Tino is an independent game developer

1. What does your current job entail?

My official title is Game Developer & Creative at SassyBot Studio, although realistically, I wear many hats in the company. Independent developers are notorious for managing all stations in order to get the job done.

2. In what way are your NHTV studies linked to your current job?

Indie Game Development has given me all the tools to operate effectively in the interactive entertainment branch and taught me how to remain relevant in an industry that grows as fast as the game industry. Considering that I am currently developing games independently and making a living out of it, I would say that my education more than prepared me for the activities that I now do on a daily basis.

3. When you look back, do you think studying at NHTV was the right thing to do for you?

The programme at str NAMESHORT is currently among the best game development study programmes in Europe and will likely remain in that position for years to come. In retrospect, I couldn't have wished for a better education in game development on national soil than what this programme has given me.

4. Can you describe your average work day?

My average day consists of processing emails from developers, journalists, fans, publishers, and clients. The remainder of my time is spent on working down self-imposed priority lists that work towards creating a game.
Work hours are usually from 9:00 to 17:00 although it is not uncommon to work overtime. If making games is your passion, then work does not feel like work anymore.
Once a week we have a game night where we play games brought in by the people that work at SassyBot. Occasionally, there are industry events or conferences to attend where I get to meet colleagues and gamers.

6. What is your best memory of NHTV and your stay in Breda?

The best moments I can recall from my study period at NHTV must surely be the after-school talks and discussions we had at the local Irish Pub. The lecturers and fellow- students are very passionate about what they do and love to start a dialogue about game-related subjects inside and outside of school.

7. What would you advise prospective students who have to make the difficult decision about where/what to study?

The advice I would give aspiring game developers is to ask yourself whether or not you would love making games as much as playing them for the majority of your average week. Creating games is a very time-consuming practice with a lot of obstacles, challenges, and struggles. However, you should know that the work you do will repay itself tenfold when you see the faces of the people that play the things that you have made.

Tino van der Kraan
Graduate Indie Game Development

Read more stories of students and alumni of the programme International Game Architecture and Design