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Micro Forte
MMORPG | Setting:Sci-Fi | Status:Cancelled  (est.rel N/A)  | Pub:Micro Forte
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Dev Profile: Paul MacInnes

By Dana Massey on September 12, 2005 | Interviews | Comments

Dev Profile: Paul MacInnes

Our Developer Profile Q&A Series Continues

Citizen Zero is an Xbox/PC sci-fi MMORPG in development over at Micro Forte. The company has been very tight lipped on the project's development, but we did snag a brief Q&A session with Paul McInnes as we continue our look behind the scenes at the people making the games we play. us begin with an introduction to who you are, what you do and what you’re working on.
Paul McInnes:

I am a Game Designer at Micro Forte. I am currently working as Lead Designer on a massively multiplayer action MMO called Citizen Zero. gaming industry draws from all quarters. Can you run us through how you came to your current job?
Paul McInnes:

By a very indirect path. I have been making games of various kinds since I was eight, wrote my first computer game in the 1980s and have been making games as a hobby ever since. Equally, I have been an avid paper-and-pencil gamer since the early 1980s. Before I joined Micro Forte I was working on a PhD in anthropology, my other great love. I applied for a game designer job at a friend’s suggestion without any grand expectations and my combination of game-making, RPG experience and interest in online games gave me a foot in the door. If I wasn’t working in the games industry I would be studying online social interaction and dynamics as an academic.

 advertisement have what many would consider a dream job. What is your favorite part of your job?
Paul McInnes:

Working with bright, creative, passionate people in a demanding industry. Making games is wonderfully challenging and you have to keep learning and adapting to keep up. I love the way that stretches the mind. I love the feeling of working as part of a team to make something special. to you is the most challenging part of your current job?
Paul McInnes:

Balancing the creative and the pragmatic. There are a lot of practical constraints on what you can do in making a game, the trick is to try and turn weaknesses into strengths but often it means having to cut features that you love. That is often a good thing: great games have a very clear focus, but it can be difficult having to say “no” to a brilliant idea when you would love to say “yes”. those who wish to follow and join the industry, what is your advice?
Paul McInnes:

Play lots of games. Play them for fun then sit back analyze what works and what doesn’t work. Expect to work hard: this is not the place to get rich, but it can be a very satisfying place to work if you can cope with the ups and downs of the industry. Get skilled: people aren’t hired to come up with cool ideas, they are hired because they can do the real work at the coal-face. Make games. Work on mods, build levels and scenarios for existing games and iterate on a level until it plays well and looks great.

Interested in what you've heard? Let us know in this comment thread.