Richard Garriott Interview

When you hear the name Richard Garriott mentioned in a sentence, you are sure to hear positive feedback after that. The young-looking gen-X protégé could be mistaken for a movie actor or a commercial model even. Richard is a Level Editor at GameLabs and has been working there since he left school early in 2004.

He was the consummate gamer, if you could ever see one. He was always first at the store whenever a new game was to be released. He loved video games so much, his collection of video game titles is estimated to be around 2,000+. He has turned out to be the number one collector of video games from arcades, shoot-‘em-ups, level up games, first person shooter, and MMORPG games as well. Give him a title, he’ll surely have it in his collection.

He is currently working as a Level Editor for many of GameLabs’ newest projects. Level Editors check the game parameters to see if conditions are met prior to levelling up during game play. They check to see if all the dots align, all quests are completed before allowing a player passage onto the next level of play.

Here’s what we found out talking to him:

NA: Hi Richard! Tell us about your background in the gaming industry?

RG: First off, I prefer if you address me as Rick, because only my mother calls me Richard, and only if she is not pleased with me. So pardon me if I don’t like my full name being used to address me.  But going back to your question, I started in the gaming industry at a young age. I consider myself part of the industry, when, as an 8th grader, I sold my first video game chip, although it was not a game I designed. That moment left an indelible print in my mind. Selling games seems like a thing to do. So with that stuck in my mind, I played more and more games as I grew older.

NA: When did you have formal training on game development?

RG: My formal training came during my senior year in high school. I was friends with the geeky crowd back then. They held meetings every Saturday, and during one of those meetings I was invited to attend. I became friends with those geeks, and later on, I was also considered a geek by other students in school. During those sessions, I learned how to develop games, particularly how to design games that change levels for every milestone reached. So that’s when I first had my formal training in level development.

NA: Your job sounds like a unique one. Can you explain more?

RG: Indeed, you don’t hear of a lot of people carrying such titles. It’s a relatively new position, if you ask me. So, yeah I agree with you that it’s quite unique. And it also takes a unique talent and unique skill sets to thrive in this line of work. You need to have a lot of creative juices, intuitiveness, and quick-thinking in order to master the art of level designing. It’s quite easy to balance, once you get the hang of it.

NA: Any words of advice you want to give to aspiring level editors?

RG: Well, just one simple tip. And this applies to whatever job you want to have for yourself. It does not have to be like my job, it could be anything. Anyway, here’s my tip: Never stop dreaming! That’s right, Once you stop dreaming, you lose focus on what you are aiming for. You get lost and will lose the zest for living, Don’te ever let that happen to you.