I started making games around the age of 8: my dad had just brought home a Commodore 64, which he hooked up to the TV in my parents’ bedroom. We were only allowed to use that computer for limited amounts of time each day, so I started switching the input to a TV channel whenever I heard my mom approach. That misdirection worked well, until she figured out that the red and green lights on the computer and 1541 floppy drive were glowing! So I opened up both units and disconnected the LED lights. Freedom at last!
My dad had booked himself into a BASIC course, and I taught myself programming from the photocopied notes that my dad brought home. A couple of years later I had graduated to 6502 Assembler.
All my formative gaming happened on that C64, as well as the Amiga 500 I owned afterwards and the “early” gaming PCs (386+) that I graduated to after that. If I had to boil down my gaming preferences to three games that shaped me, those would be Ultima V, Turrican 2 and Doom. With a hefty dose of Dungeon Master, Pools of Darkness and Archon mixed in!
Despite my early programming tendencies, my real passion turned out to be the building of interactive 3D worlds: I used the 3D Construction Kit on the Amiga to build my first 3D gameplay spaces, and later became a prominent level designer in the Doom and Quake modding communities. In 1998, I turned my hobby into a career when I moved from Germany to Dallas, TX to work as a designer at Ritual Entertainment. 17 years later, I live in the San Francisco Bay Area with my wife, Victoria, three kids, two hamsters, one gecko, four gold fish, one cat, one frog, and one black widow.
You can find a portfolio of all my games on this page, and you can download all of my free classic Doom and Quake levels, as well. Besides making games, I am keenly interested in the theory of game design, and I have presented several talks to the subject at various venues like the Game Developer Conference. You can download all of those talks, as well.