Executive Summary:

  • Graduated UT with a BA in Radio Television and Film (emphasis on production and writing)
  • Started as a designer at Fever Pitch Studios
  • ... which became Warthog, TX and finally Gizmondo Studios Texas
  • Started at Amaze Austin aka Fizz Factor, a Division of Foundation 9

The Long Version:

I graduated from UT with a BA in Radio Television and Film. Prior to that I was a computer science student. I was drawn to writing and storytelling however and switched majors halfway through. At the time, there was nothing resembling a game design degree, but I think the path I took nicely approximated one. The sum total of that experience, however, led to my employment with Fever Pitch Studios as a designer. My experience as a writer as well as my technical knowledge of programming helped me a great deal in this new position. I helped craft stories and worlds for various RPGs and RTS pitches we sent out. I also wrote the scripts and in-game cinematic moments for our various milestone submissions.

During the work on the Lord of the Rings RPG Shadows of Mordor, I was responsible for generating a great deal of the story (through a tremendous amount of Tolkien research) as well as generating many of the maps in our custom editor.  I was also chiefly responsible for maintaining the Game Design Suite, which was a suite of documents all regarding the design and data of Shadows of Mordor.  At its pinnacle, the printed document stuffed a 3 inch binder fairly completely.

As we transitioned from Fever Pitch to Warthog TX, we lost the contract for the Lord of the Rings RPG.  I began working on a console title as well as creating missions and story for Conquest 2.  At this point, we had hired a former screenwriter Wynne McLaughlin as a designer.  He was a tremendous help in generating story beats for the missions and I learned a great deal with him on the team.

At the close of Gizmondo, I moved into a new arena of handheld development, one less mired in controversy with a more established market base. Amaze was a branch of studios under Foundation 9 that worked on titles for the Nintentdo DS. And there, as a level designer, I worked in Maya to create fully 3D environments as well as script puzzles and encounters for The Legend of Spyro:The Eternal Night DS. After that, I moved into scripting enemy AIs including boss battles in The Incredible Hulk DS. Finally, I was lucky enough to be one of the designers on The Tale of Despereaux DS, which is the second highest movie licensed title for the DS platform.

Closing in now on seven years of work as a game designer, I've done just about every task imaginable in game design. I've created pitches, design documents, design wikis, scripted in-game cinematics, mission scripts, created 3D levels, scripted enemy AIs, built boss battles and boss AIs, even created physics puzzles. I've worked on PC games, console games and handheld games.

So far, it's my favorite job and one to which I am passionately devoted. Every title as afforded me the opportunity to learn something new. And each time I create a game, I gain a new skill, sharpen my focus and hone my design principles.