Greetings Citizens! Time for another episode of Meet the Devs, this time featuring Matt Sherman, Technical Designer @ CIG Santa Monica.
Meet the Devs – James Pugh, with Matt Sherman
JP – You’re wearing your Star Citizen shirt. Did you wear that just because you knew you were going to be on Camera?
MS – … Yeah.
JP – Hey everybody! Thanks for joining us on Meet the Devs, I’m James Pugh, with me is Technical Designer Matt Sherman, Matt, how’re you doing?
MS – Doing good.
JP – So how’d you first start with the project?
MS – I… just reading through news sites, i want to say it was Joystik, they had an article up that was, hey, Chris Roberts is going to be revealing his next project, at GDC Online, which is the one that happens in Austin, for October of 2012, and I was, okay, I’ll have to pay attention to that. Went to the site, registered, got my golden ticket and all that, and then when GDC rolled around, started seeing news sites pop up and it was like, Stream goes up, stream crashes down, just overloading instantly.
JP – So you’ve been here since literally the beginning. So you’ve played Wing Commander and all the old games?
MS – Yeah, although, yeah I even brought my backer card
JP – Oh man, alright, zoom in on this. I don’t think they zoomed.
MS – But yeah definitely played the old game, but it was interesting, my first experience with the Wing Commanders was the play station versions, so I played through 3 and 4 on the PlayStation, but then played a ton of freelancer when that was out, Starlancer on both Dreamcast and PC, and just a lot of the other space games in that era.
JP – So there was this hole that you wanted
MS – Yeah, cause there hasn’t been a space game for what, fifteen odd years? Like, okay…
JP – So you came over here from Blizzard. What was the difference between there and here like on your first day?
MS – It was a bit overwhelming because instead of being really focused on just my part of the project like I was at blizzard, it was much more just, you’re going to have your hands involved in everything, so, better get used to stuff fast. So, picking up how the items were set up, picking up just how we do, the processes for setting up a ship, setting up a weapon, setting up any part of the game… getting the builds running on our computers, totally different thing, just managing all the files… it’s still like, okay I’ve done this for a few years, but now just on a much more complex level.
JP – So now we know how you got into the industry, we know how you got here, what made you first want to be part of this industry?
MS – There was an old issue of Nintendo Power when I was… 7 and in the back were the design results for their design the ultimate video game contest. And up until that point I had no idea it’s like, oh just, games happen. I plug a cartridge into my Intellivision or my Nintendo and things pop up on screen, and that’s when I first realized, wait, I could do this for a career. I could make a life out of making video games, and I was just sold on it then. And one of the other interesting things from that contest is, the guy who won it, went on to become a fairly well known comic artist, Jay Scott Campbell, who’s done a lot of work for Marvel and other companies.
JP – In my head it was just, and the man who went to win that? Chris Roberts.
MS – That would have been a bit crazy.
JP – He tried to win this contest even though he was already making Wing Commander. Maybe leave that part out. But what was it that originally drew you to Star Citizen? Was it just Chris Roberts’ name, or was it the genre, or something else?
MS – It was like that, high level vision, basically seeing a constellation and seeing the pitch of you’ll have one guy flying it, two of your buddies manning each of the turrets, and a third buddy in the Merlin, flying around being able to dock in and out. And that, just on a raw conceptual level, just seemed so cool to me, where there’s a lot of games that have done multi seat vehicle stuff but never detailed works like, you’re walking around the ship to get there.
JP – Alright, so before we let you out of here, we’ve got three rapid-fire questions. Ready?
MS – Alright.
JP – Favourite Movie?
MS – Aliens.
JP – Never Seen it. Sorry. Favourite Video Game?
MS – System Shock 2.
JP – Alright, played that. It’s a great game. Ken Levine, that guy. He can literally do whatever he wants, and it kinda bums me out that he wants to do, I mean it doesn’t bum me out that he wants to do lower budget, smaller stuff, but I miss the big bombastic stuff from him.
MS – Yeah, but I still think, and one thing he nailed in that game, is this is how you do a crazy twist reveal in a video game, and making that dramatic set piece, where it’s, oh, it’s Shodan, oh, oh crap.
JP – Yeah, and then it seems the rest of his games since then were still chasing that same paradigm shift, which I think worked well in Bioshock, and Bioshock Infinite, but it was a little ruined by the fact that you knew something was coming. So I’m excited to see what comes next, but I’m going to miss the big, AAA stuff he’s been doing recently. Um… so, favourite ship in Star Citizen?
MS – Redeemer.
JP – Why Redeemer?
MS – From just seeing it in next great starship, I was… I really like those wings and the engines on it, some people hate the nutcrackers, I think they’re awesome, cause I keep thinking of VTOL on twin-stick setups where, have those things rattling around and it’s like, going straight up, straight down, it could be a lot more maneuverable than I think some people give it credit for, and just the gunship look of it, it looks very aggressive, and I’m just a huge fan of all of the Aegis ships overall so, I was really happy when it went up for sale.
JP – Awesome, well, thanks for coming out.
MS – Thanks for having me.
JP – Again, this is Matty Sherm, I’m James Pugh, and you just met a dev.
MS – Wow…
JP – Pretty good right?
MS – No…
JP – Ah well, whatever, cut it.