David Sirlin

I think of myself as a game designer, though I'm also a graphic designer and business owner. I started working full time as President of Sirlin Games in 2009, and released my first tabletop games in 2010.

I was a gamer from a young age, and was also into writing and scientific thinking. I later became interested in game design and psychology. After that, graphic design became more and more important to my projects. Graphic design is such a large and time-consuming part of what I do now that I included a gallery on this site of the visuals I created myself. Any character illustrations you see aren't from me, but the rest is.

I've worked mostly on competitive multiplayer games, the kind that have to remain interesting and balanced even when played thousands of times by experts. I also really like asymmetric games, meaning games with different characters or sides.

Ancient History

Before Sirlin Games, I was lead designer of Street Fighter HD Remix, Puzzle Fighter HD Remix, and Kongai. I was also a tournament player in Street Fighter and other fighting games. I was part of Street Fighter Team USA at the Super Battle Opera tournament in Japan. I helped run the Evolution Fighting Game Championships for years. I graduated from MIT in business and math.


I like a lot of tv shows. Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Dexter, Rome, Spartacus, The Newsroom, Girls, Prison Break, The Walking Dead, Chosen, and anything with Gordon Ramsay, to name a few. I do a lot of tedious work that allows me to watch tv while I do it. I also like thinking about how the shows are "designed," from the standpoints of plot, character, and writing techniques.

My Company

Sirlin Games
Founded 2004, first active development in 2009

My Games

Published by Sirlin Games

Codex (tabletop)
Yomi (tabletop / Steamweb / iOS)
Puzzle Strike (tabletop / play online)
Puzzle Strike Shadows (tabletop / play online)
Flash Duel (tabletop / play online)
Pandante (tabletop)
Chess 2 (Steam / print-and-play)

In development now:
Fantasy Strike fighting game

By Other Publishers

Street Fighter HD Remix (Capcom)
Puzzle Fighter HD Remix (Capcom)
Capcom Classics Collection 1, 2, and Remix (Capcom)
Kongai (Kongregate)

My Book

Playing to Win

Speaking Appearances

Game Developer's Conference, 2017. "Puzzle Strike Design Diary."
Unpub Protospiel San Jose, 2014. Panelist. "Getting Your Board Game Published."
Game Developer's Conference, 2012. Microtalks: "Time Pressure and Unconscious Thought."
NYU Practice Conference, 2011. "Competitive Game Design."
Game Developer's Conference, 2010. "How to Get Into Game Design."
Montreal International Game Summit, 2009. "Every Click Counts."
Game Developer's Conference, 2009. "Balancing Multiplayer Competitive Games."
Hastings Law School, 2008. Guest lecturer. "Competitions amongst students and (unrelated) Fourth Amendment rights."

Consulting Clients

Ubisoft Montreal
Ubisoft Paris
Counterplay Games


Massachusetts Institute of Technology, '98
Graduated in Business and Math with a concentration in Creative Writing.