FIVE: Questions with a FIVE Guy: Dan C, Game Designer
When did you start working in games?
I’ve done everything from delivering pizzas to working as a mechanical drafter. I always had an interest in game design, and I would make my own smaller projects on the side. Some projects turned out great – others not so much. But every project was a great learning experience in one way or another. About five years ago, we made the move to Austin, and I started working QA. I’ve been learning and working on improving my skills ever since.
Why did you come to Kingdom Games?
It looked like a really fun challenge. Before I came here, I worked on a third-person shooter. Switching to the action-RPG angle meant learning some new skills, and testing my abilities.
Further, I don’t see the market really try to tell any stories like this. There’s a lot of opportunity, so it was pretty cool to sign on and develop levels in this uncharted territory. We really get to break new ground in that respect; it’s pretty cool.
What’s the best experience you’ve had as a developer?
Being able to work alongside such talented folks. I am always amazed to see a game go from concept to completion (shipped). A lot of hard work and dedication from so many people goes into making games. I am very fortunate to be a part of this industry.
As a father, how do you moderate what your children play?
With a 9 year-old, it isn’t so much the games as it is the Streamers/YouTubers. It’s pretty easy to keep an eye on what games we buy, but I have to pay close attention to what he watches on his iPad. He seems to have found a nice core group that match his sensibilities pretty well, but every once in a while I do a double-take and do my best to re-evaluate as necessary.
Do you have any advice for someone that wants to get into the industry?
There are so many free tools: engines, assets, tutorials. Use them! Start working right now on a project, and finish it (that’s the hard part). The first step is showing off something that you did with your own time and your own determination.
Learn the tools, make something, and see it through to the end; that’s the best advice anyone can give you. You’ve got to work hard and keep at it.