Promotion – Lead Encounter Designer

I was recently promoted to Lead Encounter Designer for our team. The responsibilities of which entail working with the mission design and world design leads to create compelling combat experiences.

This means taking a step back from the creation of individual behaviors and behavior trees and more focus on the emotional impact of a combat encounter including the staging and progression.

We are doing some really interesting work and have amazing AI systems. In particular, I am very excited about our systems that allow us to create co-ordination between different entities.

I can’t share details but here is a list of some of the systems that we can use to create such encounters:

  • Blackboards – Allow us to store individual values specific a specific entity, an abstract system or even globally
  • Perception – Creates a sequence of emitters and detectors that broadcast and register for events
  • Reactions and Hit Reactions – Define a set of rules with preconditions and priority for how to respond to different events
  • Behavior Trees – Define how individual units respond to a series of conditions and actions, but can also be used in abstract systems to determine behavior for groups of units

On top of these basic systems, we are creating our own propitiatory systems that can communicate between each of these as well as objects within the world through scripted interactions.

Our AI engineering team is best of class and they’ve been working on these tools since the release of Mafia III, so there’s been a lot of careful thought put into the process.

Can’t wait to be able to share more!

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Success Story @ GDC

I am honored and privileged to have been a member of the Conference Associates program at Games Developers’ Conference for over 11 years. I started when I was still in college and it has been an invaluable community of highly creative and talented individuals who posses both skill and kindness that have helped me along my journey within my career.

This past year at the conference, I arranged to give a speech to some of my fellow associates prior to our volunteer shifts and wanted to share this heartfelt video with you all.

Nothing but love to my fellow CAs and all the staff and UBM that help us put on a great show for the boss! (the attendees)

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Ben Retan Demo Reel 2018

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Defiance 2050 Beta and Release Dates Announced

Defiance 2050, a reimagined take on the 2013 shooter MMO Defiance that was revealed to the world earlier this year, will launch on July 10, Trion Worlds announced today. Before it does, an open beta will run from June 22-25, providing players with an opportunity to try out different character classes, weapons, and progression systems.

As a Senior Systems Designer at Trion, I personally have been responsible for overseeing the reworking of the weapons and the implementation of the class system.

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Announcing Defiance 2050

I am really excited that I can finally share with everyone the new project I have been working on at Trion.

As a Senior Systems Designer, I am responsible for the core combat, including base weapons, movement, melee and grenades. I am also working on a new, revamped class system!



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League of War Mercenaries Now Live Worldwide!


It is 2028. War has changed. Nations & corporations now employ professional armies to wage war against their enemies. As a mercenary commanding powerful armies for the League, battle for military contracts & build an devastating fighting force to claim victory in the battlefield.



  • Highly realistic 3D gameplay & environments
  • A true strategy game with real-time tower assault gameplay
  • Join robust alliances to conquer the PvP battlefield

League of War: Mercenaries Official Website

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League Of War Mercenaries Launch Trailer

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