Thursday, January 25, 2007

Mark Cerny

Mark Cerny has worked on many computer and video games in his career as a designer, programmer, producer, and business executive. As president of Cerny Games that he founded in 1998, he now acts as a consultant in the video game industry.
Cerny, a fan of computer programming and arcade games, started in the game industry at the young age of 17 when he joined Atari in 1982. In those earlier days of professional game development, teams were small and each member was responsible for a wider range of roles than today.
Cerny's first major success is usually cited as Marble Madness in which he acted as the designer. For years he worked with Sega in Japan and the United States, where he worked on Sonic the Hedgehog 2. He was the president of Universal Interactive Studios. He continues to work with Naughty Dog , Insomniac Games and Sony.
From his extensive experience on the "do's and don'ts" in the game industry he has developed the "Cerny method", a strategy for game development. His method prefers a free-form, pre-production stage that explores a game's viability prior to full development. For example, he advocates that if the first level produced does not excite customers, then the game idea should be set aside before too much effort is put into it.
The International Game Developers Association awarded Cerny with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Game Developers Choice Awards on March 24, 2004, calling him the "master collaborator". His success rests not only on number of games he's worked on, but also their quality and commercial success .


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