Great games don’t just grow on trees. Before all of the beautiful art and intricate engineering is put into place, the games first have to be conceptualized and designed. Such sublime crafting requires the expertise of a Game Designer. This week, we sat down with our very own Mitch Zamara, as we learn more about his role and influences at Storm8 … and all of the deliciousness we experience for lunch.
You. What’s your name?
Mitch Zamara (@mzamara)
Tell us, what do you do at Storm8?
I’m a Senior Game Designer at Storm8. I’m currently working on several incredibly awesome projects. Sorry, can’t tell you about them … yet. I also helped work on the recent set of quests for Bakery Story, which some of you may have seen.
Where did you work before?
I’ve worked as a game designer for MTV/Nickelodeon and Zynga. Two projects I worked on before I came to Storm8 were Vampire Wars and CityVille.
What games have influenced your work in game design?
Everything. I play as many games from as many genres as I can to learn from them all. Very few games excel in every possible category. Most games do a lot of things right, and some things not so right. I try to learn from both of these things to ensure a better overall understanding of what makes a great gaming experience.
For example, I’ve been playing a lot of Diablo 3 lately and feel it’s a great way to learn about reward systems. It does a lot of things well, like distinguishing the items that are meant to be very powerful by marking them with various colors and creating a wide range of weapon types and affixes to accomodate different playstyles. It also does a few things that I don’t completely agree with, such as giving the players too many things they don’t need or too many items without any real tangible value/purpose.
This kind of gameplay inspires me to create meaningful reward systems in our games that feel really compelling every time you tap on something. Hopefully you’ll all get a chance to see exactly what I’m talking about in the near future. *wink*
Take a look around the office. What’s the first interesting thing you see?
I see a lot of incredible concept art on the walls for projects that are currently in development. We’re working on some stuff that will blow you guys away once you see them. :)
What’s the greatest thing about working for Storm8?
Free Red Bull! Just kidding.
Honestly, being able to have a ton of creative influence over the projects I work on is one of the most rewarding things I’ve experienced here. All of my colleagues are top tier in their fields and share the same passions I have for creating great games. It inspires me to come to work every day and work hard.
Anything interesting happen in the office lately?
We just started the second season of our Storm8 Starcraft 2 Tournament, which I’m participating in! We hope to also join the next season of the After Hours Gaming League, which is a Starcraft 2 tournament where teams represent different charities and play to help raise money for them.
How was lunch?
The food here is amazing… ribs, sushi, pizza, and so much more to choose from every week. I have to keep at the gym even more than ever to keep from gaining weight!
Do you enjoy bacon?
YES - WHO DOESN’T?! Last year for Thanksgiving, I made a bacon wrapped turkey!
Just a heads up, I’m spending Thanksgiving this year with you, buddy.