Deus Ex 2 concept
Deus Ex 2 concept sketch
Deus Ex 2. I am researching backstory, crafting fiction, composing dialogue
and in-game text, working on relevant design and technical issues.
Degree: I earned a B.A. in English with minors
in Computer Science and Women's Studies at Ohio State University. I earned
a M.A. in English at University of Texas at Austin.
Were there any particular projects or areas of study that you pursued?
At Ohio State, I took the courses the English department offered in Digital
Culture and Electronic Literature. I chose UT Austin for the Computers
and English Studies specialization that they offer. My master's thesis
dealt with interactive fiction and immersive gaming experiences in textual
Did you do any
Tell us about
your first job in the industry. How did you get the job? What was it like?
What were your responsibilities?
My current position as writer on Deus Ex 2 is my first job in the industry.
I got the job through heavy research on companies that matched my profile,
and relentless resume circulation and follow-ups. The interview process
was long and brutal, but well worth it.
What jobs have
you held in the games industry thus far? Briefly describe the career path
you took to get where you are today.
This is my first job so far.
of study, specific courses, or life experiences would you recommend to
students interested in your field?
As for coursework, work toward a curriculum that's as multidisciplinary
as possible. Some schools are more open to this than others. A good number
of universities are redefining departmental boundaries right now to take
computer technology's influence on the humanities into consideration,
so be sure to take a close look at offerings. For instance, UT has the
Computers and English studies graduate specialization in the English department,
an assortment of New Media courses through the Advanced Communications
Technology Lab in the Radio-Television-Film department, and new department
called Technology, Literacy, and Culture.
Besides avoiding overspecialization,
classes like these are going to give you a chance to work with students
from other disciplines. It's useful in learning to work on a game development
team where there are so many different perspectives. It also tends to
dissolve the spurious boundaries and categories between fields, and frees
you up for more creative thinking and for gaining a more robust skill
set, not contained by a single academic department.
Is there anything
you wish someone had told you before you got into the games industry?
Is there anything you would have done differently?
The bulk of my experience at this point has to do with the interviewing
process, moreso than actually working in the field. I would recommend
heavily researching companies, getting to know their games and the overall
atmosphere and philosophy of the studio. Focus on those that truly seem
like a good match for your skills and outlook, rather than blindly blanketing
a long list of potential employers and hoping one works out. Companies
are flooded with applications, so its important to make a strong impression.
As games increase
in complexity, what are the various kinds of jobs that you foresee development
companies needing in the next five years?
It seems that development companies will be diversifying in the search
for employees, looking for people from a range of backgrounds, rather
than limiting themselves to candidates with traditional technical backgrounds.
Obviously, a basic grasp of the technology is crucial, regardless of the
nature of one's contribution to the game. It just seems that as games
grow in scope, development teams will do the same, which will increase
demand for people with humanities backgrounds or other such skills that
haven't been emphasized so far in the field.
Do you have
any other advice or recommendations to share with students who are interested
in doing what you do?
You'll do better if you just develop your own interests and strengths,
rather than trying to fit into a mold of what you think a game developer
should be. There are a range of positions and variety of ways to fill
them, and the industry is always changing and growing. Ultimately, you'll
be able to bring more to the company if you don't try to pigeonhole or