MSc in Games. Level Designer at Tactile Entertainment.
I’m 27 and come from Romania. I love Copenhagen – except for the weather part. My mom was the one who got me into video games. We used to play Half-Life and Dune together when I was little and she would help me when the levels got too hard. It was a nice bonding activity. My interest for games kept evolving, and now I make games for a living. I still play both digital and board games in my free time – there is a lot to be learned, especially from bad games!
I started interning at Tactile Entertainment in my fourth semester at ITU and when I graduated, I started working here full time as a Level Designer. The company makes casual mobile games, which are games that have fairly simple rules and can be played on the go. I really like working here - people are very open and friendly, and if you have a good idea, you will be heard.
Currently I’m working on a bubble shooter game – the kind of game where you have to shoot down formations of bubbles to make them disappear. I create the layout of the levels and make sure that each level has a clear theme and a nice beginning, middle and end. You have to make sure that you are fair to the players and communicate clearly to them what they have to do.
Maintaining the levels is also a big part of the job. We use data analysis to keep an eye on how the games perform and how the players are doing. If a level is too difficult, we go back and rebalance it. I really like paying attention to how players behave and figuring out how to cater to them.
My bachelor’s degree was in psychology, but I have always oriented my studies towards players and video games. So I made the decision to go to Copenhagen to study games. I chose ITU because I liked the curriculum, the teachers and the opportunity to adjust the programme to your own interests. I ended up focusing on both game design and game theory and really appreciated the chance to have a dual specialization. It was a great choice – I loved how ITU encourages group work, and I met good friends there.
You have to be determined. Games are such a rapidly developing medium that you never run out of things to learn. Also: never underestimate the theoretical part. There are people who have much more experience than you who have already invented the wheel. Do your research and learn from what they have done!