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DI Gaming Stories – Jeremy Drudy

How did you get into gaming? (Jeremy)

My first video game was Star Fox 64 and as soon as I began playing, I experienced feelings and an excitement that was new to me. Since then, my life has been surrounded by video games and technology that led me to my career as a game developer.

What is your story when it comes to games?

A sprawling and living world is my favorite thing in video games. I love open world sandbox games because of their sense of freedom, exploration, and experimentation. Many games I design actually start as open worlds as their foundation and slowly the design comes together and the scope is trained on the core gameplay.

One game you would recommend to people and why?

Games that everyone can play are somewhat hard to find in the current market. But without a doubt, a game I would recommend for everyone is Minecraft. It is such an immersive open world game that anyone can pick up, play and enjoy.


Jeremy Drudy – Designer

DI gaming story – Scott Hill

How did you get into gaming? (Scott)

As far as getting into game development it came later in my career.  I had done some programming in college and started my career by opening a boutique 3D animation studio in the early 90’s.  At the time I was into visual effects and animation for TV and movies.  It was cutting edge stuff and it felt great forging new ground. As 3D graphics advanced in gaming with the Atari Jaguar, Nintendo 64, GameCube and Sega Dreamcast I played a lot and watched closely as new gameplay and visual styles emerged. I became more interested in the possibilities of visual style and art in gaming. Today I enjoy the mechanics of game development, risk/reward, odds and challenge joined with amazing art (both 2D and 3D). I look at gaming as the definitive place where advanced storytelling, visualization, and digital art will continue to be developed.

What is your story when it comes to games?

I was a kid when the first handheld LED display games came out like Coleco Electronic Quarterback in 1978. They had really rudimentary displays but compelling play. What the visuals lacked your mind would fill in. The game that stuck with me though and fueled the passion for gaming was the Bambino UFO Master Blaster in 1979. The unit itself was a really nicely designed thing.  It felt good and used smooth lines and shiny a white surface long before it was Apple’s thing. This game came out on the heels of Star Wars and the original Battlestar Galactica tv show. With those visuals in my head, I played the game endlessly.  I have it to this day and still play it.  Level 3 is challenging.


One game you would recommend to people and why?

This is really subjective but.  By Era – Do check out UFO Master Blaster if you ever get hands-on to see how it started. It shows that challenge and odds alone can create sticky gameplay. From the arcade era, definitely Discs of Tron. The arcade cabinet and game had an amazing look, a cool control mix and really required you to be mentally dialed in to play well. Current Era – there are tons but Perception from http://www.thedeependgames.com/ has had my attention for a while due to its unique premise, visual style and use of sound design.
Scott Hill – Managing Director

Gaming Stories – Athen Jakusz

How did you get into gaming? (Athen)

From N64, PS1, Gameboy, Xbox, PS2, and PC; my friends and I grew up playing just about everything. As we grew up, so did the games in terms of immersion and capability.

What is your story when it comes to games?

Through high school, I was involved with many artistic facets. This soon blended over into my longstanding pass-time of video games. I found myself enjoying the games for more than just their mechanics and comradery it brought between my friends and I. The world each game brought to life fascinated me. It was almost as if each disc and cartridge held its own world; a living piece of art.
Naturally, I sought to learn the medium needed to expand into the creation of these worlds. Thus I moved to Chicago and complete a formal education. Although I learned more after graduation and meeting with the founder of Digital Iris, Seth Swanson, who brought me on as a contract environment artist in 2012.
From there, a couple years later I moved to Milwaukee to work more closely with Digital Iris and learn indie development first-hand and what it takes to make a game from scratch. Although I have witnessed many struggles and successes, this pursuit always leaves me wanting more.


One game you would recommend people to play and why?


Besides playing the amazing games of Butterfly Island on the android system and Salvo Space Repo upon launch from Digital Iris (wink wink); I have always been a fan of the
Fallout series and I would recommend them to anyone who hasn’t gotten a taste yet. The development of the world, factions of characters and art style is something I’ve always idolized. Even the early rts/ turn-based games of Fallout 1 and 2 offer a rich story and set a foundation that the later and more popular installments expand on.
Athen Jakusz – Environment Designer



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