Dec 29, 2008

Stephan Carmigiani

Name. Steff Carmignani

Job Title: Level Designer

Company: Eidos

Projects: Rainbow 6 Vegas, Splinter Cell, etc etc. Currently working on Deus Ex 3.

Why I Am A Game Industry Rockstar: I'm very short tempered, impolite, enjoy the "crunch time periods madness" more than anybody else on the prod., and deeply in love with video games.
NOTE: I'm not always angry and yelling at people...that was just for the picture I swear...

Sean Davies

Name: Sean Davies

Job Title: Rabid Code Ape / Cat Herder

Company: Sumo Digital Ltd

Projects: Outrun 2 Coast To Coast, Virtua Tennis 3, Sega Superstars Tennis, Superman: Shadow of Apokolips, MIB: Crashdown

Why I am a Games industry Rockstar: Pah, Sean hate workshy "Rockstar". What rockstar know about work 2 80 hour weeks separate only by 10 hour happy booze time? Sean smash puny rockstar, steal rockstar boozes, pleasure rockstar womenfolks and still be in office for 9 for FINISH THE GAME!!!

Dec 2, 2008

Pascal Bélanger

Name. Pascal Bélanger

Job Title: Lead Assistant Quality Control Tester

Company: Ubisoft Montreal

Projects: Assassin's Creed, Rainbow Six Vegas 2, Far Cry 2

Why I Am A Game Industry Rockstar: Because I play guitar, obviously. ;P No, seriously... Because I do one of the most looked down on -- and at the same time, one of the most important -- jobs of the industry. Good testers never really play the game until the job is finished. It's true that a part of the job can be performed by people not necessarily knowing what they do. But a big part of the job is done by people who do know what the industry is all about. People who can understand the way a game is done and what problems may emerge during its creation. People who can identify and explain in a clear way the, often out of this world, issues they observe. Finally, whatever great innovation or intentions the creators have, if the game is full of bugs, it's going to be rejected by the community. I intend to eventually become part of the production world, as a game writer if possible, but the lack of such position makes it hard to achieve.

Nov 30, 2008

Eddie Oliva

Name. Eddie O. Oliva

Job Title: Level Designer

Company: Ubihard Montreal :P (past)

Projects: Rainbow Six Vegas, Rainbow Six Vegas 2

Why I Am A Game Industry Rockstar: Rockstar? Hardly! I still feel like a kid in a candy store every time I go to work on something. I still wanna go to E3 someday (the good one dammit!!! with hookers and blackjack) I hope to shake Kojima's hand again and act like a giddy school girl! I dream to become an Industry Rockstar only to have quotes that get fanboys riled up on Kotaku, and somewhere in between to work my way to marry Leigh Alexander ;) [Ed's note: No, I did not pay him to say this, I promise!!!]

Greg Kostikyan

Name: Greg Costikyan, a.k.a Designer X

Job Title
: Game geek

: Paranoia, Evolution, a slew of others; ludography at

Why I Am A Game Industry Rockstar: I am not. Anyone who thinks they are a rockstar, including, say, platinum-selling rock and roll recording artists, deserves a couple of decades of abject failure to teach them the virtues of humility (and will probably get it). I like to think of myself as the annoying mosquito buzz in the ear canal of the game industry. I have designed a number of games that don't suck, along with a fair number that do. I always strive for non-suckiness, but do not always achieve it which, frankly, is about all anyone can say. It perturbs me that the game industry as a whole prizes things like risk reduction and bankable IP over things that don't suck, because that sucks. At present, I design at the fringes of the industry, things like social network and board games, while running a quixotic venture to draw attention to independent games and trying to find games that don't suck to blog about. Also, I cook dinner for my family every night, and occasionally write science fiction.

[Art of Greg by Derek Yu.]

Ricardo Gonzales

Name: Ricardo Gonzalez a.k.a. socrates200X

Position: Programming, scripting, international espionage, it all boils down to the same thing. (whips off glasses) Danger. That's my job, my life, my raison d'etré. Also, code documentation and review.

Company: Bethesda Softworks

Projects: Fallout 3, main game and DLC

Qualifications for Rock Star status / benefits: First, I have excellent grammar and pride myself on being an agreeable travel companion. Two, I'm a confident and competent coder who's always open to constructive criticism and general improvement. Reason the third, I have a keen interest in clocks, specifically how they exemplify man's reckoning with time. Theoretical con, but actual pro: I enjoy well-crafted puns. Lastly, I hold the following subjects in high regard and will work toward bringing them into your life: Chipotle, self- and other-deprecating humor, contemplative moods, comfy chairs, and, where necessary, proper posture and posturing.

Dan Paladin

Name: dan paladin

Job Title: art sultan

the behemoth

Projects: alien hominid, castle crashers

Why I am a game industry rockstar:
i'm pretty great. well.. i'm just being modest when i say that. i am really really great. just like kanye west! you see, when people look back on history they will skim right over abraham lincoln or thomas edison and go straight to kanye west or dan paladin. i make history. it's just that simple. basically, if you take a million people and then add me i will automatically shine so much with sexiness that you won't even notice there are a million people hanging around. it's not that other people can't be sexy or anything.. anyway, i'm pretty surprised there aren't all that many statues of me yet but i figure it is because it takes a long time to get these features just right.


Name: Del

Job Title: Games Designer

Company: Gusto Games Ltd.
Projects: UTour (PC)
Global Play Golf (Simulator system)
Several unannounced titles in development (not all of them GOLF!!)

Why I Am A Game Industry Rockstar: I love my job! I spent many years getting ready for a Games Design position and now that I've got one, I wallow in it like Keith Richards in a lipstick-lesbian-run cocaine factory. I'm only just getting into my flow right now and it's wonderful to have people coming up to you and knowing that they look to you for design decisions. It's a lot of work, A LOT OF WORK, but how else do you expect dreams to turn out? I'm a electrical engineeing graduate who gave it all up for a chance at the big time. I've worked through a Masters in Computer Game Technology (what sort of a postgrad is that?!!) and 3 years in Sony QA, hitting up some heavy parties and working on some huge games as both Tester and Lead). I've put in the hard work and now I'm putting in the fun work. RAWK!!
Plus, i've got hella good hair. ;)

Edwin DeNicholas

Name: Edwin DeNicholas

Job Title: Compliance QA Specialist

Company: Currently THQ Inc. Previously, producer at Midway Games (Los Angeles) and before that Paradox Development

Projects: Red Faction Guerrilla (upcoming), Saints Row 2, Smackdown vs. Raw 2009, Mortal Kombat Shaolin Monks, Backyard Wrestling 1 & 2, X-Men Next Dimension

Why I Am A Game Industry Rockstar:
In a previous incarnation I worked as a game producer. I realized that was not the path of the righteous and now abide as a compliance QA specialist. All THQ titles destined for a Sony platform will at some point or another cross my desk, where they will be scrubbed clean of TRC violations. I aim to eventually work as a programmer, and once financially fit, become an independent to create the game I've been dreaming of since I was young. It will, of course, be 2d. Long live the 8-bit era!

Nov 24, 2008

Erik J. Caponi

Name. Erik J. Caponi

Job Title: Game Designer

Company: Bethesda Game Studios

Projects: Current -- Well, that would be telling, wouldn't it? Past -- Fallout 3, Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, Elder Scrolls: Shivering Isles, Elder Scrolls: Knights of the Nine, The Matrix Online, and a bunch of things that never saw the light of day.

Why I Am A Game Industry Rockstar: My goal is to become the Ernest Hemingway of game design. I've already got the drinking problem and the six-toed cat, so I think I'm well on my way.

Nov 22, 2008

Steve Gaynor

Name: Steve Gaynor

Title: Designer

Fullbright, a design blog:
FEAR: Perseus Mandate, TimeGate Studios
BioShock 2 (upcoming,) 2K Marin

Why am I an industry rock star? It's safe to say that I'm not, but I believe that having an obnoxious file photo like the above is an important first step towards industry infamy.

How I got into game design: After I finished my Sculpture degree, I went into QA since I knew I wanted to get into the games industry but had no marketable skills. After hours I was making FEAR maps using the free level editing tools that had been released. I entered my maps into some contests and eventually moved to Texas to work on an expansion for FEAR. After shipping it I met some 2K folks at GDC and moved back to San Francisco to work on BioShock 2... and here I am!

Nov 21, 2008

Clayton Hughes

Name: Clayton Hughes

Job Title: Audio/Software Support Engineer

Company: Nintendo of America

Projects: Developer Tools/Libraries/Conferences

Why I Am A Game Industry Rockstar: I omit the subject of a sentence as often as possible. This works best when it's subconscious. I refuse to sit in any one seat during recurring meetings, because I'm too cool to stay pinned down. Let's pretend this sentence is something pretentious about materialism or comfort or society (the truth of the matter is that there's nowhere for me to sit). I've instituted a very strict policy of "ice cream time" at work, which occurs exactly 30 minutes before a weekly meeting. We drum up a small posse and trek across two buildings and a sky bridge to the ice cream vending machine in the complete opposite corner of everything from our department. My wedding included Guitar Hero (oh, if Rock Band would have been available!) and pirate outfits.

Nov 20, 2008

Fred Zeleny

Fred Zeleny

Quest Designer and Word-Herder

Bethesda Softworks

Fallout 3

Pros: Nigh-obsessive attention to personality, overarching themes, and player agency in games. Walking encyclopedia of obscure references. Can occasionally pass as a civilized human being, when sober.

Cons: Can get carried away with games-as-art wankery. Plays life with VERBOSE mode on. Wears a necklace of human teeth.

One thing you don't know about my game:
The most obscure reference I put in the game, the nearly impossible-to-find unique version of the Alien Blaster called "Firelance" - a reference to the Martian Firelances in the fake plot-text in the paragraph book for the original Wasteland.

Patrick Dugan

Name: Patrick Dugan

Job Title: Game Designer

Company: Sabarasa Entertainment

Projects: Play With Fire, Pipe World, CuttleCandy, Jackie, Fraid, Loot (canceled), misc. prototypes for DS and WiiWare (in progress).

After trying to hack it in my Mom's basement I decided to get as far out of the matrix as possible and go to Buenos Aires, where I work for a studio doing prototypes and helping out with projects when needed. I'm working on some pretty bold designs right now - a strategy game that's like Starcraft meets Puzzle Quest meets Tarot, a game about romantic relationships, a game about the systematic soul-smothering of the school system. I'm hoping to make some happen for WiiWare and/or DS in the "near future".

For more detail on what I'm about, read my blog King Lud IC, some of my critiques on Play This Thing, play some of my stuff, and check out my speech at EVA '08 - "Design is Cheap" when it becomes available on Google video.

Darius Kazemi

Name. Darius Kazemi

Job Title: President/Gadfly

Company: Orbus Gameworks , where I measure things about they way people play games.

Projects: Lord of the Rings Online, D&D Online, and nowadays I get to work on a new MMO every few months. Consulting is fun!

Why I Am A Game Industry Rockstar: People have described me as the "Where's Waldo" of the game industry. I can be spotted in a crowd of hundreds because I always wear orange. Sometimes I even get spotted in random event photographs.

Corvus Elrod

Name: Corvus Elrod

Job Title: Freelance Storyteller

Company: Zakelro Story Studio

Design: Renown--strategic card game (in late development stage); Drachurae Cycle--RPG (in mid development stage); HoneyComb Engine--online participatory storytelling
engine (in early/pre-development stage); Unannounced
Writing: Jigsaw; Word Riot; Alice's Magical, Unannounced

Why I Am A Game Industry Rockstar:
For better of for worse, "rockstar" in no way applies to me. I'm more akin to a homeless street musician who earns a paycheck playing bass for a Journey cover band cash while pursuing some wild and theoretical potential that exists just below the surface of the music we hear every day.

Kevin Shortt

Name: Kevin Shortt

Job Title: Scriptwriter, story designer, and so on...

Company: Ubisoft Montreal

Projects: Lost - Via Domus, Far Cry 2, and my perpetual favourite, "Unannounced"

Why I Am A Game Industry Rockstar: Because I take myself way too seriously, I think every new innovation sucks, I hate every game story I've ever played (reserving a special circle of Hell for my own), I work hard to make my real self look like my 360 avatar (handlebar mustache here we come!), and I sleep with a stuffed Portal cube.

One thing you don’t know about my game: For Far Cry 2, I wrote a fictional blog from the perspective of one of the NPCs, Reuben Oluwagembi. It was launched months before the game’s release (way back in May) and followed the course of events leading up to the player’s arrival in the world. All done in real time, it served as a nice way to provide hungry fans with more details about the conflict they were heading into. You can find it here:

Nov 19, 2008

Victoria Lease

Name: Victoria Lease

Position: Programmer

Companies: 3DO, Namco, Perpetual -- "I started out at 3DO, on a project that had three programmers and nine months. Within my first month, I had one of Atari's old guard snorting Pixy Stix off of my desk while I tried to explain some debugging dilemma that was vexing me at the moment."

Why I Am A Game Industry Rockstar:
As much as I hate to brag, I possess a several impressive superpowers:
- A single mocha can transform me from an unassuming, sleepy girl into a being of incredible power, able to transcend time itself to make the impossible schedule possible. At least, for the rest of the day.
- I can summon neighborhood cats to my balcony with my terrible violin skills.
- Once upon a time I worked on a Naval AI project. We got to set couches on fire in the name of science.

Unfortunately, like all superheroes, I also have my weaknesses:
- I look absolutely terrible in any photograph taken ever. I'm pretty sure this has something to do with warping reality or something, but I haven't yet figured out how to make this particular power of mine useful.
- Sunlight. It burrrrrns usssss!

Patric Dubuc

Patric Dubuc

Level Artist

Favorite Quote:
"Mais moi je joue pas dans ce genre de film." [I don't play in that kind of film.]

Jason "Shirts" De Heras

Name: Jason "Shirts" de Heras

Job Title: Combat Designer

Current Project: God of War 3

Company: SCEA Studios Santa Monica



Why I Am A Game Industry Rockstar:

My nickname is Shirts. I got this nickname from my competitive Street Fighter days. I was so competitive back in those days that I would sometimes rip my shirt (like Hulk Hogan) when I lost to certain people. This passion certainly carries over into my game development career. Well, not exactly... I haven't ripped a shirt at work... yet.

Oct 19, 2008


What is this site?
This is intended to be a place where gamers can see the real, live people behind the games they love. It's populated entirely by submissions from video game professionals and their friends. My name is Leigh Alexander, Sexy Videogameland blogger and industry journalist, and right now I'm the only one running this site as an experimental effort, but I hope it grows, solidifies, and can transition into a community effort.

Why does this site exist?
Just for silly fun, really. But the underlying message here is the fact that the creation of games tends often to be credited to faceless corporate entities, when in fact there's a rich culture of people behind them. We seem to have a little bit of a recognition problem in the industry, where very accomplished people go unsung, but starting a little corner where everyone is a star is supposed to be a fun way to rectify that, even a little.

Who can be posted here?
Just about anyone who is legitimately involved in the creation of games. Producers, designers, programmers, testers et al. Artists and musicians too! The only requirement is that you need to have worked on one shipped title, where "shipped" can also mean you published it online. Indies absolutely welcome, and please provide a link to your game.

How do I become a Sexy Videogame Developerland star?
Send the following info to sexyvideogamedeveloperland at gmail dot com:

Picture: Attach a real, live picture of yourself or the individual you're nominating. If there is a really, really compelling reason why you can't show your face, let me know.
Name. This can be first and last, or just first, or just a nickname/alias.
Job Title: This can be your literal title -- "Multiplayer Designer," for example -- or something funny/personal that you use to refer to yourself.
Company: Where you're currently employed -- wholly optional. You can leave it out completely if you prefer. If you like, you can list your past employers, too.
Projects: A few of the titles you've worked on. I need at least one -- otherwise anyone could just send in their pic and pretend to be in development, but if you are going after a little bit of anonymity, you don't have to include your whole list. "Unannounced" or "Top Secret" is okay too.
Why I Am A Game Industry Rockstar: Don't take yourself too seriously. Just describe what makes you awesome and have fun with it. These blurbs need to be brief, say 500 words max. Also, we're not all altar boys and girls or anything, and I want everyone to be themselves -- but please keep it tasteful.
One Thing You Don't Know About My Game: It can be anything, but pick a little-known fact about your project (obviously, we're not expecting proprietary production secrets here!) that is personal to you.

Please note that all submissions need to come complete via email. Don't send me links. I am not gonna be nicking pictures or text off anyone's Facebook, blog or any other website -- even if you tell me to.

I want to make my boss/friend/coworker a SVGDL star. How do I do it?
Ideally, you should ask them first. But if your goal is to surprise them -- and you are certain they wouldn't be upset with you -- submit a profile on their behalf, and include your name or alias for a "Submitted By" footnote.

Help! My friend or coworker submitted my bio as a joke, and I don't want it here.
The only reason I accept "nominations" from people submitting the bios of colleages or pals is because some people are probably too shy or too humble to promote themselves on their own, but if someone submits you and you totally hate the idea, absolutely anything on this site can be taken down or edited at the subject's request. Just email me.

Why can't I comment?
I don't want to create the possibility for this site to become a rumor mill or a space wherein rivals can slag off on each other. And while it would be awesome if gamers could leave nice notes to the folks whose work they recognize, I don't want to open the same floodgates to angry fanboys. Everyone deserves a voice, of course, but that's not what this site is about. I may enable comments at a later date if I have assistance in strictly moderating them.

Can I add or change something in my bio?
Sure. Email what you want done. Take-downs happen immediately, changes might take a couple days.

You are a journalist, aren't you? Isn't corresponding with developers a conflict of interest?
This is an understandable concern, but no. I already have a fair number of friends and friendly acquaintances who work in game development, and they know I wouldn't hesitate to criticize their product or write negatively about their employer if it were truthful. People who are professionals understand that my job is my job.

Publishing a submission here will never prompt special treatment of anyone by me, ever. Seeing someone's face on this site does not mean I am "connected" to them or hold them in higher regard than those who decline to participate. In most cases, I don't even know them. Conversely, the fact that you submitted something to this site does not mean that I now consider you a news source -- in other words, I'm building a fun resource, not angling to be "close" to the industry in an inappropriate way.

The overall purpose of this site is to show the readership of my own blog, Sexy Videogameland, and hopefully gamers in general, a side of the industry they may not have seen before -- which, from my perspective, is an adequate goal as a member of the games press.

Wanting to recognize and embrace the industry's human side does not exclude criticisms of the games, the business and its people when necessary. One can do both.

Nonetheless, if this little site takes off, I plan to hand it over to a willing and able moderator, both for my own sanity and to avoid even the appearance of conflict-of-interest concerns. Ultimately my goal is to let it be its own thing, not "my" thing. I have already had some kind offers from possible volunteer moderators -- contact me personally at leighalexander1 at gmail dot com if you're interested.

Want to find out if your colleague, favorite game or studio is here? Use Blogger's search bar in the upper left corner to cruise for names, companies, projects or keywords.

Banner art comes courteously from Jason Heras, and I always accept other header donations!