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Tabor Robak: From the very beginning, what I had were the songs and my discussions with Gatekeeper about what would be cool to have in here. When we started this, my technical ability was very primitive. So as my knowledge grew over the year, the ideas that I could come up with also changed. But for the most part, it was very typical. Just listening to the mp3s on the train during my commute, trying to imagine what it could look like. I tried to be mindful of leaving room for the music.

The Wonderful Worlds of a Video Game Designer (Get to Work With Science and Technology)

How did you create these elaborate worlds? All the trees and the rocks and the grass—I bought all these nature model packs and then worked on placing them in the environment, which was a fun challenge. To compose something that looks natural and random unfortunately takes a lot of thought. Is there a story here? The inspiration is a sampling of all the tropes of science fiction and games.

My take on it is that we landed, or rather digitally warped, onto this planet.

We believe that work/life balance is essential to the success of our employees.

Like The Matrix. How would you describe your aesthetic? The colours are all super-saturated and lush. Each shot is kind of like a painting.

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I focus on the tools and effects, tricks, magic. Is it hard? Like any job, you get what you put in. The work itself is grueling at times and self-indulgent at others.

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I get to work on the games I would otherwise be playing on my own, and this helps me get through those moments of hour days, crusty stress levels, and order-in food. We do this because we want to make the best product, and you need to find a base to stand on to stay sane. Either a teacher or a chef. I also routinely try to bring a little flare in the kitchen at home to my family.

I enjoy the challenge of taking different ingredients and blending them together into something new. My hope is that in three years I have made my impact internally at BioWare and hopefully beyond for better tools and systems. The Edmonton Heritage festival. Every August long weekend, different cultures gather to hold a celebration of cultural diversity through crafts, traditions, and ultimately, food!

Artificial sun lamps. The winter days are short offset by terrific long summer days and we found it useful to get lights in our house that simulate a sunrise early in the morning. I loved how it effectively rewired your brain into a new paradigm. I had the opportunity to work with great minds in the field of programming languages and compilers.

Second to that, working at BioWare has always offered great challenges and accomplishments. Being surrounded by the best in the industry. The team is passionate, creative, and hard-working. It has always been a pleasure to work with these amazing people. I have a continuous goal of helping BioWare deliver great games to the best of my ability. The people, on both sides of the game. Still am. What is your most treasured possession? Any chance to make music with or for someone is a gift corny, but true!

Another type of editing, or music education in some form. Fantastic chai, delicious soups and pastries, and a huge cozy seating area for reading or catching up with friends. And if you forget, a credit card makes a great emergency ice scraper. All time favorite game: Uncharted 4. Best thing about Bioware: Working with talented designers and artists from all over the world.

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Perfect day in my life: After sleeping in which is a near impossibility with two toddlers at home , heading out for brunch at Little Brick and a walk in the river valley. Then home for a nap, followed by an afternoon of playing board games Season 2 of Pandemic Legacy, anyone? Greatest achievement: Helping to ship some of the best games in the industry, while having such an amazing family to go home to after work. Most Treasured Possession: Possibly my ticket stub collection from all the events I've been to going back to the late 80s.

I've got a nice display that a friend put together that is fun to look at and brings back some great memories—and there's always room to add more. I love that we have access to so much culture, arts, music, and events here and yet still feel like a small town. I feel like I'm never more than two degrees of separation from anyone in town, from the mayor to the local Taiko drumming troop.

This makes it so easy to get involved in pretty much anything that interests you.

There are so many to choose from, but I'll go with Corso How did you come to join BioWare? I was attending film school at the University of Texas back in , and one day while studying in the library I saw a post to our department that BioWare was looking for potential designers to help build Star Wars: The Old Republic. At that point, I had already been itching to work in the games industry, and considering my love for Knights of the Old Republic and Star Wars in general, applying for the position was a no-brainer.

As materialistic as it sounds, my most treasured possession is my smartphone currently a Samsung Galaxy S7. As anyone who knows me can attest, I take a ton of photos of just about everything, all on my phone. It's also there when I need it for communication, gaming, videos, news, VR, maps, etc.

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I'd be lost without it—literally and figuratively. Is that answer a cop-out? I know these two industries are getting more and more similar these days. So basically if I wasn't working on sci-fi video games I'd want to work instead on sci-fi movies or TV shows. Over the next three years I hope to expand upon my knowledge of Frostbite and other game engines to include skills outside of design, such as art and audio. Knowing the tools and workflows associated with these adjacent disciplines should help me better understand and collaborate with other departments in addition to becoming a more well-rounded developer.

For my favorite local bakery I'd have to go with Blue Baker over in the Arboretum. There's always a great assortment of breads, cookies, bagels, sandwiches, etc. On top of that, the baking station is separated from the seating area by a giant window, so you can watch the pastries as they're being made. One thing I love about Austin is the amount of innovation that happens here across all forms of media and entertainment.

It's a city filled with smart, fun, creative people, and I'm honored to have had the opportunity to work alongside so many of them. Apart from the big chain restaurants which I love because I'm a boring person , I'd say one of my favorite Austin eateries is the Umi Sushi Bar down south. If you're a sushi fan and ever find yourself there, I'd strongly suggest trying the Longhorn Roll!

Favorite fictional character: The new Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan. I applied after I graduated and here I am! Churchill square. I love it in the summer when there are tons of festivals and performances going on. I really enjoy the Heritage Festival during the August long weekend. It is a tie actually.

The Wonderful Worlds of a Video Game Designer by Ruth Owen

They are incredibly fun but also offer many lessons for what best in class looks like. I have loved RPGs my entire life. Being able to come in week after week and work on this type of game is exciting. As a Creative Director I am doing the work I have always dreamed of doing and getting paid for it. Professionally, I would say standing up our new IP. I learned a lot helping to build the Mass Effect franchise and I hope I am bringing all of that learning forward to build something fun and interesting.

When I held my last stand-up for the Mass Effect franchise as its Lead Designer my staff gave me a signed card. I would save that in a fire before any award or plaque.

The Wonderful Worlds of A Video Game Designer

Overall I really love the restaurant scene in Edmonton. For a mid-size city, it has a lot of great places to eat. Last year 9 of the top restaurants in Canada were in Edmonton. I love the wide range of challenges that come up during a project. I get the chance to work on a lot of different things, which keeps my work fresh and exciting.

If you could design the perfect day, what would it look like? Shipping Dragon Age: Inquisition. This project was so immense in scope and really solidified the respect I had for my colleagues. Our river valley is amazingly beautiful. I love going for bike rides or runs during the summer on the trails. It winds through most of the city, so I can mix things up by checking out different areas all the time. Now I need to read it again, thanks. Working with smaller teams gave me the opportunity to touch nearly every aspect of development and allowed for tons of self-learning.

BioWare was building a team to work on Sonic Chronicles , and I took a chance and applied, hoping my experiences in handheld games would pay off. Great Success! I have literally no idea. Throughout high school I had no clue what I wanted to do, but I ate, slept, and breathed video games. Lessons I learned early in my career due to hardware restrictions and smaller team sizes have afforded me unique perspectives I can share. Not in Edmonton, but nearby.

My family has a gorgeous retreat where our trailer is located on Lac Ste. We pretty much live out there on weekends during the summer. Final Fantasy 6 has such a beautiful story, music, cast, and world. There are so many side stories to discover for each character, so much background to discover, and I still have feelings about it. Passing my level 1 belt test in Krav Maga.

The people are amazing. This is such a wonderful collection of amazing professionals who are motivated and passionate about building the best games they can together. The summers are absolutely amazing. Everyone up here has been really friendly and there's always another festival coming up. I think I'll be tracking down new things to do and explore for a while. Heated underground parking is the best. Also, find a winter sport you like so you'll have something to look forward to. I also admire his simplistic view of things—a lot of times I overcomplicate things and he is a good reminder to scale back and enjoy life as it comes.

I typically get asked what the work environment is like. Most people think we get to play video games all day I wish! Finding solutions makes it easier for our artists and animators to get content into the game. I work with an extremely talented and fun international team, and there are many people I talk to frequently but have never met in person or only met once.

We work hard, we play hard, but most importantly, we love what we do. The rest is history!