DG Dev Profile - Scott Bodenbender
09/26/2013 by trixie360
Next up in our series of profiles on the Defense Grid 2 team is an interview with programmer Scott Bodenbender.
Are you a PNW native? If not, where did you come from and how long have you been in the area?
I grew up in a small town outside of Columbus, Ohio. I then moved to Virginia near Washington D.C. in 1992 where I stayed for 4 years. In 1996 I moved from Washington D.C. to Washington State.
If you could time travel back to your childhood bedroom, what toy would you bring back with you?
"Drop the roadblock and go for a hook-up" That's great! Please name one of your all-time favorite films.
Lawrence of Arabia.
How about your favorite books or comics?
The Lord of the Rings.
Finally, hit us with your fave band or musician.
Led Zeppelin. I think LOTR and Zeppelin sort of go together.
Without a doubt! What video game do you think changed the industry the most in the last decade?
Angry Birds. I think games are becoming more accessible and more mainstream. If you asked me of all time I would say DOOM; It was amazing that at the time a game like DOOM could run on an old 286 PC.
How long have you worked in gaming? And what the heck did you do before?
17 years. I worked at IBM in the defense division working on submarine sonar systems and battlefield simulators before starting into games.
What are some of the games you've worked on in those 17 years?
King’s Quest, Casino Empire, Evil Dead, Defense Grid (the first), Counter Strike:Global Offensive.
Is there a particular game or experience that led you down this video game development path?
I always knew from when I was kid that I wanted to make toys or video games; I realized in college that it was a lot easier to find a job making video games, so I switched majors to Computer Science in my junior year to start down the path towards games.
What do you do on Defense Grid 2?
I’m a programmer on DG2 currently working on mob behaviors. I've been lucky enough to work on many different things in DG1. Probably my favorite is I got to implement the behavior for the meteor tower; it is just a really cool looking tower. I worked on other towers including the missile tower and some general tower behavior like making the towers ‘look’ for targets when they aren't busy blasting mobs.
On DG2 I helped start the initial work on the new editor and because we have more flexibility in level design in DG2 I had to rework the way we calculate the pathing system for the mobs to use when walking to their doom.
What is the most rewarding thing about making video games?
Knowing that someone will get enjoyment out of playing a game that you helped make.
What have you learned from working on Defense Grid?
You learn new things all the time in games; that is one of the rewarding aspects, constantly learning new skills. Each game is different and requires unique solutions.