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Daily Inspiration: Meet Joey Lee

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joey Lee.

Hi Joey, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Pixel Canvas started out as a video game studio back in 2018. We’ve released an award-winning VR horror game Reiko’s Fragments and have enjoyed some success and was awarded the Epic MegaGrant. However, I decided to pivot the company towards virtual events during the Covid 19 quarantine period around March 2020. The decision had a lot to do with my personal background and professional experience in physical event design and 3D visualization. I’ve spent over a decade at event design agencies such as George P. Johnson (GPJ) and the idea for virtual events was because during March of 2020 the events industry was in panic trying to find a solution to quickly translate canceled physical events into a virtual experience. For me the solution was crystal clear because what I was already doing at GPJ was designing and rendering physical exhibit booths and environments inside a game engine the Unreal Engine. This is also the engine I used to build Reiko’s Fragments with my team in Pixel Canvas. So for me, I knew if I simply added a few of my programmers from pixel canvas to add some interactivity to the 3D designs, you can simulate the exhibit booth experience. After spending many years in the event design industry, I’ve finally merged it with my passion with interactive video games and the result is a truly engaging virtual events platform that can be experienced through your web browser from any device no downloads required. We launched our first virtual event with Verizon in Sept 2020 and since we’ve delivered multiple virtual events for big brands such as Warner Media, LG, British Telecoms and many more.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Absolutely not a smooth road. There has been many challenges and struggles along the way because what we’re doing is so new and there is not many examples of other companies that is doing what we’re doing when it comes to a custom website builder and fully immersive virtual environment with video chat networking all in a web browser no downloads required. The struggles along the way was building so much custom features and battle test all of the new technology. The early stages were a little bumpy but many were willing to try something that was truly unique even though it was still slim on features. Now one year later and many projects under our belt, we’re able to take our experience and battle-tested technology and deliver multiple virtual events at a much faster and higher quality than ever before.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
My background professionally for many years is 3D art and design. I’ve spent most of my career in the events industry designing and visualizing physical events before they are physically built. The problem was I’ve always wanted to break into the gaming industry because that is where my true passion is. I not only loved playing games but loved creating levels within games such as Little Big Planet. The biggest challenge was location because I spent most of my years in Washington DC and the amount of game industry opportunities there was very rare and I found myself stuck in the event industry for seven years before I decided to move to Los Angeles. The city was exactly what I was missing all those years. I quickly met so many gaming industry professionals and creative people in the first couple of months. Some who are now my closest friends inspired and pushed me to start my own game company. I think the biggest lesson learned for me is location does matter and the people around you can lead you in very different directions in life.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
I want to give a shoutout to my parents for the support and the risk they took to help me get Pixel Canvas to where it is. None of this could have happened if they didn’t help with the initial funding to kickstart my decision to quit my day job and pursue the virtual events platform business.

Pricing:

  • Tier 1 custom website builder $20,000
  • Tier 2 template 3D space included $40,000

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