By Chris Misun – Meridian, Miss.
When Brian Joyal left Ashland, Wisc., in August of 2003, he was going to be entering the doors of Full Sail University, fresh out of high school. The 18 year-old and I had no idea what was ahead of us, but we were none-the-less excited for the possibilities. It was Joyal that had actually pointed me in the direction of the Media Arts school, as my focus was on Film and Video Production. He headed there to pursue a degree in Video Game Design and Development.
After a grueling two years of study, Joyal emerged as one of the first classes with the Game Design and Development Bachelor’s Degree, a feat not easy by any means. After school, Joyal stuck around the Winter Park area for a short while before returning to his roots in Wisconsin.
“After graduation, I was throwing my application everywhere I could and went a few months without hearing a word from anywhere. I finally was contacted by Treyarch, and after a few phone calls, I was flown out to California for an interview and was ultimately offered a job,” says Joyal, who has been there now since 2005.
The transition has been a learning experience for Joyal, going from a small town of roughly 8000 people in Ashland, Wisc., to a much larger city in Santa Monica, Cali.
“It has been a bit interesting. I still feel like I’m not at all used to how crowded this city is. While I miss how relaxed a small town can feel, it’s also neat to have more variety and a number of activities available to me,” responds Joyal.
At Treyarch, Joyal is a Game Designer/Scripter, which means that his main job is to “craft the experience for the player.” He works with others to design particular parts of the gameplay for the player by piecing together portions of other departments such as animations or effects, playing voice over dialog and spawning in enemies.
Since his integration into the Treyarch family, Joyal has worked on award winning titles including Call of Duty: World at War, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. One of Joyal’s first games when arriving in California was Spider-Man 3: The Video Game.
Joyal makes a point to mention that, “making games is very different from playing them and sometimes those passions don’t overlap,” when we discussed advice to people interested in the game design and development field.
You can get your hands on several of Joyal’s games now and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is due out November 13.
Full Sail University is an Entertainment Media and Arts college in Winter Park, Florida.