David "Max" Maxwell is a video game developer who was one of the mission builders of the LucasArts Entertainment Company video games Star Wars: X-Wing and Star Wars: TIE Fighter. A Computer Science graduate of Columbia Basin College, he initially joined Lucasfilm Games as a tester, before joining Lawrence Holland's Peregrine Software. He has since taught game design courses at the College of Marin and Stanford University.

Biography[edit | edit source]

David Maxwell was born in San Francisco and spent his early years in San Rafael. He did his higher education at Columbia Basin College in Washington and graduated with a degree in Computer Science.[1]

Maxwell began working with Lucasfilm Games in 1991[2] as a technician in the Quality Assurance department. His early work with the company involved testing video games, including Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Defenders of Dynatron City and Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe,[5] along with its expansion packs. Maxwell did not work exclusively for Lucasfilm, working also as a tester for Spectrum HoloByte around this time,[2] where he was involved with National Lampoon's Chess Maniac 5 Billion and 1.[3] When fellow Lucasfilm developers Lawrence Holland and Edward Kilham began working on the Star Wars flight simulator Star Wars: X-Wing early in the 1990s, Maxwell joined their team as a mission builder. Around this time he acquired the nickname "Max."[5]

Working with his longtime friend David Wessman, Maxwell was responsible for designing the missions in the game, and the two also served as the lead testers.[6] Maxwell and Wessman attempted to make the missions progress differently based on what the player did. To this end, certain events were triggered specifically by players attacking certain targets. Some missions also featured multiple endings. For example, failing in the mission "Protect a Disabled X-wing" resulted in the arrival of the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer Intrepid to capture a T-65 X-wing starfighter, while winning saw the starfighter rescued by Rebel CR90 corvettes. However, it was possible to do the mission in such a way that both would arrive simultaneously, resulting in a battle between the capital ships.[5]

David Maxwell and David Wessman

As an avid simulator pilot, Maxwell tended to make difficult missions and had to learn to make them more approachable for less experienced players—this led him to be concerned that the game would prove too easy. One of his favorite missions, "Guard Vital Supply Depot," saw the player using Maxwell's starfighter of choice, the A-wing interceptor, to defend a Rebel weapons cache from attack by the Imperial EF76 Nebulon-B escort frigate Retsub. When the mission proved too difficult, Maxwell implemented three versions of it, varying the difficulty by having the frigate start in different locations. The original version remained and, though many players considered it impossible, Maxwell maintained that drawing the frigate's fire to the player would allow the weapons cache to survive.[5]

Following the release of X-Wing in February 1993, Maxwell worked with Wessman and Rusel DeMaria to write X-Wing: The Official Strategy Guide. The book featured the story of the player character, Keyan Farlander, as written by DeMaria. Maxwell and Wessman contributed mission strategies and general tactics, along with most of the screenshots in the book.[5] He continued his involvement with X-Wing, designing levels for the game's two expansion packs, Imperial Pursuit and Star Wars: X-Wing Tour of Duty: B-Wing.[2]

After Holland formed Peregrine Software in 1994, Maxwell joined him there in working on the sequel to X-Wing, Star Wars: TIE Fighter. On TIE Fighter, Maxwell once more worked on designing the missions—which he still found too easy[7]—with David Wessman, and also joined Wessman, Holland and Kilham in developing the overall story for the game.[8] He later contributed missions to the game's expansion packs, Defender of the Empire and Enemies of the Empire, the latter only included on the Collector's CD-ROM edition of the game.[2] Maxwell also worked with Wessman once more in submitting strategies and screenshots for the subsequent TIE Fighter: The Official Strategy Guide, which also featured the story of Maarek Stele by DeMaria.[7]

Credits[edit | edit source]

Star Wars[edit | edit source]

Title Year Contribution Publisher Format
Star Wars[2] 1991[9] Quality Assurance[5] Lucasfilm Games[9] NES[2]
The Empire Strikes Back[2] 1992[9] Quality Assurance[5] Lucasfilm Games[9] NES[2]
Star Wars: X-Wing[2] 1993[10] Level Designer[2] LucasArts Entertainment Company[9] PC[10]
Star Wars: X-Wing Tour of Duty: Imperial Pursuit[2] 1993[10] Level Designer[2] LucasArts Entertainment Company[9] PC[10]
Star Wars: X-Wing Tour of Duty: B-Wing[2] 1993[10] Level Designer[2] LucasArts Entertainment Company[9] PC[10]
Star Wars: TIE Fighter[2] 1994[10] Level Designer[2] LucasArts Entertainment Company[9] PC[10]
Star Wars: TIE Fighter: Defender of the Empire[2] 1994[10] Level Designer[2] LucasArts Entertainment Company[9] PC[10]
Star Wars: X-Wing (Collector's CD-ROM)[2] 1994[10] Level Designer[2] LucasArts Entertainment Company[9] PC[10]
Star Wars: TIE Fighter (Collector's CD-ROM)[2] 1995[10] Level Designer[2] LucasArts Entertainment Company[9] PC[10]
Star Wars: X-Wing Collector Series[11] 1998[12] Level Designer[11] LucasArts Entertainment Company[13] PC[13]
Star Wars: X-Wing Trilogy[14] 2000[15] Level Designer[14] LucasArts Entertainment Company[15] PC[15]

Other[edit | edit source]

Title Year Contribution Publisher Format
The Secret of Monkey Island[5] 1990[9] Quality Assurance[5] Lucasfilm Games[9]
Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe[5] 1991[10] Quality Assurance[5] Lucasfilm Games[9] PC[10]
Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe P-38 Tour of Duty[5] 1992[10] Quality Assurance[5] Lucasfilm Games[9] PC[10]
Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe P-80 Tour of Duty[5] 1992[10] Quality Assurance[5] Lucasfilm Games[9] PC[10]
Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe Do 335 Tour of Duty[5] 1992[10] Quality Assurance[5] Lucasfilm Games[9] PC[10]
Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe He 162 Tour of Duty[5] 1992[10] Quality Assurance[5] Lucasfilm Games[9] PC[10]
Defenders of Dynatron City[5] 1992[9] Quality Assurance[5] Lucasfilm Games[9] NES[9]
Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis[2] 1992[9] Quality Assurance[5] LucasArts[9]
National Lampoon's Chess Maniac 5 Billion and 1 1993 Quality Assurance Spectrum HoloByte PC
The Spiderwick Chronicles 2008 Game Designer Sierra Entertainment Nintendo DS
PC
Wii
Xbox 360
PlayStation 2
Adventures of Marshal Marshmallow 2010 Game Designer Level 13 Studio iPhone
iPod Touch
iPad


Published works[edit | edit source]

Title Year Format Publisher
X-Wing: The Official Strategy Guide (with Rusel DeMaria and David Wessman)[16] 1993[17] Strategy guide[17] Prima Games[17]
TIE Fighter: The Official Strategy Guide (with Rusel DeMaria and David Wessman)[18] 1994[18] Strategy guide[18] Prima Games[18]
X-Wing Collector's CD-ROM: The Official Strategy Guide (with Rusel DeMaria and David Wessman)[16] 1995[19] Strategy guide[19] Prima Games[19]
TIE Fighter: Defender of the Empire Campaign Disc: Official Secrets & Solutions (with Rusel DeMaria and David Wessman)[20] 1995[20] Strategy guide[20] Prima Games[20]
TIE Fighter Collector's CD-ROM: The Official Strategy Guide (with Rusel DeMaria and David Wessman)[21] 1996[21] Strategy guide[21] Prima Games[21]

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 David Maxwell. David Maxwell Biography. theDavidMaxwell.com. Archived from the original on May 28, 2010. Retrieved on September 15, 2012.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 David Maxwell. David Maxwell Resume. theDavidMaxwell.com. Archived from the original on May 28, 2010. Retrieved on September 15, 2012.
  3. 3.0 3.1 MobyGames favicon.png David Maxwell on MobyGames (backup link)
  4. David Maxwell. David Maxwell Game Creator. theDavidMaxwell.com. Archived from the original on December 8, 2013. Retrieved on September 15, 2012.
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 X-Wing: The Official Strategy Guide
  6. Star Wars: X-Wing
  7. 7.0 7.1 TIE Fighter: The Official Strategy Guide
  8. Star Wars: TIE Fighter
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 9.12 9.13 9.14 9.15 9.16 9.17 9.18 9.19 9.20 9.21 9.22 9.23 9.24 9.25 9.26 9.27 9.28 9.29 Rogue Leaders: The Story of LucasArts
  10. 10.00 10.01 10.02 10.03 10.04 10.05 10.06 10.07 10.08 10.09 10.10 10.11 10.12 10.13 10.14 10.15 10.16 10.17 10.18 10.19 10.20 10.21 10.22 10.23 LucasArtsIcon.png LucasArts 20th Anniversary Profile: Larry Holland on LucasArts.com (backup link)
  11. 11.0 11.1 X-Wing Collector Series is a collection comprising X-Wing, TIE Fighter and X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter Flight School. Maxwell is credited as in those earlier games.
  12. Tim McDonald (July 15, 1998). X-Wing Collector Series Review. GameSpot. Archived from the original on May 24, 2015. Retrieved on February 6, 2019.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Star Wars: X-Wing -- Collector Series. IGN. Archived from the original on April 28, 2020. Retrieved on April 28, 2020.
  14. 14.0 14.1 X-Wing Trilogy is a collection comprising X-Wing, TIE Fighter, X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter Flight School and X-Wing Alliance. Maxwell is credited as in those earlier games.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Star Wars: X-Wing Trilogy. IGN. Archived from the original on April 28, 2020. Retrieved on April 28, 2020.
  16. 16.0 16.1 X-Wing: The Official Strategy Guide only lists Rusel DeMaria as author and credits Maxwell and Wessman as "Technical Editors". DeMaria's acknowledgments clarify that Maxwell and Wessman wrote the mission strategies. The revised and expanded X-Wing Collector's CD-ROM: The Official Strategy Guide includes Maxwell and Wessman as authors.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Cargo Bay X-Wing: The Official Strategy Guide in the StarWars.com Cargo Bay (content now obsolete; backup link)
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 Cargo Bay TIE Fighter: The Official Strategy Guide in the StarWars.com Cargo Bay (content now obsolete; backup link)
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Cargo Bay X-Wing Collector's CD-ROM: The Official Strategy Guide in the StarWars.com Cargo Bay (content now obsolete; backup link)
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 Cargo Bay TIE Fighter: Defender of the Empire (Official Secrets and Solutions) in the StarWars.com Cargo Bay (content now obsolete; backup link)
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 Cargo Bay TIE Fighter Collector's CD-ROM: The Official Strategy Guide in the StarWars.com Cargo Bay (content now obsolete; backup link)

External links[edit | edit source]

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