jessica_nida_walking_dead_xbox_game_box jessica_nida_walking_dead_ps3_game_boxWhat choices do you make when the world goes to hell? Step into the shoes of Darrel Dixon as you fight to survive both the dead and the living.

Making FX for the Walking Dead I focused on the little things that add credence to the world- dripping faucets someone hadn’t completely turned off, swarms of flies as the trash and bodies pile up, buzzards circling overhead. These are the small details that sell a reality overrun by reanimated Walkers, where anything could happen happen as you fight for your survival and make the undead feel as much like unnatural interlopers as in the show & underlining the surreality of player’s situation.

There was still plenty of opportunity to create explosions, fire, rain, fog, smoke, sparks, & tons of insect life, but I’m especially proud of the grasshopper FX.

Growing up exploring & fishing in back country very similar to that in Walking Dead, grasshoppers suddenly jumping in the player’s face felt like a natural element to add that could be used to startle the unsuspecting player without feeling cheesy like early 3D ‘gotchas’. I was bold – I asked my FX lead with 10 years of game experience to allow me a couple of hours to mock something up.

If I couldn’t get it by the end of my lunch break then I’d agree with his assessment it couldn’t be done convincingly & owe him lunch. But by spawning a 3D actor with a rotating short lived FX attached to it & a shifted pivot, I’d managed to create a grasshopper with fluttering wings that jumped through the tall grass of our game. I’d gotten it right. It was later when reading articles & forum posts mentioning being startled by the unassuming insects that I knew I’d gotten it perfect.


  • create lots of FX (insects, waterfalls, fires, explosions, smoke, fog, drips, etc)
  • create world FX to subtly direct player (fireflys, sparking equipment, circling carrion birds)
  • materials & shaders (including water & fire)Environmental 3D
  • create 3D assets (hospital equipment, modular fences, store goods, furnishings, camping stuff)
  • place 3D & FX assets in levels
  • lighting & skyboxes
  • Create & texture 3D assets for use across game
  • AI pathing in levels
  • create world-unique non-copyrighted in-game brands, branding & assets

Developer: Terminal Reality
Release Date: 2013
Publisher(s): AMC & Activision
Console(s): Xbox 360, PS3, & PC
Genre: Action/Survival FPS