Friday, January 25, 2008

Part One: Ratatouille to God of War 3? Say What!?!

I’ve been at SCEA Studios Santa Monica for roughly 5 months now learning my role as a Combat Designer. I say “learning” because that’s exactly what I’ve been given the opportunity to do. Before I get into this a bit more, let me briefly detail what my previous and first design position entailed at Heavy Iron Studios, a division of THQ Inc:

SpongeBob Squarepants The Movie:

Placing breakables
Creation of breakable/crate puzzles

Joel Goodsell, the Lead Designer of SpongeBob Squarepants The Movie, is an established game design veteran who gave me my first “shot” at a design role. Currently, he’s one of the heavy hitters at Insomniac Games. Thanks, Joel.

Incredibles 2: Rise of the Underminer

· Responsible for scripting and progression of the enemy “waves” for three arena levels

This was my first game in a full time designer role. No actual “combat” design here. Just pure wave behavior and some dabbling into level design by introducing some interactive set pieces that enhanced the battles.

  • Tons of pre-production mechanics test level building
  • Tons of pre-production mini-game building
  • Prototyped a chase level ala Crash Bandicoot chase levels
  • Production: Responsible for creating missions within one of the worlds

No geometry building; just layering missions onto already designed environments (platforming missions no less, so you could imagine retrofitting these kinds of missions into already designed environments. Yikes! But I digress.)

As you can see, no combat design experience whatsoever. So how do I currently find myself in such a specialized role as a Combat Designer on God of War 3? Two words: Street Fighter.

Part 2 coming soon.

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