The Level Up Design Podcast
Episode 01: Andrew Stern

Andrew Stern

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Welcome to the premiere episode of the Level Up Design Podcast!
This week I interview game designer and producer Andrew Stern.
Andrew has developed some amazing AI based entertainment projects over the last two decades, including the fabulous Petz series, Façade, and Touch Pets. We talk about his history in development and design, our time working together, and much much more!

Download Episode 01

Show Notes

00:01:25 The Fabulous Amiga

00:02:10 Rob Fulop was the creator of Demon Attack, probably the first real Indie Game.

00:02:30 Petz: Your Virtual Pet that never ever dies

00:03:06 The OZ Project: Some of the real dawn of interactive character.

00:03:40 Michael Matteis

00:03:50 PF MagicBought and sold and bought and sold

00:05:00 Dogz had a download and a digital unlock back in 1994.

00:06:00 South Park and Multimedia GulchThe heart of the first wave of Multimedia.

00:07:05 GUI = Graphical User Interface

00:08:00 The Dogz game was 3D, so the same animation would look different at different angles.

00:08:45 Facade was Andrew’s demo of interactive speech and character.

00:10:10 Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf:

00:13:00Quantic Dream makes interactive drama, although it is far more boxed in.

00:16:00But the uncanny valley was happy to kick us around.

00:16:20The Chihuahua

00:16:40The original Ballz was a cartridge console fighting game.

00:22:27Stumptown Game Machine and Touch Pets




00:32:15 ABL – A behavior language vs. Behavior Trees

00:38:15 I worked on Sea Pets during the Facebook era of Pet games.
None of them had any artificial intelligence at all.

00:40:45No Man’s sky is probably the best example of that kind of open ended design thinking.

00:41:15Doublefine is always going against the grain.

00:44:15Riot Games’ development is probably as much about science as art these days.

00:45:15Angry birds put everything into marketing.
Looks like the movie is doing well…

00:47:00Darpa AI training system: Strategic Social Interaction Modules

00:47:30Turns out that I was perpetuating a rumor. Mattel never made the stocks for the military.

00:54:00Simulator sickness

Facade website
Grand Text Auto
Inform: Interactive Fiction Platform

Andrew’s email [email protected]