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Get to know - Thomas Schut - Junior Designer

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▶ What do you do on Vigor?
I work on Vigor as a Game Designer, working on various aspects related to gameplay & content. Things such as game mechanics, challenges, tools and overall providing content for players to engage with.


▶ What is your contribution to the Vigor Team?

As a Dutchman, I am working hard on making the Vigor team culturally diverse.


▶ What do you like about Vigor?

I like the tension in Vigor and always having to deal with the risk of losing everything. There is always something on the line as you traverse the Outlands and one mistake is all it takes.
As for the development approach, I like how we try not to always follow what other games do and not shy from trying things we find interesting. It does not always work out, but it makes Vigor unique.


▶ What do you want to see in Vigor?

I would love to see more progression systems to expand our meta & provide more goals to pursue outside of your Encounters. Things such as character progression and weapon upgrading.
The more things to grind at for me, the better.


▶ What do you do when you are not making Vigor?

I like to be outside & see places. I travel a lot around the country and neighboring countries, go on hikes, mountain trips, visit national parks.
Other than that I mostly play games, write/read poetry and love me some wine & cake time. Also, the gym, to balance out my excessive wine & cake time.


▶ Did game dev change your view on the games and how?

Oh yes, certainly. It is really difficult for me to immerse myself in games, unlike before. I now always look past the game as a whole and analyze every single mechanic, decision and how the game as a whole makes me interact with its systems.
I would wonder why certain games did something in a certain manner, or write down clever ways how another game tackled an interesting problem.
Rarely I can pick-up a game and just play it without thinking of it.
But I played “A Short Hike” recently and that was very refreshing.


▶ Your favorite games and why?

Strategy: Civilization VI, as it just brilliantly captures everything I seek from a strategy game.

Shooter: the Battlefield series, for just always being superb.

RPG: Skyrim, as this was the first and only time a fictional world felt real to me.

CCG: Magic: The Gathering, for the endless freedom it offers to find your own playstyle.

Guilty Pleasure: anything Pokémon, cause growing up is hard.


▶ What's your favorite music, movie, show, book and why?

Music: My music is all over the place and it varies greatly on my mood, also nobody ever seems to appreciate it the majority of it, but if I’d have to point out my favorite artist, I’d say Keaton Henson.

Movie: I recently saw Little Women and that got me crying pretty good so... good job movie.

TV show: Friends and I don’t feel bad about it (talking to you Roman). I’ve re-watched it 12 times now and I will re-watch it till the day I die. There is something about it that makes me feel deeply comfortable from within and I’ve decided it will be my coping mechanism in life.

Book: The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman, as it is the only book that ever truly changed my way of experiencing the world around me and be much more aware of how things are done and how I interact with them.
And Gnomes by Wil Huygen & Rien Poortvliet, for making me want to believe there might be more out there than we can see.


▶ Is there something that you want to say to our community?

Thanks for being with us, and please, keep on with your feedback. We are always looking at Facebook, Reddit, YouTube, Mixer, and other platforms to see what you guys think about the game. What do you like, where Vigor can improve, what would you love to see, etc. We appreciate it 🙂


▶ You are Outlander; humanity has fallen. What would you do?

I greatly enjoy being in the outdoors, camping and enjoying the solitude. I’d find myself a handful of friends to join our ventures to the edges of the world and enjoy it as long as it lasts.
But only after we had our fun plundering pretty much everything which would now be considered public property (;
It is all about seizing opportunities after all.


Bonus Question from Andrej

▶ What makes good game design and what games come to mind first and why? 

That is a very tough question and I’m not sure it has one answer to it, or even a correct one. But for me, a good game never needs to explicitly tell the player what to do, and inherently guides the player through the experience. Many times I play games and find myself lost, follow confusing quest markers, struggle with unclear mission objectives or fail while not understanding why. I look up to games such as Mario, Tetris, Uncharted, or Doom, where the game can take you through huge amounts of content without you ever feeling lost or struggling to find out what you are supposed to do.

Another big thing for me is when games can me feel like every decision of the game is impactful and every second of it matters. Games like Darkest Dungeon where every action is permanent or Stardew Valley where you can only perform a limited amount of actions per day. When one decision rules out another, that is when I feel the most engaged in a game.



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