Untitled Interactive is building the future of gaming, from Miami to the metaverse
By Riley Kaminer
Have you ever just wanted to smack a fool? If you live in Miami, it’s likely that you have.
Robert Byron Hord is more of a lover than a fighter. But either way, he’s a storyteller. And it is in this capacity that he has founded and led Untitled Interactive, a Miami Beach and San Francisco-based game studio, that has developed games like Smack-A-Fool, which always have a cognitive element. (In the case of Smack-A-Fool, users are faced with trivia questions that separate the smart from the cocky – all with a comedic twist.)
While Hord went to Georgia Tech to study engineering, he eventually landed in Los Angeles as a writer and producer for big names including Will Smith, Cedric the Entertainer, Wanda Sykes, and Louis CK. Vince McMahon recruited Hord to write for WWE – and simultaneously, Hord sold a movie script to video game giant Sega.
That was when Hord started to appreciate the power of the medium of gaming. “In gaming, you find out what a character can do and you write a story based off of that character,” Hord told Refresh Miami of what first made him fall in love with gaming, from a storytelling perspective. “That made me understand that I could use what I learned all those years and move into gaming.”
The technical aspect of gaming also interested Hord – bringing him full circle back to his days as an engineering student. In particular, Hord is excited about the potential of web3 to bring gaming to the next level.
“When you look at web3, you’re looking at a technology that obviously works, is very secure, and brings a community together,” he said. “It’s the power of community that moved me into web3 because in order to bring in and empower people you have to create community and you have to create trust. And web3 has trust inherently built into it.”
For Hord, despite the negative press surrounding some corners of web3 – especially tokens and crypto – the new generation of web3 tools are already having an impact. “They are already working and actually protecting us. We see lots of cases of utility and usability.”
From the creators’ perspective, Hord explained that the community-first ethos is critical. “It’s about not only building communities through social media, but actually within a gaming environment. It makes everything work a lot better, and it brings us together on a lot of different fronts.”
Looking forward, Hord said that he is excited to “blanket the universe with empowering content.” How will they achieve that? Tech plays a major role: from game engines like Unity and UE5 to web3 tools like the metaverse and blockchains.
Since launching in San Francisco in 2018, Untitled Interactive has expanded to a 5-person team, two of whom will be based in South Florida soon. Hord himself landed in Miami in 2021, lured by the dream to have a waterfront office space.
“That spawned me to see the strength of Miami from a technology perspective and from a tech culture perspective, which I had no idea was here,” he said. “And as soon as I began seeing that was when I knew that I wanted to plant my flag here.”
READ MORE ON REFRESH MIAMI:
- Drone Racing League lifts off in Miami with World Championship event coming Feb. 25 to LoanDepot Park
- Amid gaming boom, Grilla emerges from beta with $3M in funding
- Hidden Worlds returns for another visual exploration of the climate crisis
- Is your business compliant? If not, SyncData can help - March 27, 2023
- Recent grad creates non-profit GitStart to give back to #MiamiTech community - March 24, 2023
- Pop the champagne for rapidly-scaling alcohol insights platform Overproof - March 23, 2023