It turns out that the folks hiring Demiurge were developers like Gearbox Software, Irrational Games, BioWare, and Harmonix. "We did some work on the first level -- the lighthouse and that sort of descent into Rapture," Reed told me, casually explaining that his studio clandestinely assisted with one of gaming's most iconic openings: the beginning of BioShock.
"The call letters on the plane, DF-0301, are the initials of one of Demiurge's artists and the date of Demiurge's incorporation (contrary to Internet forum conspiracy theories on its origins)," Reed told GamePro of the work earlier this year.
The studio's origins are less impressive than they are ... charming. "There was the place that was in a house," Reed said, referring to one of Demiurge's temporary facilities. "Literally like a house in Pittsburgh. There was no door on the bathroom," he continued. Apparently, since the doorless bathroom was on the second floor and the various employees were on the first, "the rule was you kind of looked around to see if everyone was at their desk, to see if anyone was missing." And if someone was missing? "You'd have to kind of yell 'I'm coming up!' And if you were in the bathroom, you had to yell, 'Noooooo!' That was another company's office that we kind of ... grew out of," Reed said.
Senior designer at Demiurge Josh Glavine then added, "They were squatting." And it turns out they were. Reed writes that off as payment for having to create "terrible web games" at the time.
Though Shoot Many Robots is Demiurge's first big original IP, the company isn't shying away from its roots as a hired gun. "From a business standpoint, that's a big part of our strategy," Reed stated, teasing "another project going on right now which is super fucking hot," before going completely dark on it. I couldn't help but suggest the possibility that Demiurge is once again working with Irrational on a BioShock title, to which Reed responded, "Oooooh! That is a hot game!"