Wednesday May 16 2012
Jessup grad heads for Silicon Valley
Doug Mills launches career as junior game designer
Doug Mills, a recent graduate of William Jessup University, is leaving his home in Rocklin and heading for the Silicon Valley to begin his career as a junior game designer. In an economy where most college graduates find it tough to land jobs, Mills has seemingly overcome the odds. The English and Creative Writing major will continue to utilize his additional degree work in Bible and Theology while employed full time at Hexify Inc., a company that makes one of Facebook?s popular apps, ?Journey of Moses.? Hexify launched Lightside Games last December in an effort to focus on Christian entertainment as well as take over production of the widely popular ?Journey of Moses,? the first biblically-based Facebook game that has become popular among their strongest demographic, women ages 35 to 45. More than two million people have experienced the game, making it the third most distributed version of the Exodus account, excluding print. Mills has been contributing as a story writer for the timeless report that is now familiar to billions of people since last September. ?One of the first goals as a story writer is to ensure that the game is biblically accurate and authentic with the biblical account,? he explained. ?Authenticity is core to what we do at Lightside as we draw stories and themes from the Bible that are the foundation of our game. Secondarily, the game has to connect to an audience and be interactive and fun.? The App is free and, just like other Facebook games, players can easily share their ?Journey of Moses? successes with their friends through the social media site as they collect tokens to gain energy or other significant elements of game play. Users can also purchase additional tokens or pertinent items to send to friends, eventually leading to an overall improved experience and interactive level of game play. To ensure biblical accuracy, Mills has spent time doing research in Jessup?s library and drawing from many of the foundational courses he took at the growing university. Mills also appreciates the education he received in his creative writing courses. ?I can?t say enough about these courses. I?ve learned so much and can honestly say that Jessup?s program is easily one of the best in the state,? Mills explained. ?Jessup has an amazing faculty that really encourages and gets to know its students.? While Moses? account certainly provides the template for the script, Mills has been charged with developing side stories to support the game and keep it interesting. And that?s the area where his expertise in creative writing has largely been utilized. Mills is no stranger to the world of video games. He has worked for Big Idea and Digital Praise where he worked on the Adventures in Odyssey series. Interestingly, Mills didn?t choose to major in computer programming or design, largely because of his love for writing. ?One day I would like to be a novelist, so getting different types of writing experience can only help to achieve that goal,? he said.