Friday July 11th was my last day at Flying Lab Software. I left Flying Lab to join a little startup with a big idea called Divide by Zero Games. Misha Williams is taking over the producer job on Pirates. For my part, I’m returning to my programming roots and joining Divide by Zero as CTO.
There are a bunch of reasons for me to make this change, but the biggest one is this:Â I’ve been at Flying Lab for almost nine years. In our ever-changing industry it’s extremely rare to be at one place for so long. Even outside the game industry, it’s not really all that common.Â Have you ever worked at one company for more than eight years? When you stay in one place for that amount of time, your view of the world tends to crystallize and you forget that the rest of the industry doesn’t work exactly the same way you’re used to. You are also unable to spread your network nearly as far since all of the people at the “I’ve worked with that guy” level of familiarity are at the same company.
There is also something to be said for getting to switch projects. I was the guy who suggested making an MMO in the first place so I’ve been on Pirates since before there was even a project. By going to DbZ, I am able to apply the last five-plus years worth of lessons at the start of a new game. We made plenty of mistakes on Pirates that still haunt the game, so a big part of my role on the new project will be to avoid making those mistakes again.Â Instead DbZ will make plenty of new and exciting mistakes.
There isn’t much I can share about the new project at this point. There’s basically nothing I can say that isn’t on the website: It’s a strategy MMO. We will probably pull off the covers sometime next year. In the meantime I’m hoping to be able to post a bit about the underlying technology without giving away much game design or business stuff. We’ll see how that goes.
The years I spent at Flying Lab were very fun and incredibly valuable to me. I’m really going to miss seeing the people over there every day. I’m hoping to still make it over there for Game Night, so I will still get to see them every week or so. I wish Misha and her crew the best of luck and hope Pirates treats them as well as it’s treated me.