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Monday, May 21

Gambling on the Yahg


Here's an interview I stole from the Bioware Blog with a producer for ME3 and the DLC. So I guess we can blame him if it sucks. I hope he's read my DLC wishlist....

Who are you and what is your role at BioWare?

Michael Gamble: My name is Michael Gamble and I’m a Producer at BioWare. I’ve been with BioWare since Mass Effect 2, and was at EA Canada before that.

Currently, I am focusing on downloadable content for Mass Effect 3. For this, I have to ensure that the plan for the numerous pieces of DLC content we are creating is in place, and work with the teams to get it done on time and at quality. I also work with the various departments to help determine the content for each of these DLC packs, as well as making sure the teams have everything they need to do a great job.

What is the best part about your job?
MG: I get to work with many extremely talented people across all disciplines. Being exposed to a huge cross section of developers allows me to see and understand all the moving pieces which go into making a game. I also get to work closely with a number of visionaries who know how to get things done. Plus – I get to travel and meet many of the amazing fans!

What does an average day look like for you?
MG: I wake up. I drink a Coke Zero or three. I drive my snowplow. Normally my entire day is full of various meetings. These meetings are usually about product timelines, vision, capacity, staffing – all the things that go into a great piece of content. At the end of the day, I live in Excel land where I update costs and tracking for each of the items I’m working on. After work I play games, lately a lot of ME3 multi-player, and I spend time catching up with fans online. I try not to sleep.

Can you tell us about one of your proudest moments working in game development?
MG: Releasing Lair of the Shadow Broker! Our goal for LotSB was to create one of the biggest and best pieces of single-player DLC that anyone has seen.

The team’s development practices had greatly improved through working on ME2 and LotSB was an opportunity to be able to try out some exciting new things narrative and level design wise. For example, the showdown with a vanguard spectre, battling on top of a ship inside an atmospheric storm, unveiling the look of a brand new species, and, of course, the car chase level. These were all things that the team was able to pull off by taking some risks and being extremely creative. Not to mention, LotSB was also critically acclaimed and we were thrilled to see that the fans loved it.

What’s a geeky thing about you?
MG: Besides living and breathing video games since I was a kid? I have a thing for German power metal bands. Blind Guardian are my idols.

Do you have any advice for those wishing to get into the video game industry?
MG: Work on a lot of mods and finish them. This shows that you have the rigor to complete something you have started, and gets you working in a team environment. Developing mods will also show you what it’s like to pour your heart into a creative work, and to expect nothing in return!

If you weren’t working in the industry, what would you be doing?

MG: I’d probably be practicing Law somewhere. I hear lawyers also have no social life and work all the time. It would fit.

What are you currently playing, reading, or listening to?MG: Playing RAAMs Shadow DLC, Lumines Electronic Symphony for my Vita, and really getting into Max Payne 3.

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