I’m Sebastian Trelles, a Game Designer and Computer Engineer from Uruguay with a passion for games.
I’ve worked in plenty of Game Projects, mostly as Lead Game Designer and Gameplay Programmer, mostly adventure, puzzle and casual games. I’ve also done research on productive games (games with a productive purpose) and games that convey interesting narratives and experiences (experimental narrative games). I’ve attended a Master in Game Design in Complutense University of Madrid 2012 and have graduated from an MSc in Game Design at IT University of Copenhagen 2012-2014.
I am currently Student Representative for IT University’s Master’s Degree and Chair of PlayIT, a voluntary games organization that organizes Game Events (such as Global Game Jam) and tries to bridge the gap between the University and the Industry. Most of my academic research is focused on creating experimental, narrative-driven games, and testing how people react to them. As a narratologist, I’m quite interested in stories in videogames and how people are becoming more involved with them as the videogame industry evolves.
Profile and Resume
Even though I’ve studied Computer Science and I love games, I’m far from the typical videogame geek. Here are some of the activities that I’ve done in the past years. You can see my resume here.
Initiative and Project Management
I’ve always been “the guy with initiative”, so choosing to become Project Manager in the game projects I’ve been has only been natural. I’ve worked in the software industry for 4 years, two of them in IBM, having learnt about how to work in a team, compromise with schedules and hold a practical look on problems without losing focus of the whole project. I’ve also been Student Representative at IT University for 2 years, being the link between students and the University, and Chair of PlayIT, a voluntary Games Students Association that helps organize events (like Global Game Jam, Game talks and other events) and bring game companies closer to the University.
So far, I’ve been Project Manager in two game projects: Way to the Promised Land and Dungeon Adventures.
Game Design and Level Design
Game Design is vital in a game development process. I’ve worked as Lead Game Designer and Level Designer in four game projects: Memento Mori, Galahad’s Memories, Out of Darkness and Go Go Moses!. I’ve also done some creative writing work, writing the story and dialogues for the game Galahad’s Memories, and fully developing a small interactive narrative novel, .heartbeats. You can see the game concepts and design documents in the games section.
Game Development and Gameplay Programming
I have a solid Computer Science background, so I’ve cooperated with the programming of most of my projects, many times laying out the structure of a project, and many others, doing gameplay programming. In Way to the Promised Land, I developed the main scripts that manage the game’s puzzles, and in Galahad’s Memories, I coded the painting mechanic, dialogues and help system. In Dungeon Adventures, I coded the Abilities System, that allows players to inherit different abilities in real-time, using a centralized script that manages the player’s stats. In Out of Darkness, I’ve coded the user feedback mechanics.
Pitching and Prototyping
Apart from leading teams, I love to come up with basic game ideas, develop them into solid concepts and pitch them. I’ve written countless Game Concepts and have pitched many of them, many times getting a group to work on them, and am able to make digital prototypes of games in order to show functionality and prove the concepts. I am not an expert in visual art and music, but I am able to generate an art bible and music to accompany a pitch or a prototype. I have given a couple of talks in Spain on Serious Games, and am used to giving presentations in English and Spanish.
Master’s degree and Living Abroad
I’ve lived in Spain for a year in order to attend a Master’s degree in Game Design. Now I’m living in Denmark, attending IT University in Copenhagen, for a Master of Science in Game Media and Technology. Both studying Game Design and living abroad have been great experiences which have make me grown a lot. They have also helped me discover my strengths and weaknesses, and most important, my mission. To be able to develop emotional videogames, narrative and rich experiences which communicate messages and make people think. Fortunately, I’ve had a small sucess with .heartbeats, as it won a couple of mentions and got to appear in a couple of important indie games webpages, and have a number of ideas in mind to attain such a goal.
Serious Games Involvement
I’ve been pretty drawn to Serious Games, Experimental Games and anything that’s not mainstream, mainly towards Functional Games (games that serve a purpose other than entertainment) and Artistic Games (games that have a strong artistic vision and message). I’ve learnt and written a paper on the topic, and gave a talk about it (in a Games Conference Day at Complutense University of Madrid).
Art and Theatre
Even though I don’t look like it, I’m a bit of an artsy type. I’ve studied drama for various years, taken singing and dancing lessons and taken part in a couple of professional performances. Most of my creative writing is connected to myself as a child (and a man), so I got theatre to thank for helping me develop my sensitiveness.
Web Development work at IBM
I’ve worked for a couple of Software Companies including IBM for some years. They have taught me all I know about professional jobs in the industry, and I’m thankful to them all. To be professional in life is a very important thing: it helps one drive through life, understand others and understand oneself.
Student Representative and PlayIT Chair – Representing other students and trying to help my University become better have been important objectives of mine.
Children’s leader – I’ve been a children’s leader for a couple of years. Didactic meetings and social service events. A cherished experience, which have led me to try and communicate messages with games.
Love for Math – I was actually part of the Uruguayan National Olimpic Mathematics Team when I was in college, and I still love math. I believe I owe it some of my creative thinking.
Entrepreneurship – I’ve taken part in a couple of business administration contests (Sebrae Challenge), and it did go quite well. A person needs to be resourceful, I guess these contests have taught me so.