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Sr. Designer David Feltham chronicles his journey to working on the sequel to Mass Effect.

Posted by stenchy on Jun 22nd, 2009

Senior Designer David Feltham has a four parts series going up on the Bioware Blog. It summarizes his journey into Bioware's offices and what exactly he does there:

Feltham wrote:I’d love to tell you that I worked hard on learning Unreal, made lots of maps, created a ton of Neverwinter Nights maps and modded the hell out of some engine. I’d love to tell you that it was this that helped me get a job in the industry and that if you keep it up you too will join us in the fray. But this isn’t the case. In fact, my ass in this seat at BioWare, working on Mass Effect 2, the sequel to the number one game of all time on the Xbox 360, is due to equal parts Luck, Networking and Determination.

Although it isn't a modding 'rags to riches' kind of story. It's an interesting read from the perspective of someone who started our in broadcast design. Bioware has been hiring a ton of cinematic designers lately, picking up a couple of the lads from Lit Fuse (remember the ME2 teaser?) and the infamous Monkey Junkie (congrats!). They are part of the communal level design process David details in part 3:

Feltham wrote:A level at BioWare, and specifically on Mass Effect, starts with a writer’s rough overview for the plot. After everyone involved with the level (artist, Level Designer, cinematic designer, cutscene artist and writer) are in agreement with, on paper, what will happen on the level, the Level Designer takes that and begins to craft the level. Sometimes a sketch is made in the meeting, other times not. But the narrative playable, the 3D version of what was discussed in that writer’s overview, is the goal: show how the level looks, show me how the mission is paced, and show me where the conversation and combats happen. And if this is approved, then everything evolves from this.

To read all three parts released so far, hit up these links:

The Long Road to BioWare: A Designer’s Origin Story

Post comment Comments
spellman23 Jun 22 2009 says:

awesome. will go read now.

It's interesting actually how few make the mod 'rags to riches' story. Most straight up climb the corporate ladder. A huge chunk work on doomed projects that never release before they get themselves a desk job at a company. Perhaps the awesomeness of the mod 'rags to riches' story is that it's a rare, singular experience and due to the close ties of the modding community that when the notables rise from the ashes they are adored forevermore.

At the end of the day, experience is great but "Luck, Networking and Determination" are what make people great.

+1 vote     reply to comment
myles Jun 22 2009 says:

Part 3 is a broken link, shame.
Part 1 and 2 were very interesting though, I do think though, when you look at it, there no luck in there, its all down to his hard work and determination, not some random person phone calling him giving him a job.

+1 vote     reply to comment
ninjadave Jun 22 2009 replied: +1 vote     reply to comment
stenchy Author
stenchy Jun 23 2009 replied:

oops, fixed.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Joel8160 Jun 29 2009 says:

Alright! Mass Effect 2!!!!!

Make sure to keep your save-files intact, cuz you need it in the future!

+1 vote     reply to comment
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