Tag Archives: employee

Making Video Games as an Employee and Solo: Henry Smith, Episode 23

Okay, you gamers out there. What’s your favourite game design studio? You know you’ve got one, just like you’ve got a favourite game platform. Wouldn’t you just love to work there, making video games like the awesome games you love to play?

Have you ever thought that even if you score that dream job, you might discover that there are things that you want to do with your passion for gaming, programming, design that you don’t have the spare time or energy to do?

Henry Smith had a pretty awesome job at BioWare, the makers of awesome games like Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights and, more recently, Dragon Age and the incredible science fiction trilogy, Mass Effect. Yet six months ago he decided to take a year off so that he could work on the personal projects that brought him joy.

I caught up with him a month or so after he released his first game, a science fiction themed iDevice app called Spaceteam, where you and one to three friends try and save your starship from utter destruction by pulling levers, twisting dials and yelling technobabble at each other. Though the game itself is free, Henry is earning enough money from the pay-to-download add-on packs to look at extending his time working solo.

I thoroughly enjoyed my chat with Henry about getting paid to play – by quitting getting paid to play!

UPDATE: After listening to this episode, please have a listen to my second chat with Henry during his (successful) Kickstarter campaign to fund a year’s worth of game development!

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Episode 19: Matt A., Actor

Have you ever had that thing that you discovered that you both love doing and you’re good at? You know, that thing you told yourself would never work, so you put it aside in favour of learning a skill that you could employ in the nine-to-five?

Matt A. has: Acting. But after trying the nine-to-five for a while as a marketer, he decided to give his vocation a shot, heading to New York to train in film and television, then to the UK to build himself an acting career in Europe.

Now that he’s back in Australia’s fair shores, I caught up with him on Skype to talk about how he returned to his vocation and the work he’s done since – including becoming a gun-toting military badass in a short science fiction action film!

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Episode 8: Jared A. Sorensen, Game Designer

It was Australian gamer Steve Darlington’s describing Jared A. Sorensen as the “foetus horribilis” of the tabletop roleplaying game design set that got my attention. From there on it was all downhill as I followed Jared from the web forum RPGnet to The Forge and bought myself a copy of his game InSpectres, still the most fun tabletop roleplaying game I’ve ever played or game mastered (and would love to play or GM again regularly).

I managed to catch Jared on Facebook one Saturday and asked him about interviewing – it turned out he was available right there and then! I connected my recording kit and got a good half hour chat about his design process, his full-time job in game design and how empanadas are key to his upcoming martial takeover of New York City.

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