Hi. My name is Yasmin, and I am the gameplay programmer and scrum master at NightinGames. My job is to create gameplay mechanics and the overall logic for the game.
I really love playing videogames and wanted to work in the videogame industry for a long time. When the other co-founders, Tanja and Antonia, asked me to be part of my very own indie game studio, I really couldn’t say anything but yes and joined them as a co-founder and full member.
I pretty much like every game genre but my favorite genres are horror, fantasy RPG, strategy, FPS, rhythm, and coop games in general. I found myself enjoying Nancy Drew games and other rather relaxing games lately. I can’t quiet remember the very first game I played (probably a weird horse game).
But I remember all the games my dad used to play when I was a child – I was his very personal backseat gamer!
Watching my dad play games like Resident Evil, Dungeon Keeper or Dragon Age really fascinated me as a kid … and very much caused some nightmares – I really hate the syringe guys from The Suffering. But videogames weren’t that inspirational – I thought of them as merely a hobby that I could share with my family. It was only when I watched my older brother create games with the GameStudio Engine that I got the desire to create games on my own. My first game engine was Scratch with which I made some real bad cooking games and little animations.
While I was still in school, I was originally planning to study journalism or literature. My brother thankfully inspired me to study media science and media practice in Bayreuth and I picked up my old hobby of creating videogames.
My course of studies involved a lot of theoretical media studies and was rather focused on audiovisual media in the beginning. In terms of videogames my studies were more about learning game design and having a basic practical knowledge about every field of game development like 3D modelling, programming, and sound design.
I already had contact to game programming in some extent, but I wasn’t really thinking about becoming a programmer someday. Instead, I was thinking about becoming a 2D or 3D artist for videogames and even worked for a short period as a student assistant for a 3D modelling course at university. As always, things didn’t turn out the way I planned. I think what hooked me the most was figuring out a viable solution and the satisfaction when you finally solved a problem. So, after some time of being a generalist I finally thought to myself: „This is what I want” and I drifted into the deep dark realm of game programming.
During my time at university, I met other people that shared a genuine interest in videogames – among them the current team members of NightinGames. I really appreciate my time at university because I had the opportunity to figure out what exactly I’m capable to do and what I want to do. I’m also very happy that I had the chance to attend cool events like the global game jam, regional game jams or thematic game nights where I could experiment and discover more unconventional stuff.
I decided to continue my studies and learn more about game studies which is why I’m currently studying computer game science (Master of science) at the University of Bayreuth. Hopping between university, NightinGames and my part-time job as a media designer is quite stressful and I hope that things will be a little bit quieter in the future when I finally can work full time as a game developer. Even though I feel like I achieved quite a bit in my game developer career, my journey just has started and I’m excited to see what the future has in hold for me.
I started at NightinGames as a part-time programmer but due to a lack of staff I also worked as a sound designer and technical level designer for a few months. Nowadays, I mainly work on level and gameplay scripting, but I also spend time on AI and UI Logic. The great part is that almost none of my days feel the same due to the broad range of tasks – so the work at NightinGames is always exciting for me!
Working as a gameplay programmer means also a lot of bug fixing which can be a little bit frustrating from time to time. Finding a solution to a coding problem can take a few extra breaks in between work. I find that forcing oneself to find a solution right away is rarely the best move. It really helps to step away from the computer and doing something else, even if it’s just taking a shower – a lot of times things like these helped me to find of a solution to coding problems. Which leads me to my advice: sometimes it’s okay to not finish everything you have planned for the day. Having a healthy work-life balance and having fun at work is way more important than overachieving something. Making games is a passion, so it should stay that way instead of making you depressed and causing headaches!
Like the others, I work from home – and in my case it happens to be Bayreuth – the coldest city in Germany.
Here I have my work office, aka my living room. My desk and setup are really nothing special, but because this computer is the very first setup that I assembled on my own, there’s another level of affection.
Besides the obvious hardware my setup includes a booklet for little sketches and notes, some plants, nerdy decor like figurines and stuff to play with while I’m reading stuff on stack overflow. While working, I drink a lot of tea – and by a lot I mean A LOT. My trusty tee cup and occasionally tea pot is always located on my desk.
The best part of my setup is a direct view at my pet bunnies. There’s something to trying to prevent the game from exploding and seeing a fluff ball stalking you in the corner of your eye. Sometimes leaving the computer for a few minutes and petting them is all a human need to feel a little bit refreshed. On the negative side, my workspace needs to be cleaned more often when rabbit hairs are flying around. But that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.
I’m really proud of what we’re creating and I’m happier than ever with my choice to follow my dream of making games and that I’m able to share this passion with others. We’re all really excited to be able to share more of what we’re doing in the future, but until then we’ll just keep doing our best.
Thanks for reading!