7 Questions: Gemma Thomson

GameCity 2012

Can you describe what you do?
I am a game designer, working at an indie studio in London. Because it’s indie, my work is exceptionally varied – from contributing to design pitches, drawing level maps and providing prototype 3D assets, to arranging meetings and generally helping to run the studio.

What’s your favourite game?
Unquestionably Beyond Good & Evil – my personal benchmark for how a game narrative should feel.

Can you remember the first game you played on a computer/console?
I like to think it was Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on SEGA Megadrive – it sparked a fanaticism in me which simply will not die – but I think my first game was actually 688 Attack Sub, played through Norton Commander on MS-DOS.

What are you working on now?
I can’t be specific, but we are working on a number of new game projects across a variety of platforms – all generally with an eye towards tablet devices. It’s an exciting flurry of design meetings, concept sketches and research. We’ve also been keeping International Racing Squirrels up-to-date since it was launched on iPad, so I’m occasionally testing and balancing new features for that.

Who is your favourite game character to play?
I’d have to admit that I don’t connect very easily with most game protagonists, but I very much enjoyed playing World of Warcraft as my engineering, destruction warlock – especially back in the days of Wrath. As a rule, I prefer to play healers in any multiplayer game, though.

What inspires and drives you?
Each time I try to answer this I end up with a different motivation, as ultimately I’m not that sure. I’m passionate about creating worlds and experiences, and I’m simply driven to try and do this better. Ultimately I want to create games which are at least as rich and fun as the ones I’ve already enjoyed.

What excites you about the future of games and/or game technology?
I make it a personal point to avoiding speculating on technology, having already lived through HD-DVD, Philips CD-i and the under-appreciated Dreamcast. Hardware seems to be all-too-fleeting, but what does excite me is the thought that games can be a more mature and inclusive medium. The movement to increase diversity in the games industry, coupled with gaming’s broader reach now, should hopefully mean that one day we can pick a game to suit a mood in the same way we would a film or a book – and not feel like we have to defend that choice.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s