Mark Haigh-Hutchinson passes away

Last week I was in a business meeting, when a friend dropped the bomb that Mark Haigh-Hutchinson had passed away. Mark and I worked together quite a bit back when he was working on Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire for the Nintendo64 (I was an engineer at Nintendo at the time). We kept in touch off and on over the years, and I seeked out his advice when I began spinning up the original Game Programming Gems book.
I’ve always thought of MarkHH as a kindred spirit, a kind soul with deep technical expertise and strong passion to make his games as good as they possibly could be – even if it required personal sacrifice. In my last conversation with him he mentioned he was having a lot of headaches, due to pulling long hours on Metroid Prime 3 and working hard on his upcoming book, Real-Time Cameras. I had no idea.
That conversation reminds me now of a chat I had in a hallway at GDC 2004 with AI legend Eric Dybsand. He hadn’t been feeling very well lately, and there were some health problems he was worried about. A few weeks later he passed away from an aneurysm.
Our industry, the game industry, is still pretty young. We have a few grizzled old veterans, and even more grizzled middle-aged veterans. But for the most part the game industry is driven forward by the youthful spirit of its members. So when someone close passes away, it always serves as a strong reminder of our mortality. For me, at least.
Rest in peace, Mark. You are missed.