Bio

What I Do

I’m a game systems and narrative designer with a current focuses on software engineering. I have AAA experience ranging from dedicated scriptwriting to game systems design and programming in a range of major engines, including games in the Halo, Star Wars, Mafia, Driver, and Call of Duty engines. I have 9 years’ experience in the games industry and have worked on projects for Free Radical Design, Sony, Lucasarts, Ubisoft, Activision, Microsoft, and others.

I work as a Designer for Certain Affinity in Austin, Texas. I also do occasional freelance work in a range of creative and technical fields.

How I Started

After getting into online multiplayer text games in my early teens, I first learnt to program on a MUCK/MUD game I operated myself from a home server. This hooked me on world creation, scripting, and ultimately game development. I learned scripting languages based on LISP and Forth, and over the course of several years I wrote 18,000 lines of code across 370 programs in the game, building a player base of 2300 players, who used the game’s global chat command over 800,000 times during the lifetime of the game.

In my late teens, I taught myself web development using the LAMP stack using such venerable resources as HTMLgoodies.com, and at 20 I founded a boutique web development company where I showcased my portfolio, eventually developing a Content Management System in PHP for the MP for Cambridge. I taught myself C++ using the excellent C++ How To Program by Deitel & Deitel in order to figure out how to start making games using the open-source OGRE3D rendering engine. I studied English Literature at Cambridge, but spent my spare time coding, watching movies and TV, playing games, and preparing to enter the industry.

Stuff I Worked On

  • Free Radical Design, as Game Designer for Cutscenes on Star Wars: Battlefront III
  • Ubisoft, as Narrative Designer on Driver: San Francisco
  • Chillingo, writing marketing copy for their mobile catalog, including games like Angry Birds and Predators
  • Zindagi Games and Sony, as cutscenes Scriptwriter for Medieval Moves: Deadmund’s Quest
  • Rotor Games, as freelance writer for their iOS debut, Final Run
  • AppNormals, providing freelance videogame design consultancy on Super Barista
  • Murka Games, as Lead Writer providing freelance scriptwriting for a mobile title
  • Zindagi Games, as Lead Writer on an unannounced title and on AAA game pitches

and finally,

and other unannounced projects. I have now been at Certain Affinity for over 5 years. For more information on my work, please see the Games page.

Interests

My current technical interests include working with node.js, running and working with AWS servers (I run and develop multiple sites for friends and clients), and programming in C#. I recently took up Python for a work project.

Other Stuff

I am part of a slow-burn startup called Zone In which tells you about events happening near you in real time. I also help operate web stuff for another startup, Hindu Kush Clothing, which makes exotic and stylish garments from a special wool produced in the Chitral valley on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. I also have a couple of start-up ideas which are currently in the “nurturing” phase.

Links

I tweet at Dave_Midgley. I’m on LinkedIn: David Midgley.