Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam (2006)

At age 19, I was a community manager for Tony Hawk’s American Sk8land at Agora Games, and a sophomore in college.

I earned a student co-op position at Vicarious Visions, the developers of Sk8land.  I was able to work on-site, full time, as a game designer on the sequel – Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam for Nintendo DS.

The image above appears in-game, behind the credits.

As I earned my team’s trust, I was given a lot of responsibility and personal tasks:

First pass of the story (Tony gets served, gathers a crew…)
Helped create the villain, Antonio Segul
Voiced anime Antonio (Move it or lose it!)
Chose the voice actors for the game
Wrote most of the in-game dialogue quips for all skaters

I made Tony Hawk laugh with the character select quip,
“Hi I’m Tony Hawk, Pro Skater!”

I created most of the game’s trick gaps in 3DS Max

A lot of the trick gap names in Downhill Jam are references to Sk8land community members, and the Half-Life 2 mod Plan of Attack, which I spent a lot of time working on at Agora Games the previous year.

During my co-op, I was still working with Agora Games as a community manager for Tony Hawk’s American Sk8land.

My unique position within the two companies allowed me to coordinate deeply integrated online features for Downhill Jam:

Pushed to include downloadable challenges as a web feature
Created all 100 downloadable challenges
Invented the community unlock website feature
Included Sk8land community art in Downhill Jam

Because my role was so unique as community manager for Sk8land and game designer on the sequel, I was interviewed about it for German video game site Games Cathedral.

Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam was named IGN‘s “Best Racing / Driving Game” for Nintendo DS in 2006.

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