Episodes
Ted chats with his long-time colleague, Marcus Smith. Together they discuss their history at Insomniac Games; his experiences on the Resistance series and Sunset Overdrive; being a creative director; how to build consensus and foster collaboration on big projects; and the challenges the team faced on Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. Smith is a Creative Director at Insomniac Games for Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. He has also worked on Marvel's Spider-Man, the Resistance series, and Sunset...
Published 07/12/21
Ted chats with Harry Krueger about their recently released game Returnal. They discuss how Housemarque embraced an organic creative process, what effect their gameplay design decisions had on the procedural construction and combat, keeping the arcade spirit alive, and about the challenge of randomness.  Krueger is a Game Director at Housemarque best known for his work on Returnal and Nex Machina. He has also been a part of the development of titles such as Resogun, Alienation, Outland, and...
Published 07/06/21
Austin chats with Composer Brian D'Oliveira about his music "laboratory," starting his career and learning to have zero limitations, his unique improvisational approach to composing, creating the soundtrack of his childhood in Papo & YO, and about his most recent work on the Resident Evil franchise.  Brian is an award winning composer best known for his work on several best-selling titles including Papo & YO, Shadow of the Tomb Raider; Tearaway, Resident Evil 7, and the recent...
Published 06/28/21
Ted chats with Hazelight's Josef Fares about his move from film directing to game development, their focus on delivering gameplay variety, their dedication to two-player coop experiences, and the pros and cons of replayability.  Fares is the founder, writer, and director of Hazelight Studios, who are best known for A Way Out and the recently released It Takes Two. Josef also helped develop Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons for Starbreeze Studios; and was a celebrated film director prior to his...
Published 06/21/21
Robin Hunicke chats with Arshea Bimal about her first big break into games; the journey of a producer in the industry; working on systems that help increase diversity and inclusion in design; making sure everyone on the team has a voice; and what she hopes to accomplish in the future. Arshea is a producer at Funomena and was previously a software engineer trainee at Zynga. Arshea was also selected as an WomenIn Scholar by the AIAS Foundation. Follow our Twitter @Official_AIAS or visit...
Published 06/14/21
The #DICEAwards is an annual awards celebration by game makers for game makers, honoring the games that connect us around the globe. Listen to our extended roundtable conversations from the 24th Annual #DICEAwards, moderated by Spawn on Me's Kahlief Adams, with candid conversations and insights from the nominees for Role-Playing Game of the Year. The nominees this year included: Cyberpunk 2077, FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE, Persona 5 Royal, Wasteland 3, Yakuza: Like a Dragon.
Published 06/10/21
Austin chats with composer Lena Raine about starting her games career as a designer and not in music, releasing a solo album, how Celeste changed her career trajectory, and being yourself on social media while using it as a productive communication tool. Raine is an award-winning & BAFTA-nominated composer most well-known for her work on Celeste, Minecraft, and Guild Wars 2. She also releases electronic music under the name Kuraine, as well as her own solo music such as her debut album...
Published 06/07/21
Ted Price chats with Moon Studios founders Thomas Mahler and Gennadiy Korol. Together they discuss the Ori series, Moon Studios' culture and approach around remote development, creating a workplace of respectful honesty and openness, and how to make a flat hierarchy work. Thomas and Gennadiy are the co-founders of Moon Studios, the development studio behind Ori and the Blind Forest and its sequel Ori and the Will of the Wisps.
Published 05/31/21
Robin chats with Chelsea Blasko about her path to the games industry, organic growth and diversity in projects and partners, finding the confidence to make decisions, the importance of feedback and support, and how culture and values can help a studio come together.  Chelsea is the Co-CEO & Partner of Iron Galaxy Studios, who are best known for developing Killer Instinct, Divekick, and the recent Extinction. They have also helped studios finish and port titles, with over 60 games shipped...
Published 05/25/21
Ted chats with David Cage about maintaining balance at an independent studio while juggling multiple roles, his philosophy on writing and directing video games, Quantic Dream's new publishing arm, and what they look for when evaluating pitches from independent developers. David Cage founded Quantic Dream in 1997. The studio has released several award winning titles including Detroit: Become Human, Beyond: Two Souls, and Heavy Rain. They also began to publish titles such as Jo-Mei's Sea of...
Published 05/17/21
Ted Price chats with Jonathan Blow about the personal nature of game development; the intricacies of puzzle design and what it means to players; creating his own programming language; ways the games industry can improve moving forward; and what's next on the horizon for him and Thekla. Jonathan Blow is an independent game designer and programmer, most notable for creating Braid and The Witness. Follow us on Twitter @Official_AIAS, Facebook or visit us at interactive.org.
Published 05/09/21
Robin chats with Dr. Mitu Khandaker about her games industry journey, helping found Spirit AI, teaching, building games rooted in diverse cultural experiences, representation issues in the games industry, and ways to financially support creators of color. Dr. Khandaker is CEO & co-founder of Glow Up Games. She is also Assistant Arts Professor at the NYU Game Center, teaching game design and development. She holds a PhD on designing games for immersive interfaces, and a background in...
Published 05/03/21
Ted Price chats with Lorne Lanning about their long running Oddworld franchise, the distributed development the studio implemented to create the latest entry, how to retain and expand what fans loved about the previous titles, the importance of patient storytelling, the advantage of hiring generalists over specialists, and the impact of monetization to the future of the games industry. Lanning is the Co-Founder & Creative Director of Oddworld Inhabitants, the studio behind the recent...
Published 04/28/21
Robin chats with Kimberly Voll about how her career, working on the player behavior team at Riot Games, how to empower developers to improve player communities, how competitive high stakes moments affect how we interact, and the difficulty of building a studio from the ground up.  Voll is the Co-Founder of Stray Bombay and the Fair Play Alliance. She is focused on the intersection of human behavior and games. Prior, she was a principle game designer and Head of Player Dynamics at Riot Games.
Published 04/19/21
Ted Price chats with Naughty Dog's Evan Wells about his path towards the games industry, Naughty Dog's early years, their studio culture, thoughts on leadership and studio growth, their approach to storytelling and how they've raised the stakes over the years. Evan Wells is the Co-President of Naughty Dog, which has developed several successful and beloved game series including Crash Bandicoot, Jak and Daxter, Uncharted, and The Last of Us. Follow our Twitter @Official_AIAS or visit...
Published 04/12/21
Ted Price chats with Gearbox Entertainment Founder Randy Pitchford about the history of Gearbox and the lessons learned along the way, the genesis of Borderlands, Gearbox's unique approach to publishing, and Randy's life long love of magic.  Randy Pitchford is a video game industry veteran of more than 25 years and founder of the Gearbox Entertainment Company, which develops and publishes award-winning and best-selling video games, including the original franchises Borderlands and Brothers...
Published 04/05/21
Ted chats with writer Erik Wolpaw about his career on Old Man Murray and Gamespot, his career path into development at Double Fine and Valve, collaborating between writing and development teams, pressures of creating sequels to beloved games, and how to help young devs enter the games industry. Wolpaw is a writer best known for his work at Double Fine on the Psychonauts series and Valve where he worked on several titles including Half-Life 2, Portal series, Left 4 Dead, and the recent...
Published 03/29/21
Ted and Jörg Neumann discuss how Jörg got involved with the Flight Simulator franchise, how the team at Asobo Studio implemented Bing Maps into the sim, the details behind Flight Simulator's procedural generation, adding depth and detail to the world by increasing the project scope, and how the audience for Flight Simulator stretches from children to professional pilots.  Along with Microsoft Flight SImulator, Jörg is credited on Alan Wake, Killer Instinct, Age of Empires, Quantum Break, and...
Published 03/15/21
Austin chats with Jesper Kyd about discovering his talent for music and love of video games, his start with the European demoscene, working with his first orchestra for Hitman, collaborating with Ubisoft to launch the Assassin’s Creed series, game music impact, and returning to Assassin’s Creed with Valhalla. Jesper is a BAFTA winner, MTV VMA nominee, and 2-time D.I.C.E. Awards finalist. He is best known for Assassin’s Creed I & II, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, Hitman 1-4, and the Borderland
Published 03/01/21
Ted chats with Matt Nava about Giant Squid's work on ABZÛ and The Pathless, what led him to the VFX industry and his first big break, the difficulties of taking too much on when starting your own studio, establishing a studio culture and dealing with conflict, what being indie means now vs a decade ago, and how to emphasize elegant design in a game experience. Nava is the Founder and Creative Director of Giant Squid. He also previously worked as the Art Director on thatgamecompany's Flower...
Published 02/15/21
Ted chats with Ubisoft's Clint Hocking about the societal commentary behind Watch Dogs: Legion, how the world around us is changing and how Legion reflects this, the inspiration behind Legion's feature that lets players take control of any character they meet in the game, and Clint's advice to aspiring creative directors.  Hocking is the Creative Director behind 2020's Watch Dogs: Legion. He has also worked on Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell,  Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, and Far Cry...
Published 01/29/21
Robin Hunicke chats with Derek Yu, creator of Spelunky 1 & 2. Together they discuss how Derek got started designing games in his youth, the difficulty of marketing small games, the joy of online creative communities, the finer points of game pricing, thinking about game development in physical terms, and the limitless potential of games. Yu is an American indie game designer, artist, and blogger. He is known for a number of indie games he helped design: Spelunky 1& 2, Aquaria, and...
Published 01/25/21
Robin chats with Jesse Schell to discuss how his work in gamedev keeps him up to date as an educator, Schell Games’ exploration into VR, VR’s 10 million problem, and the importance of taking initiative and using all of the advantages to begin your career. Schell is the founder and CEO of Schell Games as well as a Distinguished Professor of the Practice of Entertainment Technology at Carnegie Mellon. Schell Games creates a variety of award-winning games like Until You Fall and I Expect You To...
Published 01/18/21
Austin chats with Jack Wall about starting his career with Treyarch Audio Director Brian Tuey; working with his wife on several projects; life lessons from bartending; his work on Mass Effect; and the lasting impact the revered music agent Cheryl Tiano (who recently passed away) had in his life and career.  Jack is known as an ASCAP award-winning and AIAS and BAFTA nominated composer for his work on Bioware's Jade Empire and the Mass Effect series as well as for the Call of Duty: Black Ops...
Published 01/11/21