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Below 10: A Developer Profile
Larian Studio's: Grischa Jacobs

Myrthos, 2001-12-10

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 fourth edition, features programmer, Grischa Jacobs.

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

I'm one of the programmers of Divinity and mainly busy with the map editor, user interface and tools to manage the game data. Not much more to say without loosing the interest of ninety percent of the audience.

2) What is your typical working day like?

There is no such thing as a typical working day.

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

Astronaut and famous? I actually don't know. Probably what every child wants to become. But there has always been a fascination for technical things. Which brought me to computers and in the end to programming.

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

XPilot. Although that's been a while since. Otherwise, I do like to try new things. As long as it's interesting it's my current favourite game. At the moment I'm more into 3D shooters. My recent highlights were definitely Deus Ex and Max Payne. On the other hand I'm waiting for the next RPG I can get hooked to...

5) Where does your inspiration come from?

You don't need a lot of inspiration for debugging or implementation of conversion tools. For the rest, I have no idea where it comes from. Probably things I liked in other games, didn't like in other games and things I just feel like doing when testing Divinity.

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

The map editor. Ok, I said that, because I've been asked to not answer that. Couldn't resist. Although something you created yourself is always special. No, the real answer is probably the story. I stayed as far away from the story development as possible. That way I will be able to enjoy it nearly the way the players will do.

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

Hard to say which features actually didn't make it in the game. Of course you could come up with a lot of additional features when you think about it. But you would never see the game released, if we would keep on adding features. We achieved what we initially planned to do and went even further in some areas. The only thing that bugs me a little is the lack of multiplayer support.

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

The first contact was when I read an announcement in the newspaper that a local company was looking for software testers. Well, guess what kind of software...
Actually involved in this business I got during a practical course at the university. I knew the people from that company and I liked games. I didn't have to think about it.
And my advice for everyone seeking a position in that business is, unlike me, to first finish school/university and then seek that position. It can be a highly addictive job.

9) Is there anything you would like to add?

I managed to get rid of my Red Bull problem. Although compensating it with the double amount of coffee, I guess, wasn't the smartest thing to do...

Average Reader Ratings: 7.96 (227 votes)
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