Darkspore Lead Designer Paul Sottosanti knows numbers. Turning down a Harvard acceptance to study Computer Science and Graphical Design at another Ivy League school, Carnegie Mellon, Paul did a stint on the Magic: The Gathering pro tour before going to work at Wizards of the Coast as one of the folks in charge of game balance for the immensely popular collectable card game.

But when Maxis presented a chance to work on Darkspore, Paul couldn’t turn down a title that had more legs, pun intended, than its predecessor. “The Spore editor was so awesome – the best part of the project by far – that the idea of taking that and building an RPG around it sounded amazing to me… I couldn’t not join the team at that point.” Paul made his entrance as a systems designer and, with the help of a couple interns, designed and balanced every hero and enemy ability (as well as the reward systems and overall tuning during the three year lead-up to launch), working his way up to Lead Designer in the process. So he’s clearly the right guy to talk to regarding the nuts and bolts of the game.

full article at Ten Ton Hammer