There are so many opportunities to work in gaming all over the world. Meet Brent Mitchell from Motive Studios.
What is your current role at EA?
I’m a Level Designer working on the campaign for Star Wars™ Battlefront™ II. I build out gameplay scenarios and script the moment-to-moment experiences, working closely with teams (like art, audio, code, narrative and others) to implement everything into the game.
Brent at his work station at EA Motive
Why did you want to work at EA Motive?
Motive is a brand-new, AAA studio that’s hired people with diverse experiences from all over the world, so I knew it would be a great opportunity. Montreal is an amazing city and somewhere I wanted to live for a long time, so that was the icing on the cake. But the opportunity to work on the Star Wars franchise speaks for itself. It was a childhood dream!
A childhood dream comes true
How did you begin your video gaming career?
I built a few small video games in early computer classes and messed with level design as far back as Duke Nukem 3D. However, it really became a passion of mine when I began making levels for Counter-Strike and Natural Selection and getting into those mod communities. After a few years I made a portfolio, started applying for positions and eventually got my big break at EA!
Inside Motive Studios with Brent
Motive is a brand-new, AAA studio that’s hired gaming veterans from all over the world, so I knew it would be a great opportunity.
What advice can you give to someone who aspires to a career in the gaming industry?
Start learning and start building and then keep learning and keep building. Game design programs are one route, but these days there are thousands of online videos and tutorials for every dev topic under the sun.
I’m also a big fan of game jams and I can’t recommend them enough. You get to network with fellow designers, coders and artists over an intense development weekend and you walk away with a real playable experience. Plus, you can try out zany ideas! For instance, one time we used a Kinect to watch a player’s eyes which became an exploration game, so every time the player blinked, the world might change. Make sure you have fun with it, but keep learning, keep building, keep applying and eventually you’ll make it!
What is your favorite thing about the working environment at Motive?
Motive recently moved into a new space. It’s so comfy and a real fun environment. We even have a hammock room! There’s a pool table and foosball room, and with summer starting up, we’ll be taking advantage of the huge rooftop patio for lunchtime sun and BBQs.
Motive offers a number of ways for employees to relax and unwind.
What is your favorite memory at EA so far?
We rented out a theater so the entire team could watch Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on opening day! Our team had already been digging deep in canon lore for over a year, so we were super hyped for the movie and it absolutely delivered.
Board games for break time and a chalkboard used for taking notes
What do you think the future holds for gaming?
I’m really excited about Virtual Reality. I’ve got an HTC Vive ‘holodeck’ at home, and the experience is unbelievable. VR is such a fundamental shift in how we can experience media that all the rules are being rewritten. Obviously, it’s already started with video games, but it can really be any topic, like education. It’s a whole new medium that’s just waiting for someone to figure out what the next generation-defining experience will be.
Secondly, I feel we’re learning more and more about how to do smart procedural generation and systemic design. This can lead to the holy grail of emergent gameplay, where players don’t follow a pre-defined story and instead, have an open environment to create their own unique moments and stories to share with their friends. Think of the Minecraft phenomenon and where such approaches could go in the future.
Motive Studios offers inspiration for employees in all kinds of ways
How do you unwind and unplug?
I love having friends over for board games, heading out for cottage and snowboarding weekends, rock climbing and simply wandering around beautiful Montreal.
Want to work at Motive Studios in EA Montreal? Join the team here!
Stay in the conversation of all things EA PLAY: Visit our site, follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.