It's a rainy morning at the Idea Foundry makerspace in Franklinton. In a small, narrow office on the first floor, employees of Multivarious Games (MVG) sit at faux-wood folding tables set up like workstations. Fans whir to mitigate the A/C-less mugginess.

It's a rainy morning at the Idea Foundry makerspace in Franklinton. In a small, narrow office on the first floor, employees of Multivarious Games (MVG) sit at faux-wood folding tables set up like workstations. Fans whir to mitigate the A/C-less mugginess.

While the nature of a giant warehouse containing inventors, craftsmen and artists means the work environment will rarely be silent, the high-pitched whine of drills and various booms and clatter emanating from the second floor are particularly loud today. But for MVG CEO Chris Volpe, the noise is exciting: Construction workers are preparing the space for his startup, which has become the leading game developer in Columbus.

Though Volpe has early memories of playing ColecoVision and Nintendo, he didn't intend to make video games his occupation. He initially pursued architecture at Kent State, then switched to fine art photography at Ohio State and later earned a dual master's degree in public health and health administration.

While taking grad courses and working at Ohio State, Volpe got involved with making an app, so he went to a meeting of the Central Ohio Gamedev Group (COGG) to look for developers. "I saw these really passionate, excited people," Volpe said. "I thought, you know what, it makes more sense for me to join them."

Volpe began attending COGG meetings and met Devin Moore and Wesley Adams, who founded Multivarious Games, which was intended as a way for COGG developers to bring their products to market. But MVG wasn't living up to its potential, so in 2012 MVG brought Volpe on as chief operating officer to help organize the company (on top of his grad-school workload and a full-time job).

After Moore stepped away from Multivarious, Volpe became CEO. Then, when Volpe lost his OSU job in late 2013, he decided to begin 2014 by cashing in his retirement and committing himself to MVG full time.

MVG now has five full-time employees in addition to Volpe, plus part-timers and interns. They help Multivarious do three things: create its own games, make games for clients and build community.

Volpe's job is to find the right balance between client work, such as a therapy game MVG developed for Nationwide Children's Hospital in which kids with muscular dystrophy squish spiders and collect gems, and the company's own games, like the puzzle adventure Hatch-It! (available in Apple's App Store).

All the while, Volpe doesn't want to neglect COGG. "MVG grew out of being a community endeavor. We would not exist without COGG," he said. "If that was not there, I wouldn't have the six people who come in on Monday and Wednesday nights to help us for free."

In October, MVG will also put on the fourth annual GDEX, a gaming expo at COSI with more than 100 exhibitors showcasing games and an expected attendance of 5,000.

"When I was a kid, only nerds played video games," Volpe said. "[Now] there are things that games are doing that no other creative, artistic story medium can do."

In addition to being a creative endeavor, games also "are involved in every tech sector you can think of: cyber security, artificial intelligence, simulations," Volpe said. "A game like 'Pokemon Go,' they have tens of millions of concurrent users online at the same time. They need the highest level of internet IT infrastructure."

According to Volpe, in terms of money, the gaming industry is bigger than the music and movie industries combined, times two. And yet right now, to be in the video game industry, Volpe said developers have to leave Ohio. With Multivarious Games, Volpe hopes that before long, those developers will be able to stay put.