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Mike Capps on “Combat Countdown”

The Combat Countown series about the toughest, fastest and most powerful military equipment is coming this week on Discovery’s Military Channel. Epic Games President, Mike Capps, makes a few special appearances throughout the series.  During his time at the Naval Postgraduate School, Mike Capps was the lead designer, producer and programmer for the America’s Army Project, which has more than 9 million registered users.

The first episode airs tomorrow, October 17th. Check your local listings for air times.

In THIS preview, Mike talks about the amazing aircraft, the C-5 Galaxy. The Air Force’s C-5 Galaxy can carry just about anything US forces need on the front lines from tanks to helicopters.

Epic Games at Dragon*Con 2012: Recap!

Gears of War Cosplay at Dragon*Con 2012If you were at Dragon*Con this year you know it was hard to miss the Epic Gamer presence everywhere!  We had several awesome panels in the new video game track, directed by the President of Epic Games, Mike Capps and his wife Julianne.

The first Epic panel took place on Friday and featured the upcoming mobile game Infinity Blade Dungeons.  Writer Brandon Sanderson and Lead Designer at Impossible Studios, Ian Frazier were the panelists.  Attendees had the opportunity to check out the teaser trailer and ask questions about the Infinity Blade universe.

Mike Capps and Billy Bramer Fortnite Panel at Dragon*Con 2012On Saturday fans of the upcoming game Fortnite were treated to a sneak peek at the game courtesy of Gameplay Programmer Billy Bramer and Mike Capps.  Everyone in the audience was wearing their Durrrburger hats and one lucky fan received a golden ticket for early access to the game!

We really felt the Gears love on Sunday during the Gears of War Judgment panel.  Epic Gamers filled every seat in our panel to see exclusive footage from Gears of War Judgment and learn more about the new modes: OverRun and Free-For-All!  There was also a large group of amazing COG and Locust cosplayers alike in attendance.  Both Lead Level Designer, Jim Brown and Mike Capps had lots of great Gears info to share and even hinted at some Easter Eggs from Gears 3 that have still not been found!Gears of War Cosplay at Dragon*Con 2012

Mike Capps, Jim Brown, Preston Thorne, Ian Frazier, Natalie Brickell, Billy Bramer Meet Epic Games Panel DragonConWrapping things up on Monday was the “Meet Epic Games” panel that included Technical Support Manager Preston Thorne, Marketing Assistant Natalie Brickell, Ian Frazier, Billy Bramer, Mike Capps and Jim Brown.  The panelists shared their stories about the history, culture, and growth of Epic as a company followed by some great questions from those in attendance.

There were even more great video game panels at Dragon*Con this year including “Getting into the Games Industry”,  “Reaching the Fans” and “Creating Characters in Video Games” to name a few.  Other developers like Bioware, Gearbox, Riot Games, and more had a presence and talked about their upcoming titles.  Be sure to mark your calendars for Labor Day next year so you can join us!

Epic Games at Dragon*Con


This year’s Dragon*Con is shaping up to be the best event to date. Video Games will have their own track this year for the first time, with four days of panels and discussions about your favorite games from industry leaders. The track is being directed by Epic Games President Mike Capps and his wife Julianne.

Panelists include Randy Varnell and Jonathan Hemingway from Gearbox, author Brandon Sanderson and Obsidian’s Chris Avellone. Also on-hand will be Veronica Belmont from Tekzilla, Natalie Brickell, Preston Thorne and Billy Bramer from Epic Games and staff from Impossible Studios, Bioware, Obsidian Entertainment, Riot Games, Insomniac Games and Volition, Inc.

Click HERE for the full Video Gaming Track (VGT) listing

Epic Games will have four panels this year.

Infinity Blade: Dungeons, with Lead Designer Ian Frazier, Author Brandon Sanderson and Mike Capps. Friday at 4:00 PM in rooms 209, 210 and 211 at the Hilton Hotel.
Epic Games Presents: Fortnite Revealed with Mike Capps and Billy Bramer on Saturday at 2:30 PM in rooms 209, 210 and 211 at the Hilton Hotel.
Gears of War: Judgment, with Mike Capps and Jim Brown on Sunday, at 11:30 AM in rooms 209, 210 and 211 at the Hilton Hotel.
Meet Epic Games, with Mike Capps, Jim Brown, Natalie Brickell, Preston Thorne and Impossible Studios’ Lead Designer Ian Frazier on Monday at 1:00 PM in rooms 209, 210 and 211 at the Hilton Hotel.

Other panels of note include:

The 3 Grand Eras of Game Development with Richard Garriott, Saturday at 1:00 PM in the Crystal Ballroom (Hilton)
Kingdom of Amalur panel with author R.A. Salvatore and Ian Frazier Sunday at 1:00 PM In the Crystal Ballroom. (Hilton)
Creating Characters in Video Games, Gaider of Dragon Age and Avellone of Fallout, and Felicia Day, who voiced both, discuss the creation of characters in video games. With Mike Capps.  Saturday 5:30 pm in the Capitol Ballroom (Sheraton)
Voice Acting for Videogames with Raphael Sbarge, John Patrick Lowrie, Ellen McLain and Mark Meer. Come meet the talented behind the voices of Portal, Mass Effect, Half-Life, and other games we love. Friday 1:00 pm in rooms 209, 210 and 211 at the Hilton Hotel.

Dragon*Con is the world’s largest fantasy, sci-fi, gaming and multi- convention held annually in Atlanta, Georgia. This year, Dragon*Con will be held Labor Day weekend, August 31 – September 3, 2012. We hope to see you there!


Mike Capps Celebrates 10 Years at Epic Games

Mark Rein, Mike Capps, Steve Superville and Tim Sweeney Yesterday during a company meeting, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney announced that President Mike Capps has been with Epic for 10 years! What a milestone! The entire Epic family looks to Mike for his strong leadership and guidance. He is one of the biggest reasons that Epic is an amazing company to work for.

Mike holds two master’s degrees a doctorate and a PhD. Not to ruin his street cred with all of that education, he also has quite an impressive gamerscore.

After Hours

Outside of work, Mike is a runner and he participates in about 12 races a year.  He has even run in the New York Marathon! Mike spends his spare time with his wife Julianne and their two dogs. He is also a self-professed foodie, as you may know if you follow him on twitter.

Before Epic

While at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, Mike was the producer, designer and lead programmer of the “America’s Army” computer game.  “America’s Army” is an online, PC game that provides a portal into the Army, from basic training to Special Forces missions, to more than nine million registered users.

Congratulations to Mike for 10 amazing years!

Comic Book Collectors

Congratulations to our winner Ryan Harrison!

Epic Games has quite a few comic book and toy collectors. While Cliff Bleszinki’s toys and action figures have been seen before, there are quite a few others that have pretty impressive collections as well. To celebrate Comic-Con week, we asked some of the guys here about their comic book collections.

We asked:

How long have you been collecting?
What is your most prized comic book?
Which comic book series is your favorite?
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your collection?

We are giving away a complete set of Gears of War comic books to one lucky person. Tell us about your comic book collection in the comments below. We will choose a winner at random this Friday, from the comments. Good luck!

Senior Programmer Eric Newman:

I’ve been collecting since I was a kid, starting with Amazing Spider-man.

Not a single book, but my collection of Excalibur’s entire original run.

Chew – it’s a very funny off-the-wall series, with pictures of readers’ cats in the letters column.

Robert Kirkman (Walking Dead, Invincible) is the best, his work got me back into comics over the past few years.

I started reading Walking Dead at Issue #5 and loved it.  I wanted to buy 1-4 but couldn’t find them in stores.  Being lazy, I bought the trade paperback instead of hunting copies down online.  I checked recently and it now costs around $1,000 for those four comics.  Doh!

Senior Environment Artist Kevin Johnstone:

I’ve been collecting (intentionally) since 1982, though I’d been reading them for a couple of years. I was always looking at the bright flashy covers when waiting in stores with my parents, they always seemed like the most interesting thing in each store.

Probably the first issue of Secret Wars as it was the first series I collected all the way through, it introduced me to all the Marvel characters and the challenge of the Beyonder was a pretty cool idea for a 9yr old to read. Another year and I will have had that comic for 30 years, I like that I can reread them or just look at the cover and get flashback to when I first read them or where I bought them.

Maybe the Sandman or Hellboy or the Invisibles . I like that they jump around all kinds of mythology, fairytales, occult, and classic literature, there’s a ton of stuff in there that point to other good things to read. There’s a great depth to these stories and they hold up well when re-read over the years as I mature, as my worldview changes so does my appreciation for another facet of the writing.

Although I was drawn in by the flashy colors, it was the stories that kept me reading. I’ve followed a handful of great writers since I realized there was someone writing the comics I liked more. People like Moore, Gaiman, Morrison, Miller, Millar, Carey, Ellis, Ennis, Busiek have kept me entertained since I was a teenager. I think that comics, more than any other medium is responsible for a large part of my imagination, those stories still provide inspiration for me.

 Lead Level Designer Jim Brown:

I don’t really collect, but I do read, mostly off suggestions from people here in the office. I read comics voraciously as a kid (I used to trace the art and re-write my own stories!), and have payed attention off and on ever since.

Selfishly, I would say the Gears stuff, just because I’m so connected to it.

The Walking Dead. It’s been a continual reference point for years now, and I get rabid waiting for the new ones to come out.   I love that it’s not about super heroes, or magic powers, it’s just about people. Real(istic) people. Yes, there are zombies (and I’m a sucker for that), but with The Walking Dead that’s always been a wrapper, and the good stuff is the characters. The art is great, the writing is unbeatable.

Engine Tester Terry Gilland (Terry owns the collection to the left.)

I’ve been a fan of comics since I was little, but only in the last couple of years have I started collecting.  I started going to the comic shop with a couple of people from work, and my wallet has thanked them ever since.

I don’t think I could pick one, but I have some old Deadpool that are definitely favorites.  I really like the Lady Mechanika series, too.  I have multiple covers for each one and keep them in a notebook one of the guys here gave me.

Which comic book series is your favorite?

The X-Men have always been a favorite.  I still remember walking into the local comic shop when I was little and seeing this picture of Wolverine.  I was all “Coooooool” and it’s been him and the X-Men ever since.  I didn’t know how bad it was until the movies started coming out and I’m that guy leaning over to my friends going “Oh that’s [enter obscure character name here] and they do this and this and this.”  Then I get the looks.

I’m just a huge fan of the style and the talent it takes.  It’s just great to see so much told in limited space.  You can get so much story from just one panel.  I think it translates well into the game design world, where you have to be aware of time and space, so you try and tell so much in a single moment or try to tell a story with just the design of the level surrounding the characters.  I love spending time designing levels on the side, just as a hobby, and I have the best reference material surrounding me in these books.

President Mike Capps:

I’ve been collecting since age 7.  I mostly collected Uncanny X-Men, and I have all the secret wars and all the secret wars tie-ins.  I’d say my most prized is Uncanny X-Men 17, which isn’t a particularly important issue, but it’s one my dad gave me as a birthday present many years ago.

And of course, my prized collectible (and prized piece of art, period) is the original art for the Gears #9 that Jim Lee did for me.  It’s absolutely insane that for my first comic issue I ever wrote, I had the most famous cover artist in the world provide the art… and even more insane that he gave me the original for my birthday and it’s now sitting on my wall.

Game Tester Alex Conner:

I’ve always read comics either while in the shop or at a friend’s house but I started really collecting about 7 years ago.  A lot of my collection is fairly newer stuff but I do have some older issues that were given to me or I found.

My most prized is probably a collection of issues and is still fairly new.  The Batman Hush storyline is something that I can read over and over.  I also have a few single issues that have covers that I adore and they are prized to me just because of that J.

I’m a big DC Comics fan and I absolutely love Batman.  So if I’m being honest then my favorite series is Batman in any of his incarnations.  It doesn’t really matter what writer takes the helm the character is so good that the stories are always interesting.  Of course there are some writers that have done better than others but Batman is a constant awesome in the Comic Book world.  For me he also has some of the best stories.  A story arc can last for 10 issues or 1 and I’m still sucked in till the very end.  The current incarnation, after DC’s new 52, is the first series to have a big story line with multiple tie in issues.  And Batman has a lot of family to tie story lines into haha.

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