March 13th, 2019
Hi, my name is John Mattys, and I’m our team’s Lead Puzzle Designer.
In a game like SPY2K, you could be forgiven for assuming my job title means that I’m in charge of all of the missions, and I guess to some extent you wouldn’t be wrong. But my specialty lies in the more cryptic, puzzle-type missions- namely, the Password Hacking and Keypad Hacking missions.
Of course, development is a messy process, and I’ve been working very closely with the Lead Designer on all of the missions, the spies, and the general game flow. I’ve also been working with the Art team on UI features and the overall layout of the game, with my insights coming from a more technical perspective than an artistic one. I’ve also been working on refining the controls. If you ever don’t know what button to press, remember: this is our Lead Designer’s fault, and totally 100% not mine at all, but I’m sorry anyway.
I also lost a lot of work to the cutting room floor, and we still have fragments of my older ideas kicking around in case of emergency- maybe you’ll see them in a later version? If not, just trust me when I say the game is better without them in the state they were in when they were scrapped- sometimes, you just have to admit that it’s just not screenpeeky enough.
Basically, my job is to make the challenges faced by players as interesting and pleasantly frustrating as possible, as my games tend to make the player scratch their heads instead of carefully finessing the controller. Of course, since my games are data heavy, they can lead to slowdowns in play, but also open up fantastic opportunities to peek at your opponent’s homework!
I play a lot of games, but most of the games I play are single player, so working on balancing a multiplayer game has been a unique experience for me. As a Designer, I’m constantly playtesting and thinking up new ways to refine the experience to a smoother and more satisfying experience. Even though the lion’s share of the design has been set in stone by this point, a Designer’s work is never done until the design is perfect.
I’m also one of our team’s resident mega-nerds, and will not hesitate to bring my Nintendo Switch into the room to start a Smash Bros throwdown on our lunch breaks. I have carried my passion for games into this project and have been leveraging my knowledge into coming up with unique, interesting, and (hopefully) fun designs. Helping to build SPY2K has been a great experience, and I’m looking forward to seeing where this line of work takes me beyond my life here at Brock and into my career path.