Game Director on LifeSpark Arena – Yale Buckner
The making of LifeSpark is meant to highlight the team working hard to make this game every day, and get to know about their back story, development practices, interests, and hobbies.
Hey Yale! So why don’t you fill everyone in on what exactly you do at LifeSpark, and what gave you the inspiration for the game.
I am game director, which means I handle the overall choices and coordination of the team pushing the game forward.
I’ve always been a big fan of Dungeons & Dragons, and all of those things. Especially anything with dragons in it, so I’ve always wanted to make one of these things. It was actually LifeSpark 1.0 that was my portfolio piece that got me into USC.
Can you describe for us what LifeSpark 1.0 was?
It was a simple game made in Flash, an RPG where you ran around this world, talking to its inhabitants and interfacing with different personalities and types of people. You really got immersed in the game.
And you really enjoy bringing story through in these games, correct?
Yeah, that’s what really captivates me about RPGs.
What are some games that you feel do that really well?
The Final Fantasies, the Dragon Age games, Chrono Trigger was probably one of my favorite games of all time.
Are you working any elements of those games into LifeSpark?
I definitely am. They all had unique ways of bringing stories to life and I’m trying to let LifeSpark do the same, and develop its own brand of storytelling.
What are some things you find really important when designing a good story?
In narrative design I think it is really important that characters are not necessarily bad or good, but that they all have their faults, their flaws, and in these characters we’re designing and their narrative arcs within the story itself need to be convincing and authentic, not just straight light or dark.
What are you most excited for people to see once they can get their hands on LifeSpark?
I can’t wait for them to see all of it. It’s a phenomenal game that we are putting together, and with a team of super talented people working on it every day it is really a blessing, because each part of the game has a lot of care put into it. The result will be an IOS MOBA that is easy to pick up for ten minutes, or three hours, that allows players to really delve into the game.
Thanks Yale, great talking to you!
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