We recently asked our Gameplay Programmer, Drew Clowery how he got into the business of making video games and what keeps him motivated in this incredibly competitive field.
What attracted you to the game development industry?
I love games. I’ve always loved games, and honestly I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life.
What are some previous game titles or studio names you’ve worked with?
I started in the game industry as a Customer Service Representative working on Dark Age of Camelot by Mythic Entertainment. After that I was a Game Designer on Pirates of the Burning Sea by Flying Lab Software. Then I worked as a Game Designer on Rift for Trion.
What is the earliest or most intense memory you have of a video game experience?
Playing Mario Kart on the SNES with my sister. It was fiercely competitive.
Other than any Stoic games, what is your favorite video game of all time and why?
Probably Everquest. I’ve certainly spent more time playing that game than any other, and it definitely holds a special place for me.
If you did not work in the video game field, what kind of job do you think you’d be doing?
If I had still gotten into computer programming I would probably do that. I really enjoy programming, and while working on something other than games would be much less enjoyable, it would still be a good career for me. If I hadn’t gotten into computer programming (which I only got into because of games), I would probably work in the Casino industry, likely as a dealer.
What’s something you’re proud of in the Banner Saga series?
Most of the work I’ve done hasn’t been released yet, but I’m really pleased with how the wave system worked out in our Alpha Battle.
When you’re not working on Banner Saga, what are you doing in your free time?
I enjoy playing Poker, spending time with my family (especially my nieces and nephews, who think I’m their own personal jungle gym), and playing games. Lately I’ve been playing a lot of the Paradox strategy games, mostly Crusader Kings 2 and Stellaris. I play in a weekly (-ish, syncing adult’s schedules is hard) Runequest game, and have another group that roughly alternates RPGs and board games. Currently we’re playing Shadowrun.
Do you have any advice for others who would like to do what you do?
College is a great way to learn and grow, but don’t spend a lot of money on it. There are careers where a degree from a prestigious private university pays for itself; game programming is not one of them. Find somewhere that teaches the way you learn, and where you can pay in-state tuition.