Monday, July 13, 2015

Robin Hunicke

Name: Robin Hunicke
Twitter: @hunicke
Gender: Female
Nationality: USA
Birth date: 15/03/1973
Title: CEO
Company: Funomena
Some games that you have worked on: 

The Sims2
Boom Blox 1&2

1-What did motivate you to become a game developer? 

I wanted to build programs that told stories. I started off as an artist and aspiring poet, became an AI researcher, and eventually began working in Games because I loved the people, projects and potential of the medium.

2-What does inspire you creatively? 

Film, food, friends, fashion... lots of things. :D

I love living. When I need to think big, it's a trip, a hike, a long bike ride or time in the garden. When I need to laugh and brainstorm, it's cooking dinner and drinking with friends, or camping and singing around a fire. When I need to believe that we can do anything, it's out to dance, see music or catch a film. When I need to feel introspective - curling up with a great book or taking a trip to the museum. And when I need to remember why I do it all - I spend quality time with a great game. :D

3-If you had unlimited resources to make any game you wanted, what kind of game would that be? 

I am making the games I want to make right now - for which I am very grateful.

4-What was the biggest challenge of your career? In which game? How did you overcome it? 

My largest challenge, always, is accepting my limitations and taking the time I need to see the big picture. It's very easy to get lost in the details of work, problems at hand. I will forever struggle with developing the strength to step away from my "to do" list.

5-What do you usually do for raising the possibility of success in your projects? 

I talk openly about our dreams, challenges and ask for help and support. Being honest about how small and fragile Funomena is can be humbling - but it's essential, I think, to connect with our future fans.

6-What is the most helpful piece of constructive criticism you ever received? 

Listen more, talk less.

7-What are the advantages/downsides to working in games?

Games are an interdisciplinary endeavor that require constant problem solving and thinking on your feet. That's the core attraction and challenge for me. :D

8-What is your best advice to a beginning game developer?

Be honest. Don't make promises you can't keep. If you say you will do something - do it. If you can't get something done, admit it and re-negotiate your commitment. Meeting the commitments you make is key in building trust with everyone around you.

9-Which skills are the most important for a game developer in your field/position?

Listening and letting people come to solutions on their own. Most of the time, there are good ideas inside people's heads... you just need to encourage them to come out. This is true for producers, designers and business leaders.

10-If I want to become a great dev in your field, what games should I play, what books should I read, and whose work should I follow?

See my answer about inspiration. Just live a full life and follow your heart. Have friends and relationships. Be loved and love others. The rest follows.

11-What changes do you want to see in the game industry?

I want more people from different/diverse cultures and backgrounds and perspectives to be successful making commercial game and interactive experiences. Diversity is the key to reaching more people, and is a virtuous cycle of expansion.

Bonus: Tell us a funny story from your adventures in game development.

A long time ago I was still in graduate school, studying robots, when I met Will Wright. After a talk he gave, I waited to talk to him and peppered him with questions. After patiently enduring me for about 10 minutes, he said... "You sure sound like a game designer."


Sometimes, your curiosity and passion will make you look dorky, act silly or over-excited... but it's not always a bad thing to be enthusiastic. I left graduate school to work on The Sims2 and it changed my life. Be excited and ok with who you are. It will take you to amazing places.


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