Monthly Archives: May 2013


Personal Profile: Cliff “Devinoch” Hicks

Oh boy. The fun of assigning personal profiles to other people means that you don’t have to do them yourself. Right? Right?! *sigh* Wrong.

My name’s Cliff Hicks. I’ve also been known as Devinoch for over a dozen years. I’m the producer here at Threadbare Games. I started in the industry just before the turn of the millennium, and have been working in games in one regard or another ever since.

I started as a gamer in the Dark Ages – back when the Atari 2600 was brand new, and Oregon Trail for the Apple IIe was still a nifty idea (along with digital watches). I lost a lot of time to Zork, and was eaten by a number of grues. Many levels of Lode Runner were played and developed. I still miss Kid Icarus for NES. I played through Final Fantasy VI (or III, as it was originally called in the US) at least half a dozen times. (I remember blowing on cartridges in order to get dust off the contacts…)We played Command & Conquer and Descent via modem when we were in high school. (Yes, this meant the phone line was busy the whole time.) My college dorm floor hosted many a game of Duke Nukem 3D, Quake and Warcraft 2. We were already popular, because our room had both the first Playstation and the first Nintendo64 on campus. I was one of the 1000 original beta testers for Diablo. (You can find my name in the credits!) Yeah, I’m one of those guys.

After graduating from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with degrees in Journalism and English, I moved out to California and started work for CNet in the Gamecenter division. (Never heard of it? Don’t worry! It’s not around anymore!) For my first year post-college, I wrote about videogames. Previews, reviews, you name it. Ah, that was the life. It didn’t last. From there, I bounced around (a very common thing in the games industry) but I’ve done stints at such venerable game studios as Westwood, Maxis and Konami, and worked for a number of startups such as IMVU and Kabam. I even went back and worked at CNet (this time at Gamespot) for a while longer.

You might ask yourself ‘What does a producer do?” Well, the short answer is that a producer typically wears as many hats as they can. They wear the marketing hat, they wear the designer hat, they wear the scheduling hat, they wear the testing hat, they wear the research hat, they wear the food delivery hat… A producer is practically their own haberdasher (60 points on a triple word score). We do a lot of everything. We fill in for any job we can, and sometimes jobs we’re not great at, just because the work has to get done.

Speaking of which, I should probably get back to work…


45,000 is the new black

Mars_atmosphereSo I was checking out the leaderboards for Shifts, and you people are doing too well. You need to slow it down a little. I mean, come on, save some for the rest of us!

Or maybe you have an ulterior motive? A high score on Shifts might mean you’re qualified to make those though decisions needed for a one-way trip to Mars. Is that the plan? You all want to go on Mars One? (http://applicants.mars-one.com/)

Well, if any of you make it and your ridiculous 40,000+ scores help in your application, send us a postcard!

Seriously though, you guys are killing it, and I’m impressed! Keep it up!

And if you’re new? Get out there and stake your claim!


Personal Profile : Jamie Lewandowski

biophoto-jamieI’ve been tasked with the incredibly unenviable task of writing my own personal profile.

My list of skills is filled with a variety of eclectic, useless things, but self-promotion isn’t among them. (I suppose I should amend that… self-promotion while sober isn’t among them)

 

I’m the in house game designer here at Threadbare. My job is to drink the beer. There’s a bunch of other stuff people keep asking me to do, but first and foremost, I drink the beer. I also have to make up games and tweak all the under the hood stuff to make it fun.

As a kid, family board games were a pretty common staple around the house, but my eyes were really opened when my school got it’s first TRS-80, and our elementary school game piracy ring started up in force. Pretty soon all of the young nerds were carrying around black plastic cases filled with 5 1/4″ floppy disks packed with illicit software. We’d spend our weekends at the computer lab in the back of the local Radio Shack staring at black and white pixels the size of your fingernail.

Here it is, years later, (lots of years… I mean LOTS of years) and things are pretty much the same. Sure, the graphics are better, I have a lot less hair, a little more beard, and way more bourbon than I did, and nobody gives a sh*t about Radio Shack anymore, but other than that, pretty much the same.

Nowadays a lot of my time is occupied with board and card games (and beer), but I still keep the digital kind close to my heart.

I’ve done some work in role playing games and other aspects of the table top world, but Threadbare is my first foray into actually making video games. So far, so awesome.

Currently Playing: Mage Wars, Shadowfist, Twilight Imperium, Libertalia and Sentinels of the Multiverse. On the PC, I’m chewing through indie games, all in the name of “research”.

Currently Reading: Wool (the Silo saga) and Gene Wolfe.

Currently Watching: Game of Thrones, Doctor Who and Archer.