Tag Archives: interview

We Want Your Job! – GamesMaster Issue #213

gm_logo1We Want Your Job!

Pestering the jammiest jobsmiths in the business

The games industry machine has many cogs in its inner workings. Fancy working in the public relations sector? Roxana Etemad of Eidos gives us her advice:

GM: Hiya Roxy, tell us about your job and what it involves.

Roxy: I am UK PR Manager at Eidos which means I always have loads going on and it’s also a lot of fun. My day to day work changes all the time but mainly consists of planning coverage and speaking to journalists, organising press events, managing my PR agency and, of course, the less fun stuff…PR planning, scanning coverage and reporting.

GM: How many people do you deal with on a daily basis? Is it hard keeping everyone happy?

Roxy: Eidos is a great place as everyone is always ready to help each other out, so there is a lot of support when you need it. The great thing about my role is that I get to deal with everyone in the company whether it’s with Marketing, Sales, Brand or even QA and development. It’s great because you see all aspects of different roles in gaming and gives you a brilliant insight into what everyone does.

GM: What qualifications did you need for the job? University education? Good people skills?

Roxy: I have a degree in Communications and Audio/Visual Production. Coming up with PR stunts and ideas was my favourite aspect of the degree and helped me decide what kind of career path I wanted to follow. A tip for any budding PR peeps – you have to love the field you are handling PR for. You can’t do games PR if you don’t have a love for games. A career in videogames made complete sense to me – I have been hooked on gaming since I was 7 years old playing on my Atari 2600 with my dad…in fact things haven’t changed much as now I play on Xbox Live with him!

GM: Are you into games yourself? How much do you have to learn about each product before presenting it to the media?

Roxy: The great thing about my job it seeing how games develop over time, and playing early versions of our games to present them to press. Once you have mastered the level you want to show, you are ready to rock-and-roll, ‘til you realise you have to be able to speak and play at the same time which takes a little practise. At home I try to play as much as I can but unfortunately it involves having to boot my husband off a controller, which is a challenge!

GM: Finally, any tips on getting into gaming public relations?

Roxy: Although a degree isn’t essential it will provide you with the tools you will need to start out with, which I found very helpful. You need a lot of drive and have to be an outgoing person. Great communication skills are essential, both written and verbal and, of course, you must have a passion for whatever field you choose to get into. Last thing – a PR person is only as good as their contacts, you must always be building and maintaining relationships with people. You never know when you can help each other out!

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CAPTION: Battleships? During the interview, Roxy couldn’t help but level an entire fleet of ships with one well-placed shot. Yowza!

TOOLS OF THE TRADE:

1) My Blackberry – I can’t survive without it! I tend to be out of the office often so it’s the only way I can keep tabs on what’s going on.

2) Business cards – I have three different versions each with different game artwork on the back which is so cool – at the moment I am on the Tomb Raider Underworld variety.

3) Magazines – I receive magazines on a daily basis and I love going through them to see what juicy coverage we have within the pages!

4) Deadlines sheet – The sheet helps me plan in asset drops, exclusives and when we can announce exciting news!

5) Rolodeck – I have had the same one since starting in the industry. I have the same info replicated on my PC but I always end up using the rolodeck, I guess for sentimental reasons!

Tomb Raider: Underworld Developer Interview – GamesMaster Magazine Issue 206

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We want your Job!
Pestering the jammiest jobsmiths in the business.

Lara’s bringing sexy back. Donning a swimsuit is a brave new direction for Tomb Raider, so we thought we’d ask Creative Designer Eric Lindstrom for his thoughts on Lara’s new adventure:

01: Hi Eric, tell us about your role on Tomb Raider: Underworld.

As the Creative Director of Tomb Raider: Underworld, I oversee all creative aspects of the game experience. I’m a game designer by trade, but as the Creative Director I need to keep the overall vision of the game strong, clear, and consistent, be it design, art, audio, or most importantly, the combination of these elements.

02: How did you go about getting the role of Creative Director? Was it sheer hard work or simply a love of games?

I’ve been in this industry for twenty years, and I worked hard for the first five before I got to lead a project. The biggest thing in my favour with Tomb Raider: Underworld was how much I value all aspects of a game, not just the design mechanics. Everything matters, and you need to give everything its due.

03: How much of your own personal creativity goes into games? Is it satisfying seeing the end results in motion?

Because Creative Directors don’t usually make content for games, there is very little I can point at and say, “I made that part.” Much of the framework of what you do is what I established early on with the small pre-production team. Seeing the end result of those images I had in my head early on is very exciting, what I see now is better than what I had imagined at the start.

04: Are you pleased with this latest imagining of Lara’s world? How much further can you take Lara?

We made her world bigger, better, more lush, and more exciting than ever before, and she can do a lot of amazing things. We did this by magnifying everything people had seen so far in the past couple games, so there are still plenty of different and intriguing places Lara Croft can go in the future.

05: Any advice for young mavericks looking to get noticed in the world of games?

Young developers have great ideas and we need them, but it takes a lot more than good ideas to make a great, successful game. If you’re smart, hard working, and willing to learn, you’ll get noticed. If you want to succeed, bring your brains, your energy, your love for games, and a desire to learn what the industry already has learned, and you’ll be in the best position to jump on opportunities when they come.

TOOLS OF THE TRADE:

01: Lara Croft: her watchful eyes keep me honest.

02: Water: I drink a lot of it.

03: Notepad: still the best organizer around.

04: Origami: folding paper quiets the mind and keeps me sane.

05: Guinness: ’nuff said!

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CAPTION: Look at all that Origami! Maybe Eric should start his own paper-view channel…

Major Minor Developer Interview – GamesMaster Magazine Issue 205

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We Want Your Job!
Pestering the jammiest jobsmiths in the business

Early one morning, we heard the music notes from new Wii title Major Minor’s Majestic March wafting across the ocean all the way into the GM office. With the likes of Parappa the Rapper and Um Jammer Lammy under his belt, we talked to Tanaka-san, founder of NicoLabo about his latest project.

1: Hi there Tanaka-san, tell us about your role on Major Minor.

I’m the Project Lead/Art Director.


2: Project leader is a pretty important role, how did you get to such a position?

I had been working for NanaOn-Sha as a graphic designer for 10 years until I created my own game company, NicoLabo 2 years ago. Of-course, most projects I’ve been involved with have been music games, and because of those experiences, I was entrusted to do this important role.

3: Parappa and Vib Ribbon are cult hits worldwide because of their unique music and style. Are you hoping for similar results with Major Minor?

Of course, MajorMinor is a new game developed by NanaOn-Sha, a pioneer in the music game genre.
We’re sure that we will present a new form of musical experience with this game.


4: Will the Wii controls be suited to this gaming format? How different will it be compared to other games on the system?

As a game input device, the Wii-remote is very interesting. Sensory input devices affect the play experience of music games. The infra-red function is an attractive point, but we chose to only
use the motion sensing function this time. I think you can feel why when you play the game!


5: Can you offer any tips to youngsters looking to get into the gaming business?

I think some people might go mad…. but if you want to work in the games industry, please don’t be playing video games all the time! I think it’s important to be interested and have knowledge in various
kinds of things. Often the origins of the most interesting concepts come from something completely unrelated to games. Being interested in various things, having diverse experiences, and then if there are some things you want to express and create, please think about how to make them appealing. Incidentally, if you do choose “gaming”, I hope to have a chance to work with you!


5 Items –

1.Vaio Laptop: I do most of my work with this.
2.Plant: I love plants for relaxation.
3.Coffee cup: I need to drink tea and coffee to keep my sanity!
4.ipod: Music is part of my work.
5.Power stone set(crystal and amethyst): My mum gave me this last year.

Castle Crashers Developer Interview – GamesMaster Magazine Issue 201

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We speak to American programmer Tom Fulp who created run-‘n’-gun game Alien Hominid (released on GameCube, Xbox, PS2, PC and GameBoy Advance). He’snow working on the forthcoming Xbox Live beat-’em-up Castle Crashers. So Tom, you created your own game?

Back in 2002, Dan Paladin (the artist) and I teamed up to make Alien Hominid for the web. A few months later, the game company Dan was working for shut its doors and his co-worker John came up with the idea of forming a new company to make a console version of AH! Fifteen months later, we had achieved our dream of making a console game. It was a difficult but rewarding process, so we decided to do it again with Castle Crashers. Three years later, it’s almost done!

Was the transition from website development to programming console games difficult?

I wouldn’t say it was a difficult transition, but it was on a much larger scale and required a lot more discipline. With web games, you can wrap things up in anywhere from a few days to a few months, or never. With a console game, you need to work hard every day, for years if necessary, and you can’t quit because it would let too many people down and families would starve to death.

What happens in your typical day?

A lot of the time I juggle both running Newgrounds and programming for the Behemoth, where I’m a co-owner. This past five months has been 99% Castle Crashers, for the sake of getting it done. Otherwise, I would have spent the rest of my life trying to finish it. Getting it done has required 12-18 hours of non-stop programming every day (including most weekends), depending on how crazy and obsessing I’m feeling. It’s been a rewarding experience and I love the end result, but I’m looking forward to waking up in a world where I can work on something new, or maybe nothing at all.

Just how much of your input goes into the games themselves?

If I can program my idea, I put it in the game, unless anyone else thinks it’s a bad idea and convinces me otherwise. So overall a lot of my input gets put to direct use.

Any encouraging words for future programmers out there?

Finish your projects! Finishing is the hardest part of any project, and if you never finish it, then it might as well have never existed. So many people work on amazing games that never see the light of day because they never follow through with finishing them and getting them out there. Don’t be afraid to share your game with people. I love Flash because it lets you share your game with more people than any other medium.

PICTURE, FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:

1) A Tankman figure that we produced and sell in our on-line store!
2) My cat tape dispenser… I am totally obsessed with cats, and it goes way back before the whole Lolcat craze.
3) Advil, because I need it sometimes.
4) A tank trophy that we created for our annual awards on Newgrounds.com
5) A picture of my wife, April! It’s from our wedding day.