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About the Author
Mike McShaffry, Author
Mike McShaffry, a.k.a. "Mr. Mike," started programming games as soon as he could tap a keyboard—in fact he somehow skipped 7th grade math entirely in favor of writing games in BASIC on an ancient Commodore Pet. In his single-minded pursuit of programming knowledge, he signed up for an extended stay at the University of Houston. To the surprise of himself and the Dean of Mathematics, he was actually graduated five and one-half years later. Shortly after graduation he entered the boot camp of the computer game industry: Origin Systems. He worked for Warren Spector and Richard Garriott, a.k.a. "Lord British," on Martian Dreams, Ultima VII: The Black Gate, Ultima VIII: Pagan, Ultima IX: Ascension, and Ultima Online. Exactly seven years from the day he was hired, Mike arranged his escape and in 1997 formed his first company, Tornado Alley.
Tornado Alley was a garage start-up whose goal was to create No Grownups Allowed, a massively multiplayer world for children—something that was sure to land Mike and anyone else at Tornado Alley front and center of a Congressional hearing. While No Grownups never left the tarmac, a kid's activity program called Magnadoodle by Mattel Media did, and in record development time. The entrepreneurial bug, a ravenous and insatiable beast, finally devoured enough of Mike's remaining EA stock to motivate him to take a steady gig at Glass Eye Entertainment, working for Monty Kerr, where he produced Microsoft Casino. Ten short months later, Monty asked Mike and his newly assembled team to start their own company called Compulsive Development, which would work exclusively with Microsoft on casual casino and card games.
Mike served as the primary coffee brew master and Head of Studio, and together with the rest of the Compulsive folks, twenty great people in all, produced three more casual titles for Microsoft until August 2002. Compulsive was acquired by Glass Eye Entertainment to continue work on Glass Eye's growing online casual games business.
Mike is currently the Head of Software Development for Glass Eye Entertainment. Mike is never too far away from technology development and research. He still writes code when he can, but he's also doing business development and project management as well. If Mike's fingers aren't tapping away at a keyboard, he's probably either "downhilling" on his mountain bike or enjoying a tasty beverage with his friends in Austin, Texas.
Paul Steed, Cover Artist
Paul Steed has been making art for computer games since 1991. He is a regular speaker at the Game Developers Conference in San Jose, CA. Best known for his work on id Software's Quake series, he is the author of Modeling a Character in 3ds Max (Wordware Publishing) and Animating Real-time Game Characters (Charles River Media). He can be contacted via email at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Mom and Grandma Hawker
Thanks for never saying I'd never amount to anything, playing games all the time; you believed in me and it paid off.
Dad and Lynn
Thanks for showing me I should never be afraid of hard work.
Warren Spector and Richard Garriott
Thanks for believing a geeky college kid could help make the games I loved to play.
Thanks for giving me the best job I ever had, and for supporting my efforts in writing this book.
The Good Folks of Compulsive Development
I never worked with a better group of people, or learned so much—here's hoping we're all lucky enough to see those days again.
Ben Sawyer and Keith Weiskamp
Thanks for believing in a first time author.
Book Beta Testers Kain In Shin, James Clarendon, Dennis Clark, Donavon Keithley, Ted Jump, Matthew Lamari, Jon-Eric Simmons, Will McBurnett, Keith Chenoweth, Mark Peskin, Jackie Woodall
Thanks for helping me write this book—I couldn't have done it without you.
My Wife and My Best Friend, Robin
Thanks for letting me play for a living—I promise I'll do some dishes before writing another book.