We're having a bit of a welcome-pie glut.
Demiurge has been growing lately. In the past few months, in fact, it feels like the whole company has eaten some kind of magic mushroom and ballooned to twice its size (only to shrink again when failing to avoid turtles and fire-breathing sewer-pipe plants). Except, no, not like that at all. Never mind, this is a terrible analogy.
Point is, we’ve brought on a lot of new folks lately, to the point where on one day in January, we had to split up the welcome pies among three different people’s desks. It’s all part of our new fitness program, all those extra calories from walking between desks in order to eat pie, instead of standing in one place to welcome new employees. In fact, with our open office plan, it’s like a maze you have to negotiate, eating as you go, while trying to avoid multicolored ghosts...that doesn’t work either.
Classic video-game non-applicability to this situation notwithstanding, we’ve brought on seven new people since November. That’s like ten new people! So in celebration, we decided to do some micro-interviews with some of them about what it is they do here, and more importantly, why.
Name: Ben Wagner
Title: Engineering Intern
Q: There are so many kinds of engineering. What made you pursue engineering for games?
A: I got into engineering because I love making things, software engineering because I'm not good with my hands, and software engineering for games because I love enabling creative people to be as creative as possible.
Q: What’s the oddest thing about yourself that you’re willing to share with a random Internet audience?
A: I can touch my nose with my tongue.
Q: What’s your favorite Marvel character and why?
A: Mr. Fantastic. I've always found his power hilarious.
Name: Tim Spangler
Title: Art Director
Q: Describe your job in ten words or less.
A: Define and direct visual pillars: style, consistency, value, color, brand.
Q: Demiurge has a sweet art team. How do you work with them to help create a unified look across a game?
A: The art team here is super-talented. Everyone has cross-discipline skills. This is the most collaborative studio I've been in. The key with consistency is defining what makes the visual target successful and directly comparing against it.
Q: What kind of art do you do when you’re not at work?
A: I've recently been getting back into sketching and drawing. These sketches are everything from characters to UI to composition ideas.
Name: Courtney Reed
Job Title: QA Tester
Q: What do you actually do all day?
A: I work with other QA staff and developers to make sure that everything is working properly before new events, characters and in-game features are pushed to the players. We catch bugs before they go live and we write reports, track, and confirm fixes once they're made. We do a lot of surveillance in QA, because most everything is working as it needs to, but new additions to the game can change how other existing code works and these issues may not be visible at first glance.
Q: What’s been the best thing so far about coming to work at Demiurge?
A: Everyone at Demiurge is so aware of the game industry as a whole; there isn't a tabletop, card game, app, or video game that gets released without someone being excited about it in the office. It's really great to work with people who have varied interests in games and who are so passionate and excited about new developments in the industry, as well as here in the studio.
Q: What’s something most people don’t know / get about working in QA?
A: There are a lot of other aspects to QA (and games themselves) other than gameplay. In a QA setting, you have to check in-game text, notifications, art and animation implementation, and interfacing, especially when working with mobile games. Every small detail is important and matters to the quality and success of the game, not just the actual game mechanics.
Name: Sam Wallach
Title: Design Intern
Q: Tell me a little about your background. What brought you to Demiurge and why game design?
A: Game design's been my dream for as long as I can remember. Having just graduated from the game development program at WPI, I was looking for work and Demiurge seemed like a great opportunity. I'm thrilled to be here!
Q: What were some formative games for you as a kid?
A: As a kid I loved Zelda (Ocarina of Time and Wind Waker) and 3D platforms like Spyro, Ratchet and Clank, and Jak and Daxter.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about your job right now?
A: Getting to live the dream and work on games after working my whole life to get here!
Name: Lee Eisenhuth
Job Title: Game Designer
Q: What, practically, does being a game designer at Demiurge mean (so far)?
A: Same as it does every other day, try to take over the world. Or, design games that let you do that.
Q: What’s your favorite past project?
A: I don't have a favorite project, yet. I suppose making custom maps (as a hobby) in Starcraft, Warcraft, Age of Mythology, and more, was the most enjoyable design experience, because the sky (and editing tool) was the only limit.
Q: What’s your favorite game that nobody seems to know about?
A: Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup, Recettear, Dungeon of Dredmor, Grey Goo, Might & Magic Clash of Heroes.
Name: Adam Carroll
Job Title: UI Artist
Q: Explain your job to a five-year-old.
A: If a video game is a car, I'm responsible for deciding how the car looks, where the steering wheel and door handles go, what kind of seats are in it, and what color it should be painted.
Q: Where can we see other art of yours?
A: You can check it out on my site, adamwcarroll.com or on my instagram, adamwcarroll.
Q: What’s the weirdest thing about working here?
A: The people probably. We are a unique crowd.