Next-Gen People: Scott Miller

Next-Gen People: Scott Miller

The man behind Prey and Duke Nukem steps up to take Next-Gen’s weekly questionnaire…

Scott Miller’s career began in school, in Australia, creating games on a Wang 2000 personal computer. By the late 80′s, having written some 100 small games he began to explore shareware as a distribution avenue and launched Apogee. It was an immediate success.

In the early ’90s, he,  John Romero, John Carmack and Tom Hall made Commander Keen. Apogee went on to release some 35 games. In the mid-1990′s the company changed its name to 3D Realms.

In 1998 3D Realms became a founding member of Gathering of Developers. Eventually, G.o.D. sold itself in full to Take-Two Interactive. Nowadays 3D Realms is best known for Prey, Duke Nukem and co-creating Max Payne (with Remedy).

1. I’m currently working on…

Prey 2, of course!  We are addressing concerns about combat, as well as adding in more gameplay innovations.

2. My favorite part of the working day is…

Avoiding press interviews.  And, of course, working on games.  That’s what I’ve been doing since 1975, and it seems to be in my blood.  There’s always something interesting to do, like creating a game concept, plotting out the story, working on gameplay ideas, play-testing, and occasionally playing games!

3. The three brands that I most adore are…

The first would be Amazon.  Hardly a day goes by that I do not press “Buy Now With 1-Click!”  I buy practically everything through Amazon, even many of the clothes I wear.  The next two I’ll reserve for game brands, and go with Diablo and World of Warcraft.  No one beats Blizzard, I guess.

4. When I was 12 years old I most loved to…

Ride my new off-road motorcycle that my father bought me for my birthday.  And where did I do this, you didn’t ask?  In the outback of Australia, living in Alice Springs, where I lived through all of my high school years.

5. On an average Saturday afternoon I’m…

…doing a crazy mix of cleaning the house, working on game projects, playing my drums (to the band Rush, most often), and taking my two boys to the movies.

6. My favorite city in the world is…

Rome.  So much history, so much culture, so much damn delicious food!

7. The person in history I’d probably describe as my hero is…

Bruce Lee. Seriously. I started martial Arts in 1973 after seeing Enter the Dragon. I now have black belts in two different styles, and have trained in many others. I have read 50+ books on his life and teachings. Lee’s greatest attribute was his willingness to innovate, and not be held back by the traditions and conventions of the martial arts world. This is a lesson that I apply to game design whenever possible – always question what has become convention, and see if there’s really a better way to do it. I could write a LOT more on this topic, but time to move on…

8. The piece of music that moves me most is…

I am not part of the iPod generation, and I rarely listen to music.  In my car I am always playing an audio book, whether fiction or non-fiction.  This is how I maximize my learning, something I always strive to do.  I will admit that movies often move me to shed a tear, such as the last one I saw: Click. Yes, I’m a sucker for sappy endings.

9. The game I wish I’d created is…

Tetris. Pure genius. The most perfect of all computer games.

10. The sort of movie I like to watch is…

Action, but with a meaningful story.  The Matrix, for example.  Or Jaws, or Indiana Jones.  A great comedy, too, like The 40-Year Old Virgin.

11. On the beach, I like to read…

Not only on the beach, but at home, on the plane, in the doctor’s waiting room, you name it – I almost always have a book with me, and read at least one book per week, mostly non-fiction.  I’m very big into health books, science, world history, marketing, business success stories, and books on creating better stories.

12. My home is…

My second office!  Also, a great place to sleep, but other than that, I’m usually not there.

13. My favorite sports team is…

The Dallas Cowboys.  I mean like, duh!
 
14. In my professional life, the achievement that I’m most proud of is…

Having turned a passionate hobby into a successful occupation that not only has done well for me, but for many of the people working at 3D Realms.

15. And in my personal life, it’s…

Remaining at an athletic-level of fitness at the age of 45, able to do anything I did at the age of 25, but likely even better, due to even better health and fitness advances I’ve adopted in recent years.  (And no, that doesn’t include steroids!)