Oddworld’s Inhabitants: Dave Moore, Programmer

Oddworld's Inhabitants: Dave Moore, Programmer [Hosted by Oddworld.com]

Date: November 2002

Interviewer: Oddworld.com

Interviewee: Dave Moore

Oddworld’s Inhabitants are as diverse as the world they’ve worked together to create. Here’s where you’ll find interviews and other informative articles spotlighting the many creative folk that work at Oddworld Inhabitants. Be they headline players or behind-the-scenes heroes, the Inhabitants profiled here all share Oddworld’s ceaseless dedication to bringing you the best worlds and games that you’ve ever experienced.

Dave Moore, Programmer img_dm_main

Project credits: Tribes, 1999 (Dynamix) – Programmer.
Starsiege, 1999 (Dynamix) – Tech. Programmer.
Tribes 2, 2001 (Dynamix) – Programmer
Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee, 2001 (Oddworld) -Programmer.
Current Project: Oddworld’s 4th game – Programmer.

Q: What’s your background?

Dave Moore: I have a B.A. in Physics from Reed College in Portland, OR. I basically decided to go with programming over physics (what I studied in college), because the field is much more open. I’m able to work in a bunch of large, non-trivial areas where only a few people have thought seriously about the problems, while in physics, that’s nearly impossible. After college, I started at Dynamix, in Eugene, OR, working on Tribes and Tribes 2, as well as technology for several other Dynamix/Sierra titles. In July of 2001, I started at Oddworld, helping with the final stages of shipping Munch’s Oddysee.

Q: Who are your biggest influences? Why?

Dave Moore: From a professional standpoint, I suppose the authors that have had the most impact on the way I approach my job are Steve Maguire, Stroustrup, and the Gang of Four.

Q: Why did you decide to go into the video game industry?

Dave Moore: I chose to go into games, not only because I love playing them, but because the programming challenges are the most varied of any type of coding of which I’m aware. It’s not necessarily harder than, say, database research, but it definitely involves a broader set of challenges, which really appeals to me. There isn’t another field of programming that presents the variety of challenges that I get to tackle in games programming.

Q: What do you like to do when you’re not at work?

Dave Moore: Amy and I hike every weekend, and we’re both avid readers.

Q: What CD are you currently listening too? What book are you reading?

Dave Moore: Alisson Krauss, Crystal Method, Tom Waits, and Yo-Yo Ma’s rendition of the Bach Cello Suites are at the top of my playlist at the moment.

George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series, Levy’s Cypto, Nye’s Paradox of American Power, Sutter’s Exceptional C++ series, Downie and Kaiser’s The News about the News, and S.J. Perelman’s The Last Laugh are the books I’m currently working on.

Q: What kind of a place is Oddworld?

Dave Moore: Very laid back, but focused at the same time. Everyone knows what we’re here for, and we’re all good at what we do. A great place to work.

Q: What is a typical day like for you?

Dave Moore: Stumble out of bed. Stand in the shower until brain cells begin functioning at at least 25% capacity. Walk through the Mission park to the coffee shop, and activate the rest of my head. Check email, and the news, start working on whatever was leftover from the previous night. Grab a sandwich from Muzio’s across the street, and eat at one of the benches by the creek. Later in the evening, move out to the pool table for my daily humliation at the hands of Mark Lee, the resident pool shark.

Q: What do you like best about coming to work? What’s the worst part?

Dave Moore: Best: I get to program for a fantastic machine every day. Worst: I get to do battle with 3D Studio Max from the inside.

Q: If you could change jobs with one of the other Inhabitants who would it be and why?

Dave Moore: Lorne. His desk has a window in front of it.

Q: What at Oddworld are you most proud of?

Dave Moore: That I can keep up with this programming team.

Q: Many fans are upset with Oddworld’s decision to develop for the Xbox exclusively. Any comments?

Dave Moore: The Xbox is really hot hardware. I sympathize with people who have to choose only one console. But I think the Xbox is going to push console gaming forward. The games look so good already, and the next wave will be even better. The extra graphical power frees up programmer time to focus on other things like AI, gameplay and tools for the designers. As far as targeting only one platform, it’s a huge boon for the programming team. We can be much more aggressive with our engine and much more economical in our coding than if we had to make a multi-platform game.

Q: What advice would you give someone trying to break into games? What type of education does someone need to do your job?

Dave Moore: Do as much demo work as you can. Read, read, read. Make sure that your knowledge base is as broad as it possibly can be. A math, physics, or computer science background is the best place to start, but probably isn’t sufficient in and of itself.

Q: Who is your favorite Oddworld character? Why?

Dave Moore: The carnivorous fuzzles. I want one for a pet.

Q: Can you tell us anything about the new game or what you are working on right now?

Dave Moore: Nope.