A Week in Our Worlds – Mike Schulenberg

We continue along with our week long set of interviews. Today’s contestant is Mike Schulenberg of Raven Software. Mike enjoys gaming, fast cars and long walks on the beach! Enjoy!

1)Rumor has it your from Texas, have you blocked that memory out of your mind, or will you actually fess up to it? I won’t lie to you, I’m actually from Texas as well. Born and raised down South. Once you get over the un-godly heat, cow shit and redneck hicks, Texas isn’t so bad.

Nah, I love Texas and it’ll always be home. Can’t say I miss the heat, the humidity, or the cockroaches as big as my thumb, though.

2)So what kind of previous job titles did you hold before Raven?

Before Raven I spent several years on an adventuresome career as a courier for a multi-million dollar corporation with overseas interests. (Yeah I know that’s just a fancy way of saying I delivered pizza, but when I say it that way, it sounds glamorous and full of political intrigue).

3)What kind of hobbies do you have?

Video games on various platforms, ethnic psychedelic space rock, books, movies, rpg’s, and acquiring mesmerizing objects with which to decorate my cubicle.

4)Cheerios or Frosted Flakes?

I’d trade them both for a bowl of Cookie Crisp. They taste like little chocolate chip cookies in milk, don’t ya know.

5)Tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you got into this business?

Well, I’m like one of those people who got into amateur mapping. At first I did it because it was fun, but at some point I realized that people could get jobs doing it. It’s something I really love, so I spent some time on a total conversion team and kept sharpening my skills and trying to get as many job interviews as I could. One day I saw on the net that Raven was hiring, so I sent them some stuff and here I am.

6)What kind of techniques do you use while creating a level?

Wow this is kind of a tough one. I guess first and foremost I make sure I’m immersed in some of my favorite music. Then I jot down some notes on things I want to happen in the level, maybe make a flowchart, and draw out a rough map. Once I’m actually building, I use these things as a guide and for direction. I always leave room for improvising, because I tend to get my better ideas while I’m actually doing the work.

7)In your opinion, what’s the best level you’ve ever played?

There’ve been so many good levels over the years that it’s hard to pick just one. I’m really partial to levels like Bluff Eversmoking from Unreal, the Canyon level from Heretic II, and the central monestery hub level from Hexen.

8)What level do you feel shows off your talents the best?

Right now I would have to say the first single player Borg level that’s in the Elite Force demo right now. I put a lot of little details in that map that I think turned out well, and I’m rather pleased with its atmosphere. My opinion is likely to change when I finish all my maps, though, as they’re constantly evolving.

9)If you could change one thing about the world we live in, what would it be?

I would change the fact that there isn’t a Stonehenge on the lot behind our building. A big thanks to Mike for the extra case of bananas he sent us, and for not getting too upset at the little gift one of our monkies left on his office floor while he wasn’t looking.