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  • Writer's pictureOlivier Miller

"I want to be a Game Designer"

I have always been a game designer. While I may be taking advantage of the low barrier of entry that title has, I’m comfortable labeling myself as such.

As a child, I would annoy my father with (what I considered to be) more enjoyable versions of the board and card games we would play together, rule-book be damned.

In middle school, I was thrust into video game design thanks to a competition my school had organized. Once I had wrapped up my first game - I made a second and with them secured the first and second place of the competition based on a popular vote.

First Two video Games
Last known footage of those two games immortalized on printed a t-shirt - Note the inventive naming and original inspiration

While Living in Paris I would see my extended family more regularly and even though I am the eldest, I try to be a fun play partner for my youngest cousins and try to one patient enough to put up with their (appropriately) childish shenanigans.

I found that I could pull their attention away from rough housing (and pulling on my beard) by playing games with them. When they got bored I would come up with new rules and higher stakes to keep them invested, and as long as I kept things interesting (and didn’t win too much) I could keep them occupied (and my beard safe). This led me to start thinking about games again, developing new elements, implementing new mechanics and making sure everything fits together.

Playing Algarade with the cousins
Keeping those idle hands busy - 2019 edition

This new found motivation helped me get a job at a large gaming company, albeit as a tester, and move back to the US.

When I was first able to return home, I had a concept ready to play with the cousins that could pair their two favorite activities, games and fighting. I had my family help me create the first prototype by filling out blank flash cards with the card information. Shortly after playing first round I realized that there was some potential for this game, pending a few tweaks and printed cards. And the first prototype version of Algarade saw print within the next few months.

Today I have received the final prototype and my focus has shifted to marketing, crowd-sourcing strategies and every next step after that. I have several other game ideas lined up and I am on my way to making this hobby into a career.

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