Asema Hassan is a Pakistani game developer currently residing in Germany doing her second masters in Digital Engineering from Otto-von-Guericke University of Magdeburg. She has worked in the game industry of Islamabad, Pakistan for more than three years. She holds a Masters in Computer Science from COMSATS, Islamabad and has taught “Game design and development” at Fatima Jinnah Women University as visiting faculty. She is currently working as a Research Assistant (developing VR simulation games) at “Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen” – DZNE and also as a freelance developer making a 3D parkour game, which will be released by end of year.

Name: Asema Hassan
Vocation: Game Developer
Number of years’ experience: 4 years/Developer, 1 year/ Teacher
Location: Magdeburg, Germany
Twitter: @AsemaHassan
Facebook: Asema Hassan

Shipped Game Titles:
All is in one package; developed multiple games for Agnitus App for iOS/Android.

1. What are you currently reading and/or playing?
In my free time, I am mostly reading technical blogs to learn about new development techniques. Apart from that, I just finished reading On way to Fun: An Emotion-based Approach to Successful Game Design by Roberto Dillon. His approach really inspired me, and I did some research work based on it. The work is still in progress and will be published soon.

I love playing games, so I like to play INJUSTICE: Gods Among Us and Need for Speed: Rivals. Sometimes, I like to play Assassins Creed Unity but it’s more of observing the gameplay rather than enjoying it Ha-ha! The most common problem of being a game developer.

2. First time you knew you wanted to work in games was…?
I think it’s way back in my childhood. I always wanted to do something with games as I used to play a lot with my siblings on Atari, Nintendo and even games on PC. Even so, I wanted to study Fine Arts in high school, as I used to relate games with painting and sketching only. When I told my father that I wanted to do art studies, he inquired about my perspective regarding it. He said it’s not a proper field; it’s just a hobby. To which I replied, I wish to develop games someday like the ones I love playing. So with his assistance, I finally decided to pursue study in computer science. I started high school with computer science as a major and initiated programming from GW BASIC and C language. And since that time, I trained myself for this field which is not just a career; in fact, it’s a passion for me.

3. What was your favorite mistake?
I haven’t made any big mistakes so far in my career, as I plan everything beforehand, and I know that what I am doing works most of the time. The only risk that I have taken is leaving my job and coming all the way to Germany to pursue higher studies. In the beginning, I got scared because of the language. But after the first semester, it’s all going well. I am meeting industry people at game conferences, volunteering for events, sharing ideas, and talking about new possibilities in research. So I would say this mistake turned out to be the best for me, as I have become stronger than before and wherever I work and go I represent my country. Which makes me feel good, that I am contributing in one way or another.

4. What was your favorite success?
Favorite success, it’s hard to answer at this point, although I always get happy at little achievements and targets, as they add up and make you a successful person. But my favorite success is yet to come, and I know what it will be for me — it’s coming soon!

5. What’s the best advice you ever got?
Learn from your past and trust your instincts. You’re the one who can write your own destiny.

6. Share one thing few know about you.
I forgive and forget very quickly.

It’s funny, when I tell people that I forget about things that happened a day ago when I sleep. So it’s something with my sleeping cycle as I sleep at least 8 hours no matter what’s coming next day and I just get over things when I wake up. So I always move on in life!

7. What’s one thing or trend you’re most excited about in the industry?
Firstly, Artificial Intelligence in games, as I am always fascinated by NPC behavior. I have done my first Masters Thesis in Artificial Intelligence, where my target was mainly to use emotions to enhance team collaboration in a multiplayer shooting game.

Secondly, to work on Augmented and Virtual reality games and their impact on human psychology.

Bonus: 8. Anything else you want to add?

I would just like to add a message for those people who are afraid to take risks in life, especially at times when one has a well settled life, a family and a decent job. It makes you think that it’s the maximum you can achieve. But I believe the opposite. You have to test your capabilities to the fullest. There is always more to what you think you have achieved. So you have to take risk; you need to grow out of your comfort zone. Keep on learning, keep on challenging your own caliber.

To conclude all of it, simply love your job, make it your passion, then you will be happy and successful.

Feel free to reblog with a link back to this post. If you are a lady dev who’d like to be profiled or would like to nominate one, please contact Anne [at] igda [dot] org