Bethesda is not just a developer but a publisher as well. So today’s Q&A is with Charles Harribey, one of our producers who handles external projects. Charles is primarily reponsible for our Star Trek games, and since we shipped his latest project today — Star Trek: Conquest — we thought it fitting to give some insight into Charles’ world.
What’s your job at Bethesda?
Producer, External Development. Meaning I manage Third Party Developers that make games for Bethesda to publish. Currently I deal with all the Star Trek titles.
What other games have you worked on?
Panzer General 2, Aaron vs. Ruth Baseball, War Wind, Dark Colony, Su-27 Flanker 2.0, Panzer Commander, Luftwaffe Commander, Dragon’s Lair 3D, Earth 2150: The Moon Project, Dark Planet, Dukes of Hazzard, Reno Air Racing, The Legend of Alon Dar, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Star Trek: Tactical Assault, Star Trek: Legacy, Star Trek: Conquest.
What is the best part about bring a producer? The worst part?
Best part is that I get to have my hand in every pie. I get to influence art, design, sound, writing, all of it. Also as an External Producer I get to work with teams all over the world and I get to work on a wide variety of genres on every platform.
Worst part is that if anything goes wrong at any time or anywhere, it’s always my problem. Meaning I’m the first one in, and the last one out. Also there’s a lot of travel which can be both both good and bad.
How did you get into the industry? Do you have any tips for breaking in?
I started out as a QA Tester at Strategic Simulations Inc. (SSI) back in 1996. Worked for Mindscape, Broderbund, The Learning Company, Mattel, Gores and Ubisoft along the way to Bethesda.
As for breaking in to the industry, begin with research. Learn about the company you want to work for and their games. Have some idea about what’s good and bad about both. Go to the interview prepared to talk about what you know and be honest about what you don’t. That’ll get you an entry level job.
Once you get your foot in the door, you need to be dedicated in order to stay. When they ask for volunteers for a difficult task, you need to be one of those volunteers. At the end of the project cycle the ones who stay are the ones who put in that extra effort. Everyone else will be sent packing.
What would you say is your personal favorite game of all time?
Top of the line is Super Mario 64. Runners up: Dungeon Master, Civilization, Diablo 2 and Age of Empires 2 and Gran Turismo.
What games are you looking forward to?
Unreal Tournament 3, Rock Band, Crysis and Super Mario Galaxy.
Any other hobbies and interests? What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I was a volunteer firefighter for 5 years, I’m a terrible drummer, been to Burning Man a dozen times.
Pitch your dream game.
Hard Boiled detective game. Find the clues, interrogate the suspects, solve the big crime. Guns, dames, cars and villains.