[Electronic Arts] Level Design & Art (2000-2004)
Most of my time at EA, I worked on the James Bond franchise for consoles.
The most recent Bond game I worked on was 007: James Bond - Everything or Nothing (EoN). This was the first game that I was able to begin my transition from artist to designer. I had great mentors and I describe the move here on my blog.
Before EoN, I worked on a driving-specific team for James Bond 007: Nightfire at EA's Redwood Shores office, and together with the help of Savage Entertainment in L.A. we managed to pull off some memorable driving levels. For some strange reason, this is the Bond game people remember the most and I get asked about it all the time. I try to point them to "Everything or Nothing" but they insist they loved Nightfire better.
In the summer of 2000 I made the journey back to Electronic Art’s Redwood City, CA headquarters for a second internship while finishing school. In that time, I picked up work on several titles at the studio including James Bond 007: The World is Not Enough for N64 and Playstation. Some of my work on the game can be seen in the mission briefing sequences showing 2D and 3D elements such as wireframes of locations, shiny 3D objects spinning and character dossier assets.
Level Designer [Crystal Dynamics] (2006)
I worked as a principal level designer on Tomb Raider Legend. The re-imagining of Lara and her story for the seventh Tomb Raider in the TR franchise resulted a critical and commercial comeback after a succession of "less-than-well-received" TR games. To reboot the franchise, the aim was to make Lara more "human" and less like an objectified virtual female puppet.
We developed a movement system and accompanying level design to allow players to actualize a more agile freedom of movement.
Feature Producer [Maxis/ EA] (2004)
I was fortunate to get to work at MAXIS’ studio while they were STILL in Walnut Creek, CA (before they were consolidated into EA’s headquarters in Redwood City.) At MAXIS was given a position as a Feature Producer on “The Sims 2.” Will Wright is a game designer who I admire very much, and working at that independently minded studio, full of talented and diverse developers was an incredible opportunity that I valued a great deal and still look back on very fondly to this day.
Senior Designer [Factor 5] (2007)
When people talk to me about Lair, they most often like to discuss the critical reception it received and the controversial response of the executive developers. Lair was an ambitious game and Factor 5 along with Sony spent a good amount of effort to make it something new and original. The game certainly had a rich and interesting world and narrative with stunning visuals to boot. Most of the studio agreed that the mandatory requirement that players use of the six-axis controller at launch was a mistake - and so did the game community at large. The six-axis controls lacked the precision that players and critics wanted - a heart-breaking practical lesson for the studio.
I worked as a modeler and a level designer on James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing for the Playstation 2, Xbox and Nintendo Gamecube.
Lead Designer [SGN] (2008)
At SGN, I initiated a partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation to release a socially networked game that tied real-world altruism into the game-play. I wanted to make a game where players could enjoy themselves AND help foster actual, positive change.
The studio committed to donate up to $50,000 of the game revenue (the equivalent of 50,000 trees) to the Arbor Day Foundation. The more people played, the more went to planting new trees. The game explicitly showed the players the exact numbers of trees they had 'planted' as individuals, and as a group of friends, and of course the entire audience. Scores were able to be quantified in the form of "total trees planted."
[EA] Artist (1999)
A year or so into my course-work in art school, I had established a preliminary portfolio that landed me an internship with Electronic Arts, as an artist intern for “Road Rash: Jailbreak!” My first role in the commercial game industry.