The gaming industry as a whole has evolved greatly over the years. Not the least of which is because at one point in time you could very easily, or at least somewhat easily, make a video game with nothing more than a standard computer…while doing it in your garage or basement. Now, the game industry is incredibly difficult to get into and staying in it (and at a developer worthy of your time) can be a challenge. For the director of the hit game Deathloop, Dinga Bakaba, his journey was even more difficult at times.
In an interview, he talked about his path to the game design field, something that at first…he didn’t know existed:
“In most French articles in magazines, people would only talk about the developers and the programmers, but the term ‘game design’ was not frequent at all,” he explains.
“When I came across this term, I Wikipedia’d it immediately and that clicked. The role of establishing the rules and tweaking them and basically making the game part of a game appealed to me immediately.”
He worked hard to learn that craft, and after bouncing around at a few places, he wound up at Arkane Studios.
“I always loved immersive sims since Ultima Underworld,” he says. “Arkane specialising in that kind of game was always a goal for me when I entered the industry, especially as they were French. When I played the vertical slice [of Dishonored], I immediately felt this was the right place for me. It was exactly the kind of game I wanted to do. Like, you’re never getting rid of me.”
And they didn’t. He worked on the Dishonored franchise in both main titles and led one of the DLC journeys.
Then, some shifts happened and he became the Director of Deathloop. A game that he made sure there was no crunch on, and that it pushed things in a big way to live up to the reputation that Arkane had. The game worked, and the game sold well and was nominated/won many awards. So his journey was, and is, worth every step he took.