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Dev Profile: Peter Grundy

Dana Massey Posted:
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In This Week's Profile We Turn To Art

Peter Grundy is the Art Director for Auto Assault, from NetDevil. In the past few weeks we've talked to producers, designers, QA testers, and more. Today we shift the focus to the art department as we talk to Peter.

MMORPG.com: Can you tell us a bit about what you currently do, and the day-to-day responsibilities of that job?
Peter Grundy:

I am the art director on Auto Assault. I oversee the concept and production of all the art assets in the game. As well as managing the art team, I am also involved in many of the marketing visuals, such as overseeing CG and in-game trailers, ads, covers, in-box assets, etc.

Occasionally, I do actually get to produce some art that makes it in to the game, also.

MMORPG.com: Breaking into the gaming industry is the dream of many. How did you arrive at your current company? Can you run us through what brought you to this company and into the industry in general?
Peter Grundy:

When I first started playing around on computers to produce art, I got hooked making levels for Doom. I replaced textures and sprites for my levels and got addicted to creating these mini worlds. A little while after that I became a co-worker of Scott Brown’s at another company and we always talked about making a game of our own. It was Scott’s drive and passion that made Netdevil become a reality. I just helped kick it along a bit by adding some visuals to that dream.

MMORPG.com: What to you is the most challenging part of your current job?
Peter Grundy:

I think the hardest part is managing all the aspects I mentioned in the first question. Each one of these tasks is not that difficult in and of itself, but add them all up and it becomes very hard to oversee it all.

MMORPG.com: You have what many would consider a dream job. What is your favorite part of your job?
Peter Grundy:

It has to be seeing what you make get added to the game. It still holds that same magic when I first fired up a Doom level to look at what I created or changed. When I fire up Auto Assault today and see new assets that I or someone else has recently added, I still feel excited and inspired.

MMORPG.com: One of the catch phrases often thrown about the industry is that many bemoan a lack of innovation in MMORPGs. Auto Assault and Jumpgate have both strayed from the beaten path. How do you see the industry breaking out of its current rut of class based fantasy RPGs? Or do you?
Peter Grundy:

It’s going to be hard. We suffer from the same problems the movie industry does. Is it really worth the risk, breaking a mold that works when so much is riding on the success? Who has the confidence to risk it? These games take so long to make and if you’re wrong there aren’t many second chances. Both Auto Assault and Jumpgate have strayed from the current mold or genre that most MMO’s are taking, but we did this out of conviction on what we think an online game should be, not what they currently are. The verdict is still out as to whether this is what other people want too.

MMORPG.com: Auto Assault is obviously the focus right now. Can you give us a brief update on the progress of the game?
Peter Grundy:

Currently, we are in closed beta and the sign up is still available at https://secure.plaync.com/aa_beta.html. It’s been very exciting to see the in-game population growing and the feedback that our magnificent testing community gives us. They are doing a fine job not only of finding bugs and glitches, but also helping us polish and refine the game itself.

MMORPG.com: Meanwhile, many forget that you guys also did Jumpgate. For fans of that title, can you give us a brief update on where it is right now?
Peter Grundy:

Jumpgate has been sailing along for four years. For a first-time effort by a small, independent developer, we are proud of what we accomplished, even as some of the bigger games that launched at or about the same time have fallen by the wayside. Not only did we create a fun game that people still enjoy today, but it was also a very valuable learning experience that we’ve drawn from frequently as we’ve been developing Auto Assault.

Thanks to Peter and NetDevil for taking part in this series. Check back soon for more profiles!

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Dana Massey