Penultimate Level Design

Damnnit! I do love games! I absolutely adore them! I love the little slice of alternate world they present me with, I love the carefully crafted environment for learning and excelling in new skills they offer me, I love the puzzles – whether that’s a Professor Leyton style match puzzle, or the puzzle of how to get past that entrenched team of enemies without a grenade.

The reason for this opening outburst? Well, I’d read a piece of recruitment waffle that said they were looking for people like that – people who loved games, their worlds and their challenges. It spoke to me, and I shone with the glow that someone has when they think “Someone else knows!” What happened next was a well deserved, but ultimately saddening plummet back to Earth. There aren’t companies who feel like that – not any with more than 4 people in them, anyway. They may say they do, and they may even contain a certain amount of people who do – but a whole, large company? Nah – I was deluding myself, and the recruitment waffle was preying on that.

I don’t want it to be that way, though. I still love games and the worlds and challenges they present me. I revel in the chance to make or improve those worlds myself – to carefully craft an environment, a backstory, a mission or a puzzle, and by Jove I intend to keep doing just that, and improve at every opportunity. So what if there’s a lot of cynisim in the industry, if recruiters prey on the enthusiastic (mmm, crunch-fodder), if market forces and limitations mean games frequently fall drastically short of their potential – if we don’t keep trying, if we don’t keep our love of games burning with the intensity of a white dwarf star, then the industry will have one more casualty. Me. And I don’t want that to happen.


et cetera