Mike is a seasoned Design Director with 17 years of industry experience (formerly of EA, Radical and THQ). His expertise lies in the systems, mechanics & feature design and direction of racing, combat and character-action console games. He has designed, directed and balanced most of the gameplay systems, mechanics and driving physics for several versions of Road Rash and for Scarface: The World is Yours and has also done design and direction work on several EA franchises including James Bond. Most recent Mike was a Senior Creative Manager at THQ working with multiple creative teams and helping with the evaluation and evangelism of new game pitches.
Unsatisfied with the heavy glut of theory-based design articles Mike initiated his series on Gameplay Fundamentals in order to help fill the void of practical, gameplay-focused design, level production and execution process articles.
Outside of gaming, Mike has a passion for international adventure travel. With 64 countries now to his passport-stamping credit he is especially fond of visiting fantastic archaeological and historical destinations (providing ample material for his gaming imagination). Mike recently returned from an extended sabbatical traveling through Africa and is now considering the formation of a new action/racing studio. You can read all about his adventure travels, view his travel photos and check out his occasional tech or gaming posts at www.vagabum.com/blogs.
Quick links to the Gameplay Fundamentals series:
Features by Mike Lopez:
Gameplay Fundamentals: The Identity Crisis in the Racing Genre [03.11.09]
Gameplay Fundamentals Revisited, Part 2: Building a Pacing Structure [11.26.08]
Gameplay Fundamentals Revisited: Harnessed Pacing & Intensity [11.12.08]
Gameplay Design Fundamentals: Gameplay Progression [11.28.06]