Mike Jones started programming in computer games in 1985. He was in grad school working on a degree in Industrial Engineering while at the same time doing some programming for a friend, Don Gilman. The first product he worked on was the space shuttle simulation Orbiter. After Orbiter shipped, the developers (Don Gilman, Gordon Walton, Sean Hill, and himself) formed the company Digital Illusions.
There he helped to develop some titles like Sub Battle Simulator and PT-109. He also did some ports, most notable were NFL Challenge for the Mac and F-15 Strike Eagle for the Atari ST.
In 1988, most of the team at Digital Illusions went to work for Three-Sixty Pacific developing Harpoon. He was the lead sim programmer and one of the co-designers on that product. The game shipped late 1989 and he left Three-Sixty about a year later, after putting out some patches and a battleset or two.
He was burned out and went back to grad school and finished his Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering, with the intention to get a job in that field and not go back into game development. However, after graduating, he got a call from Gordon Walton, who had interviewed at Dynamix but was not going to take the job. He recommended that Mike applied, which he did, and he was offered and took the job at Dynamix in 1992. The position was a Director, which doesn’t involve programming. He only started programming again after a couple of programmers quit halfway through the development of Command: Aces of the Deep with no immediate replacements. He left Dynamix in 1996 and for the next three years did contract programming, mostly for Dynamix. He was then rehired by Dynamix as the Executive Director of their flight sims brand.
Last updated: Nov 28, 2008