SchellGames

Patrick Jalbert

Advanced Game Designer

What is the weirdest job you've ever held?

I used to be a technical animator for Lockheed Martin’s media department. They had me on a big project to make as-accurate-as-possible recreations of their fighter jets in Maya for use in commercials- the way car companies do. It was especially strange because we weren’t allowed to access any technical docs, and they instead let us wander around the factory floor and look at (but not take pictures) the planes up close. We went through a ton of trouble to faithfully re-create these planes, and got them accurate enough that they started to censor the footage of the "fake" plane’s mechanisms!

What is your favorite all-time game?

That’s tough, I have a bunch of favorites across the genres. If I had to pick, it would probably be the old Mech Commander games. The multiplayer was really under-appreciated for its time.

What games are you playing right now?

I’m checking out the latest Warcraft expansion (Legion), and trying to finish up Witcher 3.

What motivated you to begin working in the game industry?

I got interested in the gaming industry as an animator, and jumped tracks to game design in the Entertainment Technology Center’s graduate program.

What inspires you?

Other people’s creativity! I love browsing games, audio books, movies etc. for interesting worlds and systems. Seeing something get made that people are passionate about really helps fire me up to work on my own projects.

What is your proudest achievement?

I still have a soft spot for the Nullpoint project. It began as a side project for a small group of us to see if we could build a real-time tactics system, and I feel like we did the concept justice! It was the first time I helped really build a code-base for a complicated game.

What piques your curiosity?

Where multiplayer gaming is going to go from here. We’re seeing a really interesting shift in the way people think about games. The most popular games are less like movies these days, and more like an activity or an event- fun to practice at alone, but designed to be something you experience with a few of your friends.

What is your hidden talent?

I used to shoot archery a bunch back in the day. I still go to the range every now and then to keep my skills up!

What is the best thing about working at Schell Games?

There’s a really great culture in the studio built around allowing, if not encouraging, side projects and fairness. Most of my professional development is done in the name of little game ideas. It’s great to work at a place where that’s celebrated.

What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

I’m not sure how surprising this is, but I did/do a lot of live action role-playing! It’s a lot more exercise than you’d think, and gets treated a lot like a sport in the right circles. It’s really cathartic to be able to sword-fight with padded weapons- I wish more people would try it!

How long have you worked at Schell Games?

Just about four years now.