80 Level Round Table

80 Level Round Table: Techland, the Studio & Tools Behind Dying Light 2 Stay Human

May 17, 2022 Kirill Tokarev / Tymon Smektala Season 2 Episode 2
80 Level Round Table
80 Level Round Table: Techland, the Studio & Tools Behind Dying Light 2 Stay Human
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Lead Designer at Techland Tymon Smektala has joined Kirill Tokarev at 80 Level Round Table to tell us about the life and culture of the studio, discuss the tools Techlannd uses to create massive open-world environments, and share some behind-the-scenes information about the studio’s recently-released Dying Light 2 Stay Human.

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Tymon Smektala is the Lead Designer at Techland

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tymon-smektala-4205534/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/smektalatm 

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Dying Light 2 Stay Human Website: https://dl2.dyinglightgame.com/ 

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0:00

hello everyone and today we have with us timon smith carla from techland who's


0:05

going to talk about dying light the production of the game some of the tools that the team was


0:11

using we will also touch a little bit on the topics of recruiting as well as talk


0:18

about building a career as a game designer greetings and welcome to the 80 level


0:24

roundtable podcast in each episode host karel tokorev invites video game


0:30

industry leaders to talk about the world of game development no topic is off limits as long as it


0:36

relates to video game development new episodes are in the works so remember to follow us or subscribe and


0:43

share with someone you know will also enjoy the podcast before we start can you do


0:49

a little introduction tell us a little bit about yourself about your role in the company what you guys are doing and


0:55

that kind of stuff okay so hello everyone my name is timon smachtawa i am the lead game designer at


1:01

techland working on dying lights to stay human i have been with the company for about


1:07

eight years actually nine this year i have joined when we were working when


1:14

the company started working on dying night one so i have been with the studio for the whole adventure since dying died


1:20

one i was responsible as a lead game designer for dying lights to the following and then i was also a lead game designer


1:27

dying like to stay human so tell us a little bit about


1:33

the current situation in techland what are you guys are working on about the recent release and kind of


1:40

where you are in terms of the team the size of the team and like the main things that you're working on right now


1:46

okay so quite a lot of questions rolled into one so i'll try to


1:52

take that one by one so uh i think it's a very good time for us as a studio we have just released uh our recent project


1:59

our biggest title so far the game has been released fundamentally well because


2:05

over the first weekend it was played by more than 3 million players as you can imagine the numbers are still


2:12

growing so it's like business-wise and in terms of accomplishment professional


2:17

accomplishment this is something that that that brings a lot of joy uh to our studio as


2:25

an organization but also on our personal level um [Music]


2:30

the period of time where we are right now as a company is actually very interesting because we have released the


2:37

game the game is out there the game is received well and and now we are


2:42

kind of thinking organizing ourselves to handling what's what's going to happen in the future


2:47

um we have three main directions in which our work


2:52

will focus over the next months and years probably um the first one is of


2:58

course post launch support for dying light to stay human um


3:03

the other one is another project that we have already kind of announced or at least revealed its existence so we are


3:10

working on an amazing open world rpg fantasy rpg that that is being made


3:18

by one of our two studios the studio in warsaw and the dying light team the core dying


3:24

light team is a team that's based in broadsword and but we also have another studio in


3:29

warsaw uh quite big in size which is working on the on the other project i


3:35

have just mentioned the team is kinda getting closer and closer to revealing the game more


3:41

officially but as you can imagine this is something i can really go much into and then spill any beans but


3:48

let me just tell you this is really something unique this is a very interesting project


3:53

and i would love to be a part of that team um aside from that aside from working on post lounge for dying lights


4:00

to stay human and the new project we are also slowly starting to think about


4:05

next project for our core virtual studio um but as you can imagine there are like a


4:11

lot of ideas on the table a lot of possible directions we could go we didn't even start pre-production yet


4:18

i think it this is a moment for us to reorganize ourselves and make sure that


4:24

we are ready for whatever future brings when it comes to post lamp support it's actually again quite an interesting


4:32

proposal for us as developers because we have already announced that we will be supporting the


4:37

game for um five years so this is like a huge campaign that we have already planned


4:44

out and and [Music] make sure that we approach this wisely


4:51

um we have a quite solid plan for the whole five years we we


4:58

are quite sure and we understand where we want the game to be in that five


5:03

years uh period and but of course the plans for


5:09

the next year maybe the year after that are way more precise actually the first year


5:14

is like very detailed we have already revealed chunks of it but that's not all we will start


5:21

revealing more and more in the upcoming weeks but the thing is that this is actually a


5:27

content that will be very varied very


5:32

distinct quite different from one another because for the first year of post post-lung support of dying that's


5:38

just a human we want to experiment with different forms and different ideas and


5:44

basically try any crazy idea that that we have come up so far to see what works with the community what community


5:50

expects come on let's talk a little bit uh about the dying light too and then


5:57

this project has been in development for a while there were a lot of things implemented there and the game is huge


6:03

in size and scope and the amount of stuff there um i want to ask you a question so


6:11

what were kind of like the main tools technologies and also specialists that were key for


6:18

the production of this amazing open world that you've created like i'm talking about procedural


6:24

generation or maybe some you know texturing tools or anything that was kind of essential we're trying


6:31

to highlight the things that kind of in the avant-garde of the game development and help build not only the


6:39

current games but also the future games so it would be nice to hear your opinion okay so perhaps i'm not the best person


6:45

to ask because as a game designer i don't really work much with automatization tools and the procedural


6:52

generation of of of content but of course we were using uh systems like that we are fortunate


6:58

enough to be able to work with our own engine which is called sea engine and this is an engine we have built


7:04

purposeful on purpose specifically for the games we want to build as a company techland as a


7:11

developer have said it internally this is our internal strategy that we want to focus on first person open world games


7:18

we believe in those kinds of games because we believe that those games offer you the the highest possible level of immersion


7:26

it's an open world game it's full of immersive elements full of of of sandbox


7:32

elements that you all experience with your own eyes because it's first person perspective


7:37

so um it also allows us to create this this graphical fidelity that that we feel will be important for


7:44

immersion in open world games but in in in games that we want to build so the


7:49

c engine is an engine built specifically for this but we have also like a part of it uh


7:55

like a huge chunk of it is something that we are calling maybe not the most fanciest of names


8:02

because we call it the city builder but this is actually our automatization tool that allows us to


8:09

create and iterate on the on the environment and the fabric of environment and the playable space that


8:17

our environment is very easily very quickly and very swiftly the thing is that we have named it city


8:23

builder because we have developed it as we started working on language to stay human which was a game that was supposed


8:30

to take place in an urban enviro environment but


8:36

then we moved to the other project i mentioned before which is actually not all about cities it's it's a fantasy


8:42

game so as you can imagine that the environment is drastically different to what we have in dying light too but


8:49

we have also managed to make this tool allow us to speed up the process of creating the


8:56

fantasy world of the other games so maybe the name city builder is not not the best anymore but i i think we


9:02

decided not to spend too much time coming up with fancy name we just wanted to have a tool that works and tool that


9:09

that makes our processes faster so what it does it allows you to create cities


9:14

or other environment using smaller blocks buildings even smaller ones like specific like elements of buildings um


9:22

and then iterate easily and change that easily with a partial push of a button


9:27

with a like a move over of a mouse of a computer mouse and this is definitely something that helped us to to


9:34

to make our work on dying lights to stay human faster especially that it also


9:40

understands uh some of the gameplay rules that we have in the game so so not only the environment created with the


9:46

city builder looked nice and then was creating like this illusion of of real city fabric but


9:53

also was considering all of the rules that we have in our traversal system parkour system with measurements with


10:00

the differences of hate etc etc so so definitely this is this is this this is


10:07

like our baby that helped us a lot over the over the process and when it comes to especially citing


10:13

um it's kind of hard to say but because i i i would bet that


10:19

for every aaa game developer everyone is basically looking for everyone everyone is looking for the


10:25

best possible programmers for the best possible artists for the best possible level designers game designers so it's


10:32

the same with us like we are on the market for um for for the best specialists out there thankfully with


10:38

the success of dying like to stay human this is something we can kind of use to


10:43

to to invite more people into our studio and this is also something that we are doing at this time uh where we want our


10:50

team to grow we don't want it to grow to be too big we don't want it to become this mega studio mega corporation that


10:58

is kind of hard to manage both in terms of of uh production of a game development of a


11:03

game but also in terms of those like softer hr elements and


11:09

i think we are quite happy with with the size that we have right now currently at the studio we have about


11:16

let's say 450 people we want to grow the number a little bit maybe to 500 people


11:22

this is i think this is the the the rough estimate of what we want to have internally as a core part of our verso


11:30

and virtual studio combined so tell us a little bit about the kind of


11:36

recruiting market in poland i know that it's extremely competitive because there is like a lot of


11:42

very good studios that are producing aaa titles there how do you attract


11:49

new people to the studio do you use your brand the game because we had


11:55

this we have the saying that the developers are still gamers and they usually want to work


12:01

on a game that they actually want to play do you use some other elements like you


12:07

know a better office or maybe insurance like what are the things that help you attract more specialists


12:14

so again maybe i'm not not the best person to answer maybe you should get someone for for from hr for this


12:21

interview but but of course i i also see things and experience things and as a


12:26

lead game designer i'm also involved in uh recruitment of new game designers so


12:31

like i kind of i think i can answer your question quite uh


12:36

thoroughly and and and make it quite factual so for us i think


12:41

the most important thing is definitely the the projects that we are working on i


12:47

think in the triple a space it's very very hard to compete in terms of salary


12:52

or in terms of benefits because every top-notch studio out there offers


12:58

basically a very similar level of benefits and


13:04

gratification for work so so definitely what you can do to excite people is to


13:10

present them that you are working on a exciting game an exciting element of a game or maybe


13:17

you are working in a um in a studio that it's priced and praised as a studio and


13:23

respected as a studio and i think with dying guide one and dying light too uh we have uh also


13:31

uh we have proven ourselves as being one of the top developers in the world dying like to stay human as i said is a


13:38

successful game so it's also make makes things easier for us but of course i understand this is this


13:45

i think every one of us understand you are only as good as your last project so you need to hire the best people to


13:51

prove yourself again and i hope we will do that um with with


13:57

the with the next one but definitely what we have managed to create at techland is is an amazing


14:03

culture of our studio and i think this is this is something that um personally but i think no matter who you


14:10

ask from techland you will hear them saying the same thing that the biggest asset of our studio is the


14:15

people that are working here because everyone is passionate everyone is creative i think everyone says the same thing


14:22

probably but really this is this is a huge pleasure to be work to be working in such an environment like every


14:29

meeting is is extremely creative full of goodwill for full of um


14:36

something quite magical like i i i came to techland from uh


14:41

game dev industry as well game industry as well i was working in uh in the gaming media i had some other job


14:48

experiences as well but nowhere else i was


14:53

feeling experiencing the same level of companionship and the


15:00

openness towards other your and your your work colleagues as as


15:05

as as it is here in techland so [Music] the people of techland are just amazing


15:12

so so definitely this is something that helps and this also helps in terms of the of uh recruitment because people


15:19

recommend our studio to one another and and this is also like


15:25

a a good advantage in recruitment i think this is this is something that can


15:30

be observed in a lot of other studios like um the specialist are spreading to


15:36

different places one studio or another and if they feel that there's something good going


15:42

at where they are they they they recommend that place to their friends and we see that a lot in


15:47

tech land as well do you guys work a lot with local schools like do you have


15:54

internships for you know younger specialists or somebody who's just beginning well of course we do but this became


16:01

quite difficult in the recent months because of the covet pandemic so like it's only recently that we started kind


16:08

of uh reigniting those those programs and uh and but but before pandemic we were


16:16

frequenting uh um job fairs and meetings of students in in


16:22

uh technical universities in brussels and generally in poland so so we are also


16:28

present on all game dev conferences in poland and not only in poland so so


16:34

i think everyone hopes that with the pandemic slowly ending or like getting calmer let's say


16:42

we will be able to get back with full steam to those kinds of activities


16:48

so let's talk a little bit about the dying light too so i personally am a big fan of the first one i played like the


16:54

hell out of that one i'm i'm still to kind of go into full speed into the sequel because i'm


17:02

playing eldon dream right now so i need to finish that and then i need to go so i have a i have a reason and my


17:09

question is like we when we see a game kind of finished we don't see a lot of things and challenges


17:16

that were happening behind the scenes can you tell us a little bit about some of the kind of most challenging


17:23

decisions or you know just you know boundaries and challenges that you had to go through to


17:29

make sure that the game is at the quality uh and the size that you want it to be


17:35

okay so i think the biggest risk definitely the biggest risk that we took with the project was


17:41

approaching the sequel in such a


17:48

i would say maybe maybe it's not unorthodox but in such an ambitious and brave way so we had


17:55

i think we have locked down the formula of what dying light is


18:00

as a game with the first one we have defined its core gameplay pillars which is first person parkour traversal which


18:07

is first person brutal melee combat which is day and night cycle that changes the rules of gameplay and we had


18:15

we had all of this in the first game and we had it working we have polished that formula quite well with the post on


18:21

support so perhaps we should go the easy route and just kind of repeat the same thing


18:27

with the second one but we have decided to add another gameplay pillar to dying light to the human which is choices and


18:34

consequences we wanted to create a game where player has this a similar level of


18:40

player agency and player expression in game play as in narrative general


18:45

narrative and this was definitely the biggest risk because as teclan we didn't work much


18:51

with non-linear narratives before and with environments that you could change


18:56

with your decisions and uh um generally a set up an environment a


19:03

combinations of factors that can make your game having quite a lot of different


19:08

combinations with affect the gameplay and narrative at the same time and i think this was also the biggest


19:15

challenge for us the biggest change for us was to kind of design our own approach to choices and


19:22

consequences there are quite a few games out there that try to play with similar concepts but i


19:28

think we had to find our own way to work with that like methodologies that will allow us to


19:35

make sure that we understand what a good choice is what kind of a consequence is an interesting consequence for the


19:40

players and also on the technical side it was quite difficult for us and maybe even a


19:45

little surprising and how much more work we need to put into


19:50

polishing and testing content which can have so many different states with dying light one we were basically


19:57

just testing one game in a way we were just testing a game that can could be played only in


20:03

one direction in in in buying like two and only in one


20:08

environment really in line like to stay human the directions you can take as a players


20:13

are way more varied and also the environments in which all of this happens can have different states and


20:20

and actually being able to manage all of this and make sure that the quality is there that


20:25

was the biggest challenge during the whole project


20:31

what were the ways that you were kind of making sure that gameplay systems that


20:36

you created work well within these new environments and


20:43

inside this idea that you can make a lot of different choices how do you how do you test it how do you


20:50

tweak it what are the things that you maybe decided to change or alter in order for it to kind of make


20:57

sure that you know that some gameplay mechanics doesn't ruin the bigger idea


21:02

that you had there actually that's quite a difficult question to answer because um


21:10

there is no magic formula like the only thing that you can apply to to this kind of problem is to just


21:16

test the hell out of your game and just test it in all possible variations and


21:22

make sure that it works uh with a very strict back reporting process and


21:28

with a very strict approach to to to solving those bugs and then issues that arise um


21:35

in terms of of of i'm not sure if i'm able to point to any


21:40

specific like thing that we had to change or or create in a very specific way to to


21:48

to make all of this work of course what helped us was applying modularity to some of our for


21:55

example visual design so we could create structures that can


22:01

share a similar foundation similar base but have different attachments on top of


22:06

on top of it which ended up in those buildings looking different and having a different


22:12

mood and different theme and different visual aesthetics but but those are just in a way those


22:17

are just uh quite regular solutions to similar problems that we just had to use and


22:24

mass and apply and mask to all of the problems that we were facing so there is no magic formula it's just hard work


22:30

generally as in all game dev people often think that game development is like


22:35

easy the best job in the world because the only thing you do you just play games every every single day for the


22:41

whole day it's not like that it's actually quite hard it's one of the like from from the


22:46

from the jobs i know from the professions i know is one of the hardest but having said that it's also one of


22:53

the best because the feeling that you get when you are able to create something when you are when you are able to create this virtual world see it work


23:01

make it work as you want it to work and then you release it and people enjoy it that's really a huge accomplishment and


23:07

something that really gives a lot of energy and and and good


23:12

things to you as a person as a professional timon since we kind of touched on the


23:18

topic of testing there is also this idea of play tests in in the marketing kind of


23:26

way right so you have focus groups and you play with them and so on and um


23:31

they say that mike tyson wants that and everybody has a plan and until they're


23:36

hit in the face and my question for you is did you feel the same kind of hit in the


23:44

face when players first started playing your game because it's usually i know


23:49

like for in in the game development circles it never goes according to plan and everything is kind of like so how


23:56

did you work with them in those directions definitely that's true that what you said is true like that in game


24:02

development nothing goes according to plan like you can have the best design on paper but as soon as you implement it


24:09

or even as soon as you try to implement it you see that there's like this mountain of problems that you have to


24:15

overcome and when you implement it and people in play tests playing this you see that there's like an even bigger


24:22

mountain of of player feedback that you have to consider but i don't see this as as being hit in


24:28

the face like as a game developer you are used to this so much that you don't even register this so it's not like this


24:33

this this big blow that knocks you out it's just like a regular slap on the


24:38

face so so of course we had that like the first the first playtest that we did


24:44

um actually they were quite encouraging but the list of problems that were listed


24:50

after after the first session of play tests was so huge so long that we kind of got a


24:55

little uh maybe not depressed but like oh so now there's this much of work


25:01

we need to do uh i think one of the one of the maybe the closest to what you what you


25:09

are asking about was one of the play tests we did meet last year when we realized that


25:16

people are finding our combat to be maybe a little too too too easy maybe a


25:23

little too much on the easy side maybe a little bit too repetitive and this kind of surprised us because we


25:29

we felt that we have it we have it good that we know what we're doing and we knew it


25:35

we found out that we knew what we were doing we just didn't we just kind of lose focus on upkeeping the balance the


25:42

like very small tweaks in parameters of what was happening so thankfully when we received that


25:47

feedback it was actually good that we have received that feedback and we did those play tests because we were able to


25:52

turn around this within a very short amount of time like maybe two or three weeks so then we released the the


26:00

re re did read the play tests um as i said after three weeks i think or


26:05

maybe a month and the results were completely different way way bigger so


26:11

so if you're asking me about something like this i think that was a moment that was kinda like a little surprising which


26:17

was the moment where we left our guard down but aside from that of course when you do play tests it's


26:25

it's not that easy to get good scores but that's good i think that's actually something that also tells a lot about


26:30

our industry in general that people are expecting more and more and higher quality and


26:37

if you want to play in the top league you just have to to be prepared to to spend resources and


26:43

time and a lot of effort to deliver that level of quality that people expect


26:49

timon this is an excellent kind of bridge into my next question so we often


26:54

talk about kind of players expectations and what do they want to get


27:00

from the game um how do you work with that like do you just follow the


27:07

trends that are out there and just trying to build on top of them or do you


27:13

feel kind of the courage and you feel confident that the things that you are introducing


27:19

is are going to be the the new norm and kind of build on top of that because


27:25

i i'm not going to kind of name point fingers or name name but there are


27:30

some examples when like there are companies that don't really follow the you know the beaten pass and they


27:37

are super successful and at the same time there are companies that are


27:42

very much into like listening to the players you know following making life


27:47

kind of more easier for for the player to make sure that it's not it's more like a movie i would say like


27:54

the the game is more like a cinematic experience and they are constantly being


28:00

critiqued in the community for you know kind of being super repetitive let's say this


28:06

way so what's your what's what's your take on it how does teclon kind of work in that so both


28:12

both me personally and i think as as a studio techland as a studio we i think we are quite confident about that about


28:19

our ideas but also and i think that's maybe even a stronger part of our design


28:24

process we are very confident about the relation that we have built with our community


28:30

so yes we listen to our community and i i i don't feel it is anything that that


28:37

game developers should be ashamed of it's good to listen to your community it's good to listen to what people


28:43

expect from your game the thing is that you have to learn how to create this communication which is


28:48

really direct really honest and allows you to filter what's really important so


28:54

um both me personally and generally the whole team and like there's a dedicated team that


29:01

focuses on contacts contacts with the community community management but also generally having a discussion with


29:07

community we we try to be as active as possible and we try to


29:14

not only like gather all of the opinions and feedbacks that are left


29:20

on twitter reddit or whatever but we also try to engage with those gamers and try to understand


29:26

what either are they expressing the the feedback that they are expressing is it really


29:32

did they really expressed it precisely is it really something they they asking for is like


29:38

an uh like an old metaphor about henry ford that if if he would give people


29:44

what they asked him for he would give them like a metal horse and but he gave him a car


29:49

because because that's what he understood from the from the feedback this is how he understood


29:55

what what people wanted because he was able to have a direct conversation with with his customers and i think we try to


30:02

do the same uh we are not ashamed i think we are even quite proud about


30:08

like being open with our community and listening to the community feedback of course this doesn't mean that we are


30:14

steered by like by um i don't know like


30:20

voting forms and and whatever people say online we approach that data as a data we


30:28

approach this quite scientifically we try to analyze it as as best as we can


30:34

but yes our decisions are based or are using community feedback as


30:40

a we're using this as a part of our decision making process because i believe this makes our decisions more


30:46

informed i thank you i think it's a wonderful answer because truly it is impossible to kind of make a


30:53

game that everybody likes and if you listen to community too much you might get in trouble but at the same


30:59

time if you don't listen to them you're nobody's going to buy the game exactly what also helps us is that dying


31:06

light 2 is the second game in the franchise so we have kind of grew with our community since the first one we


31:13

have a lot of trusted community members which which we can ask directly basically even give


31:19

them the build before their lease and ask them what they what they feel about it and have a very meaningful


31:25

conversation about about what we are trying to do with the game so so definitely this helps


31:31

so timon i want to kind of come back a little bit to this creative process and the


31:37

construction of the game if you will usually in the perception


31:42

of kind of the general audiences there are two parties inside every game studio there are the the coders the programmers


31:50

and then there's the artists who are kind of creating the vision and so on so


31:56

where do you feel game designers uh stand in this uh


32:02

you know in this territory are they more with more technical people or are they more with more kind of creative


32:09

crowd that just bounces ideas so i think game designers have actually


32:14

the worst job on the on the on the on the project because uh you could say that game designers they


32:22

they don't they don't know anything like if you are a coder you can code the game if you are an artist you can create this


32:28

amazing piece of art like this object or or texture or whatever if you are a game designer you can only create like a


32:36

basically like a excel spreadsheet and maybe a word document and and that's it so


32:42

you really have to work hard and you really have to prove yourself that of the of the team


32:49

and you really have to gain that respect to be able to lead smaller


32:54

interdisciplinary teams working on specific features so so uh


33:00

of course i was saying this half jokingly because as i said before i believe i have the best job in the world


33:07

but but um i think generally this is a call to all


33:15

game designers to focus on the professionalism of the work


33:21

on using professional methods and growing professionally as a game designer and being able to


33:27

to use those approaches those methods those those those professional tips and tricks to to gain


33:35

respect within a bigger team going back to your question


33:41

actually i think it's a good thing that designers are kind of in between designers one for me one of the


33:48

tasks of a good game designer is to actually be the the bridge between the artists and the and the programmers


33:55

being a person that understands both sides and be able to talk with both


34:00

sides and come up with designs that are may be some word are


34:08

okay good to work for both artists and the programmers and that allow both artists and programmers


34:16

understand the essence of the future that they are working on and work together on it and add to it not just


34:23

push it in in one direction or another and thankfully at techland we focus on


34:29

features working quite in a quite interdisciplinary way so uh for every


34:35

bigger feature there's like a smaller kind of strike team or a smaller team that's that consists of animators 3d


34:42

artists concept artists programmers basically anyone that's required for the future ethics artists so


34:48

i think we kind of know how to work with one another and as i said the the best thing about tech and is how much we like


34:55

one another so it's actually quite easy like it's it's even if we spec speak different


35:00

languages and we have to use different metaphors and different


35:07

again language words to express our needs from a pitch feature our requests


35:12

for our future our vision for our feature um i think being able to


35:18

speak openly and having that that honest communication within those interdisciplinary teams definitely helps


35:25

to deliver the the features that we need to deliver so um


35:31

to kind of wrap it up i have kind of like this final question about usually we ask people where where to


35:39

kind of how to get into game development where do you learn more about video game development


35:45

i think over the last you know 10 15 years there are much more schools right now that kind of


35:52

teach you how to build games you can build projects together and actually finish


35:59

finish some kind of little prototype of vertical slice and so on but um


36:04

where do you actually learn game design it seems like this is such an elusive thing and


36:11

you know when you look at any great game designers usually they just start with a pencil and a sheet of paper and they


36:18

start drawing something or creating these little labyrinths or maps and then kind of go from there


36:24

how would you recommend approaching this where would you suggest going if somebody is very passionate about being


36:30

a game designer how do you learn to build games okay so actually i think thankfully there are quite a lot of


36:37

universities and other schools that focus on game design and try to teach this


36:42

this this discipline within the broader game development spectrum


36:47

so definitely that's a good start but not everyone has access to this type of school not everyone can go to this type


36:53

of school for me it was actually quite easily but maybe there's something universal about my story which


36:59

is quite personal but as i said i was a game i was working in game media for


37:05

quite a long time i was a game journalist so i was able to play a lot of games


37:13

over the over my career and i was able to learn how to analyze those games and i


37:19

think this is a a good direction for someone who is interested into game design to actually play as many games as


37:26

he as he can and try to break it down into pieces and analyze


37:31

why specific elements of the game are working and like this and what the game designers wanted to achieve with with


37:39

specific decisions they took also try to kind of reverse engineer


37:44

the design process the decision process that made them implement features in a


37:49

specific way how the features implemented in the game add to the overall experience so


37:55

definitely this is something to do trying to break down games into pieces trying to analyze them trying to understand why they are built like this


38:02

um also trying to ask more specific questions like what's the progression system for the main character what's the


38:09

progression system for the whole game for the narrative so definitely something like this also look at the


38:15

enemies why are they designed like this what kind of um player abilities do they test


38:21

etc etc etc there are also quite a lot of books on the topic that are quite easily


38:30

available starting with theory of fun and basically there are quite a few dozen of them out


38:35

there so so so this is something to to try as well


38:41

one thing that i'm also using because i'm also running like a game design workshops and usually what we do is we


38:46

start with like a short lecture explaining the basics of


38:52

game design but the next thing we do is we try to create


38:58

a board game based on an actual computer game on an actual video game and this is


39:04

also a very good exercise to analyze the original video game and


39:09

understand why it's been like that what's the essence of the game what's the gameplay loop of that game


39:15

why why what are the gameplay pillars for for that for that game for that product and then try to translate it


39:21

into the into the rules and the the construction the design of a board game so also try


39:28

to to participate in excite exercises like this but yes as you said the game design is


39:35

is actually quite an elusive art and it's i personally my


39:40

professional quest and i hope i will achieve it one day is to actually be able to find like a set


39:47

of golden scientific rules for game design that will allow me to apply them to any


39:54

like any design problem and make sure that i i will be able to to solve it i'm


40:00

not sure if it exists but i'm still looking for it so so of course if i find it if i find the golden rules of game


40:06

design i will like publish it freely for everyone open source for everyone to enjoy


40:12

because i think that would that would make um it would make life easier for quite a lot


40:17

of people out there because um in one of the of the of the slides of


40:23

the presentation i was giving at the uh one of the game conferences i was kind of using this picture to present what a


40:30

game for what uh how does the work for a game designer looks and it's a person that's glued


40:37

sticked to a rocket that's about to blow off and i think that's very well speaks of of what game


40:43

designers are doing at their job because they never they never know what they're doing they never know what to expect but they have


40:50

to like prepare themselves for everything and make sure that they will be able to handle the situation and and


40:56

and uh design a game such big as as big as lying right to stay human so


41:03

i'm not sure if that's if that's encouraging but if it's not then please everyone let me


41:09

encourage you to try to get into game dev if you have just a slight interest in the


41:15

in the industry because this is really one of the best industries that you can work on at this time and one of the best jobs


41:22

that you can have so so so like don't hesitate don't get don't be afraid


41:28

don't uh don't let nothing stop you try to join the game industry try as much as


41:34

you can and hopefully you will be part of the industry one day and be able to create amazing interactive


41:40

experiences for every gamer out there to enjoy all right thank you timon this was very


41:46

encouraging and i want to say goodbye and also to say good luck on your quest to find


41:52

those golden rules to make sure that everything works out all right thank you so much it was very fun talking to you


41:58

and we'll leave the links to the game and to the site web the site of the company in the description thank you so


42:05

much thanks so much bye-bye thanks for enjoying another episode of the 80 level roundtable podcast


42:12

check out upcoming episodes on the 80 level website at 80.lv join our career site at 80.lv


42:20

rfp and share our podcast with friends and on your social networks


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[Music] you

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