Funsmith Fireside Chats Episode #3
Guest: Candace Thomas
Candace Thomas is the former Lead Game Designer on World of Warcraft and Diablo 3 at Blizzard Entertainment and the current Principal Game Designer at Riot Games. In addition to mentoring many game designers, she has a range of design experiences through 15+ years of experience in the video game industry such as
- Single and multiplayer combat
- Enemy design and AI
- Game modes and branching narrative
In this episode, we will explore insights from Candace on how to get into the game development industry, her experience starting from a play testing position all the way to becoming a Lead Game Designer for one of the biggest games in the world and sharing collaboration stories with Alex at Blizzard.
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Watch or listen to the full episode below:
Referenced links & resources:
Connect with Candace:
Connect with Alex:
Connect with Ari:
Free Game Design Learning Resources:
What is Video Game Mechanics (Beginner’s Guide)
Topic breakdown (with timestamp)
00:00 – Intro
00:45 – Greetings
01:28 – Why Candace doesn’t like small talk
03:02 – Responsibilities as a principle game designer
04:12 – How Alex and Candace first began working together at blizzard
04:39 – How Riot games utilizes embedded QA to their advantage
07:34 – The different roles in game design 08:21 – How Candace began her career
08:57 – The first game encounter Candace worked on
10:25 – The first video game boss Candace ever made
11:18 – Our Experience Working Together on World of Warcraft
13:32 – How leaving WoW helped Candace improve as a designer
14:12 – Candace’s role when working on Diablo IV and how it differed from WoW
18:11 – Stages of career development
20:15 – QA feedback in Game Development
24:30 – “My Journey to Become a Principle Game Designer”
28:36 – The challenges of starting a new job
32:49 – Mentorship in your journey
37:37 – Mid level vs senior level game designer mindset
41:16 – How to find mentors in the gaming industry
45:41 – How to get good as an Aspiring Game Designer
49:18 – Creating games on Twine
52:13 – Is networking as crucial to one’s career as people Say?
54:36 – Don’t get discouraged
56:28 – Alex’s thoughts after leaving Blizzard
1:04:25 – Advise for anyone looking to make a career change
1:05:40 – Final thoughts
What was your favorite part of this episode with Candace?
Please let us know in the comments below.