Growling Door Games is Matthew McFarland and Michelle Lyons-McFarland. We formed a game company in 2012 to facilitate the release of our first original roleplaying game, curse the darkness. In 2013, a copyright dispute forced us to change the company name, and we settled on Growling Door Games. If you meet one of us at a con, ask us to demonstrate why. It’s kind of funny.
The mission statement for Growling Door Games is, quite simply, to make games about subjects that we think are important, fun, or awesome. It’s nice if the games have some education potential or value — so far, they do — but that’s not something we’re prepared to promise for every release. The act of play has value for its own sake, and although we have our reasons for making any given game, that’s really the highest truth: we like games. Games are fun. They bring us together with friends and family and provide entertainment, shift in perspective, and good stories.
Both Matthew and Michelle are industry veterans. Michelle Lyons-McFarland has been working in roleplaying games since 2000, working in-house on lines such as Shadowrun, BattleTech, and Dungeons and Dragons and freelancing for companies from Green Ronin Publishing to White Wolf/Onyx Path Publishing. She has a particular interest in the overlap between games and education, bringing her two worlds together. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in English literature at Case Western Reserve University with the goal of becoming a professor and game designer — a lofty goal indeed.
Matthew McFarland, also known as BlackHat Matt, has been writing and developing roleplaying games professionally since 1998. Most of the work he has done has been for White Wolf Game Studio, where he contributed to almost all of their game lines (including both incarnations of the World of Darkness). He spent three years as lead developer for the Dark Ages game line, and wrote the Ennie-winning demo chronicles for Vampire: The Requiem and Mage: The Awakening. He has also done some assorted work for Green Ronin, Eden Studios, and Guardians of Order. In Matt's day job, he is a speech-language pathologist for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.