The games people play

The games people play

Enterprising mind

The games people play

As a child,  Mark Skaggs always remembers being hooked on to gaming. He admits that it was an addiction of sorts but it never killed the creative instincts in him. After arming himself with a degree in management and holding a regular job for a while, he decided to give in to his calling — designing games. He quit his job to start a game company.

Mark had so much going on in his head in terms of ideas and characters that designing games gave him the chance to give a proper shape and form to them.

“Designing games gave me the chance to give life to the imaginary characters shaping up and running around in my head,” says Mark, who was recently in the city for the 11th edition of ABAI Fest and Karnataka Animation, VFX, Gaming and Comics (KAVGC) Summit.

A seasoned game designer, Mark is credited with designing popular games such as
‘FarmVille’ and ‘Empires & Allies’.

About the idea behind designing ‘FarmVille’, Mark says he was inspired by watching people work in small patches of land in the backyard of their homes. “It is a way to get people to return to farming and rekindle their love for agriculture and farming. Developing the game was also for the purpose of getting people to connect with something real,” reasons Mark.

He remembers the day the Facebook game ‘FarmVille’ went live. “People were just hooked on to the game the moment it hit the virtual world. I would see people playing ‘FarmVille’ on their computers at home, palmtops and on the phones. I even knew of expectant mothers and stay-at-home mothers who loved the
game because they connected to it somewhere,” says Mark.

The idea of ‘FarmVille’, he says, was also to pass the nostalgia of farming to the next generation. Developing games is a never-ending process, says Mark, who confesses that he is never 100 % happy with his creations.

“I always feel there is room to improve and improvise in the world of gaming. Any game can be tweaked to a better and a more advanced version,” adds Mark.

Commenting about children and young adults spending a considerable amount of their time on gaming, Mark says, “Gaming definitely sharpens your mind and teaches you how to deal with tough situations. Gaming teaches you the art of negotiation.”

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