Game Inspirations: Clint Hocking, Ubisoft

hock.jpg Continuing the Game Inspirations series - getting developers to spill the beans about what games inspired them growing up - my next port of call was Ubisoft Montreal's Clint Hocking.

Clint is best known for his work on the Splinter Cell series, but nowadays he's working as Creative Director on Far Cry 2, Ubisoft Montreal's evolution and re-imagining of Crytek's franchise.

So, what particular classic early '80s title made Hocking into the developer he is today? Read on, dear Kotaku-ite..."The first game that ever really inspired me was Broderbund's Lode Runner on the Commodore Vic 20.

Not only was Lode Runner a fantastic and innovative game for the time, but it had a powerful and easy-to-use level editor, with usability and functionality on par with the best level editors released today - almost 25 years later.

lrunner.jpg The game was great, but the level editor was what really influenced me. I must have made over a hundred Lode Runner levels - all of them saved on a cassette that you had to manually cue up in the Vic 20's cassette drive, to load and play.

I learned a great deal about the notion of combining game ingredients and how to build flow into a level - and I wasn't even a teenager at the time. I still vividly remember the layouts of 4 or 5 of those levels, and I likewise remember some of the techniques I used to design them.

Practically speaking, those techniques are obsolete now, but conceptually some of the principles of design iteration and experimentation became the foundation of many of the things I do professionally today."


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