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Dev Profile: DJ Larkin, Content Developer

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We profile this Dark Age of Camelot developer to go along with our Audio Interview

As a special treat, you get a bonus developer profile today as part of our Game/On Audio Interview. As DJ Larkin, content developer for EA Mythic, is the subject of our podcast (which you can listen to here), we decided it was a good time to let you know a bit about the man.

MMORPG.com: Tell us a little bit about your life growing up. Where did you live, what did you do, did you go to school?
DJ Larkin:

I grew up in the east bay of San Francisco, Ca. I lived in the same town until I turned 18, and moved up to the far north of California to go to college.

MMORPG.com: At what age did you start playing games in general? Did you play any sports? What were your favorite games as a child?
DJ Larkin:

I swam competitively for twelve years, and played competitive water polo for six years. I started playing games as a little kid on my first PC, and continued on through consoles and PC gaming through today. I’ve always loved strategy games, and anything that took problem solving skills. I also love to play poker, but only with other people, not online.

MMORPG.com: Various 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.
DJ Larkin:

I get my influences from everywhere. I’ve been an avid reader since the age of three. I read anything I can get my hands on. When I was a kid, I got really into sci-fi, fantasy and comics. Ever since then, I’ve had a fascination with anything that those genres manifest in. Games, obviously, are a huge part of that. It’s just like reading that comic, but you actually get to interact with the environment and other characters. Who wouldn’t love that?

MMORPG.com: At what age did you start playing video games? Can you tell us what your first video game experience was?
DJ Larkin:

Young, that’s all I know. I remember the first game I purchased was “Bad Dudes”. My PC must have been an Amiga or a Tandy, and it only had 2 colors.

MMORPG.com: What was the first game you worked on? What others games have you been involved with?
DJ Larkin:

Camelot is the first commercial game I’ve worked on. However, I programmed my first games in BASIC around age 7 or 8. I wrote my first MUD my freshman year of high school, and created my first single player storyline game by the time I was a senior in high school. I was an avid modder for lots of games, including the Doom and Quake series. I built several maps for each game in the series.

MMORPG.com: What is your job at Mythic Entertainment? How did you get your foot in the door?
DJ Larkin:

I’m a content developer in charge of class balance. I started working with Mythic as a beta tester on DAOC. From there I became a Team Lead, and participated in the program for around four years. After that, I came to work at Mythic. I was in product quality before moving up to the job I’m in now.

MMORPG.com: Take us through a typical day of work at Mythic, what is it like when you show up at the office?
DJ Larkin:

There isn’t exactly a typical day for me at Mythic. It’s one of the reasons I love working here. I show up in the morning, and just start reading. I have notepads and printouts scattered all around my desk covered with notes taken from reading email and message boards. From there, I look at any new email I have, and then catch up on the boards from the night before. After that, I look over my notes, and try to sketch out a schedule for the day. We have regular meetings to keep everyone informed of what everyone is working on. From there I either work on new content, bug fixes, or plans for the upcoming patch or expansion.

MMORPG.com: Are there any friends or family who had a major impact on your career or chasing dreams that you’d like to talk about?
DJ Larkin:

My family has always been supportive of me. They’re the best family a person could have. I’m the first really tech oriented person in my immediate family, so they don’t understand the intricacies of how my job works. They just know I’m happy, and as long as I’m happy, they’ll support what I’m doing. As for friends, my roommates in college were probably responsible for my entrance into the industry. One of my college roommates works for a studio in LA. I don’t think there was any doubt that either of us would get in to the industry after only a few months in the dorms. I think I ended up playing more games than doing homework or going to class.

MMORPG.com: What are your hopes for the video games of the future, any thoughts on where the industry may be going?
DJ Larkin:

I hope that the industry can keep coming up with new and innovative ideas. As long as there’s innovation, the industry will stay fresh. Innovation, however, should never be an excuse to skimp on quality. They’re equally important.

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