The 'Shroom:Issue 105/Fantanoice Interview
G'day 'Shroom peeps, Crocodile Dippy (talk) here with a wonderful special interview for you today! She's a prominent member of our community, particularly on the forums, and her name is Fantanoice (talk)! However, what makes this one special is that Fanta is a qualified game designer and programmer who actively works in the industry, and we've organised this interview to provide some insight into game design studies, job opportunities, the work environment, the processes involved in game development, as well as some fun stuff about her personally to lighten up the mood. While her word is not to be taken as absolute gospel, as every country, every local region within those countries, and every game studio within those regions, is different, but hopefully this will shed some light on some of the hoops you have to jump through to get into game development if that's the field you have your sights set on.
Crocodile Dippy: OK so courteous question! How are you this evening?
That segues somewhat into my next question; how difficult was it for you to find the job you have now? The number of jobs is very limited, as you said, and the competition is a bit daunting.
(Also here's a link to our GGJ game: )
That's not to say further study is pointless. The mentoring and networks you make there are invaluable, though again you have to grab the opportunities that are presented to you. At University you can talk to your tutors, your lecturers, your peers, and just become a massive sponge, soaking up all the knowledge at a rapid pace that would be impossible for someone self-educated. This is worth more than the degree, in my opinion.
One of the best pieces of advice I've ever received (and will also be contentious) was from a past co-worker, which was, “Aim for 51% and spend the rest of the time making something cool.” He now works at Facebook. After having finished my course I would agree with this but only if you're actually doing the 'something cool' and not using it as an excuse to go for the barest minimum. I'd also say you can aim for higher if the extra marks overlap with the 'something cool.'
Also, thinking about sports games and why people play them is interesting, especially as someone who didn't grow up playing them (apart from NBA Live 2003). For instance, I read a comment from a Rugby fan who really wanted to know if our Career Mode would support you sitting on the bench like the real thing. This blew my mind because everything in Game Design school tells you that the player should be in the action all the time. Which is right? Keep the action for the game? Or add the realism for the simulation?
Least favourite is all the added overhead that comes with working on big projects, like making estimates and time management. It's not my strong suit but I'm working on it!
For a more light hearted question, what is your favourite video game and why?
As an adult I still go back to it, still getting lost in the charming world of all the cute animals and interesting-themed worlds. Yeah, Banjo Kazooie is great.
The inverse of the previous question; what is your least favourite video game, and why?
There's also games like Rapelay and Custer's Revenge whose existence disgust me and I refuse to play because of my own morals, but they're a whole other can of worms.
Of those, Persona 5 is the one I'm most excited for. Atlus can always be relied upon to at least be fascinating in their games.
A woman of diverse tastes, Fanta has persevered to get her dream job as a game developer, and has learned many a life lesson along the way. Always eager to broaden her scope and test her skills, Fanta is more than deserving of her place in this industry we hold so dear, and with any luck, she and her team will keep rising up as international stars. Big Ant Studios latest game, Lacrosse 16, will be released in January next year, so look out for that!