Prey 2 has been one of the most rewarding projects I’ve worked on yet.  Human Head Studios is different than other AAA developers.  The team’s small in comparison to others (50+ vs. 100-300+), but can still create leading-edge game experiences.  The owners and managers all contribute with the same level of enthusiasm and work-ethic as the rest of the crew.  Everyone gets their hands dirty with fresh ideas.

Because of this, Prey 2 has really evolved into something beyond a typical sequel.  It pushes past the previous formula and offers more player choice and free-roam adventures.  While there’s been some criticism it deviates too far from the original premise (a Cherokee auto mechanic who’s abducted by aliens and has to use his spirit powers, navigate portals, and gravity puzzles to save Earth), the sequel’s story is fully immersed in the Prey universe.

The original protagonist Tommy acts as a mentor, conspirator, and informant for the new protagonist Killian Samuels (an air marshal abducted during the same invasion as Tommy, but sold into alien slavery to eventually find freedom on the far off world Exodus, where he’s become a successful bounty hunter tracking down alien scum in Central City).

My responsibilities for Prey 2 involved creating three distinct city boroughs with the rest of the level and art team, while managing and designing the spread and variety of points-of-interest found in them.  Unlike most game levels where the player travels across a fairly horizontal plane, Central City needed to support vertical exploration at any moment.  To top that off, it’s a truly open world – the player can explore almost any location inside the city.

I also took the initiative to shape the game menus and user experience ranging from interactive world maps as well as different controller schemes.

As with any company I’ve worked with, I’ve helped improve the creative toolset for building and managing the complex game world.  The less time it takes to place an idea on a canvas, the more time you have to explore and improve it.

More Prey 2 details are on Wikipedia.

Developer
Human Head Studios
Time on project

  • October 2009 – October 2011

Roles

  • LEAD LEVEL DESIGNER
  • Game Design
  • Technical Design
  • UI and User-Experience Design

Responsibilities

Designed and created compelling game locales with incentives to revisit them. Ensured world continuity and believability within project needs. Maintained asset integrity and performance across all levels. Provided agile team management and adaptive schedules to help 55+ team realize their vision!

Directed and designed new toolsets for managing massive content. Improved pipelines for confident team sharing. Resolved conflicts before they impacted the project. Always seeking ways to remove technical hurdles and increase team creativity!

Always considering the User Experience and Player Investment with constant competitive product evaluation for future trends and expectations. Took the initiative to design the In-Game and Front End Menus. Co-Managed the UI Dept.

E3 2011 Nominations

  • Best Action Game – GameCriticsAwards.com
  • Game of the Show – Gamespot.com
  • Best Action Game, Xbox, and Shooter – Gamespot.com
  • Best Xbox Game – Gamespot.com
  • Best Shooter – Gamespot.com
  • Best Shooter – G4tv.com
  • Best Xbox Game – IGN.com
  • Best PS3 Game – IGN.com
  • Best PC Game – IGN.com
  • Best Shooter – IGN.com

Articles

twitter