Engineer on LifeSpark Arena – Alex Cordova
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 Alex! So what do you do here on LifeSpark Arena?
I am in charge of one of the small sub teams of engineers so I get to work with the engineering lead (Kaleb) a lot as well as my team. A lot of the engineering related tasks that I do are centered around music as well, so I sort of serve as a bridge between the engineering team and the composer (Ben).
So what does it feel like being a bridge between music and engineering? Was that a new experience for you on LifeSpark?
In a way, yeah, it was largely a learning experience for me. I have a musical background so I really enjoy being able to combine my engineering skills with my musical knowledge on a project like this. Most of the technologies that I have to use for sound and music related tasks were new to me though, so that took some time to get my head around. The musical background definitely helped expedite the process though.
So you mention a musical background, care to expand upon that for our readers? How did a musician get to engineering?
Well I started playing music in elementary school and stuck with it through Jr. High and High School marching band and concert band. So I’ve spent a lot of my life playing music and it serves a unique role in balancing out my engineering side. I currently play bass drum in the USC Trojan Marching Band which is a large part of my life here.
A lot of people find video game design a demanding field, how do you balance working on LifeSpark with these other priorities in your life?
Well I would certainly have to agree with it being demanding. Honestly, I just love doing what I do. It can be pretty demanding at times and when its crunch time for classwork, LifeSpark, other projects, and marching band all at the same time it can get pretty…exciting. But I find all of these things very fulfilling and interesting and, although it can really suck sometimes, I enjoy working on things I care about. I mean, how much can I complain? I make video games at the best school in the world (unbiased opinion of course) and play for the greatest marching band in the history of the universe. I’m living my inner 10 year old’s dream.
Well then Alex, since you are living the dream right now, what is the greatest experience or challenge you have gotten from working on this team, as opposed to those other activities?
Definitely having to work with so many other people. From an engineering standpoint especially, a lot of new challenges get added when you work in a team of 10+ people. Both from a technological standpoint of dealing with version control and collaboration softwares, as well as from a practical standpoint of just having to interact and collaborate with other engineers, artists, designers, producers etc. Its something I’ve never done before but its been an extremely valuable experience. It can be hard dealing with all the additional overhead but its amazing how much work a team of so many people can get done, and how polished of a product we can create.
Thanks Alex, great talking to you!
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