Adrian Yosifov is a student in the Game Dev Advanced program, whose path in the game industry started 8 years ago when he was studying at a British university! However, the real adventure for him began when he enrolled in ARC Academy!
1. Introduce yourself in a few sentences. Tell us what you are currently doing and in which program are you studying at ARC?
My name is Adrian Yosifov, I am 30 years old and I am part of the Game Dev Advanced program at ARC Academy. I am currently learning Level Design and Game Design techniques – practically everything related to the game industry. After all, gaming has been my hobby since I was about 14-15 years old, back in the days of Nintendo, Atari and Sega Mega Drive. I still remember the old arcade games with a handle and 3 buttons, on which I played my parents’ money, to buy tokens. I am also interested in movies, I love going to the cinema and I am happy that there are many points of contact with cinema in the gaming industry. I also like to read fantasy and sci-fi books – everything that separates you, even for a while, from reality.
2. Why did you choose to enroll in the program?
It happened quite by accident, but at the same time fateful. A month after I left my previous job, I was wondering if I should go back to what I graduated as – Computer Gaming and Animation Technology. Nearly 8 years after my graduation, I stumbled upon an ad for recruiting students at ARC Academy. I found it extremely interesting that on the territory of Bulgaria there is finally a similar academy for this industry. I immediately dug around and saw an opportunity for a scholarship. I hurried to apply and fortunately, I succeeded. I was very happy with myself! ARC helped me a lot to recall what I learned from the university, as well as to gain new knowledge first hand, namely from the people who professionally develop games in the big game dev studios in our country. I had the opportunity to learn from them and from the experience they shared with us. A few months ago I applied for a junior position in the field and I am very happy to be part of the Ubisoft Sofia team as a Junior Level Designer.
3. What lessons does ARC teach you?
Perhaps the biggest lesson is the importance of relationships with people in this profession. While studying in England, I realized that everything I learn comes from people who have nothing to do with the industry. In ARC, however, this is not the case – all lecturers have serious professional experience and realized world-famous games behind them! Recognizable names, positions, and experience of people working in large companies such as Ubisoft, Gameloft, Creative Assembly, and others.
4. Describe how one of your favorite lectures goes!
My most enjoyable lectures are those on Level Design. I’ve done levels before, even in my training on the island, but I definitely lacked structure, positions of elements, there were a lot of mistakes that you can’t notice otherwise. There is no one to tell you. While in ARC it is different because the lecturers have a lot of experience. You gain this experience from level and world designers who can talk for hours about even a small corner and explain to you why it is important to think about it correctly. This is extremely interesting for me, and when I was a student, I didn’t realize that it was a science. Position of elements, approaches to building locations, references to the real world, and a bunch of other factors are just some of the things you need to be careful about, in creating a level. At first, I thought that being a level designer was opening the software and just putting a bunch of things at your level without planning if you needed them. This is not so! The lecturers taught me that there is a lot of in-depth planning before any work, as well as active communication with the other teams in the studio.
5. Due to the world situation, we had switched to online training. What do you think about it? Do you think that in the future the education will be entirely online?
Online learning is a useful and good addition to the form present. Live you have the opportunity to meet the lecturers, to hear what they have to say, to talk about other topics, to see how they think, how they behave, just to gain experience. I think that among the most useful things for us as students at ARC is the opportunity to take advantage of both forms of education.
6. What are your fellow students like and how do you work with them?
ARC students are definitely interesting people. I really like that everyone has their own understanding, ideas, approaches. Definitely, everyone has qualities. It struck me that I had something to learn from people who were younger or older than me, and age was not a factor. This is probably the biggest advantage of the academy – the ability to communicate with different age groups, just like in universities abroad. When I was 20, I had 40-50 years old classmates. Definitely any such relationship can change your worldview. And I’m not just talking about life, but also about the professional differences or points of contact, can only be useful. Working with everyone goes smoothly, and when there are moments of differences, they are discussed and worked out.