Joe Sparks <joesparks@joesparks.com>

Posing with Relics from my past & present:

JS with RDD Book

JS with Spaceship Warlock

JS with Total Distortion

Hello! This is the spot where I attempt to summarize my career highlights!

I am a multimedia artist with a bit of notoriety. I can animate, program, write and perform music, write stories, and so on. My work has picked up quite a few awards and people have written articles about me here and there for the past decade or so. Mostly, people write good stuff about me, but there have been a few bad reviews, too.

I have worked on many productions over the years. The 3 most well-known are:

RadiskullDevilDoll_logo

Radiskull & Devil Doll. Published by Shockwave.com. (Collection of articles HERE) My career as Senior Designer of shockwave.com took a strange turn when I create my first cartoon show. Became the ongoing work of my life for about a year or so, and it would take up about 80 of my waking hours per week. R & DD is a popular animation series seen by several million people over the past 2 years on atomfilms.shockwave.com, and they keep coming back. Some of the fans go nuts and make all kinds of stuff! Creatively, I did everything on the show, from writing & animation to voices & music. The show has generated a book and a comic book series.


Spaceship Warlock title screen

Spaceship Warlock. Published by REACTOR. This CD-ROM game, created & developed in 9 months by myself and famous comic book artist Mike Saenz (Shatter, Iron Man, Donna Matrix), was one of the very first of its kind, predating Myst by about 2 years. It was Macworld's Game of the Year, and it won many other awards. It is widely considered a pioneering work in interactive media. It was heavily dissected in the early to mid 90's, as the game appeared frequently as course material and subject for study for "interactive multimedia" in colleges and universities. This project opened many doors for me, and sent me down a long, difficult, yet rewarding road of game design and multimedia. I dug up some notes about Warlock written by new media alumni Denise Caruso, from back in the day! Not much else can be found about this old game on the web, except for the endless intellectual property law articles. When Saenz & I parted ways, our problems literally became a textbook case in intellectual property law, and sadly, that achievement may long outlive Warlock's reputation as pioneering interactive multimedia.


Mini TD BoxTotal Distortion. Published by Pop Rocket. Another big CD-ROM game & multimedia milestone, but man, what a chunk out of my life! This nightmare project took over 3 & 1/2 years to develop. When we finally shipped, the damn thing won many industry awards and was the subject of feature articles in everything from the New York Times to Entertainment Weekly. (Addicted to Noise Article HERE) This was a very exciting time with many challenges. The game was a critical success, and it sold ok for a while. (Interesting Salon take on TD by Scott Rosenberg). I also served as CEO of Pop Rocket, Inc. for about 4 years.


 

I love white boards.

 

"JOE! I want to do something! How do I get started?"

This is a very frequent question. People ask me how to get started, how to get something going, where to begin, what to do, etc. The best advice: DO SOMETHING SIMPLE & QUICK, and PUT IT IN FRONT OF PEOPLE.

Start small. Whatever it is, it could be Flash or Director/Shockwave, a comic or simply an essay on your life.. just do something small to get started, something within your reach to do. Then get it up on the web.

Many people, myself included, stumble by trying to do something too big or too complicated. Or they never get started at all because what they want to do seems so enormous a task, it becomes overwhelming, & they can never find time to do it in the first place. Just learning the tools can seem too much for a lifetime of study.

Forget about learning the tools first! Learn while you are working! Start small & simple! Do something within your reach. You will learn so much! Then do it again. This was much more difficult a few years ago, but with today's computers, software, & the web, it has never been easier to create and share your work with others. You will create new opportunities for yourself if you just do it now.

Other people asked me about this stuff and wrote about it:
Interviews and Press Articles about Radiskull & Devil Doll

I also wrote some production notes here:
Flash Animation Production Notes

Joe Sparks

 
 
 
Joe Sparks <joesparks@joesparks.com>

™ & © copyright 2005, 2006 Joe Sparks. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Names & Images of "Dicky & Jackie" and "Joe Sparks" are the trademarks of Joe Sparks.