Heaven Sent Gaming is an American new media entertainment production team from Albuquerque, New Mexico, founded in 2006. The team's primary couple of individuals are its cofounders, Mario J. Lucero (born June 8, 1988) and Isabel Ruiz (born March 30, 1989). They are best known for their cofounders, whom often distribute under the name Heaven Sent Gaming, their multiple original series spanning across multiple forms of media, the fictional universe that derives from their original series, around Albuquerque's independent music scene for their help to local musicians, and as part of the college game design team Our Own Little Coup.
Heaven Sent Gaming was originally part of a college game development team, while they attended Collins College, Our Own Little Coup. The original team consisted of Drew Cass, Mario J. Lucero, Isabel Ruiz, Clifton Strang, Devin Torkavian, Jason Waggoner, and James West. The team split into different branches; Mario and Isabel moved back to their hometown in New Mexico and created their Christian team, Heaven Sent Gaming. It now consists primarily of Mario, Isabel, and Jason.
Isabel Ruiz and Mario J. Lucero are high school sweethearts. They attended college together, from 2006-2007, at Collins College. There they formed a game design team, called Our Own Little Coup, with their fellow students, Drew Cass, Clifton Strang, Devin Thurlow, Jason Waggoner, and James West. After college, the team split into different branches. Mario and Isabel moved back to their hometown in New Mexico and created their Christian team, Heaven Sent Gaming. The original campus that that the team was founded, in 2006, is now the Tempe, Arizona campus of Brookline College.
Early in 2008, Mario and Isabel left college in order to take care of Mario's grandparents. It was during the later parts of 2008 that they began to work with independent music artists in the area; including John Marler of Life Never Lost with whom they helped publish his first Studio Album, a demo titled "All We Are". In 2009 they completed their first comic strip of Reverie, and they sent it to United Feature Syndicate. It was going to be picked up for syndication, but due to upcoming changes at United Media, they recommended that Mario and Isabel publish and distribute the comic independently. They began their first attempt at self-distribution, on YouTube, they created a gaming news feed called "aywv" which, during its first year of activity, it managed to get three million views worldwide via YouTube. aywv's first successful video was a custom translation of Final Fantasy XIII, released weeks before an official translation became available. They were added to a multi channel network with Square Enix. It was during also during 2009 that they began to accept Bitcoin donations.
Heaven Sent Gaming published Reverie in 2010, and released 34 comics during the first year of release. The following year Mario and Isabel launched two more comics, Karis and Thad's World Destruction: Before Destruction. They also released started to release their first novels, Craft, Iron, and Many. In June of 2011 Mario began to do vlogs referred to as Mario's vlog on his personal SmileLee channel on YouTube, and during the latter part of that year Mario and Isabel began to publish a let's play series called HSGplays. They began to see success with HSGplays, from Isabel's Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 gameplay commentary series.
The following year, Heaven Sent Gaming's YouTube channels were disabled in 2012, due to Google shutting down their AdSense account. The issue made a few waves on smaller libertarian talk shows across the United States, they assumed Google was against Heaven Sent Gaming for being "wholesome and mentioning Jesus". After the shutdown, Heaven Sent Gaming began to independently distribute both HSGplays and Mario's vlogs via iTunes and RSS. Their publications didn't slow down due to the fiasco, they launched their comics Karis and TWD: Before Destruction, as well as their first novels Many, Craft, and Iron. During 2012, Heaven Sent Gaming released three new comics; Mario and Isabel created BladeChick and Mouton, and they also created Jinn with populardeviantArtist X-Arielle. It was during this same year that they began to publish a story written by Jason Waggoner, called digitalDomain. Mario began to work on his personal project, a Bible translation that is referred to as the HSV. Another key event that happened that year was Jason Waggoner, from the Our Own Little Coup days, rejoining the team as an editor.
In 2013, Heaven Sent Gaming began to publish another comic called Koki'o Shade and Monkey. And, in 2014, Heaven Sent Gaming added two new team members to increase the amount of video productions, Jeff Drake and Josh Kindig; the full plans for their video production have not been announced, but they did announce a video series tentatively entitled Tate. The series will revolve around a car enthusiast named Tate McCandless. During this same announcement, on November 1, 2014, they announced plans to release three more comic series, including a universe crossover title inspired by The Day of the Dead, called ‘Verse Way. Another thing mentioned in the announcement was the marriage of cofounders Mario J. Lucero and Isabel Ruiz, according to the announcement Isabel's name is now Isabel Ruiz Lucero.
2015 has been another eventful year for Heaven Sent Gaming. They announced multiple projects, at the Camden, New Jersey, Comic Convention it was announced that Heaven Sent Gaming would be working with activist and author D. H. Torkavian to create a tentatively titled pen-and-paper game called Thirst. It was also announced that they would be working on a New Mexico related "web project". Mario's grandfather passed away early in the year.
Team members Edit
- Mario J. Lucero – Cofounder, designer (2006-present)
- Isabel Ruiz Lucero – Cofounder, artist (2006-present)
- Jason Waggoner – Co-designer (2006-present) Editor (2012-present)
Former members Edit
- Drew Cass – Our Own Little Coup (2006-2007)
- Devin Thurlow – Our Own Little Coup (2006-2007)
- Clifton Strang – Our Own Little Coup (2006-2007)
- James West – Our Own Little Coup (2006-2007)
- Jeff Drake – Director, filmographer (2014)
- Josh Kindig – Unknown (2014)
- Koki'o Shade and Monkey
- Thad's World Destruction: Before Destruction
Awards and Reception Edit
aywv, their gaming news publication, became #1 in "Gaming" on YouTube for several months in multiple countries; including the United States of America, Canada, Japan, and Israel.Their first successful video was a custom translation of Final Fantasy XIII's Tokyo Game Show 2009 trailer, released weeks before an official translation became available. They were added to a multi channel network with Square Enix.
Heaven Sent Gaming, and its founders, were the subject of an unsolicited book, titled 伝説のインターネット - ヘヴン セント ゲーミング. Published during the summer on 2014, the book that attempted to look at Heaven Sent Gaming as a referential subject.