I didn’t originally join Destineer to work on Six Days in Fallujah (SDIF). After Turok I wanted to contribute to projects that had a longer shelf life than two months. I found that with Destineer’s new sister studio in Raleigh, NC. It was focused on Serious Games.
The first project was Judgmental Shooting Simulator (JSS) — a program used to help government agencies like the FBI and CIA deal with dangerous situations. The second project was code-named Magic Bullet — a fictional espionage game, but grounded in reality with assistance directly from the CIA for authenticity.
The experience of our Raleigh team was getting noticed by Destineer’s home studio near Minneapolis. At first, several of our senior members were flown there to consult, support, and become familiar with SDIF. The title had been in production for two years already, building technology from the ground up. SDIF eventually eclipsed Magic Bullet when the company President transferred the project to the Raleigh studio. The majority of Minneapolis studio was asked to move to Raleigh and join the JSS team to complete SDIF.
The project was quietly becoming a stand-out title within the tactical shooter genre. It was going to offer something more than a typical gun-fest with interviews, lessons, and real world strategy. The topic proved to be too controversial at the time, however. The publisher Konami dropped the project which subsequently caused it to be put on hold indefinitely.
Before I took over the campaign an attempt was made at making each level and day a literal account of what happened. This proved to be too academic for the experience. My approach was to take various real life moments in the real locations and wrap them around a fictional Fire Team. All tactics, methods, and larger events would remain authentic. The sheer amount of details, recollections, and photo reference that went into making this as accurate as possible was staggering.
I helped a fantastic team of dedicated and talented people balance true stories with moment-to-moment action and fear. Before the project ended, I felt we were going release a respectful, truthful, emotional experience that went beyond the common, big budget games you find today.
More public details are on Wikipedia.
Time on project
- August 2007 – August 2009
- LEAD CAMPAIGN DESIGNER
- Technical Design
Designed game progression (story, mission, enemy, weapons, and gameplay types) with meaningful, intuitive, and escalating content encompassing real-world events.
Directed, mentored, and assisted other designers with level production. Simultaneously managed multiple goals and teams across multiple studios. Assisted and created design department schedules. Helped guide 75+ team to implement short and long-term scenarios. Endeavored to provide a positive work place with open communication.
Re-directed core tools suite, game scripting features, and mission management, improving production quality and creativity.