Today Genese talks with Erin Reynolds and Michael Annetta about Nevermind, a bio-feedback enhanced thriller game that revolves around the subconscious.
Erin Reynolds is the Founder, President, and Creative Director of Flying Mollusk. She has a diverse background spanning the past 10 years in game development within a variety of different environments, including as a developer (handheld, social, and mobile), publisher, academic, and now indie. Erin is passionate about the potential games have to empower, educate, and inspire players of all kinds and to make the world a better, more playful place.
To this end, she took a sabbatical from her career in Game Development in 2009 to pursue her MFA through the prestigious Interactive Media & Games Division of the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. There, Erin led projects such as Trainer, (winning the two top awards for Michelle Obama’s Apps for Healthy Kids competition at the White House) and the critically acclaimed academic version of Nevermind.
As Chief Mollusk of Flying Mollusk, Erin is dedicated to continuing to create edgy games and interactive art that leave a lasting positive impact on the user and world.
Michael Annetta has worked as a designer and producer with, among others, Wemo Labs, Walt Disney Imagineering, The Annenberg Innovation Lab, The Alchemists, and Mirada Studios. He is a former member of the steering committee of TransmediaLA (now StoryForwardLA) and is currently a Consulting Advisor for The Lavender Effect, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization committed to advancing the future of LGBTQ history and culture. He has presented on games, transmedia and virtual reality at Storyworld, PAX Prime, NAMLE (National Association for Media Literacy Education), VR Long Beach and Bent-Con.
Michael holds an MFA from USC’s renowned Interactive Media division (where he was the first-ever recipient of the USC Lambda LGBT Alumni Association’s NOGLSTP (National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals) Scholarship in Innovation).
Michael shifted into games after a long and diverse career as a performer, singer, director and producer in stage and film. He has worked extensively in New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles. He can still perform a Shakespearean monologue or 16 bars of a ballad and uptempo when prompted (or intoxicated).
Today's guest are Stephen Kick and Warren Davis.
Warren Davis began his video game career with Gottlieb in 1982 as designer and programmer of the smash hit Q*bert. He followed up immediately with Faster, Harder, More Challenging Q*bert, but it was never released. His next game, Us. Vs. Them, was an alien invasion themed laser-disc game which combined live action filmed sequences with computer generated graphics. Moving to Williams/Bally/Midway, he took over the programming of Joust 2 and began exploring the use of digitized imagery in video games.
He coded the display system for Williams' new 256 color system, first used on the game Narc, then left to become a consultant for Premier Technologies where he created the game, Exterminator, a surreal bug killing game which was critically acclaimed, but never went into full production.
In 1991, Warren returned to Williams where he joined the team working on T2:Judgement Day, a first person shooter based on the hit movie. His upgraded video digitization system was used for the Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam series of games, as well as virtually all of Midway's games in the early 1990's. Warren's final project at Williams was Revolution X, featuring Aerosmith. In 1995, Warren moved to Los Angeles and worked for Disney Interactive on a variety of titles.
He left Disney in 2000 and has since worked on (among other things) console games, edutainment titles and previsualization software for films.
Stephen Kick is the founder and CEO of Night Dive Studios, a company dedicated to modernizing and publishing classic computer game titles. Some of the company’s successes include System Shock, Strife and Turok.
A graduate of the Art Institute, Stephen began his career in the games industry with SONY Online Entertainment. While on a vacation in Central America, Stephen was shocked to find out that no one had been able to secure the rights to the System Shock titles and that these games that inspired a genre were now abandoned. He began a quest to find and restore the great games of yesteryear.
His company’s name, Night Dive Studios, derives from both a nighttime underwater tour that was part
of the vacation and also serves as a reminder that in establishing his company to bring back classic game
titles, Stephen was taking a risk, heading into the unknown. The gamble has paid off!
In today's episode, Genese talks with Eric Kieron Davis, a veteran video game senior producer who is working on the immersive science fiction game, Star Citizen. Eric is an award-winning producer and creative director for film, theater, video games, web, and literary genres. He is passionate about producing high quality content built to entertain. He is currently a senior producer for Star Citizen and holds valuable experience in cinematic, film, and video game production for various state-of-the-art companies such as Blizzard Entertainment. He is also the founder of the film production company, Sleepwalker Studios.
Davis was the creative director on the new adult novel, The Holder's Dominion, and won several awards for the book's cinematic trailer and innovative video game and suspenseful themes. As a creative director, Davis focuses on the creative vision of the project aiming to intrigue and excite an audience. As a producer, he is critically acclaimed for his passion to inspire and lead teams from concept to completion on a number of premium projects. To learn more, visitproducedbyeric.com
She also talks with Hakan Abrak about the creative and incredibly fun elements of the game, Hitman.
Insights and interviews in the world of video games. Episodes post every other Thursday!
Genese Davis is an author, speaker, columnist and media personality known for her expertise in the world of gaming.