Tell us about your role at Nightmarket and how long you’ve been with the company.

I’m a Senior Game Designer at Nightmarket Games, and I’ve been with the company for 5 years! As the senior game designer, I oversee a lot the design department initiatives. I’m constantly looking for ways to help grow both myself and my fellow designers and expand our collective knowledge and understanding of the industry. I’m also slowly taking on more product ownership tasks, and learning the reigns of that job.

What do you love most about your job?

I love working with people from various disciplines and backgrounds. The folks here at Nightmarket all have such differing experiences and sometimes, perspectives! And yet, we’re really open to having conversations about what we can do better, and we want to excel as a team. I look forward to going to work because I like my coworkers haha. This is definitely a people-driven studio.

What are your top games of all times and why?

  1. Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (Gameboy Advance): The game that introduced both video games to me in my youth! I was so impressed with the way interactivity, art, music, and storytelling all came together to create this memorable experience. Since playing this game in my childhood, I knew I wanted to create something that would impart that same sense of wonder and excitement others as KHCoM did for me.
  1. Granblue Fantasy: A beloved mobile RPG, Granblue Fantasy has all the bells and whistles of a maximalist Japanese gacha game. Everything from the art to the UI to the gameplay is over the top and at times, unnecessarily complex, and yet they’ve amassed such a huge following of dedicated players both old and new. I believe this is thanks to the game’s heartfelt storytelling and beloved characters.
  2. Final Fantasy XIV: The inception, fall, and rise of Final Fantasy XIV is something of a legend to me. I admire the development team for overcoming many odds and producing a now-beloved, highly praised MMORPG. They are so involved with their community of players, attentively listening to their feedback, and making changes to address the needs of both newcomers and endgame players. The community itself is also populous and lively, and much of it reflects the messages of kindness and cooperate the game itself tries to teach.
  3. UNO: A classic card game… It’s portable, it’s fluid enough to create your own rules, it’s both fun and rage-inducing… what’s not to love?

What are your hobbies outside of gaming?

I’ve been really into weightlifting! It feels great to get up and move a couple of kilograms after sitting at my desk all day haha. I want to get into powerlifting seriously…

I also enjoy drawing for leisure—I mostly do digital, but sometimes I’ll take out my watercolours and spend a weekend afternoon painting.

Describe your dream project.

My dream project would be a game I create with teammates that share a single vision, with everyone working on an element of the project they’re personally invested in. It could be any genre, but I’ve always imagined the game would be narratively driven.

I think there’s nothing more magical than having a group of people come together to create something epic and memorable. I love how creative we can be, when we’re given the opportunity to put our minds together. Some of the greatest, most heartfelt projects I’ve created were fueled by the team’s collective desire to create a game that meant something personal to us—whether it’s to pursue a career goal, inspired by a personal experience, or it’s simply a shower thought idea.

I want to create a fun game with people who have fun working on it! Teamwork makes the dream work 🙂

What advice do you give for anyone aspiring to get into game development?

A lot of game development is communication—whether that’s with your peers, with management, or stakeholders, or with the players themselves. You should take opportunity you can to work (and communicate!) with people from a wide variety of backgrounds, disciplines, and work styles. Also, to better understand and communicate with your players, you should expose yourself to a variety of different games, both old and new.

The game industry progresses at a neck breaking pace. It’s important to stay aware of industry trends, and keep on top of gaming news (technology, companies, new releases, or otherwise). The belief is that if you don’t do it, someone else will.

Lastly, I think it’s important to maintain your love for games! It’s a tough industry for sure, but I think there are few other industries that can accomplish the things games can do. We can connect people from all around the world with memorable gameplay experiences—what an honour! Find what’s enjoyable and fun for you and you will excel.

What are your core beliefs when it comes to your job?

Communication is key. Oftentimes, conflict stems from misunderstanding. I strive to understand the positions of all my teammates and coming out on top of conflicts better at working together. Good collaboration only happens when we can communicate effectively.

Any parting words?

I’m still learning every day… I feel like I’ll never feel confident in my role as a designer, but I heard that was normal. I’m doing my best, and I hope everyone else is too! Let’s keep our heads up!