Today’s Inside the Vault is with associate producer, Will Noble. Will was one of our original core testers way back during Morrowind and has tested every game that the internal team here has created and many of our externally developed titles, too. He is now a part of our external production team at Bethesda, working on Rogue Warrior.
What’s your job at Bethesda?
I was recently promoted to the role of Associate Producer, I pretty much do whatever work my producer bosses task me to do. Production itself is mostly concerned with budgeting time, money, man-hours, and tasks for the entire lifecycle of a game.
What other games have you worked on?
Before being given this job, I worked in QA on such titles as Morrowind: Game of the Year, Powerdrome, Malice, IHRA, Call of Cthulhu, Oblivion, Star Trek: Tactical Assault, and Star Trek: Legacy.
What was the best part about working in QA? The worst part?
Professionally, QA was really helpful for letting me see a good chunk of the development of a game and how the work of other departments are implemented. Honestly though the best part was the sense of accomplishment after you pass certification on a game you’ve been working off and on for over a year. The worst part would be that after testing a game for an extended period of time I find I just can’t play it like a gamer anymore. I’ve also become more critical of other titles over time and find bugs in them much more readily.
What are you looking forward to most about being an associate producer?
Having a bigger voice in the game’s development, being able to meet more people with great ideas, and the unbridled euphoric power!
How did you get into the industry? Do you have any tips for breaking in?
After college I moved up to the area and while job hunting was lucky enough to have a brother- in-law clue me into the need for testers in the industry. I had never really planned to end up in the industry from the start but I found an aptitude for the work and ways to make myself useful. My tip would be to look at companies who you are passionate about the games they make and see when they need staff, and be willing to relocate.
What would you say is your personal favorite game of all-time?
I would have to say X-Com: UFO Defense because I’m a big fan of strategy and RPG games. I would make teams and play out RPG plots in my head within a perfectly fun strategy game. X-Com also pulled me back into gaming when I thought I might stop it entirely.
What games are you looking forward to?
Well I just picked up Mass Effect and am looking forward to really sinking my teeth into it, but on the longer term I’m honestly looking forward Super Smash Brothers Brawl. The trash talk one can come up with when discussing those characters makes for particularly good fun when playing with my friends.
What makes you get out of bed in the morning?
Hopefully what motivates most of us, a desire to reach your goals in your professional and private life…that or just having to pee.
Who’s tougher: Chuck Norris or Robocop?
I’ll let someone make an internet flash movie to answer this burning question.
Any other hobbies and interests? What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I am a mid distance runner (5-10 miles a day) which really helps combat sitting in an office all day. Other than that, I have a fondness for long fantasy book series (love George RR Martin) and inviting 3-5 people over to my place to play board games.
Pitch your dream game.
I really don’t have a specific game I’ve been burning to make sense I was 7 -years-old. I have ideas for games that haven’t been made that I would love to play though. I’d like to try an RPG set in the past (imagine playing a Cossack infantry man, Frankish berserker, or Greek senator) or a return to epic sci-fi flight/exploration sim games.