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Graduate in Focus - Thomas Bowker & LYNE

Graduate in Focus - Thomas Bowker & LYNE

Graduate in Focus - Thomas Bowker & LYNE

08-Jan-2014

Recently we caught up with programming graduate Thomas Bowker. Thomas studied the Advanced Diploma of Professional Game development in 2011, and since then has worked with SeeThrough Studios. We asked him a couple of questions about his professional career since graduating AIE and his recently released puzzle game LYNE.

 

Looking back on studying, what did you find most useful during your time at AIE and how did it help you with your career?


My time at AIE was one of the best educational experiences I’ve had. The focus on practical work was a huge motivational boost. It was a great starting point, and I owe a lot to the contacts I’ve made from AIE and after that IDGA Sydney. Though you definitely need to put in the time, and if you only rely on what you learn in class, your chances of doing well will be much smaller.

Where are you working right now?

Right now I’m wrapping up all the little (not little at all) things that happen after releasing a game, mostly press. Very soon I’ll be working with The Voxel Agents on their latest game which I’m looking forward to.

 

Briefly what is LYNE in your own words, and how did you come up with the idea for this game?


For me, LYNE is a practical experiment of some of the design ideologies that have been swirling around in my head the past few years. It also felt like the right time to start and finish something on my own, and learn all I could from the process.

In forming the initial idea of what the game could be from strictly a gameplay perspective I have to say I took a lot from a game called Flow Free and similar games like it. Flow interested me in how you could take such a simple game mechanically and yet still keep people engaged. Honestly I just wanted a simple game-play foundation to work on what I really wanted to experiment with, which is everything in the game that is not the game-play or game mechanics. I wanted to experiment with how all the non-gameplay elements contribute to the greater whole, and how important they are!

What would you like to work on in the future?

I’m looking forward to working in a team again. There are a lot of things that are different between working on something yourself versus working in a team, and could always use more experience in this area. For my own work I’m looking forward to making things on a much smaller scale than LYNE. Small, free, one-note games (or things that are not games) that do one thing really well. I’d like to put more personal meaning into these as well, or just experiment and make something I’ve never made before.

Anything else you would like to add? Perhaps some advice to give to other programming graduates?

I often find it very difficult to give advice, everyone is different. In a lot of ways I feel I got where I am by ignoring more advice than obeying it. So if there’s any advice I give it’ll usually be “trust your gut”.

I don’t think about the past much but I believe I got to where I am mainly by working a lot, game-jamming a lot, and surrounding myself and working with others in the community who I recognize as extremely passionate people. Not everyone is lucky enough to make games for a living, so you’ll need to prove to everyone else, but most importantly yourself, that you can do it.

 

Click the following link to check out LYNE, available now on various platforms!


LYNE 001 WIDE from Thomas Bowker on Vimeo.