IT IS the fastest-selling computer game in history – and a Basingstoke man played a key role in its design.

Joe Myers designed a level on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 – the latest in a series of military shooter games that was released last week.

The game set a sales record on its release, generating £250million in just 24 hours, and fans in Basingstoke queued at midnight outside Game, in Festival Place, to be among the first to play it.

Joe, a former Cranbourne School pupil, works for California-based developer Infinity Ward and was responsible for a level set in Paris, where gamers take on the guise of a special forces soldier on the hunt for a Russian terrorist.

The 39-year-old told The Gazette: “I’m still on an absolute high since the launch. I’ve now been in this industry for 25 years, and this is the first time I’ve ever worked on anything that can be described as a global phenomenon.

“The fans absolutely love it. On the night launch at a game store in Hollywood, myself and a load of team-mates all went down to sign autographs for people queuing and that was amazing. It was like being a rock star (obviously a nerdy one) and that’s never happened to me before!”

Joe grew up in South Ham, at homes in Mansfield Road, and Winchester Road, and his parents Ron and Sheila, and his brother Stefan, still live in the town.

As a 14-year-old, he designed the artwork of loading screens for early computer games on the BBC Micro computer.

After leaving Queen Mary’s College, Joe worked as an artist for a number of computer games, before he moved to Los Angeles six years ago with his wife Jennifer and two young daughters to work for Infinity Ward.

He said: “It’s hard to think about going home right now, even though there are many things I miss. I still think fondly of Basingstoke and the Hampshire countryside around it, along with its villages, churches and pubs.”