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James Schmalz

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James Schmalz is a game developer and the founder of Digital Extremes. On his own, James was responsible for the critically acclaimed games Epic Pinball and its sequel Extreme Pinball, which funded the creation of another brainchild of his: Unreal.

James Schmalz

General Information

James started creating games at the age of 12. His first game, named Sorcery, was released in 1982. It was an Ultima clone that he created on an Apple IIe computer. He received a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Waterloo, but rather than venture down the traditional engineering path he made a name for himself in the gaming industry. He released 3 more games before he came with his huge share-ware hit: Epic Pinball in 1993. Written entirely in assembly language by Schmalz, Epic Pinball was released 10 months after development began. The huge success of this game and the sequel Extreme Pinball led to James founding Digital Extremes and starting on the revolutionary game 1st-person shooter Unreal. James has since then worked on most other Unreal titles, such as Unreal Tournament, Unreal Tournament 2003 and Unreal Tournament 2004, as well as Digital Extremes' own titles like Pariah, Warpath and the recently released Dark Sector.

List of Contributions


Game design, art and programming

Unreal Tournament

Art & Models

Unreal Tournament 2003/2004


  • Before its first demo, James' goal with Unreal was to create "a Magic Carpet-like environment where you fly through caverns with robots."

External Links