I Regret Nothing

Almost 14 years ago I did something crazy. I quit a good paying cushy university job as a research software engineer to fulfill a childhood dream.

When I was twelve, I loved my Atari 2600. I thought video games were the coolest thing ever. One day, I got a new game from a little start-up called Activision. They were doing something pretty “revolutionary” in those days. In the little booklet that came with the cartridge they had a head-shot of the developer who had made the game. This was an epiphany for me. People actually made video games for a living!

I knew immediately that I wanted to make games.

I went to my father and told him my career ambitions. Being the supportive man that he was, he responded, “Don’t be an idiot, son, there’s no future in that!” So, following my father’s advice, I took a different career path. I decided to be an astrophysicist. I got my degrees in physics and astronomy (my father still didn’t approve, but that’s another story).

I loved doing scientific research, but I still wanted to make games. The whole time I was doing science, I was going home and trying to make games on my own as a part-time job. It was this constant compulsion not just to play games, but to make them as well.

Finally, I decided to take a risk. I didn’t want to look back on my life and regret that I had never tried to live my dream.

I decided to quit my job and create shareware games until someone gave me a job. Turns out I managed to get a job with a game studio start-up here in Seattle without having to take quite such a big risk. I was ecstatic. I was going to fulfill my childhood ambition!

My first game was a PC title, but before I knew it, I was making console games. I got to work on one of the first PS2 development kits in the country. It was baby blue, the back had no cover, the controller was soldered directly onto the mother board and you had to develop under Linux (crazy Japanese developers). It came with a bunch of thick auto-translated manuals that basically just listed hardware registers and what each bit did. I had to write my own device drivers for everything in the hardware. It took me weeks just to get a polygon to render. It was a huge pain in the ass and it was AWESOME! Being able to control the hardware completely at that level was fantastic. I’d found a new love in embedded development. It was all about exploiting the hardware to the max, despite its strict constraints. Creativity is all about restrictions and console development gives you those in spades.

Fast forward 12 years and I’ve gotten to work on almost every major home console and at least one portable. I still love it and it just keeps getting better.

My love of this career isn’t just predicated on cool hardware or other nerd bit twiddling. I love playing games and I especially love console games — though I’ll always have a special place in my heart for Civ. :) I love sitting on my couch, with a controller in my hand, having nothing but fun. And what’s going to be more fun than gruesome brutal zombie kills, exploring a large open world and planning out how to survive the coming apocalypse? Nothing IMO. I want to play this game now!

So here I am, honored to be working with this world-class team, making a game that I’ve wanted to make since before I was even in the industry. Hell yeah! It’s been a helluva ride and I regret NOTHING!

To celebrate getting to work at Undead Labs on this amazing game, I give you an original zombie themed cocktail.

The Double Tap

1 oz White Dog Whiskey (This is whiskey straight from the still, because who has time to age their booze in the thick of the zombie apocalypse?!)
1 oz Pisco
1/2 oz Lillet
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir in an ice filled glass till cold, strain and serve with a lime twist. And remember, the sun is always over the yard-arm somewhere :).



Shaun

[If you just can't get enough Shaun and would like to know more, be sure to check out Jeff's introduction.]

  1. Researcher: Dan

    Can you be my new best friend? Haha I like that drink idea, I will have to try it!

    You seem like a valuable asset to the team, welcome sir!

  2. Researcher: Erick

    Welcome to the team Shaun!

    • Researcher: Shaun

      Thanks!

    • Researcher: Ironshadow

      Not many people get the opportunity to pursue their dream job AND be successful at it! I hope your work with Undead Labs results in the dream game you are all so passionate about creating!

    • Researcher: Shaun

      Tell me about it. :) I consider my self very lucky.

      Me too!

    • Researcher: Lucas Hardy

      Hey Shaun… have you ever noticed that in every zombie game some how your clips are always somehow pre-loaded? I would find being able to load my own shells into a 12. Gauge a lot funner! Like doing a little quick mini game and loading up to kill much better. Thanks if you read this.

  3. Researcher: Helljumper4

    Undead lab y’all just get better and better EVERYDAY!

  4. Researcher: Dantron

    Dantron is impressed with Shain’s Shaun’s resume!

    Dantron asks Shaun what specifically Shaun was researching when Shaun was an astrophysicist.

  5. Researcher: Ken

    There is no end to this amazing team roster! Shaun, I have complete faith in you. See you online on release day!

  6. Researcher: deadl4st

    Shaun,
    The addition of you to the team is nothing short of amazing.
    In another thread I asked about the engine that would drive this game. I guess the answer to my question is: the Undead Labs Engine.
    Looking forward to more details.

  7. Researcher: Savage Saint

    That story needs to be put into a movie :P Lol well good luck Shaun. Help make this game kick ass!

    P.S. You should be proud to know that your doing something that could be potentially revolutionary. 10 years down the road people are going to be saying “Class 4 was a game that changed the genre of zombie games.”

    • Researcher: Shaun

      Haha. I don’t know about that. After school tv special perhaps? :)

    • Researcher: Savage Saint

      Haha naaah. I’ve got it! You could incorporate your epic life story into a zombie movie! :D Perhaps a single player story for Class 4? ( pretty please? :P) In all seriousness though, i think your doing something amazing and it WILL BE revolutionary! Maybe UDL can start their strike for WORLD DOMINATION!!! And this is of course followed by *evil laughter and shannigans*

      -Your Friend, Savage Saint

    • Researcher: Shaun

      I’ll have to practice my evil scientist laugh.

  8. Researcher: Chosen Predator

    Please be more awesome then Red dead redemption and gears of war/ Brink combined please please..and it’s so awesome you’re on board with undead labs.

  9. Researcher: reidlos dog

    Welcome to the team Shaun. Just to let you know, everything you and your team mates are doing make me scream like a little private school girl!!

    And I’m 20 years old.

    • Researcher: Shaun

      Thanks.

      Hmmm usually one doesn’t admit such things in public. :)

    • Researcher: Savage Saint

      Yay! You to reidlos?!?!? i thought i was the only one.

    • Researcher: Reinpret

      Are you kidding me? When I read the rude Q&A i phoned my buddies and literally got up out of my chair and paced back and forth out of pure excitement. I;m 28.. I actually have not said this before. But I wrote my game idea which is almost exaclty the same as this about 4 years ago. I wrote it all out just to get it out of my mind.

      So you can imagine how excited I am at every ounce of news that comes out.

  10. Researcher: Chris

    Can’t contain ….excitement …..much longer….

    Sir my hat is off to you. This game could very well turn out to be the last one I ever want to buy!