Posts Tagged ‘Brenda Romero’

Famed Game Designer, Brenda Romero, Visited Cogswell College

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Yesterday award-winning game designer, artist, writer & creative director, Brenda Romero,  gave her IndieTalk, “Jiro Dreams of Game Design.” The talked was inspired by the movie, “Jiro Dreams of Shushi.”

If you ever wondered what a 3 star Michelin Chef can teach you about game design, well Brenda Romero has an answer. Even if you never wondered – Brenda’s talk was well worth listening to.

Brenda had been making games for Facebook where the mentality was to create minimum viable products. This approach meant that you expected to fix bugs and then add features as you discovered what players really wanted. You did not expect to ship, or strive for, a great game. In the real-world producers don’t say, “let’s make this game great so take all the time you want.” In the real-world the goal is to deliver games on time and on budget.

One of her personal projects was “Trains” – where every single decision mattered as she labored to make a game that was as good as she could make it. She had the luxury of time and never put in something to just to make the game work. She could wait until the right decision appeared.

She wondered what made some things great and others not. Then she came across asparagus – one perfectly prepared, perfectly decorated and perfectly presented plate of asparagus. She realized that a fully designed experience is the foundation of greatness.

Following are some of the things she learned from studying this 3 star group of chefs:

  • Great ideas – you can never rest on your laurels.
  • Great Ingredients – start with the best you can get. You will spend more time managing failures than successes.
  • Think in terms of shipping constantly – great chefs ‘ship’ 10,000 items during their lifetime while a game designer may only ship 100. Polish and perfect every step of the way.
  • Consistency – a chef must deliver every night.

Brenda will be presenting her talk at the upcoming GDC next spring.

Brenda Romero to Speak at Cogswell

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Cogswell College is pleased to welcome award-winning game designer, artist, writer and creative director, Brenda Romero, to campus on Thursday, November 14. During this student only event she will be giving her IndieCade talk entitled:  “Jiro Dreams of Game Design” from 12:30 to 1:30 in the Dragon’s Den.

During her presentation, Brenda will talk about the traits that three-star chefs share and the lessons game designers can learn from them. From early on in the careers, three-star Michelin chefs – a rarified 106 in the world at present – have a nearly tyrannical hold on their kitchens. They insist on perfection in every ingredient, in temperature, in presentation and in accompaniment. From the first to the last impression, every part of a perfect culinary experience is an obsession so many chase and so few achieve. Interestingly enough, it is something they do because they are driven to, not for money or fame, but because of the pursuit of perfection itself. It is a passion many of us share and struggle to achieve in a world where shipping a game often means compromising on our ideal vision.

About Brenda Romero

Brenda entered the video game industry in 1981 at the age of 15. She is the longest continuously serving woman in the video game industry. Brenda worked with a variety of digital game companies as a game designer or creative director, including Atari, Sir-tech Software, Electronic Arts and numerous companies in the social and mobile space. She is presently the Program Director for the UC Santa Cruz Master’s in Games + Playable Media and the Co-founder, Chief Operating Officer of Loot Drop, a social and mobile game company. Brenda serves on the advisory board of the International Center for the History of Electronic Games at the Strong Museum of Play and also works with John Romero and The Romero Archives to record game designers discussing their game design process for historical archiving.

She is the recipient of the 2013 Women in Games Lifetime Achievement Award awarded by Microsoft and previously was a nominee in Microsoft’s 2010 Women in Games game design award. Romero was also named one of Forbes “12 Women in Gaming to Watch” in 2013 and Woman of the Year by Charisma+2 Magazine in 2010, one of the top 20 most influential women in the game industry by Gamasutra.com in 2008 and one of the 100 most influential women in the game industry by Next Generation magazine in 2007. Nerve magazine also called her one of the 50 artists, actors, authors, activists and icons who are making the world a more stimulating place.