Cryptic Studios lead programmer talks about work on Champions Online

Cryptic Studios lead programmer Charlie Grisafi - Image 1Now and again, companies will introduce members a game’s development team during a little Q & A session. In fact, Cryptic Studios has recently done that with Champions Online lead programmer Charlie Grisafi

Mr. Grisafi has a lot to tell you about the work he’s been doing for the game. More details and explanations abound in the full article after the jump.

The Cryptic Studios logo - Image 1Cryptic Studios has placed quite a bit of responsibility in Charlie Grisafi‘s hands – after all, he’s the lead programmer for Champions Online (PC, Xbox 360). Basically, it’s his job to coordinate all of the work of Cryptic’s software engineers who are working on the game.

Grisafi likens his role to that of a football coach. While the details are different, certain principles involved in the two jobs remain the same. Grisafi makes sure that each “player” on the Cryptic Studios team has what he or she needs. He also takes the time to motivate each member to do his or her best.

Grisafi’s credentials are nothing to sneeze at, either: the guy has worked as a software engineer for the past 25 years. His past employers include some of the biggest names in the gaming industry – among them Atari, Midway and Electronic Arts.

What is a typical day like for Grisafi like? Work, work and more work. The lead programmer described it this way:

I get in to work as early as possible so I can work in a few hours of programming before other people start to show up. Then I have various meetings about tech issues, design, status updates, scheduling, etc., interspersed with more programming. Then I complain about being in so many meetings. I’ll try to get in a few more hours of programming before heading home.

With all the work that Grisafi does day in and day out, he admitted that the most exciting part of working on the Champions Online project was the depth of his involvement in it.  Nevertheless, Grisafi admitted that this can be a double-edged sword at times.

FInally, Grisafi dispensed some advice for aspiring programmers out there: “Bathe regularly, wear clean underwear, use deodorant and chew with your mouth closed. Learning how to write code would not hurt.”

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