Get to know Tyson Butler-Boschma, AIT’s Game Design educator

Thursday, 6 July 2017

  1. Please tell us about yourself - how long you’ve been in the industry for, your industry experiences and also your own company and projects that you’re working on right now.

  2. “My name is Tyson Butler-Boschma and I am currently a Founder and Creative Director at Toybox Games Studios where we are developing our first major IP “Primordials: Fireborn”. I’ve been working in the industry professionally for 4 years after the release of my first game to the Android store, a Game Jam game called Heart of Zarar. Over my 4 years I have worked on several games that have been released for mobile as well as real world simulations of game development projects ranging from First Person Shooters to 2D Platformers. I am now in the early stages of preparing for my PhD as well as completing Primordials: Fireborn.

  1. Do you think that game design borrows from other forms of design such as graphic design and even industrial design?

  2. “Absolutely! Design in my opinion is ‘The Study of Everything’. This means everything you learn in your life is applicable to how you can design games, logos, websites or anything really. Understanding how people react to certain colours for logo design is just as useful in games design.”

  1. When you design a game, how do you find the correct balance between your ideas and what the audience prefers?

  2. “This is one of those ‘How long is a piece of string’ questions. It really depends. Indie games are known for making games that the developer wants to make whereas the AAA industry is known for making games for their consumer. I personally try to make games that I like as a consumer, treading a careful line between both disciplines. So it’s very much something I like, but something at a quality that I believe my audience can enjoy.”

  1. Who is your role model in the industry and why?

  2. I have a bunch of role models but someone I always come back to is Cliff Bleszinski. He was one of the first game designers I knew of and is responsible for one of my favourite game franchises of all time, Gears of War. Basically, I just really respect him and his work lead me down the path I’m on today.

  1. How and where do you find inspiration for your work?

  2. “I play games, watch movies, read books, watch the world go by every single day. Simple. I take what I like from my life experiences, get inspired and then attempt to recreate that sensation in my own work.”

  1. How does the hardware or platform you’re designing for change your design?

  2. “Programs like Unity are capable of making great games for just about anything. It’s more understanding the platform your working towards that requires thought. For example, say I’m developing a game for Xbox, Xbox controllers have far less buttons than say a keyboard. So I need to think about how I map controls to the controller and what the player can do appropriately to not overwhelm them with frustrating design. Also an Xbox has certain hardware limitations so I need to consider the size of texture maps, levels, detail in the world as to not go beyond the consoles capabilities and lag or crash the game. I could go on forever but these are a few of the more obvious examples.”

You may find Tyson on twitter here, watch his fantastic game project videos on his YouTube channel, or check out his games - Heart of Zarar and The Cure.