Cover art for podcast Out of Play Area

Out of Play Area

26 EpisodesProduced by John R. DiazWebsite

A bi-weekly video game development podcast by John R. Diaz, a veteran game designer who goes 1:1 in candid conversations with the developers behind today‘s hit games where we discuss their journey and learnings in this wild industry with no punches pulled. John is a kid born to emigrants from the D… read more


Build Open World Game Systems On Any Game Engine | Nicholas Zippmann - Senior Systems Designer @ Sony Bend Studio | Ep 6

In episode 6,  Nicholas Zippmann, a Senior Staff Systems Designer for Sony's Bend Studio talks about his career working in the industry on Rockstar Games' Red Dead Redemption, Guerrilla Games' Horizon Zero Dawn, Days Gone, and more.

He talks about how to approach game systems design, where he got his start, and we both admire open world systems design and the various approaches to it on Unreal, Rage, and other game engines. We even give some travel tips for navigating Amsterdam, and more.

This episode is dedicated to the hip hop legend Earl DMX Simmons & founder of Rockstar Leeds and beloved colleague Gordan Hall. Both men who will live on through their art and the impact they had on the people's lives around them, and through their children.



(00:00) Dedication to Earl DMX Simmons & Gordan Hall

(00:52) Who is Nicholas Zippmann?

(02:11) Home Office Setup

(05:16) Tea & Sony Swag

(12:54) First Day at Rockstar

(20:17) Game Design & Combi Scopes

(31:47) Game Dev in Amsterdam with Guerrilla

(40:22) Unreal Tech Design

(52:28) Systems in Days Gone

(01:05:39) Full Sail Program Advisory Committee

(01:15:45) John's Final Thoughts


Episode External Resources:

Connect with Nicholas Zippmann on LinkedIn -

Follow Nicholas Zippmann on Twitter -

Nic's Moby Games Credits -,429515/

Follow John Diaz on Twitter:

To be a guest book a meeting here:

Connect with us


Educational emoji reaction


Interesting emoji reaction


Funny emoji reaction


Agree emoji reaction


Love emoji reaction


Wow emoji reaction


Listen to Out of Play Area


A free podcast app for iPhone and Android

  • User-created playlists and collections
  • Download episodes while on WiFi to listen without using mobile data
  • Stream podcast episodes without waiting for a download
  • Queue episodes to create a personal continuous playlist
RadioPublic on iOS and Android

Connect with listeners

Podcasters use the RadioPublic listener relationship platform to build lasting connections with fans

Yes, let's begin connecting
Browser window

Find new listeners

  • A dedicated website for your podcast
  • Web embed players designed to convert visitors to listeners in the RadioPublic apps for iPhone and Android
Clicking mouse cursor

Understand your audience

  • Capture listener activity with affinity scores
  • Measure your promotional campaigns and integrate with Google and Facebook analytics
Graph of increasing value

Engage your fanbase

  • Deliver timely Calls To Action, including email acquistion for your mailing list
  • Share exactly the right moment in an episode via text, email, and social media
Icon of cellphone with money

Make money

  • Tip and transfer funds directly to podcastsers
  • Earn money for qualified plays in the RadioPublic apps with Paid Listens