What’s your role on the Third Pie Studios (TPS) team and what all does this entail?
I am the game designer on the team! Basically, I design all the things the player will be doing while they play the game! This includes the moment-to-moment gameplay, overarching progression systems, game modes, etc. Along with this, I’m responsible for all balancing needs within the project!
What interested you in game development?
At my core, I’m a creator. I’ve been writing since I knew how to put pen to paper and have always loved telling stories in my own way. When I was thinking of what I could do as a career, I fell in love with the idea of designing games as a vessel for my writing. Since then, I’ve been able to tell stories not only through written words, but the mechanics, levels, and cutscenes I’ve created.
What are your favorite video games, and why?
This is an easy one: Dark Souls. Okay, it’s not that easy, because I have a ton of games that I love, but Dark Souls… and Metroid Prime and Hollow Knight are just so incredible to me. Metroidvanias are my favorite genre of game, and I can always find enjoyment in Metroid Prime and Hollow Knight. But Dark Souls? It’s influenced nearly every single aspect of who I am as a designer. Its punishing yet fair method of teaching the player has been instilled in the way I go about designing systems and mechanics.
If you could be any video game character (past, present, or future) who would you be?
Despite my knee jerk reaction being Artorias of the Abyss, I have to go with Master Chief. He’s just so dang cool. From the voice, the design, the back story, I really can’t think of another character who is so good all around.
What are your favorite non-gaming things to do?
I love to write, read, and go for drives. Even though I’ve fallen out of my writing habits since diving deeper into game development, I plan on getting back into it very soon! I try to take little moments throughout the day to just sit back and take a breath, maybe go sit out on my deck for a few and enjoy the outside. I’m also really big into skiing and can’t wait for summer to get out of here so I can go back to the mountains! Beyond TPS, where can we find you?
My full portfolio is over at my website (https://www.zackpullen.com/)! Check it out if you want to see the other projects I’ve worked on (one is releasing right now!!) I’ll be pushing a fresh wave of content there soon. ☺