34 year-old usability expert Michael Zummo to take up game director role

Project ‘Top Secret’ winners announced

The winner of David Perry’s Top Secret project has been announced as Michael ‘Doran’ Zummo.

As the reward, Zummo will become ‘Game Director’ of the project, which looks to make a massively-multiplayer game designed together with a 60,000 member strong community. It comes after almost 18 months of activity on the project, during which Zummo also held down a full time job as a usability expert.

“This was a closer contest than some people might think, but Mike was always among our top choices,” said assistant director Rusel DeMaria.

“Mike has a steady, honest and humble demeanor, a great attention to detail and a phenomenal work ethic. He has all the makings of a great game director.”

Although Zummo has won the grand prize, he’s not the only member of the community to land a job at the newly-rejuvinated Acclaim – four others have also been signed up during the project’s inception. Two weeks after its launch, Michael Liebwein was hired by Perry to design a new game under development for Acclaim; Paul Lipscombe was snapped up soon after and is now directing a new project with Perry to celebrate Flash game development talent, for which programmer Matt Edwards was also hired from the community for. Finally, Top Secret Advisory Board co-director Michelle Montierth has also been plucked to head up Acclaim’s new localisation department.

Perry said: “I think we’ve proven that this is a great way to find super passionate people, by creating an incredibly difficult task, unleashing it on a massive amount of people who live for games, using the latest internet technologies, and hiring the ones that rose to the top. It’s a win-win and you can be sure we will be doing more of it in the future. We offered to change one person’s career path forever and we ended up doing it for five. I call that a success, and I’m excited to see what they all come up with.”

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