A Talk With A Geeky Girl Gamer: Rachel Kremer

17th September, 2012 - Posted by Mashupman - 1 Comment

Gamerweblog.com is putting together a series of interviews with gaming ladies of all walks of life. In an effort to put the spotlight on what many still believe is a rarity, the girl who is an avid gamer. Today we highlight: Rachel Kremer of Firedroid.

Can you briefly explain what you do?
“I’m one of the co-founders of Firedroid, an independent game company based in The Netherlands and we make games for Android and iOS phones and tablets. Most of the time I’m occupied with making art, animations, designing GUI (graphical user interfaces) and the texturing of 3D models.”

Does that leave you a great deal of time to play games?
“Actually it does! Although I must admit that I’m not such a fanatic gamer as I used to be since my graduation and since we started our own game company. I still play games of course, but sometimes I just want to lay on the couch and read a book instead. Besides, after working on a PC all day -and- stare at a screen some more while playing games makes me hear my mother say in the back of my head: “Watch out! You’ll get square eyes!”. ;)”

Rachel Kremer

Rachel Kremer

How do you play games? Do you hop in and out for short bursts or do you hunker down and play for hours on end?
“I kind of do both. This is where my interest for game development kicks in. I like to try out all kinds of different games and that has become fairly easy with a platform like Steam. Sometimes I buy games simply because I like the art style or I’m interested in the gameplay. I tend to play such games for a couple of hours and mostly observe the game from a developer’s point of view instead of a players point of view. One game has pretty lighting; the other has simple but fabulous 3D models, animations, a brilliant interface or gameplay design, etc. I love to just watch and study those things.”

“But I can also completely lose myself in games. Then I start playing a game for ‘just one or two hours!’ as I like to say to myself and by the time I take a look at the time again… I’ve been playing the entire afternoon.”

As a developer it’s obviously important to keep up with trends in gaming. How often do you see or play a game and go: ‘Dammit, that’s brilliant! Why didn’t I think of that?’ when playing other people’s games?
“I try to keep up with the latest trends in the mobile market by checking out gameplay trailers or demo’s of the most popular games. I admire a lot of mobile games like Canabalt and Fruit Ninja for their simplicity which often is the key to success. So yeah, I often think “That’s brilliant!” and I think we’ll try to aim for such a small but brilliant concept after we complete Kings Can Fly which is much bigger in scale and production.”

What is your favorite and least favorite trope you’ve put in one of your games?
“I wouldn’t say we specifically put certain tropes in games; it’s more of an adjustment to the platform and the target audience. For example: There’s the lack of plot in mobile games, but that’s because the target audience just wants to play a nice and casual game. Personally I think that’s a shame, I’d love to make a mobile game with a story that includes war, betrayal and long lost twin fathers but that’s not what people want when they secretly play games on the toilet.”

“One advantage of these mobile games is that as an artist you get to draw fun and quirky graphics and characters. I totally love the almost Mario World like level map we’ve just finished for Kings Can Fly with its bright colors and cute animations. A-do-rable.”

Rachel Kremer

Rachel Kremer

You mentioned playing lots of games on Steam, is the PC your primary platform? Do you have any consoles?
“I used to be a PC-only gamer, but since we got a PS3 a couple of years ago that actually changed. Games like Trine and Assassin’s Creed are just so much better on the couch with a controller. But it goes both ways. I would never play a shooter game on a console; I wouldn’t be able to hit the long side of a barn with those fiddly sticks! I really need a mouse and keyboard to keep up my headshot score.”

“I’ve also got a working Super Nintendo including controllers with bite marks from my ´stuck on that one level´ frustrated childhood! And I have a Nintendo DS that I mainly use for puzzle games like Professor Layton or playing Dokapon Journey with fellow travelers.”

Do you have a favorite character in a gaming? What pulls you towards them over others?
“This is a tough question. When I was a kid I really liked Crystal from One Must Fall 2097 with Shadow as the robot. Overall I don’t have a favorite character. Mostly the protagonist in a game is as neutral as possible so that players can really pretend like it’s them. I’m talking about the standard brown-haired boring dudes who have 99% chance of being an orphan. I prefer the characters with actual ‘character’ and a defined look like Razputin from Psychonauts or the characters from Borderlands and Team Fortress. And I can’t deny that I simply adore Sackboy from Little Big Planet, he’s so cute!”

What is the last game that you finished?
“That’ll be Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood.”

Rachel Kremer

Rachel Kremer

To conclude the article, I’d like to use this set of ten questions that I have prepared to include in every interview. For this I have taken inspiration from Bernard Pigott and James Lipton (Inside The Actor’s Studio).

Here they are, the Trivial Ten!

1. What is your favorite word?
“Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Although I never seem to spell or pronounce it  correctly.”

2. What is your least favorite word?

3. What draws you into a game?
“I´m immediately attracted to games with an original art style.”

4. What turns you off of a game?
“Game breaking bugs, bad gameplay and a lack of originality.”

5. What game mechanic do you love?
“Really smart co-op integration in games.”

6. What game mechanic do you hate?
“On-rail games as a solution to the limits of motion controls. Then again, I’m not a fan of motion controls.”

7. What is your favorite curse word?

8. What game that you’ve not played would you like to pick up?
“I still have to play Portal 2! But I´ve got a humongous list of games I still have to play, I´m way behind.”

9. What games do you steer clear from?
“Realistic shooters. I loved them and played games like Soldier of Fortune 2 really fanatically about ten years ago when I was fourteen. I was even part of a clan. Somehow I´ve completely lost interest in those games and they all look the same to me now with their boring green/brown textures. And sports games, I don’t have any affinity with those games.”

10. If you were to design a game, what would be the name of the main character?
“Atom Acorn.”

I would like to take this moment that thank you for your answers. And would like to leave you some space for any final comments you may have for the readers. Is there anything in particular you want to share?
“If anybody is curious about the games I work on with Firedroid, they can always check out our website www.firedroid.net and to see some of my personal work they can visit www.rachelkremer.nl. And thank you for having me. I’m honored to be between all these other interesting ladies.”

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Posted on: September 17, 2012

Filed under: Interview

1 Comment

Charles Barnes

December 3rd, 2014 at 03:22    

Great interview!

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