Name: Katya Pateva
Vocation: Level Designer
Years of experience: 3
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Assassin’s Creed: Rogue
1. What are you currently reading and/or playing?
I just started reading The Knights of the Cross by Henryk Sienkiewicz and I’m currently playing “Civilization 6,” about to start “The Last Guardian.” I’m also playing a bunch of mobile games constantly.
2. First time you knew you wanted to work in games was…?
I don’t think I can really pin-point an exact moment – There was always something guiding me in that direction, I guess. Both of my parents are IT specialists, and I have been playing games since I was very, very young. At some point, however, I discovered that some games my parents and I used to play had editors – so I began to create maps for Age of Empires and some other strategy games, and it was the best thing ever!
Later when I was close to finishing high school, I was very confused over what I should do next, what field of study I should go into. Everyone seemed to already have a plan, but I just could not see myself becoming an accountant or a lawyer – at all. I went and looked up universities abroad, and suddenly I stumbled upon universities offering Game Design programs?! I honestly did not even think that was an option before. So I immediately applied, got accepted, started studying Game Design and Producing, and met so many absolutely amazing and unbelievably talented people, which sparked my flame for game development even more. Sadly I had to leave after the first year, because of personal matters, but the flame was already burning and I knew game development is exactly what I wanted to do! I soon managed to get my first industry job.
3. What was your favorite mistake?
I would say that all my mistakes are my favorite, because it’s through mistakes we learn the most. The important thing is to keep making new ones.
Now if I really have to pick a particular one, it would be skipping school to play more video games. 🙂
4. What was your favorite success?
My current favorite success is where I am at right now – I managed to get into the AAA industry almost immediately after I was forced to leave university, and I had my first AAA game shipped when I was 21 years old. Aside from that, I am very proud that after Rogue got released, reviews were overwhelmingly positive, and the game was very well received among fans. An area I have worked on was used as a great example of the game’s player choice freedom, in reviews.
5. What’s the best advice you ever got?
It’s a famous saying I first saw on the desktop of a friend’s laptop. It said: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” I try to follow this guidance in every aspect of my life… “Make the change you want to see in your game world.” 🙂
6. Share one thing few know about you.
I used to break dance when I was very young. I was extremely bad at it, but it was still very fun.
7. What’s one thing or trend you’re most excited about in the industry?
I am very excited to see what the future holds. We have gone through so much, yet still have so much more to go. Every day I see so many innovations.
Bonus: 8. Anything else you want to add?
Back in the day, when I was playing a lot of World of Warcraft, there was a server event – a 10 man raid race for killing the Lich King, between the best guilds on the server. Every raid group consisted of 2 healers, but I insisted on being the solo healer for my group, so we can take an extra damage dealer (I didn’t even play as a healer at the time). Everyone was skeptical, thinking we wouldn’t make it even past the first bosses, but I managed to convince everyone and kept the group alive at all times. In the end we completed the whole raid, finished with a great time and I got so many praises for my performance!
So, what I’m trying to say is – if you know your limits and set your mind on something, everything is possible. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!
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