This week’s Part of Threes article features last week’s On the Border guest, Heather Logas. Continue on to hear our guest’s responses, wrapped up in neat 3-piece sections, to our bi-weekly inquiries.
Three favorite games
1. Joust. My sister and I played Joust on our Atari 800, and it was amazing. That game is so cool because you can play it completely cooperatively, competitively, or somewhere in between. That game is just so cool because of the dynamics that come out of people playing it together.
2. I really love Okami. Okami has all my favorite things in it. I think it really spoke to my childhood me. I think that game is also a really good example of a socially-responsible game design.
3. This is cheating a little bit, but one of my biggest inspirations I think that I go back to time and time again are the Quest for Glory series. They’re a series of adventure game/role-playing game hybrids by Sierra. They were really engaging, and I always come back to wondering why people have never really done that format again. My sister and I would literally fight each other to get up the stairs after getting home from school to see who would get to play it.
Three favorite non-games-related hobbies or activities
1. I like making things with my hands. I like sewing, I wish I did more of it. But I have sewn some stuff with my daughter, and that was fun. I really like doing mixed media work.
2. Being with my family. Playing with my kids, and being with my husband.
3. And I really like re-organizing things. Like closets and stuff.
Three people in games you admire
There are a lot of people in the industry that I really, really admire. And I feel fortunate that I actually get to meet a lot of them, and have conversations with them. . . . I don’t wanna leave anybody out!
1. One person I really admire is Daniel James, who is the CEO of Three Rings. They made the game Puzzle Pirates, which I was obsessed with for a while. Daniel James really impresses me because he is very open, and very candid, and has a really great sense of game design. I also admire his entrepreneurial-ness. I met him at GDC, and we just talked, and I wound up going out to lunch with him, and he gave me a lot of career advice, and he is just a super friendly, super amazing guy.
2. I really admire Brenda Romero. She gave a talk at IndieCade one year [and later at GDC] that really changed things for me. It was about Train, and the way that she was willing to talk about her experience as an artist to a room full of game developers was really inspiring to me. It made me feel more empowered to pursue my own work. I also admire the fact that she has been in the industry forever, and is a pioneer, and has kids, and seems to be phenomenally happy with her life right now, which I find inspiring.
3. Jacki Morie‘s relationship with games these days is more tangential. She works more in the realm of virtual reality, but she’s also done some interesting projects with other women to help people think about women’s roles in games. She recently started a company called All These Worlds. She helped run this board game mod event at a digital games research conference that I went to a really long time ago. She lives in this big house in LA with her whole family: her husband, and some of their kids, and her grandkids, and they all seem really close. I find her really inspiring as a role model for what it could be to be the woman and the head of your household, and have your family be a really important part of your life, while at the same time having your work be a really important part of your life.
Three pieces of advice for young developers
1. I’d say the number one piece of advice that I would give anyone who is starting out in the industry is: the work part is the easy part. The part where you’re doing your job. You’re programming, you’re designing, that’s the easy part. The hard part is managing the interpersonal relationships, and managing your relationship with your boss and your co-workers. Learning to ask questions and managing expectations is the number one thing I would tell people they need to learn how to do.
2. I also think it’s really useful to read business books. Which I started doing late in my time at Telltale, and I wish I’d started doing earlier. I was a producer on the first Sam and Max episode, and I felt really in over my head. My friend Sheri Rubin, who offered to mentor me in production, started turning me on to some of these books. It’s really useful because you learn a lot about how the world works, and some of the decisions that your bosses are making that seem confusing or alien make a lot more sense when you have an insight into the business reasons behind them. So I found that useful.
3. Your first job in the industry is your first job. It’s not where you’re gonna be for the rest of your life. So you can’t get too emotionally invested in one company, especially if it’s a company that you really like, or it’s a startup company so you’ve watched it grow. That doesn’t mean that it’s your company and you can do whatever you want. It also doesn’t mean that there won’t come a time when you will move on. And at the same time, [it's important to manage] your reputation so that you are ready to make that change when the time comes.