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Join date : 2010-05-23

PostSubject: Zipper President   Mon Aug 23, 2010 7:18 pm

Zipper Profile: Brian Soderberg Posted by Chris Roper, Community Specialist, Zipper Interactive

Our Developer Profile series introduces you to the many faces of Zipper Interactive. From designers to artists to programmers to audio engineers to producers, you’ll meet the creative minds that make Zipper what it is (and maybe learn a few surprises along the way).
This week we go straight to the top and get the scoop on Brian Soderberg, President and Co-Founder of Zipper.

Job Title: President, Co-founder
Years at Zipper: 15
Years in the Industry: ~16 officially. Prior to starting Zipper, I dabbled in games for the Atari systems on the side while I was working in the defense simulation and research industry. When we formed Zipper we first focused on PC games, then moved to console games when we joined forces with Sony.
Favorite Zipper Game: SOCOM, with MAG a close 2nd. The most recently released Zipper title tends to be my fave. =)
Favorite Non-Zipper Game: Well, as a golfer, I’ve put the most time into Hot Shots Golf (I've finished every version on PS2, PSP and PS3). =)
Motto: Quality or quantity.
What is it that you do specifically, and can you walk us through your typical day?
From a high level, two things:
1. Helping set the overall course for Zipper strategically. We frequently update our "5 Year Plan", attempting to adapt quickly to the ever-changing video game business and development areas.
2. Addressing “issues” that come up on a day to day basis at Zipper. As I’m sure you know, video game development is an organic & hectic process; there are always several things that require attention. We are continually trying new ideas to make development go more smoothly and make our games better. Our latest process change is to do the majority of our development with cross-discipline “Strike Teams”, where small teams (of artists, designers, and programmers) are physically co-located to make sure all areas are addressed quickly and efficiently based on the strike team’s collective goals. This is going quite well, but any change is tough and requires careful management.
How did you get into the industry?
Back in college I was hooked on standup arcade games, starting with Asteroids, Galaga, Donkey Kong and dozens more. When I got a job in the Boeing 757 Flight Controls Group, I spent my lunch hours in the nearby bars playing arcade games. Later, while working at Loral on military simulators, I started a game group within the company. Shortly after that I quit and started Zipper to do computer and video games.
What are some other games or projects that you’ve worked on in the past?
My first game, a one man effort, was developing “TimeBomb” for the Atari console, then 400 and 800. It fit in an 8K cartridge by a few hundred bytes. =)
Followed by the Zipper releases:
1. DeathDrome – PC
2. Recoil – PC
3. Top Gun – PC
4. Crimson Skies – PC
5. MechWarrior 3 – PC
6. SOCOM 1, 2, 3, Combined Assault, Fire Team Bravo 1 and 2 – PS2 and PSP
7. MAG – PS3
8. SOCOM 4 – Coming soon...
In the beginning, I did quite a bit of programming and project management. Around the time of SOCOM 2, I started to do much less programming and focused on the management side.
What’s your proudest moment?
I would say 3 things in this order:
1. Finishing SOCOM 1 – this was a huge title, our first with Sony (our new publisher at the time) and we were attempting many new things for Zipper, as well as firsts for the industry. I was super proud of getting this completed and then enjoyed the positive feedback from the SOCOM community.
2. Finishing DeathDrome – since this was our first Zipper title. It was a good game, but it had a stealth launch, which is never a good marketing approach. =)
3. Finishing my first personal game project, TimeBomb, that I actually received a check in payment for. We won’t mention how small the check was. =)
Is there anything you’d like to say to the fans?
I’m super excited to get SOCOM 4 complete and out to our fans. It’s been great to get back to working on this fantastic series and I’m really looking forward to the launch and the feedback from the community.
Also, thanks to ALL of our fans of SOCOM and MAG. We love hearing from our community! We do listen, and having the SOCOM & MAG players give us feedback really helps us when we’re working on our current game development effort as well as when we’re charting our longer term 5 year plan and beyond!
Don't forget to click this link and leave your questions to Brian for this week's Zipline podcast!

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