My name is Marie Jacobsen, I am a 24 year old game design student. I worked at UpDown Games for our student project “Elevator” and I’m currently an intern at Hyper Games.
Your role in the company?
At UpDown Games I worked as art director and level designer, though most of the roles were somewhat shared between all four of us. At Hyper Games I am a game design intern.
Could you tell us about your day to day life and responsibilities at your company?
Elevator was developed in just under four very hectic months. It was a pretty ambitious concept for such a short timeframe, and we had to work hard, often also nights and weekends to meet the deadlines. We met at school to work together when we could, but I worked mostly from home due to the pandemic. We still had a lot of fun with it, going to events like Spillexpo and trying to make a name for ourselves on social media.
My workday as an intern is a lot more balanced. Most of the time I’m either working on Snufkin – Melody of Moominvalley or writing my bachelor thesis. So far I have mostly worked with level design, puzzle design and some QA, and I really enjoy my time here.
What was your role in the game project?
Since our team consists of only four people our roles on Elevator have fluctuated a lot. My main roles were art director and level designer, but I also did a lot of narrative design, marketing and puzzle design.
What was your favourite part of the process?
I really enjoy the pre-production phase when you are still developing the early concept and the game can turn into anything. I love worldbuilding and creating concept art. Apart from that my favorite part of game development is level design.
What was your motivation behind seeking a career in the games industry?
I have always felt somewhat of an obligation to myself to choose a career I am truly passionate about. I knew I wanted a job where I would get to express myself as an artist and work in a creative environment, but felt like my expectations might be unrealistic. It wasn’t until my late teens when I really discovered my love for video games and started watching dev diaries that I realized game development was an actual viable option – and after that it was the only thing I wanted. I love many different types of games, and whether it’s winning a clutch match through teamwork along with your friends or discovering huge open worlds with elaborate characters and storylines, I want to be able to create that same experience for others.
What advice would you give to people who consider joining the games industry?
This might be difficult to answer since I’ve just barely entered the industry myself. My best advice would be to network! People in the game industry are so open and welcoming, at least here in Norway, and more than willing to share experience and advice.
While you don’t necessarily need a degree to get a job in the game industry, getting my bachelor degree will definitely have been worth it for me. I’ve learned so much about all the different aspects of game design, gotten a much better view of all my different options within the game industry and how it works, and gotten to know so many great people.
UpDown Games are nominated to Spillprisen 2021 for their game “Elevator”.