Having over ten years of experience, Kristina is passionate about both the design aspect of games and the processes involved in building experiences through gameplay that inspire people and can bring them together.
Her understanding of games and experience-centred design principles allow Kristina to work at Electric Square in a range of areas, from defining creative direction and executing UX design from wireframe concepts and prototypes, to implementing concepts, design specifications and technical requirements.
Kristina is going to be speaking at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #8 giving insights and tips on improving player engagement.
PocketGamer.biz: Tell us a bit about what you do?
Kristina Miles: Electric Square, a member of Keywords Studios, provides world-class game development services for the biggest and best partners in the industry.
My role involves work on the UX and UI of games.
Why did you want to work in the games industry?
I always dreamt of working in a very passionate and creative area, involving lots of research and where excitement comes from resolving challenges.
At the very beginning of my studies, I gained a passion for user experience as the medium by which psychology meets art and technology. I wanted to be involved in creating products for people to enjoy and to be inspired by.
My biggest motivator now is wanting the results of my work to be meaningful and continue to be enjoyed by millions of people globally.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to break into the industry?
Building your portfolio and creating connections with mature professionals from the games industry are two important activities that will in fact become part of your permanent flow. We learn from each other; that fact cannot be exaggerated.
When it comes to the portfolio, having your titles published on the store comes as a huge plus. It gives a potential employer the confidence that you’re able to complete work and are able to deliver. In fact, most of the decent vacancies require potential candidates having at least one title published in some of the stores.
More and more games, including mobile games, will focus on accessibility features and overall inclusivity.Kristina Miles
For those who are just looking for an entrance to the game industry, some advice would be to consider a QA position. They’re lots of fun and it opens the door into the industry where you can assess the roles from the inside and make a better judgement on what suits you best.
Getting an internship at a game design studio would also serve to start your exciting career.
What are your thoughts on the industry in the last 12 months?
The past year has been difficult and unpredictable due to the pandemic and its consequences. Whilst the game industry has had to adapt to the new restrictions and new way of working, there are a couple of highlights:
- There have been approaches taken when working from home to maintain production in very distributed teams;
- Many more people have started playing games;
- There have been more cross-industry collaborations and mixing real-world and in-game events (for example, a live-music event in Fortnite and arranging meetings and interviews in Minecraft);
- Game subscription services have become increasingly popular as a business model, with one new player being Apple Arcade.
What major trends do you predict in the next 12 months?
I suspect there will be a focus on inclusivity across the whole industry. More and more games, including mobile games, will focus on accessibility features and overall inclusivity. We will observe a trend where even more players from all social backgrounds and circles are involved.
I also predict even more remastered games and remakes of beloved, older, proven games. More games will also start to offer further cross-play options.
My final prediction is an increase in the gaming-as-a-service approach, a good example being Apple Arcade. I suspect we can expect a new platform from Netflix.
How has the games industry changed since you started?
There are new gaming platforms now and new methods by which gamers can socially interact. Every step in the chain, from creating to publishing a game, has become more accessible. However, this has made the market itself very competitive in terms of acquiring player attention.
Whilst the game industry has had to adapt to the new restrictions ... there are a couple of highlights.Kristina Miles
Significantly, since I started, mobile phones have finally become the most popular gaming device for a huge margin of the population.
The hypercasual market and free-to-play games barely existed before this decade. Even big publishers have changed their approach to making money, such as turning to the gaming-as-a-service approach.
Which part of the event are you most looking forward to?
I am most looking forward to finding out more about global game trends and hearing gamemakers’ insights.
If you’re interested in hearing more from Kristina, be sure to attend Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #8.
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