Intern Highlight: Nick Galjanic
Nick Galjanic, Technical Game Design Intern
What made you want to work at Immersed Games?
I wanted to make sure that wherever I work has a fun atmosphere, even as we remain committed to providing a game experience that pushes the boundaries of videogames in general. I want to work on games that improve people’s lives, that help them learn and grow, either about the outside world, or about tapping into the human element within themselves. Immersed, I think, is a fantastic place to start.
Education and Experience
Well, I started off as an Bachelor’s in English and planned to work on becoming a creative writer. I got some experience in that direction, but I found myself wanting to take more and more digital arts electives. I had decided that, instead of focusing on novels, I’d prefer to be a game developer. As a result, I exhausted pretty much all of the digital arts electives available to me, even reaching into some graduate level courses. There, I made my first games, one of which was with our own Sam Sewall (though neither of us like to talk about that horrible thing). From there, I attended the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy at UCF in Orlando, the then 2nd highest ranked game development graduate program in the nation. I started off as a producer hoping to become a game designer and creative writer. I met a lot of hardship along the way, but finally hit a breakthrough as a technical game designer over the winter break. I was assigned to work on Life Unfolds for my capstone game, which was eventually selected as the best capstone game FIEA has ever produced, ever. I’m really proud of who I’ve become as a result of FIEA and am excited to keep growing at Immersed.
What is the coolest thing about working at Immersed Games?
Getting to hopefully make the first huge, well-crafted educational videogame. If there’s one thing FIEA has taught me, it’s that learning how to learn is one of the most rewarding experiences life can offer.
What do you like most about working at Immersed Games?
At the risk of sounding a bit cliché, I think it’s the people. All my life, I’ve wanted to work with driven, creative peers who are looking to push the boundaries of videogames, and now I think I’ve finally found a place where I feel I belong in that respect.
What have you learned?
Well, I’ve only been here a few weeks, but already I’ve learned a lot as a technical game designer. As one who is self-taught in this field, I’m really interested to work closely with programmers to make a well-crafted game. Eventually, I want to take this knowledge to make my own experiences and expand upon the prototypes I’ve already made.
What is an interesting fact about you?
According to my family, I’m related to the chief head of security of Tito, a Communist Yugoslavian leader in the late 20th century.
What is your favorite game?
I could never answer this with regards to games that I think do what I want to do in the gaming industry. There’s too many fantastic, emotional and story-driven games out there to pick from: Shadow of the Colossus, Journey, Spec Ops: The Line, Assassin’s Creed 2, etc… My favorite game based solely on its gameplay, however, has to be Warframe. I’ve played over 2000 hours of it. I just can’t get enough of the feeling of sprinting and jumping like a ninja while pulling off trick shots in midair. It’s definitely the best action game ever made in terms of mechanics.
What would you be doing if you weren’t at your current job?
I would probably be refining and developing my other game ideas into prototypes. The ones that are possible to do that for with my current skill level, anyway.
Who is your role model, and why?
Hidetaka Miyazaki, maker of the Souls games. Every game I’ve dreamt of making has had, at its core, a solid, uncompromising atmosphere centered on philosophical, emotionally-charged stories. Miyazaki is an unquestionable master of this kind of game. Every Souls game I’ve played has been more or less a masterpiece in this regard. With his mastery, he has managed to get enough respect to pretty much lead the charge in developing his games. I cannot tell you how badly I want to be that guy…or my own version of that guy, anyway.