Aesthetician Labs (pronounced “es-the-tish-en”) is an artist-owned video game cooperative based out of lovely Rochester, NY. Our #1 goal is to enable our members to focus on their creative work by cultivating a secure and sustainable environment. The team consists of founding members Noah Ratcliff, Aidan Markham, and Sam Cammarata. We founded Aesthetician Labs in 2018 after winning the New York State Game Dev challenge with our game, Crazy Platez.
AeLa’s focus is on bite-sized juicy games for web and mobile. As designers, we cut our teeth on game jams like Ludum Dare and Global Game Jam. We also grew up during the golden age of Flash games and our childhood favorites inspire the games we make today.
Sam Sam is AeLa’s producer, business manager, and all around firefighter. They’re guided by creating premium art that connects with users, and doing so by prioritizing sustainability for the team. They also believe deeply in sharing knowledge and supporting the growth of game development in Rochester. For their work in founding Aesthetician Labs, they were a 2019 RIT SOIS Gap Year Fellow; they also received a CASTLE special honor for their work in teaching metacognition, which guides much of their work as AeLa’s producer today.
Beyond work, Sam spends as much time they can connecting with their body and the earth - whether that’s through rock climbing, biking, yoga, or just laying in the sun. They love to play leisurely games - Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley, The Sims, and Don’t Starve.
Noah is AeLa’s lead developer and co-designer. They strive to create highly satisfying experiences for players, and make game development widely accessible through advocacy for game jams and community building. After participating in Ludum Dare, the largest online game jam, for 5 years straight they were honored as a keynote speaker for Ludum Dare 39.
Noah sometimes works on electronics projects outside of work, when they aren’t climbing, hammocking, biking or playing games themself. Right now, they’re really enjoying Valheim and Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance.
Aidan Aidan is AeLa’s lead artist and co-designer. He believes in making gratifying and experimental art that stretches both the creator’s skills and the player’s expectations. This shows throughout his work in AeLa, his personal projects, and his former academic work through honors like the Dean’s list.
Keen to experiment, Aidan spends his free time trying new recipes, different sports, traveling, and dabbling in hobbies like juggling and unicycling. When he’s playing games, it’s often TrackMania, Valheim, or something in VR.