Register
 
 
 

Advertisement

 


Development Team Bios
Chris Taylor
President/Designer

Chris started his career in the video games business 11 years ago at a company up in the Great White North called Distinctive Software. His first title, "Hardball II" was a sequel to the popular "Hardball," by Bob Whitehead. Winning a SPA (Software Publishers Association) award for best sports game of the year, Chris was off to a pretty good start. The next game was called "4D Boxing". The game did not do very well commercially but it did however win many awards and accolades for its innovation as a 3D title. After that came the management years where he managed several titles through to release. He soon realized it was better to work hands-on, so he went back to his role as designer and project lead and created the original "Triple Play Baseball" for Electronic Arts. Things were looking up, but it was time for a change.

All those sports games were starting to make Chris a little crazy so he let out all that pent up energy by creating "Total Annihilation." After the follow-up expansion pack, "The Core Contingency" was completed, it was time for him to move on again and do what he has wanted to do since his career began; start his own company.

He founded Gas Powered Games in May of 1998 on the eastside of Seattle in the beautiful town of Kirkland. With a team of people numbering 22, his new company is creating Dungeon Siege; a Fantasy RPG with an action oriented spin that will take the genre to a new level of excitement. His goal is to bring the industry's most talented game developers together under one roof to build the best games ever..


Jacob McMahon
Vice President/Producer

Jake is a games junkie. Starting at age 5, he's played on an Atari 2600, an Apple II, Commodore 64, game consoles and all sorts of PC's. It was games that first got him interested in programming, but lets get serious, no one gets a job making video games. Thinking he had to get a real job he started working for an investment company, but that sucked the life out of him. He had fun as a Scuba instructor, but there was still something missing. Realizing that his first and true love was video games, he made the pilgrimage to the Northwest and joined the Total Annihilation team. After playing an instrumental role on TA and the Core Contingency, he joined up with Chris to found Gas Powered Games. Now as Vice President and Producer, Jake has a real job ... and its making games!


Bartosz Kijanka
Lead Engineer

When he was a boy, Bart wanted to be Cosmonaut. But, he got hooked on the Atari 2600. [Contrary to popular belief, when he was a boy he never wanted to be a fireman.

When he was in junior high, he thought he'd be an astronomer. But, he spent most of his time programming the Commodore 64...

When he was in high school, he he thought he would be an Aerospace Engineer. But, he spent most of his time programming the Amiga...

When he got to college, he wasn't sure what he wanted. So, he decided to study hardware in Electrical Engineering.

It was in College that he finally accepted the Truth. He couldn't run, he couldn't hide. He -had to- write software to be happy. Specifically, had to write games. Since that time he has happily worked on the SNES,Playstation, and the PC. While working on these different platforms he spent quality time at Squaresoft, Electronic Arts and Cavedog. You will find his work in Secret of Evermore, FIFA Soccer, Total Annihilation and Total Annihilation: Core Contingency.

Currently Bartosz is working in the capacity of Lead Engineer at Gas Powered Games. He works with a bunch of great and crazy people, some of which wanted to be firemen when they were children. But, then they saw the Atari 2600...

Lastly, he really hates talking about himself in the third person.


Mike Biddlecombe
Senior Engineer

Mike attended the University of Victoria on the lay-away plan, always willing to troubleshoot systems for a hot meal. Upon hearing a vicious rumor that if you took more than a decade to complete an undergrad degree, you had to start over, he promptly graduated with a BSc. in Computer Science.

After graduation Mike was accepted into the fold at Radical Entertainment where he spent the next five years fondly flipping bits on hockey games.

Recently relocated to the USA and providing %50 of the Canadian content at Gas Powered, Mike relishes the opportunity to work on something other than a sports title.


Rick Saenz
Senior Engineer

Rick started working as a game programmer at 19 at an Issaquah based development house now known as Electronic Arts Seattle where he worked on titles that nobody has ever heard of. After one year to the day Rick decided to quit and go to college.

Enter Squaresoft Inc., where upon Rick's first day a few other employees conspired with him about quitting to go start their own company. A year and a half later, shortly after shipping a SNES title, Secret of Evermore, Rick was fired from Squaresoft - along with every other employee all at the same time, in a line.

Two companies later and after contributing to Total Annihilation, Rick is now a part of a company working for the greater good of game programming as a Gas Powered Games engineer/mechanic securing the utopia of that which is Dungeon Siege.

In addition to software engineering Rick enjoys many other forms of engineering, particularly automotive engineering which he considers to be the ultimate hobby. "It's cool because it incorporates many disciplines of engineering but, mostly it's just so much fun to drive really really fast...instantly."


Scott Bilas
Engineer

For Immediate Release:

Gas Powered Games Announces Reorganization and Enhanced Focus on Market Success

Kirkland, WA - Gas Powered Games (GPG), a leading developer of interactive entertainment software, today announced its reorganization, resulting in the creation of a new business unit, Bug Development. This new structure enhances GPG's focus on developing "ultra-defective" products and is effective immediately.

Bug Development, led by Scott Bilas, GPG's new Chief Defect Officer, will ensure that GPG products meet or fall short of the lowest quality standards in the industry. Scott comes to GPG with a strong record of achievements; his code is routinely considered "completely bug-ridden" by his peers. He is formerly of the Gabriel Knight 3 team at Sierra Studios, where he was directly responsible for the creation of over 2,000 bugs in just 18 months of work.

"Scott's hard work is already paying off for us," said Chris Taylor, president of GPG. "We're at over 2,300 defects and growing fast."

In a surprise move, the new Bug Development business unit recently announced its intentions to reach an unprecedented 10,000 defects by the time their debut title ships. "Reaching this goal is critical to our long-term strategy and will ensure our increased momentum as we aggressively move forward to take this business to new levels of achievement for the next millennium," said Mr. Bilas.

Gas Powered Games (www.gaspowered.com) is a world leader in development of interactive entertainment software located in downtown Kirkland, Washington.


Adam Swensen
Engineer

Roky: What do you want with me?
alien #3: Your efforts are needed for the survival of all earthlings.
Roky: How can I do that?
alien #3: Come. I shall showeth thee.

Before I knew it, I was aboard the hover vessel, and was heading not into outer space, but into inner space, towards the Earth's molten core, for that is the domain of the third alien, whose name, he soon told me, was Lord Kinboat.


James Loe
Engineer

James has been a part of the game development industry for a little over two years, beginning with his first job at the age of 18 as a Software Engineer for Cavedog Entertainment. After graduating from the Advanced Academy of Georgia and starting a Computer Science degree at Georgia Tech, James was fortunate enough to meet Chris Taylor and Ron Gilbert at E3 during its two year stint in Atlanta. Shortly thereafter he was offered a job and quickly relocated to Seattle, where he aided in the creation of Total Annihilation, Total Annihilation Kingdoms, and Good & Evil.

His responsibilities at Gas Powered Games include Engine and 3D technology development, although he would argue that his greatest contribution to the team has been the introduction of the Yo-Yo. James spends his free time either reading a good book, playing the latest console RPG's, or watching anime.


Chad Queen
Software Engineer

Past Projects: The ever-popular "ASCII Stupid Question get a Stupid ANSI" text-based conversation game and the amazing 2D top-down action shooter, "Mage Rage".

Education: Digipen Institute of Technology

Favorite Genre: RPGs.

Favorite Games: Total Annihilation ( but of course ), Final Fantasy Tactics, Diablo, and Xenogears.

Misc: I'm a student at Digipen Institute of Technology currently studying for my degree in Real-time Interactive Simulation. I previously worked for GT Interactive as a technical support representative and then spent some time at Humongous Entertainment as a production assistant. Now I'm here afraid for my life because they keep calling me "victim" and I still haven't found out why...


Brett Johnson
Lead Level Designer

With a degree in music and a biophysics student at RPI, Brett initially got into the gaming industry in 1996 when he was contacted by Valve software. Initially hired as a level designer, he rapidly began to show his skills as a game designer, laying the foundations for what would soon become 1998's game of the year, Half-Life. Before long, the desire to grow as a designer drove him to explore other game genres. He didn't have to look far before he teamed up with Chris Taylor who had been at work on the action FRPG title "Dungeon Siege". The desire to expand his design vocabulary and work with an industry veteran proved too powerful to pass up. Now, at Gas Powered Games, Brett serves as lead level designer where his skills can continue to grow and expand into the action/adventure genre.


Sarah Boulian
Level Designer

As a child Sarah couldn't stay away from computers. But, she also couldn't stay away from small furry creatures. Since the two didn't mix and her father didn't appreciate her curiosity around delicate machinery, for awhile she was determined to travel around Texas in an RV, rescuing drowning animals from the perpetual flooding.

By high school she'd gotten a better grip on reality and aimed for being your average veterinarian or research scientist in between Civilization maps.

It wasn't until after graduating Colby College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology that Sarah found her true calling. It happened one day while adventuring around Britannia in Origin's Ultima Online universe. Her nubile young tank mage, Calixtula, was battling a fire elemental and losing. Suddenly out of nowhere a player-cast energy vortex appeared! Before she could mouth the words Kal Ort Por the world was black and white. Calixtula was dead. Seconds later the PK responsible ran up and stripped her clean, then began to laugh at and dance around her ghost, obviously having the time of his life… That was it! Sarah would build a game where players could do nothing but kill kill kill!

Ok, maybe not. But it did get her thinking about making games, not just playing them.

A few months later she picked up her computer and pet cockatiel (having traded in the small furry creatures for small feathery creatures) and moved out to Seattle to help Gas Powered Games make an rpg where you can Kill it All!


Neal Hallford
Lead Writer / Story Designer

An eleven year design veteran of the computer gaming industry, Neal Hallford spent a good portion of his childhood in a darkened room with six of his closest friends, constantly giving in to the urge to shriek "Hastur!" during role-playing sessions. Somehow along the way he picked up a smattering of BASIC programming after seeing the movie Wargames, and used it for evil to reprogram computers at local department stores to do foul and obscene things to innocent passersby. In a desperate bid for respectability, he graduated in 1989 from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in radio, television and film, and promptly fell into the business of producing commercials and writing weird-tales radio dramas. In 1990, long-time friend and artist Kenneth Mayfield helped him aboard at New World Computing where he wrote and designed role-playing hits like Planet's Edge, and Might & Magic III: Isles of Terra. A year and half later, he jumped ship to create Betrayal at Krondor for Dynamix, a best-selling CFRPG which won seven industry awards, was inducted in the Computer Gaming World Hall of Fame, and in 1998 spawned a New York Times best-selling hardcover novelization. Later Hallford briefly consulted on the sequel, Return to Krondor, and rejoined Betrayal's co-designer John Cutter in 1997 to develop the world's first episodic role-playing title, Elysium, for Cavedog Entertainment. In 1999, he worked with Westwood Studios to help create the manual and content for the fantasy action thriller Nox. Most recently Neal joined the Dungeon Siege team in 2000 to help pen the story and game text as the lead story designer, and in 2001 wrote a how-to book for Prima Publishing called "Swords & Circuitry: A Designer's Guide to Computer Role-Playing Games." Currently Hallford is living is southern California with his wife Jana, and golden retriever, Argo.


Mark Peasley
Art Director

After graduating from Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design and Illustration, Mark worked as a corporate art director, graphic artist, model and diorama builder, and paste-up artist for a number of years before he saw the light (glowing from a computer screen). In 1989, he joined Dynamix as an Art Director on their new flight simulator called Red Baron. At Dynamix, he held the titles of Art Director, Sr. Art Director and Producer. Titles included: Aces of the Pacific, Aces of the Pacific II, Aces over Europe, Aces Collectors Edition, Alien Legacy, Aviation Pioneers, A10-Tank Killer 1.5, Draxon's Revenge (3DO), EarthSiege 3, FPS: Baseball '98, Gabriel Knight III, Heart of China, Outpost II, R.A.F., Rama, Red Baron, Red Baron Mission Builder, Red Baron II, Stellar 7, Wings Over Europe, WWII: 1946. After Dynamix, Mark moved on to Trilobyte as their Art Department Manager. While there, the company shipped The 11th Hour, Clandestiny and finished a DVD title called Tender Loving Care. After Trilobyte, Mark worked for a period of time with Creative Software Designs Inc. In the capacity of an Art Director, he produced a large percentage of the art for a hard-science educational reference product called Exploring the Planets. Now at Gas Powered Games, Mark is helping build an art team that will, without a doubt, create the greatest game ever built. In his free time, Mark referees three boys and enjoys scuba diving in the Puget Sound.


Dave Dunniway
3D Artist

Dave began his art adventure as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator; which seemed like a good idea after getting a degree in graphic design. When he discovered that he spent more time playing video games than acquiring new clients, he decided that a career change might be a good idea. After picking up a 3D modeling package and spending several months locked in the basement, he emerged reborn as a bleary-eyed 3D artist. He was quickly snatched up by world-famous Gas Powered Games and the rest is history. When he's not blowing stuff up and saving the world, Dave enjoys mountain biking, skiing, aggressive hikes and reading about far Eastern mysticism.


John Gronquist
3D Artist

20 years ago John's mother told him that role playing games were a waste of his time and energy.. Since initially entering that dream world he has seldom left it and believes that reality will soon conform itself to his will by spontaneously manifesting Trolls in downtown Seattle.

He spends most of his time assisting this transfer of consciousness by creating phantoms in the computer to program the minds of the young to his reality bias. Mostly, he's amazed that someone pays him to do all this. He takes this fact as evidence that the world is already shifting towards his fantasy construct.

On this strange and mystical path he's wasted much time in the military in foreign lands, designing corporate presentations or advertisements, and/or programming internal tools for Microsoft. When he finally realized none of these actions would precipitate a total collapse of the perceived reality he picked up 3D art and bullied his way into the games industry where he's speant the last few years filling the void with tanks and robots and monsters and mayhem.

John still plays RPG's in his spare time.

So there Mom..


Joe Kresoja
3D Artist

Traditionally trained as a figurative painter in Russian Impressionism, Joe started in the industry in '92. As a character and conceptual driven artist, Joe's duties at GPG include all levels of character development from concepts to animation. Joe spends his free time painting little fairies playing with flowers.


Darren Lamb
3D Artist

Traditional artist gone totally digital practically overnight. I was quiet surprised to be so well received into this medium. Friends & family would say I'd be well suited for this kinda work, but I remained skeptical until I was hired at (Synergistic Software) to work as a texture artist on (Birthright) and (Hellfire) Diablo expansion pack. Then it was off to (Sierra) to help on (Mask of Eternity), (Gabriel Knight). Well opportunity presented itself, GPG, a newcomer to the industry, I was so impressed I couldn't wait to start. Dream job would be a severe understatement. Immediately began work on there current project( Dungeon Siege), starting out as a texture artist, then 3-D modeler and finally animation. The team here is awesome, talent from many top game company's, and the setting here is very inspiring, in Kirkland right on lake Washington, I enjoy creating traditional 3-D boardgames in my spare time, and a major (Lego) maniac..


Lee Phemister
3D Artist

As a child I got in trouble a lot, as a pre pubescent boy I got in trouble a lot, as a teenager I got in a heaps and heaps of trouble, and as a young adult still more trouble. I came to the conclusion that trouble was probably my best friend in the whole world, I mean it was always there for me, standing right at my side.

Once I accepted trouble as a friend he totally bailed out on me. Man was I bummed. Ironic don't you think?

So since I wasn't getting into any more trouble I had to do something. So I moved to up to Washington from Huntington Beach California (I miss the sun and the surf mass) to go to school and try and learn something. I was torn between going to aviation school or doing 3d animation. Flight school was 20K a year. I went for the 3D. My first computer was a P-2, 233 and two years ago I didn't even know what PhotoShop was. I just dove into 3D headfirst and found that I loved it. So I kept charging reading books doing every tutorial I could get my hands on. I love to play vids so I thought why not get into gaming. And here I am an artist with Gas Powered, stoked on life.

I sure do miss my old pal trouble though!


Michelle Lloyd
Office Administrator

Michelle grew up in a huge family, which included 5 little brothers. Naturally, she's right at home here at GPG, ordering the guys around. Since earning her BA in English from the UW, she's been a retail store manager, a proposal writer, and a marketing sales coordinator. Michelle finally realized that she likes offices, and loves to "administrate," so the position at GPG was her true calling. And after realizing how far RPG games have come since her fourth-grade adventures playing Zork, she's thrilled to be a part of the Dungeon Siege team.


Marsh Macy
Assistant Producer / Network Administrator


Kevin Pun
Senior Computer Artist


Jason Ernsdorff
Level Designer


Steve Thompson
Senior Computer Artist