Womenize! – Inspiring Stories is our weekly series featuring inspirational women from games and tech. For this edition we talked to Alice Bowman, Content Designer at Trailmix. Read more about Alice in this interview:
Hi Alice! Could you tell us about your recent Youtube adventures?

Hi! I wanted to start HowtoGames because I really enjoy answering questions about how to get into the games industry – whether it’s during the Q&A section of a talk, when meeting newcomers to the industry, or offering advice during events. As a student looking to get into the industry, I benefited so much from the talks I attended and the advice given, and it really helped me take the first few steps in my career – I want to try and give that same assistance to others! 

Remembering how daunting it could feel being a young woman trying to get into game development, I also want to provide another female voice that can reassure others that there is space for everyone within our industry. I’m far from the only woman giving games advice, but hopefully, the addition of another voice can add a touch more reassurance: you aren’t alone, and there are loads of underrepresented devs out there supporting one another. 

When making my HowtoGames videos, I’m prioritizing user-submitted questions, to try and recreate the feel of a Q&A session and give my viewers exactly what they need. The questions can be about any game industry related topic, from ‘how to make a CV for the industry’, to ‘how to outline the story for your game’. I’m really enjoying making my own videos, as one of the downsides of in-person Q&A sessions is the time limitation! It’s great to be able to explore a question with all the depth it needs.

Can you share some tips & tricks on how to get started in the industry?

The top three tips I could give are:

  1. Make content! There are so many free resources online to help get started making a game, and great free software like Twine, Ren’Py, and Unity – I really recommend downloading any of those and watching some Youtube tutorials so you can just get started with making your own project. It’s really important to have a portfolio of your work, as it demonstrates your ability, your willingness to learn, and your enthusiasm.
  2. Get involved in the game dev community – attend events, participate in game jams, and network! If you live somewhere without much of a games community, or otherwise can’t attend events in person, there are a whole host of virtual events, online game jams and communities of developers on social media.
  3. Lastly, be proactive – go for every opportunity that comes your way, and create opportunities wherever you can. If you are uncertain over whether you’re good enough to apply for something the answer is usually to give it a go – the worst that can happen is you’ll be turned down but have gotten the experience of putting the application together. Don’t be afraid to send a speculative application if there’s a studio you’d love to work at that doesn’t have the relevant role open – you never know what might happen!
Which part of your job as Content Designer is most challenging?

As a Content Designer, I work on the narrative and story content of Love and Pies, a match and merge mobile title with a dramatic narrative filled with mystery and romance! My role consists of narrative design, game design, giving feedback and direction on the story, occasional snippets of writing, and implementing the scripts to create the cutscenes and chats. 

There are many different aspects to my work as the story is constantly evolving, but I love the challenge of it! The most time-consuming part of my job is implementing the story scripts in our editor, and that was also the most challenging in terms of learning curve. Creating our chats and cutscenes is a finicky and high-detail process, and I really had to get stuck in and learn by doing, which caused lots of things to break!

While implementation is the most technically complicated thing I’ve had to do as a Content Designer,  the hardest thing has been learning to not get over-excited when planning the story. I’m such a fan of our storylines that I really just want to go huge with whatever ideas we come up with in story planning, but actually, a part of my role is pairing back ideas to what is achievable within our timelines, and prioritizing what our players will want the most.

Thank you for your time, Alice!

Alice’s Links: WebsiteTwitterLinkedInHowtoGames on Youtube

Womenize! – Inspiring Stories Feature by Sophie Brügmann