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Juan 'XceptOne' Pancho Eekels is the lead level designer for Digital Extremes. Juan joined the team halfway through the development of Unreal and worked on most of the outdoor areas. He has contributed to various games in the Unreal series ever since.
Before moving to Canada to work for Digital Extremes, Pancho attended school in The Netherlands. He went on to work in a dental lab and did some freelance animation/modeling for a few years before applying for a job at DE. He kept on applying and was eventually hired to help work on Unreal, for which he made a few textures, models, animations and a lot of maps. After working on Unreal and Unreal Tournament, he was named Lead Level Designer at Digital Extremes, where he made levels for Pariah, WarPath and Dark Sector. He also contributed to Unreal Tournament 2003 in between those projects, for which he made 6 levels: 3 of which were intially cut out due to performance issues.
Pancho has stated that Riven (the 2nd chapter in the Myst series) has inspired him enormously over the years. He also has "a weak spot for large desolate areas, with only one little micro world as the focus". This theme can be seen in both older (LavaGiant, Peak) and newer (ElecFields) levels of his.