For this week’s Media Consumption, a column that looks at the media and art diets of our favourite industry personalities, we spoke to John Passfield, Design Director at Pandemic Australia
Passfield’s beginnings in the industry back in the mid ‘80s, when he created shooter Halloween Harry
for the MicroBee computer and sold it to publisher Honeybee. He later co-created, co-designed and co-wrote seminal point and click adventure Flight of the Amazon Queen
with Steven Stamatiadis, before co-founding and going on to work as Design Director for Krome Studios on Ty the Tasmanian Tiger
and its sequel, amongst other titles.
More recently, Passfield has been working on the just-shipped Destroy All Humans! 2
with Pandemic. He notes that the team have “just started thinking about the next project”, but adds that not a lot can be said about it so far.
“However,” he continues. “We are looking for more great people to join the team - so this is a great opportunity to be there from the start!” We contacted Passfield to check out the morsels on his media plate.
"Because I’m an Aussie, I have a soft spot for Australian rock; some of my favourite bands include Regurgitator, Hoodoo Gurus, Spiderbait, Australian Crawl, old INXS with Michael Hutchence and Crowded House. Okay, Crowded House were from New Zealand, but they’re practically Aussies.
I’m also a big fan of Prince, the B-52s, Damon Albarn, New Order, the Cure and Tenacious D. If any of these guys release a new CD I’ll buy it straight away. And because I’m a total geek I love video game and movie soundtracks too.
Right now I’m listening to Mish Mash
by Regurgitator and have the soundtracks for Katamari Damacy
and Jet Set Radio
high on my play list."
"Like most people in the games industry I am a huge Star Wars
fan (especially Star Wars: A New Hope
and The Empire Strikes Back
). Star Wars
was among the first films I saw as a kid at the cinema and I became a total Star Wars
nut for years afterwards.
And being a child of the late seventies/early eighties I saw a lot of classic sci-fi films during my formative years - so Superman, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Tron, Back to the Future
and Raiders of the Lost Ark
hold a special place in my heart.
I also love comedy and cried with laughter when I first saw Airplane
and The Naked Gun
. The last movie that I saw and enjoyed was Superman Returns
. Now that Destroy All Humans! 2
has shipped I’m looking forward to catching up on a bunch of movies that I missed seeing at the cinema on DVD."
"I love non-fiction nerd books – basically any book about the computer, film or games industry. Some of my favourites include The Game Makers
by Philip Orbanes, The First Quarter
by Steven Kent, Toy Wars
by G. Wayne Miller, Accidental Empires
by Robert X. Cringley, and Naked Hollywood
by Nicolas Kent.
I just recently finished The Google Story
by David Vise and Mark Malseed and am currently reading Droidmaker: George Lucas and Digital Revolution
by Michael Rubin. I love reading about how people created something from nothing; I find it really inspiring and energizing."
"My all time favourite games include Monkey Island, Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil, Mario 64, Zelda: Link’s Awakening
and the original Tomb Raider
. Each of these games sucked me in to their worlds and had me hooked until I finished them.
I have a two-year-old daughter so right now I find that I only have small slices of time to devote to any one thing. As a result my play habits have shifted from console titles to hand held and casual games. I really love the Nintendo DS and cram in small parcels of play every day dividing my time between Animal Crossing, Brain Age, Trauma Center
and Big Brain Academy
We’re picking up a Wii as our family Christmas gift and I can’t wait to give Mario
a work out with the Wii-mote."