Them Lead Developer
Let's work together
We bring fresh creative energy to every project we work on and we love to take on new challenges. No matter how big or small, we can help you bring your ideas to life!
Rapid prototyping & design
We can help you generate and prove new ideas lightning fast. Whether you need consulting, implementation, or the full package, we're ready to help!
Porting & adaptation
We have years of experience with Nintendo Switch, iOS, and Android. Let us help you get your digital or physical game on these platforms!
3D modeling & rendering
Is your asset list overwhelming? We can provide prop and environment modeling, UV mapping, texturing, lighting, and more!
Programming & development support
Need a hand with a technical problem or just general development support? We've got you covered!
Who we've worked with
AeLa went above and beyond in creating our Squire for Hire App. They were willing to work with us to implement all of our needs and more. They even went above and beyond and were willing to adapt to work beyond the scope of our agreement while still delivering on schedule.