Watch below for the featured Alumni Engagement Speaker Series - Homecoming Edition speaker, Austin Krauss, '05 M.S., Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Evernever Games. Krauss, a video game developer, served as Senior Software Engineer on Call of Duty and James Bond: Quantum of Solace video games.
View other alumni and faculty speakers highlighted in the Alumni Engagement Speaker Series.
Please note that the University of Michigan-Dearborn does not necessarily endorse speakers’ views.
From Commodore to Oculus: My life in video games
Presentation Summary: UM-Dearborn alumnus Austin Krauss ('05 M.S.) discusses his career working in video games and the impact his education at UM-D has had on his life. From gaming giant Activision Blizzard to a three-person startup and several stops in between, Austin gives his perspective on the video game industry and how a software engineering foundation has allowed him to stay current in an ever changing world of technology.
A conversation moderated by UM-Dearborn Narasimhamurthi "Nattu" Natarajan Collegiate Professor of Engineering Bruce Maxim, with an introduction from College of Engineering and Computer Science Dean, Ghassan Kridli.
View the presentation here or click on the video below. Video Length: 1:25:13
Austin Krauss is a 2005 graduate from the University of Michigan-Dearborn holding a Master of Science in Software Engineering. In 2019 Austin co-founded Evernever Games with the goal of creating social VR experiences in combination with casual gameplay traditionally experienced on mobile platforms. In addition to providing design and engineering consulting services, Evernever found an early partner in Oculus having been selected as a grant recipient as part of their 2019 class of "Launch Pad", a program created to advocate VR development for diverse content experiences. Evernever's first title, Neverboard, will be available on Oculus Quest and Quest 2 in early October, 2021.
Shortly after graduation from UM-D, Austin joined Los Angeles based Activision Blizzard where he is credited in five Call of Duty titles over 8 years. Austin's most notable contribution to the franchise was bootstrapping "Zombie Mode" as the sole engineer working on the project over many nights and weekends. Austin also added "Bot AI" to the game's multiplayer mode, which became a niche favorite among players new to the game and has continued to be included in future Call of Duty titles.
In 2014 Austin left Activision to pursue independent game development with small teams focusing on rapid iteration and frequent releases to the market. Austin found mobile development intriguing as the devices tended to resemble dedicated game consoles of prior generations which offered opportunities for clever algorithm designs in order to maximize the performance of the limited hardware. His own mobile games have been downloaded by over 250,000 players across both Apple and Android devices