The Game Reviews: What is your name, Title and who do you work for/with currently?
Andrew: Andrew Parsons, Lead Level Designer at Firefly
The Game Reviews: What is your lineage, your story, from education to now, how did you
get to be the Lead Level Designer?
Andrew: Well I went to Uni (Bournemouth, 2.1, BA Interactive Media- no games degrees in MY day :-)). Then did a stint doing tech support for a rather large film marketing company. Moved in to games publishing, went from evaluation to PR, then on to product manager in about 18 months. Through
a combination of sheer determination and a whole heap of gaming hours, one of my proposals was accepted for publication. That proposal eventually led me to FireflyÃ¯Â¿Â½s door. They made me an offer I couldnÃ¯Â¿Â½t refuse and I refused to refused it. Beat that.
The Game Reviews: Tell us what it is that you do, what is your job like?
Andrew: IÃ¯Â¿Â½m responsible for the layout, design and implementation of most of the levels in Dungeon Hero. That involves pretty much everything from creating the first 2D floor plans and 3d mock-ups, right through to special effects, scripting and pacing the gameplay out. In addition to that IÃ¯Â¿Â½m looking after the in-game cut-scenes, lots of the UI and the companyÃ¯Â¿Â½s website. I also make a mean curry.
The Game Reviews: A lot of talented people are looking to get into the Video Game industry but have no idea how to go about it. What do you suggest to someone who wants to work in the video game industry? What do you look for when hiring into your division?
Andrew: From my point of view, I had a ton of lucky breaks- people were prepared to believe in me and the work that I could do and therefore put me in positions of responsibility. ItÃ¯Â¿Â½s not always that easy, but there are a few of things you can do to ease your way in:
1) Play a hell of a lot of games.
2) DonÃ¯Â¿Â½t be scared to be passionate about games.
3) Work on your basics- you can never be too good at Communicating, Maths or Drawing.
4) Go to events. I know it sounds stupid, but just meeting people and talking to them has done my career a world of good- even if youÃ¯Â¿Â½re studying, sending these people a letter or an email never hurts.
(But not me!!!!) In terms of the actual design part- make a great design document, a little demo, a mod- anything that shows you know about ALL FACETS of games, not just sound/ art gameplay etc. As they say, the bigger picture is the only picture!.
The Game Reviews: What is your favorite game of ALL time, it cannot be a title you have
Andrew: Day of the Tentacle. No question.
The Game Reviews: Do you have religion, meaning what is your favorite gaming platform?
Xbox 360, PS3 or WII?
Andrew: Probably Xbox 360. Or DS. Does that count?