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Meet Our Winners: Michael Sanders

He was the last person to donate to our Xbox Vs. PlayStation campaign at the Playthrough Convention. He only did it because he wanted to support a good cause. Little did he knew that a few minutes later he would win a brand new Xbox! Meet Michael Sanders, the brains behind Puny Human.

Tell us about yourself
Hi there, I’m Mike, a game developer at Puny Human. I got into game development in 2004, testing games like Ground Control II and various Half-Life 2 modifications, until spending a few years at Epic Games and RedStorm Entertainment. In the little bit of free time I have, I like to cook, read and spend outdoors.
 
Tell us about Puny Human and what made you form the company?
Puny Human is a video game company based in Raleigh, North Carolina. We work with inXile Entertainment on games like The Bard’s Tale IV and Wasteland, and Squanch Games on Trover Saves the Universe. We also have our own three games we’ve released since 2006, Dystopia, Blade Symphony and Galacide, all for PC. I formed the company with various friends that I was working with on Half-Life 2 modifications, after spending time at RedStorm, wanting to work on new and interesting ideas that the group wanted to explore. 
 
What is unique about Puny Human and what is the next big thing for the studio?
Puny Human is unique in that we’re a group of developers spanning numerous eras of multiplayer shooters. Many of us started tinkering with games via Unreal Tournament mutators or modifications for Quake 3. Slowly, over the years, we saw the dawn of thousands of indie groups and companies, filling the void that grew out of the diminishing modification scene. As a result, we have developers that have worked on multiplayer titles in engines like Goldsrc, Source, and Unreal Engine, such as Science and Industry, Dystopia, Empires, Squad, Blade Symphony and more. What’s next is our follow-up to our first title, Dystopia, named Zero Day. You can find more information here: https://playzeroday.com
 
Why working in Durham?
We’re working in Raleigh, but we love the area as a whole because of it’s proximity to great universities, the weather, the cost of living, and the things to do. It’s a great city to have fun in if you’re young, or to raise a family in. 
 
What is your favorite game?
No favorite game in particular, there’s so many that have influenced me over the years. For instance, I’m currently playing a lot of Risk of Rain. 
 
I saw you hosted a holiday party and invited all of the indie studios in the area. How many studios are out there in the Triangle area and do you guys collaborate on a regular basis?
We hosted a holiday party this past December, and it went way better than we expected. Of the 140 people invited, roughly 90 people showed up! Being in the area for some time, we have a network that spans across many local indies. People from roughly 15 different indie groups or companies showed up. We collaborate heavily with a local company for meeting the needs of our clients. 
 
How was the PlayThrough Convention?
Playthrough was great. Got to meet plenty of great people, show the games we’re excited about and see some really neat exhibitors and competitions. 
 
What did you enjoy the most from Squeedeal?
I won a few prizes at Playthrough, but winning an Xbox One was surreal. I just wanted to support charity, and didn’t think I had a chance of winning anything. As someone who’s never won anything significant in their life, I was astonishe dto learn I won. 
 
Would you recommend Squeedeal to your friends, family, and community?
I would, and have. 
 
Do you collaborate with any nonprofits like Child’s Play?
We don’t collaborate directly, but we sell our titles through Humble Bundle, which does support Child’s Play.

Check out Puny Human!

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