Gamer by Day, Gamer by Night
Sophia George has been a games designer at heart for as long as she can remember. After studying Games Art and Design at Norwich University of the Arts, and more recently Game Development at the University of Abertay Dundee, she began her journey to make a career out of it. Now having started her own company with friends she picked up after entering the Dare to be Digital competition, she has pursued just the right opportunities to make her mark in game development.
Tick Tock Toys
Tick Tock Toys is a BAFTA award winning game Sophia and her team developed for Dare to be Digital. The game takes place in a cluttered toy box and the goal is to assist the toy robot (called Tic Toc) safely to his goal by clearing his path. As well as allowing her to pursue some invaluable contacts, it’s also given Sophia the opportunity to work with BAFTA on projects such as the Careers Pathway and BAFTA’s Young Game Design initiative, which involved working with young people in workshops.
Games Designer in Residence at the V&A
Being a designer in residence at the V&A has allowed Sophia to take a step back from the hectic nature of the games industry, learn new skills, and broaden her source of influences for her own practise. She aims to design another game for the V&A by the end of her residency, while at the same improving her experience with public interactive projects. The games outcomes will be heavily inspired by the history of British Design from 1500-1900, particular the arts and crafts work of William Morris.
Heroes & Villains Life Drawing Session
Sophia recently held a life drawing session in collaboration with London Drawing where she invited the public to take a playful approach to traditional life drawing, and produce characters inspired by the model. She had done a lot of life drawing during her degree course, and was inspired to take it on further after discussing it with her residency co-ordinator.
“I hope the participants learned to be more experimental with life drawing, taking an almost playful approach. I liked that artists were using a range of materials and I saw that some were even using the model’s shadow to create characters so that made me happy. I also hope that people thought about the kind of things to consider for character designs in games.”
The Gaming Industry
Sophia aims to make her mark in the gaming industry and help to change the industry for women and for young people.
“Many studies have shown that the games industry is male-dominated (the UK games industry is just 14% women) and I feel that this has negative effects on the industry.”
She hopes to possibly even create a new genre of gaming that takes into account the perspectives and sensibilities of the female gaming audience. She feels that more women behind the scenes in the development of games can only help to broaden the industry and get away from sexualisation of female characters.
“I am quite keen to make games for people of my own demographic (twenty-something women) so I would like to explore that after my residency.”
Designing her Future
At moment Sophia aims are to improve as a games designer and do her best to come up with unique ideas. She personally recommends to young people to make use of of and engage more with the industry through social media like Twitter and Tumblr to create a following.
“I see a lot of successful artists have worked hard on their own personal branding and take on an online persona to get noticed.”