Dev Profile - Mark Shoemaker

02/28/2014 by Kaboom

Dev Profile - Mark Shoemaker
Are you a Seattle native?
Nope! I’m from Bremerton, just on the other side of Puget sound.

If you could time travel back to your childhood bedroom, what toy would you bring back with you?
As many as I could carry! How dare you make me choose. I lost all the toys I grew up with in a housefire in the 90’s, so I have no cool heirloom STAR WARS toys to gift down to my sons.
They were too awesome! Mostly 80’s edition SW, Transformers and GI JOE dudes. I would bring them back for my oldest boy (5). I got him some reissue joes but they just aren’t the same.

Luckily we share a LEGO mania so we have that going for us.

Actually, scratch that.

I would bring back myself, age 5. No, that’s not weird. I would love to be 5 again to play with my kid. I do my best to pretend, anyways.

Do you have a favorite book or comic? Comic books… hmm. It’s been a while. I was a huge fan of the NEW MUTANTS. I was a teenager at the same time going through the same awkward stuff they were. (Aside from the being a super hero part.)
As for books, I really enjoyed STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND, but these days I mostly stick to biographies of people I find interesting. I’m not a big reader, sadly.

How about a favorite band?
Sigur rós for sure. If I ever meet them in person I will just give them each a big hug for all the inspiration and tough times their music has seen me through. Also, Imogen Heap. She’s one of my heroes. It’s hard to pick a favorite band, but those are my top two.

What video game do you think changed the industry the most in the last decade?
In my field, the ways that the industry has been perceptibly changed in the last 10 years were all driven by business or methodology, not the games themselves. From that perspective, I would say that the various platforms are big game changers. Not just consoles and devices, but also digital deployment and inexpensive game editors. They are leveling the playing field and allowing more indie developers to get traction. There is some seriously creative stuff out there that wouldn’t have been feasible before.

As a gamer, I’m going to say that the success of the open world single player games has been fantastic. My first love in this arena (no pun intended) was MORROWIND, but I played all of them. Crackdown, Prototype, GTA, Saint’s Row, Red Dead Redemption, just to name a few. These satisfy my explorer itch without costing me 15 bucks a month, and there are no teenagers making fun of me because I have a less than optimal enchantment on my boots. (I like the particle effect, OK??).

What exactly do you do on Windborne?
I wear two hats. Firstly; I test it! I write scripts and little tools to help me test it when I have to and perform multiplayer or functional testing with our other tester, Jon. I test all projects for Hidden Path, which keeps me very busy as a shared resource.

For Windborne exclusively, I’m also a stand-in sound designer. HPE doesn’t have enough sound design work for a full time designer so I fill in where I can. I wrote all of the music you hear while playing Windborne, with the exception of the Title Theme, written by the amazingly talented Jeff Broadbent. I also made some sound effects and hooked them up where I was able to.

What is the most rewarding thing about making video games?
The players! I’m constantly amazed at the creative ways that players enjoy games.
There’s always something that I didn’t anticipate. There’s often some unintentional behavior that becomes some player’s favorite thing and generates some fan mail. I love that.

If a zombie apocalypse happened tomorrow, what’s the first thing you would do? Get my family together, grab supplies and swear fealty to LEX STORY immediately

Keywords: Hidden Path