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Robert J. Mical

Developer Biography

From 1983 to 1984, Robert Mical worked on several games at the arcade games developer Williams Electronics, as a software engineer and a special effects artist. He created special effects, enemy intelligence, general game, graphics and interface logic, and contributed to documentation development.

From 1984 to 1987, he was a software engineer at Commodore. He created development tools and animation system software, and went on to invent Intuition, the Amiga user interface system software, which was a highly-renowned full-featured windowing and menu interface for the Amiga. Robert received his first patent for Intuition and he was a contributor to the design of the Amiga's hardware system. After leaving Commodore's employ, he became an independent contractor, serving the Amiga community by creating development and support tools and games for a number of clients.

From 1987 to 1989, he was the co-inventor at Epyx of the first color hand-held game system, the Lynx, which finally was acquired by Atari. Robert was co-designer of the Lynx hardware system, and implemented an entire software development suite including a run-time library of hardware interface routines and a celebrated set of debugging, art and audio tools. In addition, 6 games were to be available at the launch of the system. Robert produced these 6 titles, was co-designer of several of them, and managed the programmers, artists and audio/music designers.

In 1990 he co-founded NTG (New Technologies Group), a company formed to design a new game system which was destined to become the 3DO entertainment multiplayer. NTG grew to 32 employees before it was merged into The 3DO Company. At NTG he was co-inventor of the 3DO system, with Dave Needle and Dave Morse. Robert co-designed the 3DO hardware platform, and architected Portfolio, the 3DO's true multi-tasking operating system. He was one of the system software programmers when the team was still small and wrote the early drafts of the documentation, was one of the designers of the development tool suite created for the 3DO developers, and was "producer" of two game design efforts too. When NTG merged with 3DO, Robert was made VP and Fellow of 3DO. As Fellow he contributed to a broad range of efforts within 3DO, from the top-level strategy meetings to the design of 3DO's second generation system.

In 1996 Robert became President of Prolific Publishing and founded a new company, Glassworks. Prolific is a company that creates entertainment software, with a particular aim at creating online multiplayer games. He opened the North office for Prolific and hired 25 people to staff the development effort. At the same time he founded a company named Glassworks with the charter of inventing an infrastructure that would support the creation of user-extensible multiplayer entertainment environments, which environments would be unified into a single space that includes games, living worlds, parks, schools, and any other area or activity that the consumers desire. Glassworks grew to have 5 employees. Prolific was creating the software that would utilize the Glassworks technology, to prove and help popularize the concept.

Between 1998 and 1999, he started writing works of fiction. His first book was called "Building a House." and he started work on a second book, "The Other Key".

After holding various hardware architect positions, he became Vice President of GlobalVR in 2003. GlobalVR took a popular PC or console game and created an arcade version of the game. They diced the game into 2-minute segments arcade-style, wrapped a thin UI layer around the game to take tokens and allow level selection and etc., and slapped in database and network code to allow identity and high-score database operations to be communicated with the mothership. Robert was responsible for developing and supporting the tools and technology that went into the development and run-time of these games. He guided the development of most cabinet-side system software, the scripting language, a bevy of other support and development tools, device drivers, and, chief of all, the UI tool and underlying technology. Plus the IT department and all the db and server and backup hardware, software and equipment acquisition was his responsibility.

Currently, from 2005, he is Senior Manager of Software Technology at Sony, where he does low- to mid-level system technology development, including a modicum of tool work, intended to be used by any internal games team at their convenience. They support the PSP, the PS3 and the PS2. Robert is responsible for a wide range of software components.

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Contributed by Sciere (243149) on Dec 03, 2005.