Our Team

Mohawk Games is a small team consisting of industry veterans. We also rely on help from key contractors to get the job done.


Leyla Johnson

Leyla Johnson

CEO, Head Writer

CEO of Mohawk Games and Creative Director for Old World. Leyla grew up in Lebanon and studied Journalism before working in radio and government. A talented polyglot, Leyla worked on Offworld Trading Company and for Mohawk, she has performed work in different disciplines from community management, art direction, project lead to narrative design.

Soren Johnson

Soren Johnson

Design Director

Growing up in Washington State, Soren enjoyed several hobbies including videogames, music and soccer. Completing an internship at EA, he transitioned to Firaxis to work on Civilization III and IV. Soren is now Design Director at Mohawk Games and brings years of experience to projects like Offworld Trading Company and Old World.

Alex Mantzaris

Alex Mantzaris

AI Programmer

Alex was raised in Greece and spent his youth sailing the open waters. After earning degrees in Engineering and Naval Architecture, programming caught Alex’s attention. By reverse-engineering mechanics in Civilization III, Alex showed skill and was recruited to join Firaxis. He now works as an AI and Gameplay Programmer on Old World.

Tom Whittaker

Tom Whittaker

Graphics Programmer

Tom began his career at Microprose Software before moving to EA. He eventually joined Firaxis as Lead Graphics Programmer on Civilization IV and is now Senior Engineer at Mohawk Games. With limited game time,Tom loves strategy games like XCOM and is a keen runner.

Derrick Man

Derrick Man

UI Programmer

Derrick is a Brooklynite who grew up playing Age of Empires and Civilization. With a Masters in Public Policy and interest in economics, Derrick thrived in Offworld Trading Company’s competitive community, eventually joining Mohawk Games to design scenarios for Offworld and improving the UI in Old World.

Jason Pastrana

Jason Pastrana

Lead Concept Artist | UI

Jason attended the Maryland Institute College of Art where he learned Illustration and 3D Art. Working at companies like Disney and Firaxis, Jason eventually came to Mohawk Games to produce gorgeous character portraits. Jason is also a talented lawn-whisperer who can identify lawn issues at a glance.

Mark Shahan

Mark Shahan

Lead 3D Artist

Mark has 25 years of experience in the industry. He previously worked on Sid Meier’s Pirates and Civilization IV. Moving onto ZeniMax Online Studios, he worked on Elder Scrolls Online and is now Lead Artist at Mohawk Games. Beyond work, Mark loves making things including knives, tattoos, and more!

Mustafa Thamer

Mustafa Thamer

Technology Director

Mustafa is a veteran in the games industry field with over 20 years of experience including roles as programmer, team lead, and development manager. Mustafa is now Technical Director at Mohawk Games and also enjoys martial arts, working out and spending time with his family.