THQ

Art Manager, 2004 - 2006

Role

A group of friends from my days at EA had formed Cranky Pants Games as a first-party developer within THQ working on game ports. When they started work on their first title done wholly in-house they asked me to join them and bring some process to the studio and especially to the art team. I immediately took over managing the 13 artists and animators from the art director and set about adding transparency, collaboration, and structure to the team. By shuffling responsibilities, implementing cross-discipline "strike teams", setting up a system of reviews and critiques, and adding my voice to the leadership team we were able to coalesce and start hitting milestone dates and commitments. Evil Dead: Regeneration shipped on schedule and exceeded THQ's internal expectations. I also contracted and worked with an external agency to build a website for the game.

I put together pre-production plan for the next studio title, Destroy All Humans! Path of Furon, and began making arrangements with off-shore agencies to create some of the thousands of assets we couldn't possibly do in-house. Then I was off to my next opportunity.

Take-Aways

By 2006 I was finding all of the interesting UX problems in console gaming were basically solved. There was still plenty to be done but it was very straightforward. The biggest challenges that fell to me involved staff augmentation and managing teams through projects with increasingly aggressive timelines.