DG Dev Profile - James Osborne

07/09/2013 by trixie360

DG Dev Profile - James Osborne
Here is the debut interview in our series of Developer Profiles featuring members of the Defense Grid 2 team. First up: some Q & A with James Osborne!

Are you a Pacific Northwest native? If not, where did you come from and how long have you been in the area?

No.  I hail from Boston and have lived in New England, California (northern and southern), and finally here in the Greater Seattle area.

If you could time travel back to your childhood bedroom, what toy would you bring back with you?

I would bring back my original Star Wars action figures. Oh wait-- I DID bring them with me through time.  Never mind.

Smart! Name one of your all-time favorite films.

Star Wars 

Favorite book or comic?


How about band or musician?

Led Zeppelin

What video game do you think changed the industry the most in the last decade?

I would have said Doom, but that was TWO decades ago. Yikes! I'll (reluctantly) call out FarmVille because it started the whole free-to-play revolution that has changed everything about making games.

How long have you worked in gaming?  

Let's just say Doom was the hottest game out there when I started working in the Biz.

What are some of the games you've worked on?

Myth: The Fallen Lords
Confirmed Kill
Flight Simulator X
Train Simulator 2 (never shipped, unfortunately!) 
Zombie Armageddon 
Halo Waypoint
Mobile Games:
Cro-Mag Rally
Jelly Car 3
Poop Sweeper (Minesweeper for kids)
Superzaic - Kids Mosaic Crafts

And for those grizzled veterans out there... I was also responsible for Apple's first game SDK, called Apple Game Sprockets.

What did you study in school?

I double-majored in computer science and literature. I went to Dartmouth for my bachelor's and Stanford for graduate study.

Bonus points for hitting both sides of the brain! What do you do on Defense Grid 2?

I focus mainly on keeping our non-PC versions of the game up and running. I also lend a hand with game play, networking, input, and perf.

What can you tell us about citizen12?

In 2009 I left Microsoft Game Studios to found citizen12 studio with the idea of developing games for mobile platforms like iOS and Android. Since then we have helped game studios like Hidden Path, 343 industries, and others with their multi-platform development. We also develop our own games at citizen12. The latest is a kids' educational app for iPad, called "Superzaic."

What is the most rewarding thing about making video games?

Most of the time, working on games feels more like having fun and less like working. Plus, you never have to explain what you do. "I make video games" always gets an "oh, cool" response at parties.

Posted in Defense Grid 2 | Keywords: DG2