By Brian McKelvey
A bit about me:
I was five years old when I picked up a video game controller for the first time. Right then, something changed in me immediately. It didn’t matter if I was using the controller to make Pitfall Harry jump over a hole in the ground, or to direct a Missile Command to destroy the Evil Empire’s nukes, or lead a pixel on an Adventure, I was hooked. A few years later I was introduced to PC gaming via the Apple ][e. Karateka, Lode Runner, and Prince of Persia became my games of choice. The NES followed with Super Mario Bros., Metroid, Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out, and Zelda consuming my time away from school, and even my time at school discussing strategies and maps and rumors.
In 2006 I started my first job in the video game industry. I was going to work in QA on a new game that Electronic Arts Redwood Shores (EARS) was making, The Godfather. This was exciting, as I already loved the Godfather novel and films and had read/watched them multiple times. I couldn’t wait to see how they adapted it to a game and spoiler alert – it’s actually quite decent, the second one not so much. This led to a decade long career in game development working at Electronic Arts, Sony Computer Entertainment America , Xfire, Namco, LucasArts, Trion Worlds, Inc., and Visceral Games.
What I hope to do here is give a perspective from a fan and from someone that knows how the sausage is made along with sharing some stories of different games I have been involved in the production of (for example, the original design for Star Wars Force Unleashed II included a multiplayer component that would have been a QTE mode where each player pressed one button in the sequence, until it was pointed out that this was online gaming and the ability to grief will always override design). I look forward to writing about games and the gaming environment in 2018.