Tips for Designer Applications & Interviews

How many skilled designers have their applications overlooked because they’re not communicating their abilities?

Recently I had the opportunity to run the interview process as Uken Games expanded its “Design Department” from just myself to a 3-person team. After plenty of experience as an applicant, being on the opposite side of the process was quite the perspective change. After talking to many prospective designers, I noticed a few common mistakes popping up time and time again.

Nothing here is absolute or a deal breaker. There are always many factors involved, like who is receiving your application and the degree to which they adhere to a formal rubric. I tend to look at...

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Mass Effect 3: The Journey, The Destination, and Amateur Philosophy

"If nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do. Cause that's all there is. What we do. Now. Today."

This realization in Angel’s second season can be seen as a mission statement of sorts for the entire series. When confronted by the prospect of never being able to truly defeat evil in all its forms, Angel has an epiphany (Hey, what a coincidence the episode is titled Epiphany). Fighting evil, being “good”, is not about truly winning. It’s not about the rewards at the end, it’s about the actions taken everyday. One does good, not because they expect a reward, but because they can. Because being good is an end in itself.

In contrast to an “Ends justify the means” philosophy, Buffy, Angel, and Firefly continuously reinforce the idea that the ends are irrelevant. Rewards may not exist, but the heroes still...

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My Gaming Zine

Last weekend I was back at my parents’ house in Chicago and discovered something crazy on my bookshelf. For an assignment in 8th grade English class, I wrote a gaming magazine. First of all, I’m impressed at 14-year-old-me’s writing. But I’m also disturbed at how much I apparently liked playing with WordArt. Gradients! Woo!

Features include:

  • Review of Unreal Tournament
  • The History of First Person Shooters
  • Preview of Diablo 2
  • A quick look at the state of MMORPGs

View PDFPC Games ‘R Us

 So much WordArt. So many Gradients.

So much WordArt. So many Gradients.

Confessions of an Impatient Cheater

[Originally posted at http://gambit.mit.edu ]
I have a confession. I never beat The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past without infinite magic. I used infinite lives to finish HyperzoneThunder Spirits, or any of the other SNES scrolling shooters that I loved. My first full play-through of Final Fantasy 6 was made a little easier by starting the game with four of the most powerful weapons and accessories. Game Genie made it all possible. Did I miss out on some of the fun by cheating my way through challenges?

“Some of the puzzles will be hard. But when you manage to solve those hard puzzles, you will feel very good about it. The game will feel very rewarding. Don’t rob yourself of that feeling by...

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Introducing Moki Combat 2.0

[Originally posted at http://gambit.mit.edu ]
Moki and Rooki are back! Moki Combat 2.0 features a brand new design built around a unique physics engine. It’s been a fascinating experience to take the original demo and gradually transform it to the current state. Moki Combat 1.0 was based around arena combat, but as we implemented the new physics we transitioned towards slower almost puzzle-like jousting, switched from arenas to linear levels, and eventually de-emphasized the combat itself. Hopefully I can shed some light on our process and the challenges we encountered along the way.

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