The Studio

Red Essence Games focuses on The Three E’s of the Entertainment Industry; to entertain, to educate, and to elevate. We strive to create experiences that are engaging, will make people think, and are visually pleasing.

The Studio began in co-creator Nik Hagialas’ home office in Philadelphia, where he and Arman Ayrapetyan started work on their flagship title, Mask of Semblance. Mask of Semblance is the first game in their line, and is a Hand Painted, 2D action adventure / RPG.

Meet the Team

Nik Hagialas

Lead Artist / Story

After diving into Super Mario Bros on the SNES at the age of 3, Nik knew that video games would always hold a special place in his heart. This, coupled with Nik's passion for art, music, and storytelling lead him to begin development on Mask Of Semblance. He and his longtime friend, Arman Ayrapetyan, created their studio in the city they grew up in, Philadelphia. Nik earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Pennsylvania State University and specialized in Concept Art and Digital Media. He was previously the Art Director and Concept Artist at Nectar Game Studios. Working in the video game, film, and trading card game industries gave him the pipeline understanding he needed to begin his own project. Most notably, he has produced work for Fantasy Flight games, working on the Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones TCGs.

Arman Ayrapetyan

Lead Programmer / Game Designer

As an immigrant from Armenia at the age of 2 with English as a second language, Arman learned how to read by playing through the Legend of Zelda, Ocarina of Time with his best friend teaching along the way. He grew up playing JRPGs and story based games, which are still some of his favorite games to date. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science at Drexel University and specialized in Artificial Intelligence and Human Computer Interaction. He has experience in multiple coding disciplines, and creates trading card games and board games in his free time. Arman's wide range of video game interests allow him to approach game design from multiple viewpoints, and helps him integrate what truly makes games fun.

Gareth Mason

Voice Acting / Writing

Gareth is a musician and writer based in Brighton (UK) known predominantly for his work with the now defunct international metal band Slice The Cake, who received acclaim in underground music circles for their catalogue of deeply conceptual recordings. At first contracted for voice acting, his role expanded to include writing, assisting the team with fleshing out the narrative of Mask of Semblance.

Gordon Neill

Assistant Artist / PR Manager

Gordon previously left his career as an engineer to pursue his dream of working on games. He recently worked as an intern at Axis Studios (Glasgow) helping out with administrative work and recruitment. Gordon's natural flair for networking skills and communication lead him to run the marketing and outreach role at Red Essence Games. As an avid painter, he also helps Nik with coloring animations.