Phil Campbell has been a designer for interactive entertainment for over 20 years working as an architect, writer, game creator and freelance designer on titles such as The Godfather, Omikron: The Nomad Soul and Tomb Raider. The list of things he has worked on is insane and some of these roles can be seen above.
He went to Oxford and worked with his dad as an architect for a while, but was never really good at the practical side of this. He was then head hunted for a games company and working through this gave him much more freedom as the buildings didn’t have to be technically sound.
Getting in to games was a fluke for him, it is much more difficult for people now as the jobs are much more specialised and there are a lot more people trying to get in to the industry. This means that you can create a beautiful product but still have an incredibly hard time selling it.
- Half remember things: this makes ideas much more malleable and gives you more freedom.
- Always perceive yourself as being at the centre of the vortex: you are a result of the things around you.
Immerse yourself in everything around you.
Be enthusiastic: Tell the stories you want to tell.
- Explore how you can manipulate time and transport people.
Bring post-it’s to meetings and work around a whiteboard:
- Don’t worry about the neatness of how ideas are presented.
- Go wild and get all your ideas out there.
- Bounce off each other: help with the generation of ideas and way to solve problems.
Collect books, comics, biographies, everything:
- This collection is a product of you and your life.
- You can make it relevant to every thing you do.
When given a script or storyline to follow:
- Weave your own narrative around the main plot points.
- Push the limits.
- Understand time limits and clients wishes but challenge it.
- Make the stories you want to tell part of the stories you help create: through character’s attitudes, histories etc.
Getting your name out there:
- Let your friends help: bounce off each other.
- Trust yourself.
- Don’t be afraid to fail: accept rejection is part of the journey.
- Become a good listener and learn to ask the right questions.
- Don’t be egotistical BUT own your own shit
To help with team issues:
- Do things with your team outside of work (go to the pub, play a board game, grab a coffee): It will help people come out of your shell.
- Encourage each other.
- Give people the space to communicate with you and don’t give up on them