Game industry veteran David Bunnett, known for his work on games like Neverwinter Nights
and the Xbox exclusive Bloodwake
, passed away on October 13, 2013 of heart failure. He lived in Point Reyes California for the last 40 years of his life, where he had recently been very active in public service and community efforts. He was a member of the board for the Coastal Health Alliance and KWMR community radio, as well as a writer and editor for the West Marin Citizen.
In games, his career began in 1989, working on Typhoon Thompson in Search for the Sea Child
, with Choplifter
designer Dan Gorlin. Not long after, Bunnett co-founded Beyond Software, which eventually became Stormfront Studios. There, he contributed all graphics work in Neverwinter Nights
, which was lauded as one of the first graphical MMOs, and was awarded a Technology & Engineering Emmy Award in 2008 for advancing the massively multiplayer online genre.
He continued to work with Stormfront for many years, as an artist on Tony La Russa Baseball
on the Sega Genesis, and co-executive director on Andretti Racing
for the PlayStation. His final role with the company was Bloodwake
for the original Xbox, for which he was project director.
Before his games efforts, Bunnett worked in movies as a production designer on the film Dragonslayer (written by another game industry veteran, Hal Barwood). Bunnett never lost his passion for art, and his painting and sign work can be seen on businesses in West Marin to this day. He is survived by his father, his ex-wife, his long-time partner, and his son.
Read more about Bunnett on this Gamasutra blog post