Here’s why we think Dustin is swell:
John Abercrombie, Programming Lead: Dustin’s passionate about game development and laid back at the same time, which makes him one of the easiest and most effective people to work with anywhere. As an animation programmer, he has his hand in nearly every aspect of the game systems we make, including the systems and AI behaviors on top of the animation system for our complex AI. He shoots from the hip, constantly seeks perfection, is a seriously smart and talented programmer, and is an all-around great guy.
Don Norbury, Senior AI Programmer: What should you know about Dustin? His drumming skills make him a first-pick in company Rock Band competitions. You’d never know that he’s an Indiana native… until his second glass of Jack Daniels and a wild-eyed homage to the Oregon Ducks, followed by a description on the particulars of corn-husking. And most importantly? You never — ever — want find yourself on the painful end of his weapon in a Halo match.
He’s also been known to program on occasion… Dustin is our animation tech incarnate: He eats, sleeps, and breathes blend-networks, character-state representations, artist pipelines, and all sorts of nerdy crap he worries about so you don’t have to. Dustin also moonlights as an AI programmer and if he wasn’t busy running our animation, he’d probably take over all our AI work as well. (And we would love him for it.)
Irrational Games is Dustin’s first studio and we’re amazingly lucky to have nabbed him straight out of Digipen.
Your title is Animation Programmer. What does that mean?
I handle the majority of the animation programming and occasional AI programming, interfacing with Morpheme and setting up systems that the rest of the AI team uses to make things happen on screen.
What games have you worked on?
Just this one. When I started here we were working on an unannounced project, but that was only for a few months and then I transitioned onto BioShock Infinite from the start.
Describe Life at Irrational in three words or less.
Opportunistic, awesome, and challenging.
What is your favorite game of all time?
I spent a lot of time on Halo MP but if I had to go with one I would say The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.
Name a game everyone should play once in their life.
Shadow of the Colossus. I played it well after it came out and it was still unlike any other game. It’s on a whole other level of entertainment.
What is your favorite movie?
The original Matrix is good but I would pick Braveheart. I saw it when I was younger and it was epic.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
I play soccer. I just had a game last night.
Are you any good?
I ‘m the goalie and it was 6-0, so I guess so.
How long have you been playing?
I played a lot when I was younger, then played in a league in middle school. My hometown didn’t have a high school team so I didn’t play at all from middle school until college. When I came here, there was a game developer league for a little while so I was paying with the Irrational guys. That eventually disbanded and now I play with Ray (our systems admin) in another league.
Did you ever win a championship?
No, my middle school team wasn’t very good.
Tell me your favorite story about life at Irrational
When I started, I was on an unannounced project. When we transitioned off of that, we did a lot of sitting around and talking about what we wanted the game to be. I got to sit in on a lot of those conversations, so I was getting to listen to Ken, Nate, Shawn, Kline, Bill and all the other original BioShock guys hashing out what they wanted the new game to be. I even got to chime in every once and awhile. That was a really awesome experience.