More Information About Me

Simeon Peebler started out in the early 1980s programming his Commodore 64 and making his own games and music when he should have been doing "more appropriate" things. Flash forward to the present day; after years in game development and technology, he works as a game designer and programmer and has been working the last few years in teaching game design and game development at a leading digital arts college in Chicago Tribeca Flashpoint Academy In 2011, Simeon created Brain Bump, a trivia game for the Amazon Kindle. He also has been working on composing original music and songwriting (go to his songwriting site and hear his latest album).

Monday, November 15, 2010

WMS Gaming one of Chicago's TOP places to work in 2010

I'm thrilled to report that the Chicago Tribune has rated WMS Gaming the TOP company to work for in 2010! Read the report here!

I've been working in one of WMS's internal game studios since July, and everything this article mentions is spot on!

Visit the WMS website to learn more about the company and also about job opportunities there.

Also named by Forbes as one of the top 100 small companies of 2010 -- check out the Forbes list here.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Opportunities to work for a leading gaming company in Chicago

Are you an experienced developer interested in working for a leading gaming company in Chicago?

If you know anyone who might be interested in lead or senior level programming positions out there, check out this link (there are other positions as well in management, production, art dev and more).

I've been working with WMS since July and can truly attest to the quality of work and people over here. They are really smart and talented people and truly have stablished an extraordinarily positive and supportive work environment. Check out for more information.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Summer 2010 Update

Hello! I just wanted to mention here that I recently wrapped up three years at Tribeca Flashpoint Academy as Department Chair of Game & Interactive Media development. Tribeca Flashpoint is an amazing digital media arts college in downtown Chicago. It is a one-of-a-kind place and I was enormously fortunate to help launch the school and establish a competitive educational program in the area of game development and interactive media.

In moving on to my next adventures, I am working this summer for WMS Gaming, one of the leading developers and manufacturers of gaming machines in the world (they are known for hit slot machines found in gaming venues around the world. It is a publicly traded company, so I can't talk about anything related to what I'm doing there or what is going on, but you can learn more about it at the WMS Games website.

As a further note, I am eager to continue my own development efforts (now working on the e-reader Kindle platform!), working on some original music I will publish on iTunes later this year, and probably some writing and art to throw in the mix. I am also still pursuing speaking engagements and other activities in the interactive entertainment space, so those of you who are interested in working with me can best contact me through Linked In.

If you want a little sneak peek at a personal project I'm working on, please visit!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Roger Ebert update on Games as Art

I was mentioned today in Roger Ebert's column which addressed the on-going dialog he has been having with the world following up his declaration a few years ago that video games are not art (that's a simplified description, but you can learn a lot more at the following link)

Full Roger Ebert Column Entry Here

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Delayed in France...some things I've learned

For the last week I have been stuck in France due to a travel calamity that descended upon Europe out of the air from a distant volcano in Iceland. While the first phrase to come to our conversations here in France was “bomb Iceland”, this whole experience has been fodder for reflection.

What can we learn from this volcano?

Lesson 1: A strong reminder to anticipate problems.

Some time ago this volcano started to belch and come back to life after many years of dormancy. Why didn’t this trigger visible and concrete concerns from the airlines going back that far? After all, they’ve lost $2 billion in the last week and some are literally shutting their doors. Planning for the unexpected may have helped some weather this mess better. And who should have planned for this situation? Each and every airline and every airport. After all, they’ve been through a travel mess like this in recent times (9/11). Imagining every possible threat is part of the process of running a business, and a big threat to airlines in general I would say is the decision making of the airspace authority. What are all of the variables that could cause the airspace to be closed? Weather, crashes, terrorism, and atmospheric disturbances (i.e. erupting volcano upstream plus flight disruptions documented in many other volcano-ish situations). In the US, disruptions from huge blizzards are factored in to every airline business operation in the country.

On my shoulders as a traveler, and in life, I have the same responsibilities in risk assessment and worst-case scenario planning. I left my son with the grandparents in Chicago during my trip which now is an extra eight days (hopefully no more). We left our family with all sorts of worst-case scenario planning and documentation and also knew that they would be able to keep him safe and sound if our flight was delayed (although we did not expect a delay to be measured in days), so in this way I tried to anticipate as much as possible.

What else can we learn from this volcano?

Lesson 2: Use imagination and experience to better anticipate problems.

Imagination is an important part of doing anything in the world. This is not about being guided by paranoia or fear built upon anecdotal evidence, but using tacit knowledge to make decisions that will help avoid calamity. This tacit knowledge is something that describes knowing things that you do not know in detail but are things you know due to having experience in positive and negative outcomes in the past to better guide decision making to keep business as sound as possible. In other words, predicting problems comes from experience, and these airlines are not new to experiencing problems and setbacks, and they should have been ready. If I had personally anticipated a complete shutdown, I would not have traveled far from home, putting lots of extra stress on my family and my employer (and me). But now I have this experience as a valuable tool for me in the future.

Lesson 3: Take action.

Taking swift action to override those who have shut the system down seemed to be helpful. A few brave airlines basically proved the decision maker’s arguments for safety concerns were perhaps a bit much. When things go awry in life and in the world, nobody else will advocate for you as strong as you can advocate for yourself, and this seems to have helped turn the tide on the airspace authority. Take control of your problems.

Lesson 4: Make a list of the volcanoes in your business and in life.

What other volcanoes are out there?

Financial industry.
Game development projects.
Film productions.
Recording sessions.
Visual effects projects.

And just about any human activity in personal life and in business.


My overall summary is, for me, look for the volcanoes in all areas in my life. Anticipate through imagination and review of experience. Take action. It won’t all prevent mistakes or errors or accidents, but it will sure keep you much safer from the ash when it comes raining down.

Recently, scientists have discovered, quite to the contrary of their initial assumptions, that 80% of the area devastated by Mt. Saint Helens in 1980 now hosts plant life (and some animals and insects). My point is that in that devastation, people paid attention to it and have studied it, and it gave the world a whole new way to monitor and detect opportunities for potent eruptions elsewhere. We learned a heck of a lot from that volcano. The volcano in Iceland will do the same of course. How in the world then can we ignore these learning experiences?

Greed and blind hope come to mind. We want to go to Europe on an adventure of a lifetime. We want to “beat the market” with our creation of bizarre “financial instruments” and automated trading systems. We want to keep the airlines running status quo because there’s “no way” airspace can shut down for a week in Europe. We want to ignore problems in business because we believe in hope because the “projected” P&L “feels” a lot better than where it is truly headed.

Well, I wanted to go to Europe, and I suppose some part of me ignored the news out of Iceland. Gotta keep the blinders off so I’ll be more aware of potential ash forecasts in the future.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Global Game Jam 2010 at Flashpoint Academy a success!

After 48 grueling hours, the Global Game Jam at Flashpoint Academy in 2010 has come to a close! After a tense strict afternoon deadline, four games were ready to play and were presented to our panel of guest judges which included Chicago game developers from Robomodo and TapMe. Incredible effort and sweat went into these games and often times the results are best measured by what happened off camera. These were team efforts 100% of the way, and it shows in what they were able to achieve in a few short hours given the theme provided by the Global Game Jam officials (theme: "deception" and games must use one or more of the following words: "man, a plan, or a canal").

Flashpoint Academy Results:

Game: Operation Scorch
As the gunner of "Hot Lips" an AC-130 gunship with the experimental "Scorch Deluxe 3000" laser, your mission is to "laz" the ground targets
Flashpoint Academy Award for Best Use of an Alternate Controller

Game: Entity
A groundbreaking exploration into the deceitful nature of humanity
Flashpoint Academy Award for Best Art and Sound

Game: Man Who Cried Wolf
Gather as many unsuspecting people while crying wolf
Flashpoint Academy Award for Best Arcade Game

Game: Hide & Haunt
Hide & Seek in a old rundown mansion
Flashpoint Academy First Place Global Game Jam 2010 Award

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Flashpoint Academy Global Game Jam 2010 first report

On Friday, January 29th, Flashpoint Academy students across multiple disciplines came together to join in a worldwide event called the "Global Game Jam 2010" held at universities and game studios around the world (well over 1000 participants are now working in 38 countries! -- these crazy people are known as "jammers"). At Flashpoint's sound stage in Chicago's Merchandise Mart we started a 48-hour marathon to build games according to parameters kept secret from our jammers until the launch of the event at Flashpoint at the start of their 48-hour adventure. Jammers at Flashpoint are working in teams of about ten students to build these games by 3 pm on Sunday local time.

This year the theme is "deception" and jammers must include one or more of the following in their games: a man, a plan or a canal. Key outcomes include providing an intense opportunity for jammers to collaborate and work together in "crunch mode" doing what they love doing...making games. This is not a school assignment and it is not a business-driven game studio console game effort. These jammers are the true artists of the future. This weekend will stay for them for the rest of their lives.

We have a few special guest "judges" for the end of the weekend where we will allow the teams an opportunity to present their games to the judges. Teams will be awarded recognition in different areas, but only one game will get trophies for top honors here.

I started the ball rolling at Flashpoint after we had a student team join in with the wonderful people at DePaul who graciously invited them to be a part of the experience there in January of 2009. We would have been there again this year but we had such high interest here that we had to set up our own location. After months of preparation and the efforts and dedication by a really enthusiastic team of staff and we are, starting up day 2. I am honored to be directing our location, but I could not have done it without them -- and without our really amazing students who surprise me from time to time when they finally realize that they have the potential to do anything in the world they want to do.

More updates to follow.