CrossbowHello. My name is Mathew Kumar and I am a game designer and producer! In that picture at the right there I’m holding a crossbow Richard Garriott had made (the cigarette is for show, but let me promise you, that crossbow is very, very real.)

I most recently worked on Sound Shapes, by Queasy Games for Sony PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita! This involved concepting levels and taking them through to completion (including entity and level design) and working in a producer capacity with programmers, musical artists and (in particular) graphical artists.

That was pretty neat! It meant I got to work with musical artists of the likes of Beck and deadmau5, and graphical artists and designers like Superbrothers (he of Sword and Sworcery fame). And I’d like to say it paid off, with great reviews and, heck, all kinds of awards including Best Handheld Game at the 2012 Spike Video Game Awards, Best Game on the Go and Best Innovation at the 2013 Canadian Video Game Awards, and nominations for Best Handheld Game and Best Audio at the 2013 Game Developer’s Choice Awards.

Before that, I worked as a game design consultant, consulting on titles such as They Bleed Pixels from Spooky Squid Games and Dyad by ][ Games, and I served as Content Director for the Independent Games Festival Mobile for its first two years (shortly before it transitioned to become part of the main Independent Games Festival).

And… oh, I guess I’ll let you into my dirty secret: I used to be a games journalist.

Actually, wait now. That’s not totally fair. I still am a games journalist when the wont suits me! But in general, it’s not my bread and butter. I actually used to have this funny little biography written in the third-person that claimed I was the “best damn games journalist in Canada.” The joke was at the time (about seven years ago, now) there were few (if any) writers who chose to identify as such in the Great White North; now it just seems rude (even if I still believe I am, forever.) Instead I’d just like to let my experience speak for itself. Since I started writing for seminal “new games journalism” website Insert Credit (although it never identified as such) in 2003, I like to think if there’s been a video games publication worth reading—online or off—I’ve written for it, and I’ve been hugely proud to write for the likes of Edge, Rock, Paper, Shotgun and Gamasutra.

Honestly, working as a writer and critic, if I don’t say so myself, set me up well to be a game designer. I feel like I spent the entire time disappointed with what games ARE. So if I’m going to make them, I’m going to damn well sure make sure they are what I believe they CAN be.