Developer Bio: Mark Young

We can’t talk about what we’re doing, so we’re talking about the people doing the work. Today, we meet Mark Young. If it were possible to identify a typical Undead Labs person, it might well be Mark – the thirteenth person to join the company, rendering that forever our lucky number. He’s got rock star talent but a friendly, can-do personality. Check out the story of how he became a programmer. — Sanya


by Mark Young

Many many years ago, my older brother discovered an ad in Nintendo Power magazine for DigiPen, an institute for video game programming, and a dream began to form; a dream of making video games for a living. It was 1999, and I would be graduating high school in a year. More importantly, it was the year I gave my parents an ultimatum – I was going to DigiPen in Seattle or I wasn’t going anywhere! I was so convinced, it really was the only school I applied for. I was confident I would be accepted (and fortunately, I was). However, my passion for games began at a much younger age.

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Developer Bio: Nicole Hamlett

We can’t talk about what we’re doing, so we’re talking about the people doing the work. I’m biased about Nicole, because we’ve known each other for ten years, as we both cycled between freelancing, journalism, and community management. When it came time to double the community team (from one to two people), I knew we needed someone who would care about members of our community as individuals and not as shallow “likes” to be collected. Someone who would be honest and kind and no-nonsense. Someone who’d been there and done that and come out the other end devoted to serving a community, instead of using community to achieve other personal ambitions. We’ve got that person in Nicole. Read on for her story. — Sanya

Dreams and Memes

by Nicole Hamlett

Settle in, kids, and get comfortable for story-time.  This is where I tell you about being a Community Manager.

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Developer Bio: Nicco Simone

We can’t talk about what we’re doing, so we’re talking about the people doing the work. Meet Nicco, whose can-do attitude manages to stand out on a can-do team. I first met him in person when he literally got off the plane from his honeymoon and went straight to the PAX show floor to take his turn demonstrating our games. Making games is a breeze with guys like that pulling for the team. Read on to see how he got into the industry:

The Governor’s Coming

by Nicco Simone

Hi, I’m Nicco Simone and I’m a programmer here at Undead Labs. My experience in the industry is limited; in fact, this is my first job! Coming onto the team here is a dream come true for me, and the story of how I got my foot in the door is a bit surprising.

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Developer Bio: Brian Giaime

We can’t talk about what we’re doing, so we’re talking about the people doing the work. Meet Brian, who loves game design so much that if you cut him open, you’d find spreadsheets. True story, I was once trying to staff our PAX booth with fifty devs each doing between three and twelve hours of work at nine stations with only 24 badges between us and each person wanting to bring a guest at a different time… and Brian offered to give up his free time to develop an algorithm to automate the process. Because he thought it would be fun. Anyway, here he is with his story and advice for future designers. — Sanya

Dear Dan

by Brian Giaime

Hey! My name is Brian Giaime. I’m a Designer here at Undead Labs. I happen to have a little brother looking at colleges and pondering the future these days. One of those potential futures is a job in game development. There’s a lot for me to say, here, starting with my story and ending with an understanding I’d like to impart to the young man.

Dear Dan,

We’ve been playing games FOREVER, huh? Remember sitting on my shoulders while I raided Molten Core, frantically trying to be in the right place, control the adds, and maximize my boss DPS?

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Developer Bio: Susan Jessup

We can’t talk about what we’re doing, so we’re talking about the people doing the work. Today, meet Susan Jessup, who is going to show you the tools and the mind of a brilliant character artist. Game illustrations are all from Moonrise since we…can’t talk about what we’re doing, let alone post pictures of it. — Sanya

Building Characters

by Susan Jessup

If you’re attracted to character art, you probably look at animals and people in a different way. You might look at your pet dog and see her with no skin, bounding around as a mass of muscle and sinew.  You observe tension and flexion, and marvel at the biological machine before you.

Skeletons aren’t the cast off mortal coil, but the framework of life- the support structure which anchors muscle, protects organs, encases systems, and is woven throughout an entire microcosm of parasitic, mycological, and bacterial biota.

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