Q&A with Drew
How did you first become interested in a career in gaming?
I was in the process of unwinding my life as a lawyer in NYC without much of a plan when I heard Jay Leno making fun of the Guildhall on TV. When I was younger, I played a lot of RPGs, and I always had a lot more fun creating the maps and adventures than actually playing the games. So when I discovered the concept of level design as a job, it seemed like a perfect fit (and it was!).
What is the most interesting or enjoyable thing that you have gotten to do in your career?
The most enjoyable thing I got to do was design "Metropolis," the first level of Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction. I came to Insomniac because of my love for Ratchet, and it was an amazing opportunity to get to kick-off and help define what it meant for Ratchet to be “next-gen.” The most interesting things I’ve done is helping create the concept forSunset Overdrive and watching it evolve over the past four years into what it is now. It’s very cool being, with my Co-Creative Director Marcus Smith, one of the guys making the first and last calls on an entirely new game, but the times that I enjoy myself the most are when I’m personally building levels or working on features.
Why did you choose to get your education from the Guildhall?
I’d taken a look at some different schools, and tThe Guildhall had the best program aimed at game and level design. I’ve always felt like the Guildhall had a good mix of letting students create their own projects while also teaching the skills necessary for an entry-level position in a large studio.
How did the Guildhall prepare you for your career in gaming?
It gave me a great foundation of basic technical skills that allowed me to be immediately productive as a junior designer, a conceptual framework for game design that I’ve continued to expand and flesh-out over the past 8.5 years, and confidence in the idea that hard work always wins.
What impact has the Guildhall had on your life?
It’s not an exaggeration to say that it completely altered the direction of my life. I’d always wanted to become “great” at something, but hadn’t found that thing that inspired me enough to want to pay the price in blood, sweat, and tears. I’m sure I’ll never feel like I’ve actually hit “great,” but I’ve definitely found my passion.
What advice would you offer for current Guildhall students?
Hard work beats talent every time. If you fully commit your life to the Guildhall for the time that you’re there and don’t let yourself get distracted, you can develop some great technical skills and get a head-start on figuring out your unique voice within your discipline.