Rift World
   Asheron's Call 2
About Me


About Me

I'm just going to talk a little bit about myself so you can get a better idea of why I desire to be a game designer and how I have worked in the past.

I've been interested in games since I was young and I can remember trips to the arcade to play Pac-Man and Pole Position before I ever got my Commodore 64 and Nintendo Entertainment System. Almost as long as I've been playing games, I've been thinking of ways to make games. At first I used games as a creative outlet for my narrative ideas, I later found other narrative outlets like comics and film, and over the last 7 years I have been thinking more of the actual 'game' aspect of game design.


As anyone who knows me and who also plays games can attest, I've got plenty of ideas about game design and I am always willing to expound upon why I think "this worked", "that sucked", or "they should have done this." Many gamers can be heard saying similar things but I like to go further and discover the reasoning behind my perceptions. If something worked, why did it work and if it didn't, what was it that went wrong. I use this analytical behavior to add to my own library of game design tricks and traps in addition to grabbing ideas and inspiration from sources beyond gaming. My own personal design philosophy would probably take quite a while to explain in detail, but in short it is to keep the player occupied. When someone starts up a game they need to be occupied with some gaming distraction otherwise why would they start the game in the first place. The more unique, inventive, rewarding, and substantial the distraction, the more likely the player will enjoy it and want to return later. The best example I can give of this as it relates to my own work is in my Neverwinter Nights mod, City of Wonders. When the player starts the game they begin with a simple objective of making a life for their character who has recently been released from an orphanage. The player gets some advice on how this can be done from various NPCs and is sent on his or her way. The city beyond the orphanage is full of small distractions, one of them being the player's meeting with an employment agent at the center of town. While engaging in this mundane activity the town center comes to life as the Archmage of the land begins performing a magic demonstration. The player turns to watch, but just as the mage is about to begin his grand finale, it begins to rain. Citizens go running as they realize something is wrong as the weather in the city is controlled by high-tech machinery and was supposed to be set to clear skies. Suddenly the simplicity of making a living is somewhat complicated and the player's experience becomes more interesting.


My process can vary depending on the job and my position. For instance, when I work alone I tend to produce less documentation than I need and when I work with others I tend to produce more documentation than is required. I prefer working with others mainly because of the benefit of being able to bounce ideas off of people and to be inspired by other's work, and also because it frees me up to worry about details. I enjoy paying attention to details and I can do it while maintaining a tight schedule. For me it's not enough to just accept that an object or creature exists somewhere, I want to know why it exists. I find that if I approach area and quest design in such a manner that the end result comes out feeling much more organic and interesting. When working alone I often have to be concerned with the big picture so much that the little things just aren't top priority. I enjoy collaboration and group dynamics wherever possible.


There really isn't much more I can think to say about myself. Personally speaking, I am a very easy going person. I have strong opinions but I always try to see things from other people's points of view. At first glance, I am not the most vocal or outgoing person in the world, I tend to be an observer, but when I am comfortable in a situation or with a person I like to contribute as much as I can to any conversation. Anyway, I guess that's all.

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