Name: Matthias Worch
Age: 42
Place of Birth: Essen Burgaltendorf, Germany
Current Residence: Novato, CA
Occupation: Design Lead at Epic Games

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, three hamsters, six triops, five tadpoles, three salamanders, one fish and one parakeet.

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.