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Tim Train: Focus on Firaxis: A Look Inside the Company

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  • Tim Train: Focus on Firaxis: A Look Inside the Company

    Name: Tim Train
    Title: Producer/Designer

    LDespot: What did you do for SMG?

    Tim Train: My main contribution was writing, editing, shooting, and producing the multimedia footage in the game. This was a lot of fun, and involved combing through hundreds of hours of archival footage, as well as a trip to 1997's Gettysburg re-enactment for a little filming. I also assisted with the marketing\PR effort on the product, and worked on many miscellaneous development support tasks, such as manual writing, playbalance, and tutorials.


    LDespot: What are you working on for Alpha Centauri?

    Tim Train: Two main tasks: working with Brian on the game design, and organizing parts of the development effort. I'll also probably be writing the manual, providing marketing support, and assisting Mike Ely with the multimedia.

    LDespot: How did you end up at Firaxis?

    Tim Train: I'd worked with Sid on several products; the original Civilization was one of my first assignments as a MicroProse playtester, and I tested every single port of Civ that came out in the next three years. I'd also been friends with Brian since joining a group of bridge players at MicroProse four or five years ago; that group included other industry notables like Sandy Petersen, Doug Kauffman, and Al Roireau. My first project with Brian was Civ II, where I worked on the multimedia with Mike Ely. When Brian and Sid left for Firaxis, I hoped they'd need a multimedia guy, and so they did!

    LDespot: Are there any suggestions you would have for someone trying to get a job in the game industry in a position similar to your own?

    Tim Train: Learn C, and work and play well with others.

    If you are just starting out, playtest is a great entry-level position; you work with lots of different teams, see all sorts of projects, and make your professional mistakes early. You get a lot of exposure as well. It's an oft-repeated comparison, but Playtest is much like the Hollywood mailroom in the 1920s--the place where the delivery boy catches the eye of some bigwig, and gets his big chance.[/texthighlight]

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