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Basics of Game Design by Michael Moore

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335
A CONVERSATION WITH
CHRIS TAYLOR
Chris Taylor (Figure 13.1) is one of the leading designers in computer
games. He was born in Canada and started working at Distinctive
Soware in British Columbia in the late 1980s. While there, he de-
signed his rst game HardBall II in 1989, which won an award from
the Soware Publishers Association for the best sports game of the
year. He went on to design e Duel: Test Drive II in 1989 and 4-D
Boxing in 1991 for Distinctive Soware. Aer that company was ac-
quired by Electronic Arts in 1991 and renamed EA Canada, Chris
designed Triple Play 96 in 1995.
Figure 13.1. Chris Taylor, Company CEO and Project Manager of Gas Powered Games.
336
A Conversation with Chris Taylor
He moved to the United States in 1996 and joined Cavedog
Entertainment where he was the designer and project leader on the
real-time strategy game Total Annihilation which was released in
1997. at game went on to win 57 awards worldwide and was named
Best Game of All Time by PC Games in 1998 and the #1 Real-Time
Strategy Game of All Time by GameSpy in 2004. He also created
the rst expansion pack Total Annihilation: e Core Contingency in
1998.
Chris le Cavedog Entertainment to found his own company—
Gas Powered Games—in 1998. eir rst release was the action role-
playing game Dungeon Siege in 2002, followed shortly thereaer by
the expansion back Dungeon Siege: Legends of Aranna. In 2002, Chris
was named the 30
th
most inuential person in the game industry
by GameSpy. e sequel Dungeon Siege II appeared in 2005 and an
expansion pack Dungeon Siege: rone of Agony in 2006. e game
became the basis of the movie In the Name of the King: A Dungeon
Siege Tale in 2008. Also released that year was a science-ction RPG,
Space Siege.
Chris returned to real-time strategy games in 2007 with Supreme
Commander, a futuristic game in the tradition of Total Annihilation
(Atari currently owns the rights to Total Annihilation). An expansion
pack, Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance appeared later that year,
and in 2010 the sequel, Supreme Commander II, was published.
In 2009, Gas Powered Games released Demigod, a game that
combines RTS and RPG elements in a game that focuses heavily on
multiplayer competition. e company is currently working on a
new RTS game set in a medieval world called Kings and Castles.
Having worked on both role-playing and real-time strategy
games, Chris has vast expertise about game design. He took time
out from his busy schedule as company CEO and project manager
to grant this books author an interview in which he talked at length
about his experiences and his design philosophy.
Introduction
MEM: What is the role you play at Gas Powered Game?
Chris: e rst half of my career I worked for other people, at large
companies, so I didnt have to worry about running a business, and
all the complexities of legal, banking, and other random stu. Now, I

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