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Today is Thursday, March 4th, 2021


Basic Info

01: Name

Michael Paul Duda (Tekdude)

02: Position on the team

Level Designer

03: Biography

I am currently a Computer Science student at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a minor in business administration. I've been playing video and computer games as long as I can remember, and I've been doing level design for about five or six years now.


04: What are your tasks on the team?

Currently, I'm responsible for designing the interior of the UTF Destroyer capital ship as well as modifying and maintaining the interior of Aethra station for balance and artistic changes. In addition, I oversee the space-side balance of the es_aethra scenario. In the past, I was the team member that first developed the method to create asteroids, which can now be seen in quite a few maps.

05: Why did you join the ES crew?

I've always been a fan of science fiction, especially in games. When I saw ES had moved to the Source engine from the Battlefield 1942 engine, I decided it was a perfect opportunity for me to personally help the mod be completed. I initially joined as a beta tester, and worked my way into the team from there.

06: What did you do prior to your work on ES?

Prior to ES, I was not officially a member of any projects, but did create a fairly lame map for Natural-Selection, co_tunnel, and did do some level design experimentation on the Serious Sam engine.

07: What do you like most on working on this project?

The thing I mostly enjoy about working on ES is being able to actually play the game, because it's a lot of fun. In addition, it's just as much fun to take what I've learned about the game from the beta tests and try to work that new knowledge into the level to make it better.

08: Are there any other mod teams you admire?

Definitely the Natural-Selection team, though I guess they've ascended from a MOD team into an actual development studio. That might disqualify them, but I still really admire them. They made a great, fun, and beautiful game that I spent a majority of my teenage life playing. In retrospect, that probably wasn't the best way to spend those years, but it was definitely a good time.

09: Whats your opinion on mod projects. If anything, do they have an impact on the industry?

Obviously, MODs are a great benefit to the industry because they allow for new ideas to be tested with little to no capital investment. Sometimes they flop, but the only thing that's really lost is time. Likewise, there's no pressure from investors or upper management to shut the project down if things do go bad, as long as everyone is still enjoying the work. Also, there's always a huge benefit to the studio that wrote the engine because free MODs that require their game to play add to its value and longevity.

10: Where do you see yourself in the future in this industry?

I think about that often, and haven't come to a conclusion of which area of the industry I'd actually like to enter. I enjoy level design, but would prefer to actually use my Computer Science degree in some way. I do enjoy researching new ideas in game design such as procedural content, but I would also like to move into a management position at a company some day. I've even thought about going for an MBA after I graduate, so I really have no idea right now.