“Failures led me down the path to what has become a 23-year career in video game development.
The first was dropping out of University. I was struggling in an environment that was more of a distraction than a motivation.
I remember feeling as though I wasn’t smart or capable enough to finish what I started.
Instead I worked full time, earning money to travel and facilitate my passion for riding bicycles. I was doing what I loved, gaining perspective and some financial independence. My feelings from my University experience were quickly put behind me. I saved enough money to fulfill my dream of following the Tour De France on my bike. It was unforgettable and as it turned out, life-changing.
My second failure was a physical one. I badly damaged a ligament in my knee while in France and it kept me from riding my bike for over a year.
Pete Low: Video Game Designer for over 20 years
It was a challenging time that changed the pace of my life. I always lived for the moment and had yet to take time to think longer term. My injury forced me to slow down, which in turn had the effect of encouraging me to look and plan ahead.
It was around this time that multimedia became a buzzword and the idea of digital art interested me. I then applied and was accepted into a two-year digital art school program. It was during my time at this school that I discovered the growing industry around video game development.
Near the end of my first year at this school I attended an evening talk with presenters from a local company called Radical Entertainment. I introduced myself to the Director Of Development with no intention other than to say how much I loved video games and the sorts of things I’d love to see in them. He liked what I had to say, or perhaps it was something about the way I said it that lead to an invitation to meet a Producer of a game they were working on the next morning. We met and before I could even think Radical offered me the opportunity to be their first video game designer. The idea of game design as a job was so new to everyone and the fact that they literally picked me off the street led to a three-month trial job offer, paid at minimum wage, to see if would work out. This would mean having to drop out of the school I was currently only a year into. I had one day to make my decision.
Everyone I spoke to said I’d be crazy to drop out of school.
Some felt that because I had dropped out of school before that I owed myself to stay in this time. Very few of my friends or family knew anything about video game development and the culture of videogames was still very niche, if not taboo. Against everyone’s better judgement I took the job offer at Radical. No one believed it was the right decision.
23 years later, I’m running my own company and I love developing games as much as the day I started.”
Pete Low: Video Game Designer for over 20 years, worked on many games such as NHL Powerplay 1996 and Scarface: the world is yours. Founder of Rhizome Games.