- Role: Developer, Writer and Artist
- Company: Independent
- Location: Melbourne, Australia
Here are some enthusiastic words from writer and developer Niamh Noble!
QRM: Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do in the games industry?
Niamh: I recently graduated from my bachelor studying literature, writing and media industries. I’m about to begin my first year as a non student! It’s scary as hell, so right now (December 2019) I’m travelling with my girlfriend. So far what I do in the games industry is create small games using free engines (Twine, bitsy, Renpy) then post them on itchio. I’m also trying my best at attending any event in Melbourne to do with the independent scene and networking! I think I’m doing ok! I love to create games that explore themes of sexuality, gender, grief, death and mental health. But also I like fun and I think games like that can include a lot of life!
QRM: What about the games industry excites and inspires you?
Niamh: Growing up I’ve felt my life split into two worlds, one in which I felt comfortable enough to be open about who I was completely, and one in which I had to be closed off and careful. With friends I could be openly queer, in the workplace I never could be. When I went to Freeplay in Melbourne for the first time I heard talks that showed me just how colourful, open and forward thinking this industry was and is. I was so excited I felt like I could fly (I wonder if that was adrenaline?) I saw stories that I wanted to hear and create being explored and celebrated and I desperately wanted to become part of it. I’m constantly touched by the people I meet and hear from for their honestly, genuine passion and care. Every talk I go to (Freeplay, GCAP, PAX, Parallels) inspires me so much that I’ve often found myself creating almost constantly afterwards.
QRM: What about the games industry frustrates or disappoints you? What are the challenges you’re currently facing in the industry?
Niamh: I do feel a road block stands in front of me when it comes to what I actually want to do in the games industry- write. Often when I tell people I want to write for games I don’t receive the most enthusiastic response, and even sometimes warnings. I’ve been told that people wear many hats, and so I’ve tried to find more for me, but I’ve also been told that a jack of all trades is never a master of one. It’s frustrating to see what I want for myself but not seeing any role models. I sometimes daydream about having a mentor who relates to me, sits me down and tells me it’ll be ok and I’ll get there like they did. I know it will likely be a while until I find a comfortable place within this industry, but I’m determined that I will eventually. Better to be hopeful, hey?
QRM: If you could make one roadblock magically disappear from the games industry, what would you choose and why?
Niamh: That’s hard, I suppose that my best answer is the lack of opportunities for writers within the industry, especially beginners. I know that the position of ‘Narrative designer’ exists, but it seems like you can’t be a beginner in the industry as one. It seems like you start off doing other things and then can pick that up when it’s needed. It’s tricky, and I still have a lot to learn. If I’m wrong that’s fantastic, please tell me it would make me very happy.
QRM: What message would you give to allies—both individuals and companies—who want to know how to support marginalised people better?
Niamh: Try to remember that marginalised stories are almost always written better by those who have experienced life in a similar position. Good writers can learn and adapt, but only a person who has really lived the experience can provide you with a truly genuine and layered story littered with details you’d never think mattered so much. If you wish to write from a perspective that is very different from your own, at least reach out for sensitivity readers in order to ensure you’re respectful and accurate- it will transform your creation and people will notice.
QRM: What message would you give to marginalised people who are working in games or would like to work in games?
Niamh: Oh shit whaddup wanna be friends? I can’t speak for all communities but I’ve found Melbourne's independent game dev scene to be quite accepting and if you need a definite ally to convince you to attend events send me a message. Those who are working in games, I’d really love to meet you, and I hope I do! Thanks for being around, keep being confident and proud because I feel so inspired by you all.
QRM: If people want to find and support you and your work, how can they do that?
Niamh: https://possumproductions.itch.io/ And @dogfan411 on twitter!