Last weekend, while alternate PETAL et al. team members manned PETAL et al.’s booth at C2E2 at McCormick Place in Chicago, it gave me an opportunity to not just take a look at the great work being displayed in Artists’ Alley, but to also take advantage of some of the panels and exhibits that had a way of grabbing one’s attention. Artists’ Alley may have been the largest we’ve seen in all our years of attending this event…and there’ve been many. The Cosplay participants, particularly the Zombies making their way throughout the event made for an interesting and exciting venue.
“Writing for Video Games” panelists’ David A. Rodriguez and Lewis Harris II shared some very useful insight on getting started in the industry. They shared their experience as video game designers, writers and eventually level builders and more, and pointed out the importance of being able to wear many hats in the industry. They focused on how a game works and why it is crucial to have a story and a plan before you get started with making a game. Both Rodriquez and Harris have vast knowledge and experience with playing games and are avid readers as well. They noted that a game idea can come from anywhere, and talked about the importance of watching everything around you.
Prior to that, there was a presentation by a video game development panel hosted by several game developers, designers and educators, including Ryan Wiemeyer and Allen Turner from DePaul University. Ryan said drive, determination, passion and proof of that will get you in the door of a game design studio. He was passionate about his pursuit of a career in the industry, adding that he knew exactly what he wanted to make great games. Ryan is known for his game “Organ Trail” a parody of the “Oregon Trail” video game, and he is owner and designer of “The Men Who Wear Many Hats”. Allen, the moderator and a host for the panel, is a pioneer in the industry. He has mentored and advised many that are currently working in the industry. He was lead designer/game director for WideLoad games and is currently the owner of Council of Fools.
All participants agreed that video game design and development can be a very challenging, competitive and time-demanding field, but they wouldn’t trade it for nothing in the world because there is no job that is more fun or personally rewarding.
Pamela McMillan, PETAL et al.