President, Co-Founder Mad Otter Games
Damon has over twenty years of experience in the computer gaming industry. He first began designing games as a high-school student in 1977. By 1981, Damon had successfully created his first computer game, Stellar 7 for the Apple II. This lead quickly to the formation of his company, Dynamix, which he co-founded in 1983. Dynamix flourished and was considered one of the most innovative game studios of its time releasing hundreds of award winning titles, and was perhaps best known for its series of historic flight simulations first launched by Damon with his game, Red Baron. Red Baron was later inducted into The Computer Gaming World Hall of Fame, as the 4th best computer game of all time.
In 1989, Sierra purchased Dynamix, and it quickly became Sierra’s most profitable revenue center. After taking some years off to further his education as well as to gain a pilot’s license, Damon returned to the gaming industry in 2007, when he founded Mad Otter Games. Mad Otter released Aces of Aces in 2008, followed by Villagers and Heroes in 2011, the MMORPG which has grown from a player base of twenty people to over 20,000 people and continues to rapidly bring in new players from around the globe on a daily basis.
Villagers and Heroes (2011), Ace of Aces (2008), Aces Over Europe (1993), Aces Expansion: WWII 1946, Aces of the Pacific (1992), Red Baron Mission Builder (1991), Red Baron (1990), Stellar 7 (1990), A-10 Tank Killer (1989), Abrams Battle Tank (1988), Arcticfox (1986), Stellar 7 (1982), David Wolf: Secret Agent (1989), MechWarrior (1989), Project Firestart (1989), Skyfox II: The Cygnus Conflict (1987)
Real Time Strategy, Flight games, Fantasy Role-playing games, and first-person shooters.
Building Arcticfox on a black-box pre-release Amiga. The keyboard was made of wood, spray-painted black!
First Game Project:
Senior Software Engineer, Co-Founder Mad Otter Games
Paul has over twenty-three years of experience in the computer gaming industry, and has acted as the lead programmer for over twenty different bestselling games, including Red Baron and MechWariior. Paul began his career at Dynamix, where he worked from 1985 – 2001. He took a position with Sony Bend Studios in 2001 as their Senior Software Engineer and developed PS2 and PSP games for Sony until 2007, when he co-founded Mad Otter Games with Damon Slye.
MechWarrior (1993), Nova 9: The Return of Gir Draxon (1991), MechWarrior (1989), Arcticfox (1986), Villagers & Heroes of a Mystical Land (2011), Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow (2007), Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror (2006), Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain (2004), Chain Reaction (2002), EarthSiege 2 (1996), Metaltech: EarthSiege – Expansion Pack (1995), Metaltech: EarthSiege (1994), Aces Over Europe (1993), Aces of the Pacific (1992), Nova 9: The Return of Gir Draxon (1991), Red Baron (1990), David Wolf: Secret Agent (1989), MechWarrior (1989), Project Firestart (1989)
Mad Bowman, The Natural, Pablito.
My name is Liam Ryan. On my 10th birthday my Dad gave me Borland C++ and a book on how to program, and I’ve been programming ever since.
A lot of what I programmed was just for fun. AI always fascinates me: I’ve made quite a few neural networks and genetic programs (once I made a program that evolved AIs to control opposing Pong paddles). Originally I had to mod some other game like Jedi Knight or Tribes II, or use Direct2D or even the DOS Console, but more recently, with tools like Torque and Flash and Unity, it’s much easier to prototype something interesting quickly.
I was also involved for several years with Top Meadow and GarageGames as an artist, scripter, and programmer, and worked on several games such as Marble Blast, Minigolf Mania, and Puzzle Poker, as well as other smaller Top Meadow projects such as Hunter Sub and Balls Away. I worked briefly on Ace of Aces, which was released on InstantAction.
Starflight II and Seven Cities of Gold are high on my list, because they manage to feel both large and detailed. They also manage to convey a sense of ‘verisimilitude’ — I mean that while the games are open-ended (sometimes overwhelmingly so at first) one can often use common sense (or genre sense as the case may be) to imagine what one ‘ought’ to do, and this is often reasonably successful. Though I have not played it as much, I think X-Com will become another favorite of mine for the same reasons.
I also like Dwarf Fortress and Cave Story for quite different reasons. Dwarf Fortress is remarkable in that it has a very sophisticated simulator, which is somehow designed in such a way that stories (be they bizarre, or emotional, or awesome) seem naturally to emerge. On the other hand, Cave Story is arcadey, but the gameplay and progression are almost perfect: challenging but rarely frustrating.
Probably Newbot. For a while I was interesting in chatbots, which are programs that try to ‘converse’ with you: you would write a sentence, and the chatbot would respond with its own sentence, and so on back and forth. Newbot was the second one I tried (hence the ‘new’) and the most successful. Some chatbots are preprogrammed with responses to various keywords, but Newbot would actually learn its words and ‘grammar’ (as far as it had any) from what you said to it.
Of course this caused some interesting confusions. It could never be convinced it was Newbot. However much I told it “You are Newbot!” it would only respond “You are Newbot!” It once arrogantly declared “I am Supser, you are Newbot the launch button.” One very enigmatic saying it once uttered, upon being told that it had to hide in the sewers, was: “it water it water it sided come on the go! you go! you”
It actually wasn’t too complicated. All it did was map each word to each other word with a ‘weight’. The higher the weight from one word to another, the more likely it was to say that word after the first. So if you often said ‘door’ after ‘the’, the chatbot would also likely say ‘door’ after ‘the’.
First Game Project
Marble Blast was the first published game that I was credited in.
Favorite Game Quote
“The unplanned organism is a question asked by nature and answered by death.” -Echelon III
Cameron joined Mad Otter in 2011, and has been working as the lead content designer for the past 2 years. In addition to creating all of the Traven content and numerous event zones, Cameron was also responsible for the design of Villagers and Heroes’ first ever expansion patch, ‘The Fury of the Stone Lord.’
He is a graduate of the excellent Game Development program at Lane Community College. Cameron especially loves world creation and system design, but also enjoys story writing, boss scripting, and filling the world with wonderful and kooky characters. Cameron has been playing games since his first Windows 3.1 computer, and has always had a particular fascination for RPG’s and MMO’s.
Artist & Web Developer
Having recently moved to the US from Sweden, Ivar joined Mad Otter in late 2014 and has since been responsible for redesigning the user interface of Villagers & Heroes, as well as creating promotional art and other content. He has also developed the redesigned Villagers & Heroes, Mad Otter, and Mad Otter portfolio websites. Ivar likes working on most aspects of game development including artwork, programming and level design – as well as composing orchestral game soundtracks. He mainly enjoys the game medium for its potential to convey stories and worlds in new, immersive ways – and views immersion and atmosphere as the key aspects of creating games.
Ivar has been studying game art at several Swedish universities, and has been independently involved in game development long before that – starting his journey into creating games through C++ programming on his first computer and continuing through making own smaller games and developing custom content for larger titles.
In his spare time Ivar enjoys single-player PC games, music composing and nature exploration, as well as designing software UX and creating websites.
Fantasy & science fiction RPGs, real time strategy games, first-person shooters
Total Annihilation (1997), Deus Ex (2000), Knights of The Old Republic (2003), S.T.A.L.K.E.R. (2007), Mass Effect (2007-2012), Fallout (1997-2015)
Sarah joined Mad Otter in 2013. She comes from the indie film world, where she has spent the past ten years writing a number of award winning screenplays, including ‘The Rhythm of Chaos,’ ‘The Punishing Business’, and an adaptation of Michael Dorris’ bestselling novel, ‘A Yellow Raft In Blue Water’ to name just a few. Sarah currently writes the game lore and quests for Villagers and Heroes, and assists in community management.
Sarah enjoys the similarities between indie games and indie film, and especially appreciates the creative energy and team collaboration inherent in both.