My name is Andreas Lopez, I am in my early 20’s, currently game designer for Start-Up Wander Isle Studios and starting my game design career with an amazing team, while doing personal projects on the side. Such as my ‘Warhammer 40,000 Deathwatch Station RP System‘ project as tribute to Fantasy Flight Games own Deathwatch RP with a new twist and simplicity so it can be used on forums and instant-messaging (IRC, Skype, etc.) environments.
I am a Realist, which is why I have a creative full-time job as Webmaster. It helps to focus on different areas in life, draw inspiration from different fields especially when certain aspects are applied in both fields. User Accessibility has to be for example very simple and straightforward in both Video Games and on Websites. A player and a visitor must instantly understand what the different available actions/buttons do and overall how to navigate the environment.
As for more details on my experience as game designer, I have worked on a now-cancelled project from May 2014 to July 2015, the reason for cancellation was management-related. Before that I already was involved in Role-playing that accumulates to a total of 7+ years by now and played video games for 17+ years in different genres, on different consoles. Within the role plays, I found myself most often as game/dungeon master and that got me used to make it fun for players, mix the systems and scenarios up and taught me what is important for a good narrative and game design, which had led me to make the aforementioned Deathwatch Station RP System.
Since July 26th 2015 I also am the Co-Founder of Mythic Dragon Entertainment. An entertainment company that focuses on creating interesting, deep and rich stories, as well as making accompanying games along. My role in this company is to support my friend and the founder, Andrew Ballard, with my Game Design knowledge and overall creativity. I have the great opportunity of learning Programming and train my Game Design skills in order to make our projects work, the first story written by the company was ‘The Dragon’s Hoard‘ which has an accompanying game ‘The Dragon’s Hoard – The Interactive Adventure‘, the demo is available here. However we recently stopped moving forward with other planned projects as our personal lives require more attention.
I am especially involved in the role playing sub forum of Behaviour Interactive’s upcoming game Eternal Crusade. There I got to introduce many individuals to their first time role-playing and got a good handful also motivated to try the role as game master themselves. Additional to that I got the chance to network with experts in the industry and build a friendship to them, such as former head of Behaviours’ online studio, Miguel Caron, lead game designer Brent Ellison, community manager Katie Fleming and lead UI designer, Nicolas Brunoni.
One thing I also got to learn throughout life is: “If there is a problem you can’t solve – research.” Read books, read on the internet, talk to your colleagues and other experts. One cannot know every solution for every problem at all times. But there is nothing stopping you from researching in order to find a solution – learning never stops. Also keep in mind: There is most of the times more than one solution for a problem. And sometimes it is only a problem because you may think it is one, scratching something off and doing something else instead may not just result in something similar, but perhaps may excel the initial idea – don’t be afraid of changes or new approaches.
There is a list of contacts for me to the right, in case you are curious to learn more about me, the game industry, game design, accessibility or want to see how I can help you. I love to collaborate, freelance and succeed on various projects, additional to helping other developers and players understand the barriers and solutions to accessibility of games.
Why such a strong emphasis on accessibility? During the GDC 2015 I learned that not many developers know of barriers that many individuals have when playing games. From basic things such as not knowing the only language the game was made in, over the more advanced things such as text-to-speech for the visually impaired. More importantly the developers must learn that many solutions are easy to implement and little things that make a big difference. As member of the IGDA Game Accessibility Special Interest Group (IGDA-GA-SIG), it is a big part of my personality to push harder for awareness in that field. As you will be able to read on my Accessibility page.