The Business

The name showed up in 2007 or 2008, a joke at the time in the Stratton household. It remained such for years, dormant until 2020, when Colin decided that the fledgling game design business that he had begun with his close friend/surrogate brother Ken Zieres would claim the title. 

Colin and Ken had worked together at a local computer repair business for several years. They met through that company in 2011 and quickly took a liking to one another. Their families became close as well, and they began hanging out on a regular basis. In 2018, Colin told Ken he dreamt of having his name on a game box, and had been mulling over the idea for a cooperative multiplayer card game that needed polishing. He told Ken all about it, and together they started work on what became unofficially known as Project: Nylon, named because nylon is versatile and used for many things, which fit the idea of the game well. Colin wanted to make something that could be played over and over without becoming boring or predictable, that could be played by multiple people, and that could be "stretched out" with the potential addition of expansions and additions. 

Project: Nylon went through many iterations and changes as the two worked on it. As COVID began making it more dangerous for large groups to get together for regular game nights at their local hobby and gaming shop, they dedicated their weekday gaming session to instead working to complete Project: Nylon by working out the kinks and defining the rules. Because playtesting within a larger in-person group was impossible, given quarantine restrictions, they moved the game onto Tabletop Simulator and brought in a small, reliable group of online playtesters. Once restrictions had been eased, they brought alpha versions of the game to game shops in Keokuk, Iowa; Quincy, Illinois; and Hannibal, Missouri. Rave reviews from players gave them the encouragement to continue on, and the first "hard copy" of the game was printed via an online publisher in late 2020 so they could get a good idea of exactly how it would look.

Meanwhile, Colin's ever-working brain had come up with several other card game ideas, with the intention of submitting one to the Solo Duo Challenge in 2021 and possibly self-publishing the second. It was decided that they needed to come up with some kind of name for their company, and so it became named Happy Zombie Studio.

The Creators

Colin Stratton

Colin was born in Lincoln, Maine, the last of four children. From an early age, he was instilled with a love of gaming - his mother, Ellie, loved board and card games, and his father, Carter, loved running sessions of Dungeons & Dragons for the family. He grew up participating in the performing arts through the public school system, as did his older siblings. In sixth grade, as part of a book report, Colin created his first board game. It was undoubtedly a sign of greater things to come. By the time he got to Lee Academy, his high school, he had participated in choirs, bands, orchestras, tap dance, theater, math team, cross country, and skiing - a well-rounded geek. 

In 2005, he moved to Quincy, Illinois. In 2007 he graduated from John Wood Community College with an associate's in arts, majoring in English. He ran and played in multiple D&D-based gaming groups with numerous close friends and roommates. After meeting Ken in 2011, he and his family became involved in a weekly gaming session together with another family. 

Colin currently works in manufacturing high-power television and radio transmitters and lives with his wife and four kids in Quincy, Illinois.

Kenneth Zieres

Ken was born in Anaheim, California but was raised all over the state along with his blended family, a total of five sisters and two brothers. His love of roleplaying games started early; he first played the Robotech RPG in high school (when he also ran his first game) and found himself hooked. Over the last 25 years that he has loved gaming, he has become involved in dozens of RPGs and video games, including Dungeons & Dragons, Whitewolf, Hong Kong Action Theater, James Bond, BESM (Big Eyes, Small Mouth), and many more. Since then, Ken has been an avid MMORPG and tabletop gamer, plays in regular gaming groups, and enjoys a number of card games (collectible and otherwise) as well as Heroclix.

After graduating from high school, Ken attended a technical school in Anaheim. He received his A+ certification in computer repair, which has been his calling for the last decade. He began playing World of Warcraft while in California, and it was there that he met his current significant other. 

Ken moved to Quincy, Illinois in 2009. He currently lives there with his girlfriend and three kids, two of whom are grown. He is also proudly the father of two kids who live outside of Illinois.