Posted tagged ‘introduction’

Introductions All Around

November 13, 2008

Okay, what’s this all about?

In this blog I write — far too occasionally — about artificial intelligence, game design, virtual worlds, massively multiplayer online games, social games, and a variety of usually related subjects.  I welcome topical, respectful discussion.

My background: I’m a Professor of Practice and the Director of the Game Design program in the Media School at Indiana University, in Bloomington, Indiana (my faculty page). I’ve been here for three years, and some days am still surprised I live in the Midwest.

Prior to coming to IU, I worked in the games industry for more than twenty years. I was the Creative Director at Rumble Entertainment, and a General Manager at Kabam prior to that. In both companies I was able to learn a great deal and try out new directions in free-to-play games.

Before that, I ran Online Alchemy, a small games and research company in Austin Texas for nine years. This company specialized in online games, particularly those with a virtual world component.  We did a lot of work on advanced social AI for games and simulations, including working for several years with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Before founding Online Alchemy in 2002, I worked for Electronic Arts for three years as a Senior Game Designer, leading game designs for several projects including SimCity Online, The Sims 2, and Ultima Online.  Prior to that I co-founded and was the Chief Creative Officer for The Big Network, an early family-oriented social networking company.  There I designed and produced several Java-based games, and in 1998 designed our primary product, MyPlace.   Before The Big Network I was one of the co-founders of Archetype Interactive (started in 1994, acquired in 1996), where I was the lead designer on Meridian 59, the first 3D massively multiplayer online game (MMOG).

Before getting into games I worked in software engineering, primarily in developing 2D and 3D CAD systems, and in user interface design and user-centered design for medical and scientific visualization systems.  In the early 1990s I designed the user interface for the first 3D visualization system used in the operating room by neurosurgeons.

I have a BS in cogntive science and have done graduate work in AI (expert systems, neural networks, genetic algorithms, etc.)