What can you do with a history major?November 15, 2011
When Kevin Hansen (’08, ’09) responds to this question, his answer is pretty unique. “I’ve been building levels on LittleBigPlanet (LBP) as a hobby over the past year,” said Hansen. LBP is a platforming game (made by Media Molecule) on the PlayStation 3 that is based on the idea of creating your own content and sharing it with the world. Any user can create levels and play other user’s levels. Hansen’s success with the game has come from being able to create levels that have unique platforming ideas as well as pleasing visuals. The name under which he publishes his work is “Lockstitch.”
With the release of Sony’s new handheld PS Vita, development on an LBP for that console has been under way for some time by Tarsier Studios, based in Malmo, Sweden. Tarsier was hiring level designers for the project, and Hansen applied, got the position and will be relocating to Sweden.
In achieving his success in this game, Hansen says there were many general skills that he developed while at Truman. His analytical and goal-setting skills help him create a vision of what he wants to achieve in each level and take the necessary steps to reach that goal. Critical thinking is also needed constantly. “As I create a level, I’m constantly running into problems which need to be overcome and decisions to be made on things from visuals, to mechanics, to flow of gameplay,” says Hansen. In addition, time management and teamwork skills play a large role once goals and deadlines start falling into place. “As of now, I usually build solo so I can retain full control over my projects,” says Hansen. “When I start with Tarsier, I will apply the previous skills in a team-based setting; I imagine this will feel a lot like working on group projects during college.”
Once again, the value of a liberal arts education is on display.