Zein Okko

Media and Communication Design
Campus Cologne

Occupation following studies: Narrative Designer, Founder and managing director of „Goodwolf Studio“
Where are you currently working and how is your position called?
I am the founder and managing director of Goodwolf Studio and work there as a narrative designer.

What are your tasks and duties in that job?
At the one hand I take care of administrative tasks, apart from that I am mainly responsible for the creation of the story, the dialogue and the characters. Furthermore I take care of the visual design of our games and the composition of our soundtracks.  

Why did you choose this job and what excites you about it?
I am a queer fellow, it’s hard to fit me into the role of an employee. I wanted to be my own boss, that’s why I decided to found. My desire was to create unconventional games, as I tend to defy mainstream.

Is this the kind of job you were hoping for when you were still studying?
I didn’t expect to end up in the gaming industry after my studies. It happened through a fortunate coincidence and I definitely don’t regret it.  

Do you think that the classes and the practice projects prepared you well enough for the real working life?
Macromedia thought me a lot about conceptual thinking, this is still helpful to me. A strong concept is the main requirement for a good game. Apart from that I still choose to conceptualize on paper (Prof. Breidenich would be very pleased by that).

Did you get along with your fellow students? Are you still in contact with them and what do you expect to gain from those contacts in future?
I did and still do get along with my fellow students very well. I am still in touch with them. I appreciate the exchange of ideas, thoughts and inspiration between each other.  Especially the fact that most of them are as crazy as I am, is a good reason to maintain the contact.

Looking back, what did you like the most?
I love to remind myself of the classes in “painting and drawing“, when we had full access to the big atelier and could let of some creative steam.

In general, what do you think about the current topic of development and change?
Change and development are of course important. Sometimes I wish a few more people in leading positions would realize that.

How important is it to show openness towards change, in order to survive the modern world?   
People, who are not open towards change, despite living in the digital world, won’t make it very long. Especially in the gaming industry.

Do you already know where you want to be in ten years?

I hope that Goodwolf Studio will be successful enough in 10 years, for me to outsource uncomfortable things as accounting ;)

Do you have any advice for our freshmen?
Just do it! This has meanwhile become my mantra. In the past, I tended to hold myself back with doubts. I always thought I had too little experience to create games, also that I was too young to found and so on. I learned that waiting leads to absolutely nothing and started to do things that I want to do. Meanwhile I contributed to two award winning games and I am leading my own studio with colleagues. “Just do it” – you can do that too!

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Editorial Note: Check out this TEDxTalk youth and learn what Zein Okko says about the power of human imagination in Games: "Die Kopf-Engine: Vorstellungskraft in Computerspielen" | Zein Okko | TEDxYouth@Bonn

 

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