To start with the basics, I asked about how he got involved with the project. He described his history in the gaming industry and his work on Radio Shorts with Wes Jenkins:
“Wes (Jenkins)and I were friends. I was a comedy writer in LA for 15 years and the co-game designer of Scooter’s Magic Castle for Electronic Arts. When I moved to San Francisco a mutual friend suggested we meet. We got along instantly.
Wes had a long running comedy show on the radio in San Francisco and he invited me to do some stuff for it. When the LEGO project came up it was a natural fit.”
Next I asked him about his duties on LEGO Island:
“I was one of the writers responsible for coming up with, developing, and writing scenarios and supporting dialogue. Plus, I talked to Wes all the time.”
Following that I poked him about his favorite memories form the development of LEGO Island:
“The initial concept meeting was very cool. There were thousands of LEGO pieces on the conference table and we were invited to make stuff while we talked about the project. It worked really well as there is a kinesthetic aspect to creativity. Plus, it was fun!
We were given a lot of creative freedom for humor. I loved working with Wes. Just coming up with whatever we thought was funny and working it in.
The Infomainiac is pure Wes. That was his sense of humor and verbal style manifest. Sort of a half Bob Hope, half smartest guy in the room who both does and doesn’t take it seriously. It was great to listen to him work the characters out.”
I also asked him if he knew anything about the development of LEGO Sea Challenge or LEGO DIG:
“He brought me on as a writer for Lego My School Preschool and Lego My School Kindergarten after LEGO Island.
It is possible that there were bigger projects like you described in the works. If Wes was integral, as he should have been, they might have been derailed by his health issues. Pure Speculation.”
Lasty, he shared a bio from a project Wes Jenkins and him worked on:
“As Co-Founder, Creative lead, and Senior Producer of LEGO Media International Learning Division, Wes brought the multi million selling Lego Island series into the world. His 30 year career included but was not limited to everything from NASA to Zappa, Stanford University, Disney, PBS and the California Academy of Science. He was at Woodstock, hitchhiked across country, and worked for Bill Graham at Winterland.
Doug has worked with everyone from Boomer icon Shari Lewis to Electronic Arts. After memorizing large parts of his Mad Magazine collection and watching the d*** Van Dyke Show instead of doing his homework Doug went to LA where he wrote comedy for fourteen years. He currently designs children’s museums and attractions all over the country.
The pair has earned several awards and accolades for game design including recognition from the Smithsonian, the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, an international EMMA (European Multi Media Association) Award and a couple of Parent’s Choice Awards for their creative solutions”