Womenize! – Inspiring Stories is our weekly series featuring inspirational women from games and tech. For this edition we talked to Miriam Popescu, Senior Game Designer at Ubisoft Massive. Miriam gives us insights into her work and shares how she found the right profession for herself within the games industry. Read more about Miriam in this interview:
Hi Miriam! What has been your personal games industry highlight throughout your career?

Heya! Wow, it’s tough pointing out one thing.

I think it’s more about the rewarding moments I get to experience every day. Like sharing an idea with a bunch of talented colleagues, “jamming” it out and then making it come to life. Or even just the fact that I never stop learning, having access to so many other experts. As a designer I’m often a facilitator, bridging gaps in between the different disciplines and guiding people towards the same vision.

Then there are those rare moments when we’re showing off the game to the public and players get to experience it for the first time. That feeling of watching the world map light up with activity as players log in… It’s exhilarating but also terrifying, since every game we make contains a little piece of ourselves that is laid bare for everyone to see.

How did you know Game Design is the right profession for you?

Truth be told, I had only a very vague idea of what a game designer does when I first started working as a quality assurance tester. I came to realize that I wanted to have more creative impact on the games I contributed to. I also enjoyed analyzing them, taking apart all their different components to figure out what makes them fun. When the company I worked for asked the employees for game pitches, I jumped at the chance and prototyped a few ideas.

Aside from that, to me being in the “right” profession is also about feeling like I’ve found my people. From the day my journey began, I’ve felt like this is exactly where I belong.

Is there any exciting personal or professional project you can give us insights on?

For my personal projects I chose to give myself the freedom to just create. The things I build don’t need to make sense or be of use to anyone. Some ideas flow onto a sheet of paper, others make it into actual game or hardware prototypes. Others remain out of reach, not yet ready to be put into real-life. And if you were wondering – yep, that’s a fancy way of saying that I start many things, but only finish a few. Either way, the point is to let my imagination roam freely and see what absurd realms it leads me to.

Hardware projects are especially rewarding, since they offer more immediate feedback. The last project I completed was a simple LEGO animatronic face, with color-recognition and a few facial expressions. You can check it out here:

Thank you for your time, Miriam!

Miriam’s links: Personal ProjectLinkedInTwitterMassive Entertainment – A Ubisoft Studio Careers Page

Womenize! – Inspiring Stories Feature by Sophie Brügmann