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Dev Profile: Howard Marans

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This week we talk to an Associate Producer at EA Mythic

Howard Marans is an Associate Producer on Dark Age of Camelot at EA Mythic. In this edition of our weekly developer profiles, he gives us some insights into what it is to be a producer and how he got there.

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?
Howard Marans:

I grew up in Rockville, Maryland. I went to college at Adelphi University in New York, and graduated with a BS in Computer Science. Growing up, my first real job was as a lifeguard. I eventually became a lifeguard instructor as well as a Pool Manager.

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?
Howard Marans:

When I was growing up I tried all sorts of different sports, from soccer, to baseball, to swimming. I finally ended up sticking with the swimming.

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

I had both an Atari 2600 and a Commodore 64 growing up, but it wasn't until I got my Apple 2c that I truly got into gaming. My first (and still one of my favorite games) was Sierra's "The Black Cauldron."

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

The first game I worked on was Dark Age of Camelot's first expansion - Shrouded Isles. Since then, I've worked on every Camelot expansion to date.

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

My current job is Associate Producer for Dark Age of Camelot. As for getting my foot in the door, I got hired in Oct of '01 as part time Tech Support, for the release of Camelot. I quickly moved through the company from Tech Support, to Content Developer, to World Builder to where I am now.

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

My job mainly focuses around the integration of the art and content for Camelot. The artists and world builders will give me their work, and I will get it integrated into the game clients. Sometimes, it's a bit slow, but other times the stuff comes in so quickly you never get a second to catch your breath.

I'm also in charge of making sure all the correct files are ready for the patches and are going to the correct clients.

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?
Howard Marans:

I actually had a bunch of friends in college who kept telling me to "get off the computer and get out for some fresh air," and that all the time I spent playing Everquest wasn't going to help me in the future. Now when I talk to them, I'm just like, "what were you saying back then?"

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

I think the video game industry is stronger then ever, and with new technology being developed all the time, games will only get better.

MMORPG.com: Is there anything you would like to write to the readers of MMORPG.com that we have not spoken about?
Howard Marans:

If you're into playing games and you want to work in the industry, there is no problem with starting at the very bottom and slowly working your way up. Tech support, Customer Service, they can all lead to bigger and better things.