Blog Interview

MASTERING THE ART OF PLAY: A DISCUSSION WITH SR GAME DESIGNER

02.02.2024.
Slika

The Sandsoft Games is expanding, bringing on board passionate and talented individuals dedicated to #gaming. A warm welcome to Jose Ignacio Montes Cobos, our new Sr Game Designer. With his experience and skill, he’s set to play a crucial role in our journey to create thrilling games for players around the globe. 🎮🌐
We asked Ignacio a few questions about his role and his way to the #gamedesign.

Have you always dreamed to work in the gaming industry?

“Surprisingly, no. It’s a fun story, but I’m a Game Designer by chance. I started my career as a web apps developer, working for “regular businesses”. But 18 years ago an opportunity appeared before me, and I took it. First as J2ME developer for feature phones games (Nokia phones!) and later on as game designer.”

What is the most important in the role of the Lead Game Designer in order to grow and not to get stuck in a routine?

“First, it’s to have an unquenchable thirst for learning new stuff, anything. Second and most important, to listen to the people around you that are wiser than you and that invest their time in providing feedback. A good feedback is an amazing gift.”

What are the most exciting things about your role that keep you thrilled and motivated?

“To work in the F2P mobile business. Much more thrilling, dynamic and changing at a fast pace than any other industry or game platform. Also, F2P mobile games offers the opportunity to really get to know your players and their behaviours (data for the win!)”

Games are constantly evolving and pushing boundaries. How do you balance incorporating innovative features with ensuring the game maintains a level of familiarity that resonates with players?

“What it means to be fun or entertainment, doesn’t change so much. The core values of the entertainment service we provide remain the same, even if the wrapping changes and evolve. How to find a balance? Limit the amount of “novelty” and “twists” to one or two elements, and make them the core unique selling points. Relay on well known systems for the rest of the game experience.”

Collaboration is key in game development. How do you foster a collaborative environment within your team, and what methods do you employ to bring out the best from every member of the team?

“First of all, complete transparency, zero politic dynamics. We are all together in this creative adventure. Every member of the team is a valuable opinion, and participation in discussions is not optional. Very important in order to have a constructive collaborative environment, it’s that all team members are aligned in regard to the project vision and what we are trying to achieve. Once people understand these points, it’s a matter of just let them work and flex their skill-muscles.”

If you would develop your own game what would the game be?

“Hardest question ever. I play very different types of games on multiple platforms. From casual and idle games on mobile to PSVR games. If following my personal taste, probably something with lot of numbers, exploration and progression, like Skyrim, No Man Sky, EVE Online or Genshin Impact. Or a great unique gaming experience like Flower or Journey. But I’m not sure these games would be great market success stories!”

What would be your advise to young people / students pursuing a career in gaming and in game design in particular?

“Play lots of games. Mobile, console, PC, VR… try everything. But don’t play as a gamer. Play as a creator. Always asking why the developers took one decisions or another about systems, progression, setting, UI, monetization, marketing… Take lot of notes. My second recommendation, specially for designers and developers is to just… make games! If nothing else, participate in game jams. You need to create games and get them in the hands of players, to really understand the impact of your decisions.”