Tobias Elleboe Cordsen
MSc in Games. Game Designer at the game company Kiloo.
Tobias. I am 29 years old, born and raised in Hillerød, and trying to climb rank in Dota 2 ^_ ~ to no avail. I now live in Aarhus and work as a game designer. In my spare time I play tennis and learn Japanese. My uni life started with software technology at DTU 2004-2006 because I believed that a programming background was a good approach for working with games and because it would probably be difficult to start out as a designer from the beginning. In 2006 I found medialogy at Aalborg University in Copenhagen where the range of subjects was more varied and offered more opportunities relevant to the gaming industry. My time at DTU gave me one year's credit transfer, so in 2008 I had a bachelor's degree in medialogy and began my studies at ITU where I graduated early 2013.
I work as a game designer with the gaming company Kiloo. Few people know them by name, but they're behind the monster hit Subway Surfers. I've previously - before I became Student Guidance Counsellor at ITU - had a student job with the company ITE, who created the Danish screen charmer Hugo the troll, and later with NDS when they acquired ITE. I had expected to look for jobs both in Denmark and abroad - the Danish gaming industry is small and game designer ads few and far between - but a while after I graduated I saw an ad from Kiloo and gave it a shot. It brought me here to Aarhus and although I like it I must admit that I’d imagined I would end up somewhere more exotic than Jutland when I had to venture out.
I work with the rules that define the game and in the end shape the user's gaming experience. You can compare it to the writer creating a story by selecting and combining words - in the case of the game designer it's rules and numbers. ITU equipped me for working iteratively and with a number of different professional groups and different people because of ITU's less rigid admission requirements for applicants to master's programmes. I've done a lot of games in my studies and it has been rewarding to have worked and focused so much on how to systematically grow gaming ideas and develop early prototypes. Outside the university's walls it's essential to be able to generate new ideas and game concepts so we always have something in the pipeline when our current projects launch.
You have to really want to do games. It's not enough to play FIFA or Halo and think "I'll just nab a game design programme and make a big hit too". Believe me. Because there will be others who want it more than you and in Denmark gaming jobs don't grow on trees. Also; be versatile. You can learn something from both good and bad games, from the digital and the analogue world - and make sure you can prototype your ideas. We all have ideas, they don't count for much on their own.«
I've always wanted to work with games. I always played as a kid, played board games with my family and later computer games with my friends. From an early age I was interested in IT and wanted to work with it. Step by step that idea has been become more specifically about games as I realised that it was a possible career path. I think it was in upper secondary school that I found out it was possible to study games at ITU, so when I was done there the question was which bachelor would provide me with the best foundation for a gaming career and qualify me for studying games at ITU.