Designer Interview: Tim Crosby

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Hi Tim, thanks for taking the time to answer some questions about Disruptor Beam’s social game that’s in development, Game of Thrones Ascent!


Q: What is your role at Disruptor Beam, and how long have you been working on the game?

A: I’ve got a lot of different roles, but all of them fall under the theme of “My job is awesome.” I’m the Lead Game Designer, which means that I develop game systems and lay out what elements from the Game of Thrones universe we will bring to the forefront. I’m also involved in all the writer meetings, I look at art alongside our Creative Director, and I review the game itself to make sure it’s working as intended.

We’ve been laying the groundwork for this game for a long time, making sure the core ideas pass muster and fit with the vision that both GRRM and HBO have established. Once everyone agreed on the groundwork, we began the really hard work of making the game live up to what the fans deserve.


Q: Tell us about your background in the game industry!

A: I’ve been working on games for a while now, across all sorts of platforms. I worked in production roles for the original BioShock and for the PC version of Mass Effect, in addition to licensed titles and original iOS games. Even with those great games, I have to say that Game of Thrones Ascent is the most exciting project I’ve ever worked on.


Q: What got you into games and what is your favorite game, past or present?

A: Y’know, I think I first got into games when my older brother handed me a controller for the ColecoVision. There was an insanely difficult Smurfs game that was the height of technology back then. After that, it was an original Nintendo Entertainment System, and I’ve been playing ever since.

My favorite past game is pretty much anything in the Legend of Zelda series, and I’ve just wrapped up the great indie game Fez. I’m also a big board game fan, so I have all the expansions to Dominion and play whenever I can squeeze in the time. Of course, my favorite game of all time is a future one, the one we’re making right now—and we’re working hard to make Game of Thrones Ascent one of your favorites too.


Q: Did you consider yourself a Game of Thrones fan prior to starting work on the project?

A: Ha! Yes! I got into the series after Storm of Swords was published, so I remember well that anticipation in waiting for Feast for Crows. I’ve definitely had discussions with my wife on the relative badass quotients of Arya, Davos, Tyrion, and Jon Snow. And since then I’ve re-read the books a number of times, and kept up with the HBO series.


Q: What will make Game of Thrones Ascent different from other Facebook games?

A: First let me state that I play a lot of Facebook games, and I like a lot of Facebook games. That being said, Game of Thrones Ascent will mostly be different because it has the most awesome setting. The universe is so inherently rich, we can tap into that with an unprecedented emphasis on story and character. There will be reversals, betrayals, and some new forms of player-to-player interaction.


Q: What can you tell us about the way players will interact with each other in Ascent?

A: You should expect backstabbing. And know that battle prowess isn.t the only way to defeat your enemies.


Q: How cool was it to meet GRRM in person?

A: So very cool! He’s an impressive fellow. He’s brilliant. He can immediately recall any detail about the world he has created AND our own world’s medieval history. Importantly, he’s also very nice. I don’t think I can emphasize that enough.


Q: When is beta, and when will the game launch?

A: When it’s ready, and when it’s awesome.