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Interviews: Dev Profile: Matt Kidder

By  on September 21, 2006

Today, a server programmer for Dark Age of Camelot shows us another side of the industry

We get back on track after two conferences with a brand new developer profile. This week, Matt Kidder, a server programmer on EA Mythic's Dark Age of Camelot offers us his look behind the curtain of working in the industry. us a little bit about your life growing up. Where did you live, what did you do, did you go to school?
Matt Kidder:

I lived in several places growing up. I started out in western New York, moved to West Virginia, Southern California, Virginia, England, and finally back to Virginia. Most of what I did was go to school and play. I went to George Mason University in Northern Virginia and earned a BS in Computer Science.

 advertisement what age did you start playing games in general? Did you play any sports? What were your favorite games as a child?
Matt Kidder:

I loved playing with Legos and playing outside with friends. I started playing video games very young. My older brother had an Atari 2600 that we would play. I think my parents still have it somewhere. I started programming pretty early too. My dad bought us an Atari 800 XT, or something like that. When I was about five or six I was typing in the tic-tac-toe game from the back of the manual. It wasn’t that interesting to me at the time, and I didn’t really come back to programming until High School. I had many favorite games growing up: Monopoly, Risk, Hearts, an old game called "Careers," and more. For computer games, I loved the Monkey Island games from LucasArts. influences can have a major part in games. What influences outside of game-play bring life to your work? Any ideas that you get from Books, Movies, Comics, Real-Life Stories, Art would be great here.
Matt Kidder:

My third grade teacher read us The Hobbit and encouraged us to read The Lord of the Rings, which I did and loved them all. I also remember reading many stories and books by Isaac Asimov and other Science Fiction writers. I still love to read Fantasy and Science Fiction books as well as History. what age did you start playing video games? Can you tell us what your first video game experience was?
Matt Kidder:

I must have been three or four when I started playing Atari games with my brother. I think my first experience was probably playing Atari Football and my brother scoring some obscenely high score. was the first game you worked on? What others games have you been involved with?
Matt Kidder:

The first game I worked on was Darkness Falls: The Crusade for Mythic. I’ve worked on most of the Mythic games in some way or another since then: programming, testing, building deliverables, creating content, etc. is your job at Mythic Entertainment? How did you get your foot in the door?
Matt Kidder:

I am a programmer for Dark Age of Camelot. I mostly concentrate on Server code, but do client work too. I got my foot in the door by playing a dial up game called Tempest, run by one of the founders of Mythic. A few years after I started playing, they were looking to bring the game onto the Internet and contacted me to see if I wanted to play test and I did. A few months later they asked me to start doing some content work, and few months after that I was hired. us through a typical day of work at Mythic, what is it like when you show up at the office?
Matt Kidder:

It is usually pretty quiet except for the rare emergency situations. I’ll sit down, check my email and deal with any serious issues there. I’ll take a few minutes check Google News and some web comics, and then get down to work. I try to read the new posts on the Pendragon boards [the DAoC test server] and see if there are any "low-hanging fruit" issues that I can resolve. Then I work on other bugs the rest of the morning. I work on new code in the afternoon. At least every couple of days I try to get a new internal test server version up with new code and bug fixes, but that is now fairly automated. there any friends or family who had a major impact on your career or chasing dreams that you’d like to talk about?
Matt Kidder:

I’d say my Dad had a very large impact on my career. Although he initially tried to steer me away from working in computers, once he saw that I was seriously into it, he supported me 100%. And he was kind enough to let me find my own way in the world and not try to impose his dreams, aspirations or fears on me. are your hopes for the video games of the future, any thoughts on where the industry may be going?
Matt Kidder:

I would love to see games continue to bring people of all backgrounds together. I think it is apparent that the future of gaming is online. I am very much looking forward to the Wii and seeing how developers exploit its controller.

You can read more here.

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