Developer BiographyM. A. (Al) Nelson started out in audio production in the 70's doing live FOH sound for bands and engineering on studio sessions at studios including Goodnight Audio, January Sound Studio and Real To Reel. He will still sometimes do a guitar set up for the game developers he works with.
Audio engineering soon lead Al to sound for video and film production and eventually video editing. He spent about 10 years editing commercials for shampoo, cars, hotel chains, airlines and soft drinks, plus working on live TV broadcasts, early music videos and movies (including the dog movie "Benji").
About that time, early video graphics systems were being introduced and Al transitioned into working as graphic artist. The studio he worked for began making products for the Pioneer Laser Disc format and realized they were becoming a software firm, rather than a video production house. When Al was asked to produce icons for the first Reader Rabbit, as a side job, he decided to make another move.
In 1991, Al Nelson joined Origin Systems as the studio art manager. He was involved with Ultima VII, VIII, Serpent Isle and Wing Commander II, Strike Commander and other games, as the art, and sometimes audio, manager. Later he worked as an Associate Producer IV to Warren Spector, supporting titles like
After Origin, Al worked as the Producer for Firestorm Productions on an unreleased title for Virgin Interactive and as Creative Director on Cabela's Big Game Hunter for Elsinore Multimedia, Head Games and Activision.
During a break from games, Al served as Director of Development for a firm that made custom applications for the medical industry. His teams produced large systems for Mayo Clinic, Duke, Vanderbilt, Scripps and many others, including the world's only multi-organ transplant system. Though working outside of games, Al remained connected to the industry by teaching college courses in game art direction, design and production, by contributing to coin op arcade game designs and especially by researching game theory, behavioral game design and formal trend prediction.
Working on very demanding clinical software had taught Al improved budget and schedule techniques, including Agile and Scrum especially, but his reading on game theory made him realize he was ready for another move, back to games.
Since returning to games full time, Al has worked for Sony Online Entertainment as the Project Manager for the MMO DC Universe Online and as a Project Manager for Electronic Arts MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic.
His latest move was driven by his interest in the future of digital distribution of games. Recently Al joined Tripwire Interactive , a trailbreaker in digital distribution. He currently works as the TWI staff Producer of titles including Killing Floor and Red Orchestra.
Contributed by Al Nelson (4) on Sep 08, 2013.
Al Nelson, Producer circa 2012