My life in games: Mark Nauta

The game designer helped create one of this year’s biggest turn-based strategy titles, XCOM 2. Here, Nauta reveals the influences that led him to the gig

The first game I worked on: XCOM 2

Mark Nauta
Nauta’s TOP TIP

“In XCOM 2, it’s important to be tactically aggressive. The enemy aliens have scary, powerful abilities, so if you get the chance to make a risky move and deal with them sooner than later, it might just be worth that risk”

Turn-based tactics; 2016; PS4/Xbox One/PC

“XCOM 2 is actually the first title I’ve worked on in the gaming industry proper. Pretty good start, I’d say. Before this, there was a swathe of student and game-jam [independent] projects, such as the cooperative, top-down shooter Tetrapulse and Groovy Tuesday, a music game where you’re a rollerskating elephant. It was a fairly natural transition to start working on hardcore strategy games.”

Games in this article:

  • XCOM 2
  • World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck
  • Mass Effect
  • Rocket League
  • Super Smash Bros. Melee

© XCOM // Youtube

The first game I played: World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck

Platformer; 1992; Sega Genesis

“I used to play this game with my sister; we’d work together to explore and solve puzzles. I loved the Sega Genesis [the Mega Drive in Europe] and ate up stuff like the Sonic games and Road Rash. This was all happening when I was only five, but video games have been a huge part of my life ever since.”

World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck

The game that most inspired me: Mass Effect

Action; 2007; Xbox/PlayStation/Wii U/PC/Mobile

“I already knew I wanted to be a game designer before I’d played these games, but the Mass Effect series really showed me how powerful the medium can be. It evoked this amazing sense of wonder and adventure, which was backed up by interesting characters and solid moment-to-moment gameplay.”

© Mass Effect // Youtube

My current favourite: Rocket League

Sports; 2015; PS4/Xbox One/PC

“I play mostly multiplayer games – anything from a quick round of Rocket League to a Civilization V marathon – to keep in contact with friends all over the country. I still love single-player games, but who could turn down the chance to play with friends?”

© Rocket League // Youtube

The game I’d take to a desert island: Super Smash Bros Melee

Fighting; 2001; GameCube

“I’ve been playing this game for 15 years, and I haven’t got tired of it yet. As evidenced by its still-thriving competitive scene, there is so much room to improve and evolve your gameplay in Super Smash Bros Melee. Hopefully there’s someone else trapped on the island for me to play against.”

© My Gamecube Channel // Youtube

CLONE WARS: Go vintage with these officially licensed retro game systems

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09 2016 The Red Bulletin

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