Last Wednesday, Rami posted a tweet that made me stop and think:
OK, how about today we thank someone who made a game that inspired us to become part of this industry in the first place?
— Rami Ismail (@tha_rami) February 18, 2015
Approximately 6 years ago, I was a 19 year old in my second year of studying Information and Communication Technology at the University of Malta. I knew I wanted to get into programming, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do exactly. All this until Giorgios Yannakakis from the IT University of Copenhagen showed up, giving us a few lectures on AI in games, and then promoting the IT University as a place to study for a Masters in Games. It hit me then that I really wanted to get into the games industry and make games, and my being a programmer definitely helped my chances of getting into the gamedev scene.
Rami’s tweet helped sit me down and go through a list of people and companies that have inspired me and helped guide me in joining the games industry. I’m sure I’ll continue being inspired and learning from peers and other liked minded people in the future as I meet more and more people 🙂
Thank you Roberta Williams for creating the King’s Quest series, and forcing my 6 year old self to sit down and think through King’s Quest 6 from beginning to end without the help of guides or the Internet. My love of point-and-click adventure games remains to this day. Although I’ve never played Phantasmogria, I have played a little of Time Zone and greatly admire your willingness to push boundaries in games, both technical and in subject matter.
Thank you Tom Sloper for your blog posts on game design and how to get into the game industry. I found these extremely helpful when considering and pros and cons of getting into the games industry, and your blog fully prepared me for the ride I was about to take (and am still taking!)
Thank you Brenda Romero and Ian Schreiber in particular for your book Challenges for Game Designers. I bought this during my undergrad and read it from cover to cover, and found it invaluable for my formation as a game designer and developer.
Thank you Richard Garfield for creating Magic: the Gathering, and Mark Rosewater for all the game design articles about Magic that you’ve posted on Wizards’ web site. At the time I read them simply to learn more about Magic, but to this day when designing games, I still refer to various concepts that you’ve discussed.
Thank you Georgios Yannakakis for coming over to Malta back in 2009 and promoting the IT University of Copenhagen, and encouraging me to actually take the first step and apply for the Master’s programme there. The effect you’ve left in AI in games research is inspiring. Thank you Alexiei Dingli, for supervising my undergraduate thesis and making it possible to bring Georgios over, and thank you Gordon Calleja, for further encouraging me to join the IT University of Copenhagen, and for being instrumental in establishing the games scene in Malta.
Thank you Miguel Sicart for your lectures in Game Design at the IT University. I greatly enjoyed both the subject matter as well as the style of presentation, and I feel that those lectures greatly influenced my way of approaching game design. Thank you Rilla Khaled for your lectures in Persuasive and Serious Games at the IT University, both for the subject matter and for introducing me to concepts such as abusive play and oppositional play, as well as for introducing the important of user experience. It’s a pity I couldn’t actually take your User Experience and Prototyping class.
Thank you Adam Saltsman for making Flixel. It was a pleasure to use and I enjoyed working with Flixel during game jams and for personal projects while studying at the IT University. I’m disappointed for not actually summoning the courage to thank you personally at Asher’s house party during IndieCade 2014 last October.
Thank you Darius Kazemi for your series in effective networking for people in the games industry, which I read several times over. It’s also a pleasure to watch your Twitter bots in action, and I look forward to making intelligent bots of my own.
Thank you Richard Lemarchand for sitting down to play both Mussades and Wanted: Igor! back at the first w00t event in Copenhagen. It was a pleasure meeting you then, and a pleasure to meet you again after all those years at IndieCade 2014. I admire your gentle presence and your youthful spirit, and your previous body of game design work is inspiring.
Thank you Nordic Game Jam and its organisers for being the first game jam I ever attended, and for showing me just how important game jams are for the gamedev community. Ever since my first game jam in 2012, I’ve always promoted the importance of game jams, and I keep returning to future Nordic Game Jams. The Nordic Game Jam also inspired me to attend further events in the Danish community, and I’m certainly glad I took that first step.
Thank you Julian Togelius and Mark J. Nelson for supervising my Master’s thesis at the IT University of Copenhagen. Your guidance was crucial to the direction of my thesis, and I thank you for all your patience. Julian, your class on Procedural Content Generation was one of the main reasons I applied for the ITU, and not only I am glad that I chose that course, but I feel that it is a prominent tool in any game developer’s arsenal of weaponry.
Thank you, my colleagues and friends at ITU. It was a pleasure getting to know you, learning more about games together and working together. You were all influential in your own way.
Thank you, my colleagues at Kvasir Games. Ever since we won Best Board Game at Nordic Game Jam 2012, we’ve gone on to win several other awards, gotten a game chosen as a selected game for IndieCade and self-published our very own board game. I enjoy working together with you all, and look forward to working with you on our next project, Hulda, our first digital game.
Thank you IndieCade for being my first entry into the American game development scene. I wholly enjoyed my time at the 2014 festival and met so many new people. It was an honoured to have a game selected for the festival, and I’m glad to have chosen to actually attend.
And finally, thank you Rami Ismail. Thank you for your thought provoking tweet that drove me to write this blog, for the work you do for the good of the whole game development community, for showing me the importance of marketing in game development, and for the ideals and values you defend. I’m so glad that after a whole day of wondering whether or not to bother you at IndieCade, I finally took the step to speak to you. You’ve been an inspiration to me and many others, and I can only hope to follow in your footsteps.