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Inside the Developers Studio: Deb Mars

Jeff Rubenstein's Avatar + Posted by Jeff Rubenstein on Jul 09, 2008 // Sr. Social Media Manager

Here we are, a week away from the LA Convention Center’s doors swinging open for E3. What will you be seeing? Well, you at least know *some* of what’s going to be shown. Now, it’s time to meet the people behind the games you’ll see next week, and will be playing soon after.

A few weeks ago I quizzed you to find out what *you* would ask our producers if you met them. Well, I took those questions and did just that. First up, Deb Mars, who’s working on the highly anticipated (and awesome, seriously) PixelJunk Eden.

Here’s what we asked (and which Blog readers asked it, in parentheses):

  • What game(s) you have at E3 this year?
  • Do you think huge trade events like E3 are going to last? (Jeigh)
  • Who in the industry would you most like to collaborate on a game with? (indigovenom)
  • When did you know for sure that you belonged in the video game business? (Sindress)
  • What kind of advice would you give those currently in college and would like to pursue a career in video game development? (Voozi)
  • If you could say one thing to the fans of your game/series out there, what would it be? (Xanog)

Deborah Mars is a Senior Producer in SCEA’s Santa Monica Studios. She joined SCEA in 2002, and is focused primarily on working with External development teams to bring fresh, unique and innovative games to the PlayStation Network. Mars has more than 17 years experience in Product Development, with an extensive background in interactive media, new business start-ups, and management consulting. She has held positions at Sony Computer Entertainment America, Scient Corporation, The Tribune Company, and Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Now that you know who she is and what she’s showing at E3 – what game-related questions do you want me ask her next week? Tell me below.

Tomorrow: Kyle Shubel (LittleBigPlanet and Killzone 2)

//Add Your Own

80 Comments   14 Replies

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1

+ alexbhp on July 9th, 2008 at 2:26 pm said:

I’m happy to know Eden will support trophies.


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    + Deborah Mars on July 9th, 2008 at 4:02 pm said:

    So are we! Stay tuned here on the Blog for more info in the next few weeks on the trophies in PixelJunk Eden.


2

+ Fersis on July 9th, 2008 at 2:28 pm said:

awesome
I really enjoy this ‘meet the developers’ stuff
Good work Deb and Jeff


3

+ ftwrthtx on July 9th, 2008 at 2:30 pm said:

I want as much trophy information as possible.

Will we be able to access our trophy collection online through the PC?


4

+ kingv84 on July 9th, 2008 at 2:31 pm said:

Niice! She so Niice!


5

+ tdh on July 9th, 2008 at 2:33 pm said:

This is one of the HUGE things I love about the PS.Blog. The actual interface with the people are making the games I’m playing. How they got there, why they’ve done this, an actual human touch to “next week’s update.”

Instead of the random posting at a news site confirming rumors, here we have the people involved droping notes, responding to questions and comments. This level of interaction should have been there all along and here we have it in abundance.

Great interview, and great work Deb. My family is playing PixelJunk games like crazy and we’re excited waiting for PixelJunk Eden.


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    + Deborah Mars on July 9th, 2008 at 4:01 pm said:

    Thanks for the kind words. And happy to hear that you and family are enjoying the PixelJunk games. We\’ll be back on the blog again in the next few weeks with news on PJ Eden so stay tuned.


6

+ MegaClank on July 9th, 2008 at 2:36 pm said:

How about asking her what her favourite classic video game is?


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    + Deborah Mars on July 9th, 2008 at 4:22 pm said:

    Tough call narrowing it down to just one. Asteroids was a clear favorite, but I also really liked Pole Position and that Slalom downhill skiing game.


7

+ mywhitenoise on July 9th, 2008 at 2:37 pm said:

“Tomorrow: Kyle Shubel (LittleBigPlanet and Killzone 2)”

sweet.


8

+ Jeigh on July 9th, 2008 at 2:39 pm said:

Aw, my question was asked! :D

Now’s my chance to snake in another question for next week! :D

How different is it working on the PixelJunk series as opposed to the giant disc-based games like Killzone 2, God of War and so on?

What is the most challenging part of creating a PixelJunk game?

Any comments as to what type of game you might be interested in making next in the series? (RPG, RTS, Platforming, RPG…? )

Thanks! :D


9

+ Romzen on July 9th, 2008 at 2:41 pm said:

Thank you Deb!

I will definitely buy your game and am looking forward to get my hands on it.

This trophy thing turns out to be a really popular thing atm. The 3rd party devs really need to catch that this is the future of all PS3 titles and patch their recent games. I do not understand why some of the teams are turning us down.

I bought SSHD because of trophies which is even without them a phenomenally great title and now ordered uncharted after never having thought to ever buy this. =D

Thanks to Sony for this system once again!


10

+ XxBigP123xX on July 9th, 2008 at 2:43 pm said:

Tomorrow: Kyle Shubel (LittleBigPlanet and Killzone 2)

Holy epic.

Nice interview.

Also wanted to say i got my Playstation.blog shirt! :D

And i tried to add you Jeff on the PSN but your friends list was full :/ think you can make some room for me? Hit me up on the PSN, XxBigP123xX.


11

+ Romzen on July 9th, 2008 at 2:44 pm said:

Oh and yes. I would love to see a PSN-RPG. Please make it happen Pixeljunk! Something like Diablo, a hack’n’slay with a lot of upgrading opportunities and online capabilities would be fun or a jrpg type.


12

+ the_icon on July 9th, 2008 at 2:45 pm said:

Great Interview, good luck to Deb Mars and the Santa Monica team, hope your game is a sucess.

Cant wait for tomorrow’w LBP and KZ 2 guests.

Plz ask this to the Little Big Planet nuts- Did they ever though that the title, which they were developing over two years ago, would be as much hyped as it is currently now?

Its surprising to think that a title that started its life as a PSN title, became a fledged title. So the question is, how do you know whether the title is fit for the PSN or Retail?


13

+ Engine on July 9th, 2008 at 2:46 pm said:

ohhhh LBP up tomorrow :)


14

+ tearsofash on July 9th, 2008 at 2:52 pm said:

let me say this, Pixeljunk Eden will probably be the first Pixeljunk game I’m going to purchase.


15

+ joel on July 9th, 2008 at 2:52 pm said:

Nice good


16

+ Slick on July 9th, 2008 at 2:52 pm said:

Great interview. This is what makes the PS community feel like a part of Sony. I liked her answers, seems like a straight up kinda person.

Can’t wait for tomorrow’s interview…holy crap.


17

+ GGCAN on July 9th, 2008 at 2:54 pm said:

Thank-you for the post.


18

+ Slick on July 9th, 2008 at 2:55 pm said:

On, and just to comment on what I hope we’ll see from Pixeljunk at E3..

Yeah, I def wanna see how that RPG of theirs is turning out. How sweet is that?! A PSN rpg by a company that seems to be coming into their own. After Monsters and now Eden, seems like there churning out nothing but the goods. And to top it off, I’m RPG starved, just like all the rest of the PS3’ers….


19

+ LordJonas on July 9th, 2008 at 2:58 pm said:

Awesome. I love this blog and that video shows part of why.

Where else would we go to interact with these people?! nowhere!

well we could. But this blog is convenient!


20

+ Fersis on July 9th, 2008 at 3:00 pm said:

@14 tearsofash
Try PJ Monsters its really good.
Eden its a day one buy for me


21

+ KazeEternal on July 9th, 2008 at 3:04 pm said:

You guys have come a long way, glad to hear Eden is moving so smoothly and looking forward to what you may offer at E3.


22

+ bLaZe412 on July 9th, 2008 at 3:09 pm said:

LOL. “I still kicked his ass!” And she was 4…
Well, back On-Topic, it’s great to see how far the Pixeljunk series has evolved.


23

+ zakupilot256 on July 9th, 2008 at 3:14 pm said:

She is right about networking. I am trying to get a job in the industry myself, on the marketing/community relations side, and I am having a lot of trouble. My problem is that I do not have any one I can call friend in any company to help me out. It is a lot easier when you have friends in the industry to help you out.


24

+ gardea on July 9th, 2008 at 3:22 pm said:

I can’t wait for PixelJunk Eden, it looks amazing and really fun.

By the way, I started gaming at age 2 (beat you :)). My first game was Super Mario Bros. and I got to the end of Level 3 in World 1.


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    + Deborah Mars on July 10th, 2008 at 4:27 pm said:

    Age 2? Oh yeah, you definitely win. Interesting to think back and remember the games we played when we were really young, huh? In fact, we just had a blog post on June 25 asking people to share their stories with us about playing co-op on PixelJunk Monsters. There was a really cute story about a dad and his 3-year-old daughter playing together. Check it out here: http://blog.us.playstation.com/2008/06/25/pixeljunk-in-the-trunk-contest-winners-part-1/


25

+ tearsofash on July 9th, 2008 at 3:22 pm said:

@Fersis

Nah, PJM seems like too much work. I like to take it easy…


26

+ joel on July 9th, 2008 at 3:24 pm said:

I cant wait for pixel junk eden, the pixel junk franchise is one of the best on the PSN.


27

+ Clinton514 on July 9th, 2008 at 3:24 pm said:

Maybe I’m tripping, did Deborah answer Xanog’s question? :lol:


28

+ cLokwerk_ye11ow on July 9th, 2008 at 3:27 pm said:

Can’t wait for Eden.

Oh, and Deb seems cool.


29

+ WHAT on July 9th, 2008 at 3:27 pm said:

Great interview. Wasn’t she the first woman in space. Congratulations are in order.


30

+ Trustter on July 9th, 2008 at 3:35 pm said:

I love PixelJunk games and please keep making more and more.

I would like to see a plataform game in the future.

Cheers


31

+ nmc75 on July 9th, 2008 at 3:37 pm said:

Cool video.. we need more of these. Hearing from developers speaking as candidly as possible and allowing the community to comment is great.


32

+ Kyen777 on July 9th, 2008 at 3:38 pm said:

I’m waiting on the info for FFXIII (if they have any in store for E3). Also LBP. Looks like a nice game you can just sit back and relax and fool around with your friends. Hopefully the developer put in-game music on it.


33

+ TristanMike on July 9th, 2008 at 3:41 pm said:

STOP USING VIDDLER FOR YOUR VIDEOS!!!!

I’m sorry for yelling, but I’m serious. If you can’t view it on the PS3, it shouldn’t be on the Blog.

Let’s see Trophies and In-Game Custom Soundtracks for ALL of the Pixel games… restore my faith.


34

+ Fersis on July 9th, 2008 at 3:47 pm said:

@25 tearsofash
haha ok,no prob
@33 TristanMike
Hell yeah ,it can be viewed by the PS3 browser


35

+ stennex on July 9th, 2008 at 3:59 pm said:

I must give into Pixel Junk. The new game looks very interesting so i will be giving it a try.


36

+ the_icon on July 9th, 2008 at 4:06 pm said:

@ Deb Mars- We hardly see women in game development, although things improved over the years. Whats your take in this? And How can the industry change to attract them?


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    + Deborah Mars on July 9th, 2008 at 4:32 pm said:

    I think we\’re definitely starting to see a lot more women in the industry…which is great. Try to hook up with local game clubs at schools, universities offering interactive media programs or even game developers in your home area. Networking is key, and internships are a great way to get a foot in the door.


37

+ BlackRabbit on July 9th, 2008 at 4:09 pm said:

Great interview! Ms. Mars, you guys are making great games that are truly fantastic ways to bring people together, so thanks for that. I’d imagine Dylan Cuthbert is just as pleased working with someone as well spoken. Can’t wait to play Eden! :D


38

+ Rogerjak on July 9th, 2008 at 4:21 pm said:

Thank you very much for the advice in how to get in to game developing! It’s been my dream since I started gaming.
Gladly I’m already aiming for a good degree that focus in game!

Also, Eden seems alot of fun! Keep up the good work and keep bringing this kind of games, because I will be here to play them!


39

+ C-h-a-o-s on July 9th, 2008 at 4:26 pm said:

@ #5

tdh

“This is one of the HUGE things I love about the PS.Blog. The actual interface with the people are making the games I’m playing. How they got there, why they’ve done this, an actual human touch to “next week’s update.”

Instead of the random posting at a news site confirming rumors, here we have the people involved droping notes, responding to questions and comments. This level of interaction should have been there all along and here we have it in abundance.”

I couldn’t of said it any better my self great post. I find my self checking the blog before I go to any other news sites day, after day. Jeff and other PS blog writers a huge thanks for making this all possible!


40

+ Mort on July 9th, 2008 at 4:26 pm said:

Deb,

First of all, if you were wondering how this interview would be perceived by the PS community, rest assured that you did a great job. I want to thank you and Jeff for this post. Keep up the great work.

I am so looking forward to PJ Eden. The first time I saw a video of it, I knew that I just had to have it. Garnett Lee said on the 1Up podcast last week that it just might be his early contender for game of the year! How sweet is that?

I think LBP may give you a run for your money in that regard, but who cares? I know that it’s a day one purchase for me.

The game looks awesome. Great job. I love that Sony and the PJ guys are trying to bring us something innovative.

Oh, and BTW Deb – you’re kind of hot!


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    + rlowe on July 9th, 2008 at 4:46 pm said:

    More like CRAZY HOT! Oh wait, did that get announced publicly? >:D


41

+ erico316 on July 9th, 2008 at 4:27 pm said:

any release time frame like late July or in Aug?when is this game coming out i can’t take the wait for much longer.


42

+ erico316 on July 9th, 2008 at 4:39 pm said:

also asked if they will ever make a full retail game for either the ps3 or psp.


43

+ Queso on July 9th, 2008 at 4:53 pm said:

hey there Deb quick question here: will there be trophy support for monsters?


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    + Deborah Mars on July 9th, 2008 at 6:00 pm said:

    We like the idea a lot. That\’s about all I can say on that now. ;-)


44

+ tirminyl on July 9th, 2008 at 5:01 pm said:

I really wish I could get these Viddler videos working. None of the videos on the blog work for me anymore. On any browser I use. Desktop or laptop. :-(


45

+ aliziry on July 9th, 2008 at 5:23 pm said:

Hmm…”At this point that’s probably all I can disclose”=God of War 3 at E3!!!!!!


46

+ JordanBlack68 on July 9th, 2008 at 5:25 pm said:

One game still supports trophies after one week of 2.40, thats kinda shocking, they should of planned it better so more games were compatible with it. But I can’t complain as In-Game XMB is ace.
Good job Sony

P.S get more trophies a.s.a.p :p thanks


47

+ Auroura on July 9th, 2008 at 5:26 pm said:

Hey Deborah, is it true that a pixel junk rpg is being produced???? Slap me if it isn’t true. xD Meh its probably not! Pixel junk looks like a great series. You should make a bundle combining every pixel junk game into one purchase!


48

+ optimusprime76 on July 9th, 2008 at 5:42 pm said:

Hey Deb

The art style and gameplay of Pixel Junk Eden is quite unique. What inspired the team to create such a game?

And best of luck at E3 :)


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    + Deborah Mars on July 10th, 2008 at 5:08 pm said:

    We really love the art and music in Eden as well from the very first moment we got our hands on the game. Dylan & Q-Games collaborated with a really cool Kyoto-based underground artist and musician/DJ named Baiyon to create this completely unique (and yeah, psychedelic) audio and visual experience unlike anything we\’ve ever seen before in a game. We\’re planning to do an interview with him for an upcoming blog post so keep your eyes & ears open.


49

+ LordDeff07 on July 9th, 2008 at 5:48 pm said:

I loved pixel junk monsters, well the demo at least….. just never got around to buying the actual game. but you seem like a nice person and since you have taken the time to come talk to us? I am going to buy your game. Fair trade huh?

Jeff, I dunno if this is asking too much, but is it possible to tie our blog sign in ids to our PSN ids? And more importantly, it would be really cool if we could watch these videos on our PS3s. I mean its a PSblog right? Watching them on my laptop kinda makes me feel like I am betraying my PS or something. Yeah, crazy I know.


50

+ the_icon on July 9th, 2008 at 5:54 pm said:

Gee Kudos to you Deb for answering my question :)


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