I began freelance consulting (programming) in 1987, after two years at UT
Austin. I started my first corporation, Ensemble System Consulting, in1990 with
John Boog-Scott, (a high-school/college friend), who was with Anderson
Consulting at the time. Ensemble Systems has grown to over 50(incredibly
talented) people. We have just been informed that we made this year's Inc. 500.
In January 1996, I founded Ensemble Studios with the dream of eventually
becoming the worlds premier game development company.
When did you know you would have a career in the gaming industry?
I have long known that I was going to start a game company. In 6th grade I
played my first RPG (Monsters Monsters). This and Tolkien's Lord of the Rings
had a tremendous impact on this part of my life. I have since been a hard-core
gamer... computer games, Avalon Hill style games, role playing. Also, I had
reached the conclusion much, much earlier in life(observing less-than-satisfied
adults) that when I grew up I would only do something that I absolutely loved
As technology advances, multiplayer games are more and more involving, where do
you feel that computer-based games are headed?
The computer based game experience will continue to get better and better.
Online play is a very natural extension of this experience. However, it is
important to remember that computer games provide experiences that are similar
to both board games and books. Online play(as it relates to group play) will
never replace the personal book-like experience. The real explosion in Online
play is simply waiting on accessibility to the general public. You will know
when the Age of Online are has arrived... It will be ushered in by one great
game that proves to the world that online games are for everybody. Very much
the same way that Doom brought computer game visibility to the general public.
What excites you most about the future of the gaming industry?
That's easy. Our participation in it, for sure! It's a wide open, virgin, field
of dreams for creative talents all over the world. We are going to seize the
day. Our team is the most ambitious group I have ever known. These guys are not
satisfied unless they are pushing the extreme edge of the game experience
What's the most difficult part of creating a quality gaming experience?
We have so many great game ideas that we want to do. It is very difficult to
not be able to do them all. It is necessary for us to put many good ideas aside
in order to focus on only one or two great games.