Heaven Games Goes Mad Doc
Steven Nadeau Interview
As mentioned in our Unit Modding article, the first person we got to meet to tell us all about the inner workings of Empire Earth 2 was Steven Nadeau. As the person most familiar with the database setup that forms the meat and bones of the game, he was particularly helpful to us and gave us a lot of useful information about the game But we also wanted to get to know the person behind the technology. So we ask Steven to tell us all about himself and give those dreamers amongst us who wants to do what he does for a living, how best to make that dream a reality.
SN: Well, I have been at Mad Doc for, I think, about 5 years or so now. I came on pretty early on with the company. Before that, I worked at Looking Glass Technologies. I first got my degree in teaching and I student taught at a school, but then I got a playtesting position at Looking Glass and jumped on that and I havenít looked back since. So, I have been in business since around 1996/97, something like that. Other products I have worked on at Mad Doc have been Janeís Attack Squadron, and Star Trek Armada, I was the lead designer on that. Anyways on a personal level, I am a RPG gamer, I love board games, and sci-fi, Iím your typical geek gamer.
HG: What has been your role in Empire Earth II?
SN: Yeah so this certainly was our biggest, highest profile product we have had to date and I was the lead designer on it. I worked really closely with the lead programmer to architect a lot. I worked on how we handled all the data and the databases just from a game design standpoint, just so that we would be able to handle it. The database is a very powerful system. It can be a little intimidating if you donít know it, but it is very powerful and there are a lot of things you can do if you know all the files you have to touch and all the things u have to make work.
HG: For someone looking to get into the gaming industry what would you tell them?
SN: I would say, from my point of view, and certainly, for people we are looking to hire, we want people who make stuff on their own time that is just good quality such as mods and maps. There is no substitute for this because it shows technical competency, and a willingness to spend time making stuff. Itís a great start, especially for game designers. You see with game designers it is different because itís not like artist who can show you art or a programmer that can show you a program. But by making things, it shows that you know how to use a tool set to create compelling game content. If you can use one set of tools, you can use them all I say. Finally just play games and really look at them. Look at why one is good and another is bad.
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