I'm Kobi (they/them). I make games and other things people can interact with. I recently graduated with a Bachelor's in Interactive Media and Game Design from the University of Southern California. I currently work as an Associate Economy Designer on Marvel Strike Force. To me, the most important aspects of games are emotional depth and satisfying gameplay. My goal as a designer is to use systems-informed design to create satisfying games with depth. If you want to know more about me, please get in touch!
When I say I’m a game designer, I'm sometimes asked whether that’s the technical side or the art side. The answer is neither, and/or both. My job is not primarily to code or make visual art, it’s to figure out what the player is able to do, and what the game does in response, in order to create a specific experience for the player. To do that, I work with game engines, paper, spreadsheets, code, visual art, and other people to prototype and iterate.
I consider myself a generalist gameplay designer with a systems design lens. I have a strong grasp of how systems work in terms of inflows, outflows, and loops, and I use that to design satisfying gameplay. Every part of a game is integrated with the game's systems, even ones that don't have currency economies or level progression. Understanding those systems and how to manipulate them makes me a better designer all around.
Prototyping and testing game, mechanic, and system ideas early in and throughout the development process allows game developers to focus on what's interesting and fun about a game and discard ideas that don't work well. Prototyping creates tighter, more satisfying experiences. I fell in love with prototyping in Andy Nealen's Game Prototyping class at USC. I went on to become the Student Assistant for the class, where I helped teach students prototyping and gave feedback on their prototypes.
I like to make things that aren't games, too! Some of those things include fiction, typography, and useful objects such as clothing and furniture. Most recently, I've been focused on learning woodworking—one of my first projects was making a cutting board. I view all the things I make as different mediums for the same thing: creating an experience for people, whether it's playing a game, reading a book, wearing a piece of clothing, or interacting with a physical object.
Over my life, I'd like to always continue improving my design practice, learning new tools and methods for making games and other experiences. I would like to participate thoughtfully in the communities I'm involved with, learning from others and helping others learn. I want to make sure that in any endeavor, I enjoy the process as well as the product. I want to play meaningful games, make stuff I’m proud of, and spend time with people who inspire me.