Alumni Spotlight – Greg Reisdorf, Designer at Visceral Games, EA

greg-on-dantes-inferno

Company name, your job title, a brief description of your job responsibilities and how long you have worked there.

Hi I’m Greg Reisdorf. I’ve worked at EA for 4 and a half years and I design levels at Visceral Games. Currently I’m working on Dante’s Inferno.

Can you give an example of what you might do on a ‘typical’ day?

On a typical day I usually go through a process of coming up with an idea for an area in a level, implementing the idea, testing it to see if I like it and then making changes accordingly. Once I like the area I show it to my lead.

Can you give an example of something that surprised you about your job when you first started?

When I first started, I was surprised that there is no concrete way for making a game. The industry is still new, so the process for making each game is always different. There’s a lot of creative problem solving both on the design side and also how the design comes to fruition.

Describe your piece of the production cycle. How does what you do move the project forward?

The production cycle starts with what I do. All of the content is created from design – all art assets and engineering code is based on the ideas that we come up with. At the end, we test everything to make sure it all works. We’re the bookends of the production cycle.

How big is the team you are part of for a typical project? What kind of interaction do you have with other team members?

Generally the teams are between 100 – 200 people. I usually talk to everyone while working on the game – animators, designers, engineers and higher ups. There’s a lot of pitching as you try to get your ideas across to everyone else.

What projects have you worked on in the past?

In the past I’ve worked on EA’s Godfather I and II and Knockout Kings 2003. When I had my own company, Blacksmith Studios, I worked on Solterra and GoNinja.

What do you find most rewarding about your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is to see my ideas come to life. I like creating games that will be fun and exciting for people to play.

What advice would you give students preparing for a career as a Game Designer?

The best advice I can give to someone wanting to get into game design is to play a lot of games and make a lot of contacts within the industry. You need to be outgoing, be a storyteller to get your ideas across and be able to live with criticism.

How did Cogswell help prepare you for this career?

Cogswell prepared me for this career by helping me learn the tools that I needed to get an entry level job and being efficient enough to excel. While I was at Cogswell, I started the Game Club which helped me to understand what it’s like to work on a production team. I also took an internship at EA while at Cogswell which helped me out immensely when I went back a few years later for a full time job.

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