Each month, Forever Interactive is proud to showcase one of our outstanding developers! These members of our development team go above and beyond to ensure our
titles receive the most love they can before we send them out to you, the players! This month we are proud to shine our spotlight on Eldon Kurth!
What is your position with Forever Interactive?
I am the Lead Designer and Particle Effects Artist on the Visions of Zosimos Project.
What does your position entail on a day to day basis?
Checking emails, approving designs, solving design impediments, some Agile Management and Game Design or Special Effects Design when I am not bogged down by managing the other designers.
When did you start working at Forever Interactive?
I started in the 9th year of the 3rd millennium in the month of September.
Where did you receive your education?
I took all the Art classes I could at Marathon High School and went on to study Electromechanical Technology (Industrial Maintenance) at Northcentral College in Wausau, WI. After 3 years in that industry I decided I wasn’t on the right path and began taking online classes at Westwood College for my Bachelors in Game Art and Design. I began working for FI soon after as a Designer for an unnamed project. I dropped out of Westwood for some personal and financial reasons but continued to work at FI. After a year hiatus I began looking into alternative schools I could attend, and choose to move to Milwaukee to attend Milwaukee Area Technical College to Study Computer Simulation and Gaming with a focus on Game Design and Project Management. With so much available to learn there, I may never leave!.
Who was your biggest influence in becoming an game designer?
On top of being an avid video gamer I am big tabletop player and really took to Dungeon Mastering these games fairly quickly. I loved it. When I decided to become a game developer I had looked at what I liked to do and where I wanted to be. I realized that I wanted to be passionate about what I was doing and not just going into a 9-5 job. I wanted a different level of challenge than what my current job was providing at the time. So I decided I would give game design a chance and if it didn’t suit me I would find something else that would work, probably some engineering degree or start a green company. Very glad I haven’t had the reason to look back.
Which field of game design is your most passionate field?
I am not sure, honestly. There is so much I have done while at FI and now at MATC. Everything from Lore Writing to Level Design and Core Mechanics to Character Physical Descriptions and even dived into Particle Effects Design. The real problem I have is I haven’t really broken down game design into different sections and put myself somewhere. I enjoy doing it all. I guess the best answer I can give is Particle Effects Design. Our Deckbuilder interface has been the most satisfying so far of all the design work I have done.
Which scripting languages do you know, and do you feel it is important for a game designer to have scripting knowledge?
Can you tell us a little bit about your work flow?
For managing the design team, it always begins by checking our forums and emails for pending approvals, new content and any problems which may have arisen. I also setup Design meetings to help keep everyone who is involved with the core design to ensure they are all on the same page. We also use this time to solve major problems.
For me, design is a process of always asking myself several questions about the feature I am designing. What kind of experience do I want the player to get from this Feature? What value does it add to the game? After that it is getting the design onto paper and coming up with descriptions, flowcharts and references for the design. I refine the design from there using feedback I get from my comrades and go back and forth until we have a polished design for that feature.
What would you say is the best part of working with Forever Interactive?
I really like working at FI. The people are awesome and the work is rewarding and plentiful. I think the best part of the company right now is the team’s creativity, skill and determination to complete VoZ. Despite everyone working part time on the project, we have so much done and it is really starting to shape into an awesome product which we can’t wait to release.
Do you have any advice for aspiring designers who are looking to get into the game development industry?
I would say you have to understand a few core aspects of being a designer: