Wichita video game developer takes Lego’s creative passion for level design

Originally from Wichita, Jeremy Raymond has been passionate about creating for as long as he can remember.

“When I was a kid, what got me into building levels in video games was because I loved Legos,” he said. “I loved building stuff.”

And as a working adult, he’s traded those toys in for what could be described as virtual Lego blocks – using them to create the foundations for fun and engaging levels in video games.

“We usually use gray or white cubes and use them a bit like Legos to build the world,” he said.

Raymond works from his home in Wichita as a senior level designer for Tripwire Interactive. It is a Georgia-based video game developer known for titles like slaughter area and Chivalry.

Behind his three monitors, Raymond collaborates with artists and people who test his levels to refine them into something that can be released in a final version.

Raymond’s first love affair with the craft came while creating custom levels for a game called earthquake in the late 90s and early 2000s.

“Quake” was one of Raymond’s first online multiplayer video game experiences, particularly the popular “Team Fortress” mod, which would become his own game.

He published his own custom levels online for years before attending a prestigious game design school in Texas, where he earned a two-year specialization in level design.

“Being able to play [Quake] with other people was a big push in, you know, passion for me because I got to share my work with other people and we got to play together,” Raymond said.

Over the years, Raymond’s career in the $90 billion video game industry has taken him to big cities like Seattle and Atlanta. But the pandemic finally brought him home to Wichita about a year ago.

Tripwire employees were soon given the option to work from home, and he did so in Georgia for about a year.

Raymond 1.jpeg
Raymond collaborates with artists, game testers and other designers to create levels for video games.

But when the company offered employees the option of working from home permanently, Raymond — due to concerns about his health — agreed and decided to return to Kansas.

“And one of the biggest things for me was being able to come back here to my hometown of Wichita and reunite with my family,” he said.

Raymond’s last project was to develop levels for Tripwire man eater.

It is a game in which the player controls a bull shark who must evolve and survive in an open world, while seeking revenge against a fisherman.

Safe to say that the game is not your typical big market title. And it was a project that pushed Raymond into new creative territory.

Gameplay Maneater

man eater

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Interactive Tripwire

Players control a bull shark in an open-world environment in Tripwire’s “Maneater.”

But gamers enjoyed the game’s unique experience, and it sold over a million copies.

“Normally I wouldn’t think I would want to work on something like man eaterhe said, “but I went in, checked it out and was excited about it.

Ultimately, Raymond said he sees himself staying with Tripwire for the foreseeable future. And he’s just happy that he can keep making games.

“That’s what we always hope to do – that’s make that big game that, you know, sets us up for life,” he said.

“However, we would probably continue to do what we do because we love what we do.”

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