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Below 10: A Developer Profile
Larian Studio's: Tim Adriaensen

Myrthos, 2002-01-28

Set in an all new fantasy universe, Divine Divinity takes the player on a fantastic quest in a land torn apart by corruption and dark magic. Throughout his journeys the player will get the chance to develop his character as one of six character types and meet a variety of people and fantastical beings. By combining the best features of the RPG genre, and introducing a lot of new features, Divine Divinity will appeal to both hardcore and new RPG players.

Below 10 is a series of developer profiles where we try to establish a small profile by asking less than 10 questions to a team of developers. This edition, features "He who brings balance" Tim Adriaensen.

1) Tell us about yourself. Who are you and what do you do at Larian Studios.

Hi, my name is Tim Adriaensen. I'm 24 years old and started working for Larian in May this year.

What do I do for Larian Studios? I'm into balancing. What exactly is meant by balancing?
I'm the one who gives the monsters their statistics like hitpoints, strength, etc.
I also assign a behaviour to each monster and which tactics they will use (in total there are 80 parameters per monster). Also giving the items their statistics and balancing the treasure tables is something I do. Treasure tables are the lists in which you find every item that can 'fall out' of a monster when it dies. Each monster has one. I make sure that the player gets better stuff depending on his level.

2) What is your typical working day like?

I wake up around 8, make a lot of coffee, drink a lot of coffee and leave for the office between 9 and 9.30. I pick up 2 of my colleagues on the way. When I arrive at the office, I start up my computer, make some coffee and start checking my email. Then I start working which means I get my brain on overload with numbers and statistics, I start to hate Excel, I bang my head on the desk and come to the conclusion this won't help. This scenario is repeated until 6 o'clock. Then I go home and do my homework which is repeating the previous scenario for 2 or 3 more hours. Then I chill and when I can't keep my eyes open or my head really hurts, I go to bed.

3) What did you want to become when you grew up?

I wanted to become something else each week, I think. Some examples are an architect, a stunt driver, a racecar driver, a skydiver, a blacksmith, a warrior, a mechanic, a professional basketball player, etc.

4) What are your favourite games and what are you playing now?

My favourite games are race games and I'm waiting for Motor City Online to be delivered at my doorstep. Others are the Fallout series, Alice, Oni, ...

5) Where does your inspiration come from?

I get inspiration from my old math books when it comes to working with Excel. The rest of the inspiration I get out of the Games Workshop universes, numerous role-playing worlds, and out of my every day encounter with other human beings. Manga and American comics also have a large impact. And of course the movie 'Alice in wonderland'.

6) What is the coolest feature in Divinity for you?

That you will meet enemies for which you'll have to come back later because they are way too strong when you encounter them for the first time. For example an assassin who leads you into a room, calls his friends and together they... well, I hope you saved...

7) Which feature that hasn't made it into Divinity is the one you will miss most?

Mr. Martian with the light saber and Rambo with his grenade launcher.

8) How did you get into the gaming business and do you have any advice for anyone seeking a position in that business?

I was looking on the internet for a level editor to make my own Q3 and Half-Life levels. Going over the search engine results, I got to the Larian site. They were looking for a level editor. Not being happy with the studies I was doing at that moment, I applied and one week later I became a member of the Larian team.
Advice: Programming skills aren't always necessary but are the biggest plus you can have. I don't have them but I have a descent RPG-knowledge which was the thing I was hired for. Another advantage is a good knowledge of 3D program's (like 3DSMax, Maya, ...) if you want to go for an artist position. It more or less comes down to being the right person at right time in the right place with the right knowledge...

9) Is there anything you would like to add?

Nothing in particular.

Average Reader Ratings: 7.96 (227 votes)
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