Game design, game programming and more

About me

My name is Patrick Wyatt; I’m a lifelong programmer, game developer, and game-player, and as of 2004, a parent as well. I live in Bellevue, Washington, just across the lake from Seattle, where all the cool kids live. This is my blog. There are many like it — infrequently updated, lacking direction, occasionally entertaining — but this one is mine. I hope you enjoy it.

Here are some links to pages about me:

And here’s a version of my biography that won’t ever be printed in corporate funding documents:

As a boy Patrick Wyatt played far more video games than would ordinarily be healthy for a normal human being; however, this turned out all to the best when he began a career in the game industry as the second employee of a company named Silicon & Synapse. His early efforts included design and programming roles on original console titles like The Lost Vikings and Rock & Roll Racing, leading Nintendo to award the company with Developer of the Year for 1993.

Sadly, Silicon & Synapse was a terrible name for a company desiring widespread marketplace awareness, so it was changed to Blizzard Entertainment prior to the release of Patrick’s first original PC title, Warcraft: Orcs vs. Humans, where he reprised the roles of Producer and Lead Programmer, leading the development team as well as writing most of the game’s code.

Following on the success of that project, Patrick again led the production and programming effort for Warcraft II — with much help; the project got bigger. Warcraft II was later named to the Hall of Fame by Computer Gaming World and Game of the Year by PC Gamer.

In his role as Vice President of Research and Development at Blizzard, Patrick led the development efforts for Starcraft, the Greatest Game of All Time according to GameSpot; it garnered critical acceptance by media and players, and still ranks as one of the most popular online games in the world over 15 years after its release.

Warcraft III and World of Warcraft, both substantially in development prior to Patrick’s departure from Blizzard, have since added to the success of the series so that it is now one the most successful game franchises ever created, generating billions of dollars in revenue, and keeping many of his friends gainfully employed.

As if year-long death marches to release ‘Craft-series titles weren’t enough work, Patrick found time to program extensively on Diablo and Diablo II, particularly the multiplayer aspects of both games. Both titles were multiple winners of Game of the Year awards from top gaming publications, and continue to delight fans to this day.

Before departing Blizzard Entertainment, Patrick “led” the team, though with only Patrick on the team there wasn’t too much management necessary. Patrick restructured and re-coded the architecture to remove bottlenecks, enabling player concurrency to grow by a factor of 6 in just a few months.

Patrick left Blizzard in 2000 to start a venture-funded company named ArenaNet. This turned out to be terrible market timing, as stock market — and consequently venture-funding — crashed several weeks later. While ArenaNet’s investment banker went out of business due to the paucity of successful deals, Patrick and his co-founders were able to return all of their investors’ money and much more when the company was acquired by NCsoft in late 2002.

Patrick, along with his co-founders Jeff Strain and Mike O’Brien, lead ArenaNet to release Guild Wars, an online role-playing game that, unlike most of its ilk, has no online subscription fees. The game achieved widespread marketplace acceptance as all four titles in the series successively held the #1 retail sales spot, selling millions of copies to fans worldwide.

Patrick wrote the unique streaming technology for Guild Wars that enables players to rapidly join games without requiring those players to download the entire game beforehand, dramatically reducing the number of gamers who might otherwise have died waiting for progress bars to complete their slow crawl across the screen.

In addition to writing this puff piece cum biography in the third person, Patrick also led the efforts of NCsoft West as CTO and En Masse Entertainment as COO, leading the divisions responsible for ecommerce, datacenter operations, analytics, security, customer support, and platform services.

As a person with a life-long love of technology, Patrick continues to program both professionally and for fun. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from UCLA, and has a wife, two sons, two daughters, and a cat to keep him cheerfully and busily occupied.