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Matthias Worch
Works at 2K Games
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Matthias Worch

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At long last, I have recorded another Level Retrospective for my work on Sin! 
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elevatorsimulator's profile photo
 
+Matthias Worch Thank you so much for sharing this interesting and rare insight into the development of SiN! It was also very interesting to learn how you got into the industry. I always wondered how a german kid that just graduated from high school (this is how I understand it) managed to get hired by a company like Ritual, employing industry veterans like Mark Dochtermann and Charlie Wiederhold. Your Quake mods must have left quite an impression then!

Regarding your criticism of SiN, I think it was all justified, though you were maybe a bit too harsh. Or rather you were applying modern gaming standards to a game released in 1998. Of course Half-Life was also released in 1998, and still looks much better in comparison. This is no coincidence, as Half-Life was (imho) one of the first "modern games". That doesn't however mean that Half-Life is more fun to play than SiN (it is not). In particular "obtuseness" does not equate with "worse game".
For instance you mentioned how difficult it is to find the exit at chem plant two. It certainly is, for I got stuck there myself quite heavily when I was playing through it. But this had forced me to explore, and when I finally found the exit I actually felt a sense of accomplishment. A sense of accomplishment I never felt when playing Half-Life. So more frustration can also mean more fun, at least if the frustration feels justified (frustration that is due to the game's stealth system being a complete hack doesn't).
On the other hand I had to immediately agree with you when you observed how much "work had been put into this game that no one ever saw". I couldn't help but thinking that nowadays no game developer in their right mind would afford SiN's luxury of having secret levels that you would only see, if you took this and this action. In fact I belong to the 99 % of all people that missed the aqueduct level. But Ritual still deserves respect for having the balls for doing that, even if it hurt them in the end.
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I'm doing my talk on choice in game design at the Dolby Theater next Wednesday. Join us! We'll have food & drinks afterwards. 
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I published the slides + speaker notes for my GDC lecture: The session was called Decisions That Matter - Meaningful Choice In Game And Level Design. I take an in-depth look at when a decision is meaningful (because there is a surprising amount of ambiguity surrounding that concept), tie my reasoning into the biology and psychology of why decisions matter in life (and why we play games as a result), and then analyze Doom 2 combat to show how we use the findings to create something that I've called Systemic Agency, which leads to interesting low-level gameplay. Download clocks in at a little bit under 60mb with 225 slides. Feedback is very welcome!
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Thanks!
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Matthias Worch

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I need to hire a personal assistant to organize my G+ circles.
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I would like to hire someone to remove all of my spambot followers from twitter. I find circles so much easier and efficient to manage.
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These days, you can run an Internet company with just one geek and 200 hipsters. Goddammit.
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A video of my 2013 GDC lecture is online! Please share & let me know what you think! It's a 50 min video of some pretty high-level stuff. You might want to set aside time to watch :)

Matthias Worch

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I'm deleting my Google+ account soon. I never use it, and I'm kinda pissed at all the stuff (like "personal results" doing a web search") that Google is silently tying to it.
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The "personal results" are arguably better than the impersonal ad-backed results, but that makes sense. Sure doesn't help your privacy at all.
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Hadn't checked in on G+ for several weeks. Huge backlog of circle notifications. Let's see if I start using this more regularly now.
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Heh. Wuerde ich wahrscheinlich machen. Mit Nostalgie 200ms Ping uebers atlantische Internet ;)
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Story
Tagline
Professional game developer with amateur opinions. Star Wars 1313, Dead Space 2. Now Design Director at 2K Games.
Introduction
Game designer in the Bay Area, originally from Germany.
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Work
Occupation
Game Design
Employment
  • 2K Games
    Design Director, 2013 - present
  • LucasArts
    Lead Designer, 2011 - 2013
  • Visceral Games
    Sr Level Designer, 2009 - 2011
  • Factor 5
    Project Lead, 2003 - 2009
  • Factor 5
    Technical Art Director, 1999 - 2003
  • Legend Entertainment
    Sr Level Designer, 1999 - 2003
  • Ritual Entertainment
    Level Designer, 1998 - 1999
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