☕️ Hi Hannah, tell us a bit about yourself!
Hi I’m Hannah, a lady who originates from the Netherlands but has lived in Sweden for about 2 years now. I always like to claim I came out of the womb telling stories, but that’d be a mild exaggeration. I’ve always been lost in the stories in my head. It only got worse when I discovered the magic of video games and Dungeons & Dragons. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.🐉
☕️ What do you work with at Coffe stain?
I’m a level designer and writer at Coffee Stain studios. Mostly what that means is that I make the world in every sense of the word. I write the lore, the characters, dialogue, story, etc. And I also make the environments on the map with the assets I’m given. My time is divided about 30/70 between writing and working on the level respectively. We use Unreal Engine 4.
☕️ Can you tell us a little bit more about Level design?
I always relate level design to architecture. My current project, Satisfactory, is an open-world game on an uncharted alien planet. Which means is that I use geology, patterns in nature, erosion, and lots more to figure out how the world would logically look. This I then balance with demands for gameplay, breaking conventions to make something look and feel alien, and what’s considered aesthetically pleasing.
☕️ When did it first occur to you that you’d like to work with Level design?
I originally started studying games because I wanted to combine two things that I loved: writing and games. But it became clear to me very early on that being a games writer is difficult, not to mention the oversaturated job market. So I figured I’d focus on level design, something I discovered on the way that I loved doing as well, and get into the industry first before thinking of writing again.
☕️ How does a normal day at the office look like for you?
We eat breakfast together at the office, and then I go to the spot I have with the other level designer. I go over my assigned tasks, pick whichever needs doing most or suits me best that day, and get to it. Usually that means continuing work on creating/re-iterating a biome (eg. desert, forest, caves). Which includes landscaping, landscape painting, creating an asset set out of existing assets, placing those assets, making paths for the player, lighting & fog. All while keeping the art direction and gameplay in mind.
☕️ What’s next on your agenda? Any more skills you want to learn?
Ever since I discovered VFX I’ve been interested in it, and I’d love to cultivate my skills in that field more than the basics I currently know. It would also be a great bridge to teach me more more technical skills, which is my current weak spot. This is also the first writing job I have had, so there’s plenty left to do and learn!