‘You need to be good at the discipline of creating rather than consuming’

Speaker’s Corner: Brenda Romero, CEO and co-founder Romero Games, tells us about her trade

Brenda Romero is a Bafta award-winning game director, entrepreneur and Fulbright award recipient who entered the video game industry in 1981 and is presently chief executive and co-founder of Romero Games.

What does a game developer do?

There are a variety of roles in the industry:

Game design is coming up with the ideas for the game – where does that button go and what happens when you press it, or what do the characters do.


There are narrative writing teams to provide the background of characters and any text you might see.

Programmers are the people who put it all together – if you see it on a screen the programmers have put it there. Game designers are like architects and the programmers are like builders.

The artists work from concept to animation and built models. Their work helps you immerse yourself in a game’s world.

Production makes sure all the disciplines work together and harmonise.

Audio is an important element and quality assurance makes sure that all the elements of the game work.

Data analytics looks at how many people choose this mission or that and the way that people play, so we can make a game better.

What sparked your interest in gaming?

I always loved planning games or playing board games. When I was young I used to go to car boot sales; with a dime you could buy board games with missing parts so I would take them and make up my own games from that. I fell in love with planning out games and the process. If we wanted to play we had to use our imagination and make it. I spent tons of time writing as a kid and asking the question, “what if?”.

You’ve won many prestigious awards for your work and run a successful business and you’re still studying – doing a PhD in English at Trinity – why?

I am naturally curious. It is easier when you’re studying something you’re interested in. It didn’t’ feel like a luxury when I went to college at 17 but it does now.

Some people love playing games and are good at them. What else do they need to consider to follow a career in gaming?

You need to be good at the discipline of creating rather than consuming. You have to be able to come up with a really successful idea. Study history or English for stories. You need to be able to communicate your ideas really well. Computer science is critical for some roles and anyone who can code will always have an edge. The secret is to be able to come up with a really great idea.

You wouldn’t have won all your awards and been so successful without a lot of hard work – do you also love what you do?

I do love what I do. I get to work with incredibly talented people and I really love making games with the team that I work with. I wouldn’t get awards without the team.

Tell us about a perk of your job.

Anything that is related to the study of my job – any consoles, any games or entertainment experiences, anything related to my job I can write off as tax-deductible.

Brenda Romero is a speaker at the 2021 Higher Options expo. For more information go to:higheroptions.vfairs.com.