Meet Dan Mayers

December 9, 2011

Developer Corner

DevCorner

Dan is I AM PLAYR’s lead game designer. We sat down with him and had a little chat about all things PLAYR, what his hope and dreams are and what he is currently playing.

What is your role at I AM PLAYR
I’m one of the game designers on PLAYR, so I spend most of my time thinking through new ideas and features that we can bring into the game. The rest of the time I’m looking at how people are currently playing the game, and working out how to make the game even better.

What other games have previously worked on?
I worked in console games initially, for a company called Eidos, who made Championship Manager, Tomb Raider and Hitman. I was the producer on a game called Just Cause, I’ve written scripts for Disney and moved into designing social games about three years ago.

Which football club do you support?
Norwich City

What are you currently playing?
Uncharted 3, should be done by Christmas and then I can jump into Skyrim for the next 6 months… Social games wise I still really like Gardens of Time, IAM PLAYR obviously and we have some prototype games we’re working on here that are shaping up very nicely…

What is your favourite game? And why

I have too many to pick just one, but Broken Sword, Tomb Raider, Half Life, Ocarina of Time, Deus Ex and Uncharted 2 all made sleeping feel like a complete waste of time.

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Describe your typical day in the life for I AM PLAYR.
Check mail, check sports news, check game news, meet to talk about what we’re doing today and if we have any problems. At the moment I’m looking at training, so I’ll spend some of the day building and testing new drills. The rest of the time I’ll spend thinking, talking through ideas with the other designers and producers or scribbling down notes about new features.

What’s your favourite element of I AM PLAYR?
I love the way the film parts of the game work inside the game and how some of the decisions play out, but the best part of the game for me is when the match clock ticks down towards a draw, and I get one last chance before the final whistle. The pressure at that point feels really good, because I know that it’s all down to me at that moment, have I trained well enough, have I got the skill to score, can I make the shot.

What are you currently working on in I AM PLAYR?
We’re doing a lot of work on the training drills at the moment, trying to expand the variety of them and looking at ways to introduce new skills, so that’s occupying most of my time at the moment. We’re also looking at the fame game and the kinds of directions we want to take that.

What would you like to change/implement in I AM PLAYR?
I have a list of things I’d like to see in the game as long as my arm… Top of it is making the game more social, so working out the PvP game and bringing in more social challenges. The fame side of the game is really important to get right too, I’d like people to have more difficult decisions to make there, and more serious consequences… I also want to see new skills brought through training, so expanding the drills out to train different skills at the same time will be great.

Can you please explain what effect the footballing level has on your ability in I AM PLAYR
Football level doesn’t have a direct impact on your ability in the game, it’s more an indication of your overall ability across all the skills you learn in the game. You need to working on shooting, passing and dribbling to increase your actual skill, but as your football level goes up, you’ll unlock new content like storylines or new items.

What plans do you have for the fame level in I AM PLAYR
From a match perspective we want your fame level to affect the way the stadium’s crowd respond to you, as well as changing the way the other team play against you. Off the pitch we want fame to be more of a temptation, a real distraction to your football career. So getting big sponsorship deals and playing the game as a celebrity can be fun and lucrative, but it’s also a difficult path to follow without damaging your playing career.

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