Ever once in awhile we like to introduce an employee at Lolapps. We've only done a few of these, so look forward to more!
This week we'd like to introduce Brenda Brathwaite, our Creative Director
Brenda is a game industry veteran. She is an award-winning game designer and has worked on titles in the Wizardry®, Jagged Alliance®, Dungeons and Dragons® and Def Jam® series and has published on virtually every platform from tabletop to console to Facebook. Her non-digital game Train recently won the Vanguard award at IndieCade "for pushing the boundaries of game design and showing us what games can do." In addition to making games, Brenda is also a voracious game player, has her own d10s and plays well with others.
Below is our own internal Q&A with her:
What do you do at Loplapps?
I am Lolapps Creative Director and a game designer here. It means that I am one of the luckiest people I know. Making games, playing games and setting general director for a company's products is an amazing opportunity.
How'd you get into gaming and game design?
I got into the game industry in 1981 when I was just 15 years old. It was a rather chance meeting between me and Linda Currie, a fellow classmate in high school. To be polite, she struck up a conversation which turned into a job interview:
"You play games?"
Yes, love them.
"You hear of Sir-tech Software?"
"Have you ever played D&D?"
I showed up at her house the following afternoon and played Wizardry for the first time. It was then and remains now and utterly magical moment in my life. I was with Sir-tech for 18 years, and consider that time in my life truly formative and wonderful. I was able to apprentice with great game designer and work on many award-winning games.
As far as gaming goes, I don't remember a time when I didn't play games. I am always playing some game. Always.
What are your favorite applications on facebook?
This changes so rapidly. The answer I give you today will be different than the one I'd give you next week. I think what fascinates me most are particular mechanics and watching how they propagate from game to game. I really enjoy it when games do something that I haven't seen at all. I recall how Frontierville really upped the ante with the amount of activity per visit and how Nightclub City made your typical friend grind longer and more genuinely entertaining than many, many other games. I probably play three new Facebook games a day and return to maybe one a week for a regular sessions.
What games have you played recently?
Apart from social games, I play WoW a lot as well as Civilization Revolution. I am also a voracious consumer of board games. Ticket to Ride, Family Business, Container and Dominion are my current favorites.
What do you do in your free time?
This is going to sound tragically geeky, but I play games and work on building my board game series, The Mechanic is the Message. My partner is also a game designer, so it tends to occupy a lot of our time. When I'm not doing something with games, I really enjoy taking rides to wherever in my car (a convertible), visiting restaurants, exploring little towns and watching great films.
What you enjoy most about working at start-ups?
Lolapps feels different to me than a great many start ups. The personality of the owners is infused in the business, and their sense of humor carries through the whole place. So, it's super fun to come to work, even when we're working hard to hit milestones. Overall, the space feels very competitive to me, and I like that I can directly talk to and influence the people making the big decisions here. I've worked for bigger companies as an employee or contractor, and I my prefer the feeling of family that comes with having direct access to the powers that be.
What new initiatives and games are you most excited to see at Lolapps?
I am always excited to see a game release and see how people respond to it. I can't wait to get our current games out and focus on a brand new title. There's nothing like that.