Name: Steve Chamberlin
Position: Senior Development Director, Rift engineering
What was your first MMOG? What was your favorite?
I played text MUDs, one in particular was Tiny MUD at the University of Michigan. I got deeply involved in creating content for that MUD, and was upset when it was shut down without warning. I played WoW to 60 back when that was the cap. Of course my favorite is Rift!
How did you get involved with making games?
As a kid, I wrote all kinds of games in BASIC for my Atari 800 computer: I did battleship, maze games, shooters, and especially text adventures. I was a huge fan of the Infocom games, and wrote two full-length text adventures of my own, with a home-made text parsing engine. I actually sent one as part of my college application! Later I had some success self-publishing Macintosh shareware games, and eventually made a career of game development. I spent about a decade on sports and console games, before joining the MMO industry.
What’s the coolest thing you’ve done so far in the creation of Rift: Planes of Telara?
It’s all been amazing. I’m very fortunate to have seen Trion grow from a small seed. Initially we were just a handful of people in some temporary office space with a bunch of big plans and little else. We gathered some incredibly talented people, which has been our greatest strength. We sure had our share of false starts and thrown-out work, but now we’re on the cusp of launching something truly awesome. Today Trion is a major developer with hundreds of employees and offices in three cities. It seems like only yesterday we were printing up first business cards.
Can you provide a sample of your work, assuming it can be released to the public?
Originally I was one of Rift’s core programmers, then later Lead Engineer, and now Development Director for Engineering, which means most of my time goes towards technical management. I still like to dive in and do some programming when I can, though. Here’s a tool I wrote recently to analyze the logging data we collect from our alpha server. The heatmap shows the density of player visits across a portion of the main continent.
Care to tease the fans with your favorite in-game moment?
Death Rifts. Awesome visual effects, awesome music. I am going to die!!