Mike Ebert

Developer Biography

Mike Ebert never planned on working in computers games as a career, as he wanted to draw comic books. But, after twenty years in the industry, he must admit that games are his career. Ebert started out by studying Computer Science at Berkeley for two years (1982-1984), after which he attended the Academy of Art college in San Francisco to study Illustration (1984-1988). From there he was Production Manager/Art Director for a Japanese Animation magazine “Animag,” (1985-1988), and after that he worked for a couple of years as free lance artist on a variety of illustration jobs and a few comic books (such as Dark Horse and Now Comics). He was not very successful though, by then - according to himself - his art skills were really not up to par for comic book work.

One day a friend mentioned a job opening at Lucasfilm Games. He went in for an interview and got the job (1989). His first work for Lucasfilm was on the NES port of Maniac Mansion for which he was credited with “actor art” (the port was released in 1990). He worked on a variety of games while at Lucasarts doing mostly artwork, all drawn with a mouse, and most of it in 16 colors. Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis was one of the few early games where he got to use 256 colors. Through some odd twist of events, he went from Artist to Project Leader, and soon he had the opportunity to design and project lead several games. Zombies Ate My Neighbors and Metal Warriors are the two he is most proud of.

Ebert spent some co-owning a game design studio, Big Ape, but after six years he sold his share and left the studio in 2001 to join Toys for Bob. Big Ape shared office space with Toys for Bob, but Ebert was already familiar with the company, as he had met Paul Reiche of Toys For Bob long ago, and he was already credited on the company’s Star Control II (1992).

Ebert still works as a Lead Designer for Toys for Bob (2008). He doesn’t do any real art at Toys for Bob; he mainly designs and scripts levels for games. Ebert still pursues traditional drawing and illustration in his spare time and hopes to get back into comic books some day.

Contributed by game nostalgia (5640) on Nov 02, 2008.