Developer Bio: Ted Woolsey

We can’t talk about the work we’re doing, so we’re talking about the people doing the work. There comes a time in every studio’s life where you realize you joined up to make games, and now that you’ve had a bit of success, you…no longer have time to work on games. All the business of running a business creeps in, and if you really care about your company, you can’t hand off the financial reins to just anyone. You need someone who understands games, game development, and game developers. You need someone who is well versed in all aspects of getting a game off the whiteboards and into the hands of players, with a sense of when to step in and when to stay back. That person is very, very hard to find. Undead Labs is lucky: We have Ted Woolsey. We met him because he was one of the people at Microsoft who gave the green light to State of Decay back in 2009. Throughout the development process, he was a true friend and a staunch ally. Frankly, the only reason we could bear to lose him from the publishing team was because we gained him for our development team. Read on, and learn a little more about what goes on behind the curtain. — Sanya

Long Strange Trip

by Ted Woolsey

Title
General Manager, Undead Labs LLC

Responsibilities
Supporting–and staying out of the way of–our amazing development team. Includes everything from general planning, selecting company-wide insurance plans, working on IRS forms, playing games, negotiating agreements of various types and jumping in to help in any way necessary. Sound ambiguous? Sort of, I guess, but it is dead on in terms of what I was looking for.

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Developer Bio: Chris Paul-Hayter

We can’t talk about the work we’re doing, so we’re talking about the people doing the work. I met CPH, as we call him (although I started calling him Crispy at some point at a game convention in a sleep-deprived haze) when I was visiting the home office for some meeting or another. The rest of the permanent QA team was gregarious and talkative, and then there was him. One word answers, totally calm and serene. The only things giving him away as a true QA guy were the twinkle in his eye and the deadpan humor that’s worth a million bucks when we’re under pressure. Whenever you all send me a DXDIAG to examine, CPH is the one who sees it. See what he’s like by reading his story.  — Sanya

Psychology

by Chris Paul-Hayter (a.k.a. CPH)

Psy*cho*lo*gy. Noun. 1. The science of the mind or of mental states and processes. 2. The science of human and animal behavior.

“Psychology. Yep, that is definitely the plan, I’m going to make a career in psychology.”

Some time later…

Okay, I have this paper that says I can psychology…now what?

This is not how I expected to start my career in video games. Let me back up a little bit. I’ve had two passions for as long as I can remember: psychology and video games. Psychology was something I discovered when I was relatively young, around 12-13. That was the first time I ever heard the term and had the concept explained to me. The other passion of mine I discovered much younger at around the age of 6, when my uncle placed me on his knee and showed me a game and series I would end up playing for a large portion of my life…Warcraft.

From that point on I was obsessed with video games. I got my first system a year later, a Sega Genesis, and proceeded to work my way up through all the systems I could get my hands on. I was playing games on console and PC; the platform didn’t matter, I only wanted to play games.

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Developer Bio: Jonathan Sharp

I first met “Chap” when I first met Peter. The two of them, the Lab’s truly competitive gamers, were doing color commentary for tournaments in our PAX booth. Chap also was an instrumental part of getting our Twitch setup operational and professional looking. In fact, I’d gotten so used to him being the font of all technical wisdom that I forgot he was also a very smart, very experienced designer.  I wish I could tell you all exactly what he was doing right now, but that would give away too much about the thing we’re working on. And as I said before…we can’t talk about what we’re working on, so we’re talking about who is doing the work. And on this campaign, this intrepid adventure, here’s Jonathan Sharp’s character sheet for all of you who’ve played D&D. (Get ready to Google Carcharodon carcharias.) He has a much higher creativity score than he gives himself credit for. — Sanya

Designer Character Sheet

by Jonathan Sharp

I grew up as a military brat, and one thing I always had in common with new friends was a love for games. So, after talking with Sanya, we thought it might be fun to write a blog in the form of a video game character.    TL;DR: *spoilers* I played a lot of games while growing up. Then I became a game designer.

Info:

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Developer Bio: Quinlan Richards

Quin is another one of those people who seems like he’s been a part of the team forever, even though he’s a relative newcomer who joined us in the fall of 2014. He’s not new to the industry, though. He’s been working as a designer for almost as long as there has been an industry. He’s got a wry and dry sense of humor, a thoughtful personality, and he has a knack for putting the perfect little touch on something that brings a big project together. We’re very glad to have him, and I hope you enjoy meeting him. — Sanya

The Process

by Quin Richards

Hi, my name is Quinlan Richards and I’m a Designer here at Undead Labs.  I’ve been in the industry since 1996 after graduating from the University of Oregon with a major in Fine Arts.

I had a lengthy stint in college, to say the least; about six and a half years.  Looking back, though, I don’t think I would have changed a thing.

I started college as a Political Science major.  Like a lot of kids I was idealistic and naive.  All through high school in L.A. I pictured myself a hippy; long hair, tie-dyed shirts, ripped jeans, ratty huaraches and Lennon glasses. When looking for colleges, Southern California didn’t feel like a good fit for me, and with the U of O’s reputation as a lil’ Berkeley it seemed like it would be perfect.

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Developer Bio: Peter Lim

Peter first joined the Lab as part of the QA team, and his bug reports and feedback were so good, and so thorough, that we couldn’t help paying extra attention to him. That’s how he got his design ideas in front of us, and those were so good that we invited him to join the design team. It’s a classic gamer makes good story. Read on to find out how the story began! — Sanya

From Professional Gamer to Gaming Professional

by Peter Lim

It wasn’t until my junior year of college that I decided to pursue being a Game Designer. I’ve always loved playing video games (competitively, I might add!), but since my parents loathed watching me sit in front of my computer for hours, it was hard to imagine pursuing a career in the game industry. So let’s backtrack a bit.

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