Welcome to Ask An Indie where we interview local independent game developers to learn how they make, do and create.
What inspired you to start making games?
My mom was a huge gamer and tech geek when I was a kid. She introduced me to Nintendo and Sega…and she even kept an old Atari from when she was a teen. So I’ve always associated gaming with family. Games are shared experiences, and there’s nothing more rewarding than creating an experience that someone you care about can take part in.
At what age did you create your first game?
Last year! At age 30.
What formal training do you have that has helped you?
I was an Art Director and Graphic Designer for companies like Target and Knock Inc. So I have a good understanding of user interaction, best practices and interactive design principles, which carry over into game design. Design is a language of hierarchy; understanding how to visually navigate your user through a screen, set up expectations and then make them–or intentionally break them is an important skill all designers should develop.
What are some of your favorite tools or resources?
Right now I’m looking at Schoolism for color and light tutorials, as well as Marc Brunet’s character work on Cube Brush
How many people does your studio employ and in what capacity?
We’ve got four artists and four developers, as well as a good backend team and QA testers.
What game(s) have you published and on what platforms are they available?
Treasure Stack, Yo-Ho Bingo, Pilot Training and more. They’re all available on Gamesmart.com
What is the most challenging thing about being a game developer in the Twin Cities?
The Twin Cities is home to some incredibly passionate developers and artists, but the city itself is small and can’t play host to the same opportunities as, say San Francisco or Seattle.
What is the most rewarding?
Because we’re so small, it’s easy to get to know and meet everyone in the industry here. Everyone has something to teach you, and wants to help push you forward.
What advice would you give someone trying to break into the industry?
Make genuine friends, work hard, and be humble. But more than anything, be kind. The games industry is actually very small, and if you’re always pulling for your own career instead of lifting up others, word of your reputation will travel very fast.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?