Being a Lead Tester involved a little more money, a little more responsibility and a little more respect, but it was still Quality Assurance. I was a little jealous when I longingly stared at the designers in the comapny (OK, a LOT JEALOUS) and wished I was part of their world. A bit like the Little Mermaid then, only a bit less gay. Well, differently gay. Regardless, that was how things were. I did enjoy my job, but I kept my eyes peels for the first opportunity for me to pounce on. Carpe diem and so on.
Luckily I landed in a small company that was just on the verge of making it big. Ideaworks3d! already made its mark in the games idustry with their advanced mobile technology, porting Playstation games such as Tomb Raider and Tony Hawk to mobile phones and just started creating original games for both existing and new franchises. After a successful E3 showing in 2005 the company garnered more attention and really start blossoming. The time seemed right, even though I spent only a few months working as a lead tester and felt a little guilty abandoning the position so soon for the next best thing. But not that guilty.
I put my name forward through one of the producers and created a PDF porfolio listing all of my relevant previous experience: Time Commanders, Neverwinter Nights module even older flash games, comics and interviews I conducted. A nice variety of work which is ideal for game design as the designer needs to know how to do a little bit of everything. I even sent in a couple of game pitches.
Eventually I was told by the Development Director that they're trying to place me in a junior design position. By January this year I finally got my hands dirty working on my first project as a designer and a couple of months later I got the contract that sealed the deal. I'm a designer.
I still need to remind myself that I'm a game designer. I wanted to be one for so long that it didn't really sink in yet. A bit like those crazy dreams you have when you end up on the Buffy or Friends shows as a regular cast member only to wake up and realize Lisa Kudrow isn't your new best friend in real life. You never had one of those dreams? Oh well, it must be me then. Still, I do have the feeling that I'll be waking up soon and realize I'm still a tester.
So that's it. That's how I became a designer. Does that mean that my journy is over? No. There are other paths to follow. I have more dreams to pursue, in game development and outside of it.
With that said, I consider myself very lucky to make at least one of my dreams come true. Stick around to read this blog to witness me chasing a few more dreams.