Girls in the Video Game Industry #5: Amanda Fitch

July 23, 2010 at 8:09 pm | Posted in Girls in the Video Game Industry interview series | 10 Comments
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I can’t believe there’s only 4 more days until Starcraft II is released. I feel like I’ve waited forever to find out what happens next in the story… will Kerrigan become human again? Will Mengsk ever get his comeuppance? I’m so excited! Tod has a bunch of Starcraft novels from when he worked at Blizzard, and I’ve already gone through all of them. I think I might replay the campaigns from the original Starcraft in order to refresh my memory of the story again, too… So many good games, so little time! I’m really hoping Ni no Kuni will be released in the states… and there’s the new Donkey Kong Country, Pokemon Silver, the WoW expansion, Spirit Tracks, the 2nd and 3rd Professor Layton… now is a great time to be a gamer.

Girls in the Video Game Industry #5: Amanda Fitch
Game Designer and founder of Amaranth Games

After spending 2.5 years working on an rpg of my own, I think I can better appreciate the sheer amount of dedication Amanda has for creating video games. In the past 5 years alone, Amanda has independently developed over 5 games (3 of which are rpgs… and for those of you who are familiar with the immense amount of work that goes into crafting an rpg, you’re probably just as amazed as I am). She also runs a small but successful video game portal at amaranthia.com. An active member of the community, Amanda has donated several free art and programming resources to the rpg community and has been a source of guidance for many budding game developers out there.

1.) Can you tell us a bit about your job?

I manage the financial and creative direction for Amaranth Games.

2.) How did you get into the video game industry?

It was an accident. I used to create freeware games for the fun of it. One of them did very well. I realized that I might be able to turn my hobby into my job. It was exciting when I finally took the leap and I’m glad I did. I love my job.

3.) What are some of your favorite games?

Fable 2 and Dire Grove are the two most recent games that I loved enough to finish. I’m also a big fan of the Zelda DS games.

4.) What were some of your favorite projects to work on and why?

In general, the Aveyond games are my favorite. Working with RPG Maker makes the whole game development process fun and I love RUBY scripting language. The part I love the best about Aveyond is making maps.

5.) What are your thoughts on being a female in the video game industry?

I wish we had more female game designers and programmers. The number of women in the games industry is growing, but in general, it seems like most women are choosing to take supporting roles in marketing and testing.

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  1. Just goes to show, if you put your heart into it, you can accomplish nearly anything, just believe in yourself. Thank you very much Amanda, your example is an inspiration to us all.

    Hehe, Starcraft 2🙂, I can’t wait until it’s released, I already pre-ordered it and I seriously can’t wait to try this out. The only problem is I’m really stuffed with so much extra co-curricular activities, such as dragon dance and COCC (Cadet Officer Candidate Course) that I probably won’t have time to try it out much🙂.

    Oh well, I hope you enjoy your weekend.😀

    • You think so too? Amanda Fitch is, among others, inspirations for me to become a full-fledged game developer. In fact, I did a full-sized interview with her in December last year. It was a very rewarding experience.

      There were two lines in that interview that I still remember clearly. One is about seizing extraordinary opportunities from the ordinary, which has already manifested itself in the second response. The other line is about finishing what one starts. The latter is what I have quite a bit of trouble with — I’m working at it!

      @shigi:
      I saw a marigold on your list of developers to interview. Is that supposed to be you? I thought you were always the sunflower.

      • The Marigold is actually Paul Wong🙂 She’s the Senior Director of Creative Labs at PopCap. They’re the folks who handle marketing, retail packaging, fun promotional materials (like the Brain Ooze drinks), etc. Here’s her interview if you’d like to check it out ^_^

        Also, I know what you mean about the “finishing” part! I’m almost there with my own game, and I feel like I’ve been “almost there” for such a long time. But I’m really putting my heart into getting it done.

  2. I am slowly getting excited about StarCraft 2 as well. I just pre-ordered my copy. And yay! Someone else who thinks maybe Kerrigan might be saved! I haven’t been following a lot of the spoilers but the trailers gave me the idea.

    Hi Amanda. I admit I hadn’t heard of Amaranth Games until I read this post. Looking over your website it looks like you have a lot of fun games. It amuses me that you actually have a ‘cute’ category for games. If you don’t mind me asking, where do you normally advertise your games, and do you distribute them exclusively online?

  3. Yay for Starcraft 2🙂 It’s definitely the highlight of my gaming year. I love how Blizzard games are so well designed, and to be honest I have been waiting for this for 10 or so years lol.

    Thanks for doing these interviews Laura. It really gives a new perspective to game development. 🙂

    • Me too on the 10 years part! I’ve watched the SC2 trailer so many times now… And I’m really glad you guys are enjoying the interviews! It’s fun for me as well to read their responses!

  4. Ni no Kuni. Must buy, especially since you treated me to a huge dose of nostalgis with いのちの名前. Well, I should probably pick up a PS3 first…

    I played Starcraft for the story, and enjoyed the multiplayer but was just horrible at it. So I’m probably going to put off my purchase until the price drops a bit…

    My bets are still on Diablo 3!

    • Yeah, I don’t have a PS3 yet. There are so many games on consoles I already own that I still have to play that I can’t justify getting a PS3 at this point… but I think if they release Ni no Kuni in America I will really want to get one. It would be so worth it I think… when I was a kid I always wished that they would make a Totoro video game, and this is basically the closest thing what with Miyazaki doing the animation and Hisaishi doing the music!

      We’re also looking forward to Diablo 3… my boyfriend actually worked on Diablo 3 when he was still at Blizzard, so we’re curious to see if any of his contributions will be in the final product!

  5. We admire and thank Amanda for giving us that little gem called ‘Ahriman’s Prophecy’ and wish her all the best in her future endeavours🙂

  6. […] Game composer Laura Shigihara has posted an interview with Amanda Fitch over on her blog as part of an ongoing series showcasing women in the video game industry. Amanda is the founder of Amaranth Games and the creative force behind Aveyond and A Gypsy’s Tale, among others. Find out how Amanda broke into the video game industry, her favorite projects, and more by reading the full article. […]


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