Meet Ary Shirazi, Lead Level Designer on the VR team!

02/05/2019

How did you start at London Studio?

A friend recommended the studio to me when London Studio started working on VR Worlds. As soon as I put the headset on and played the prototypes they had in development. . . I was sold! I was also lucky enough to work on the London Heist short story, which ended up becoming the inspiration for our next game, Blood & Truth.

What does your role entail?

As a lead level designer, I work with all the different teams at London Studio to define what the moment to moment gameplay can be within a particular kind of space. All the level designers start by sketching out a space in 3D, whether that’s a street in London, an art gallery or rooms within a tower block.

We work with the story team to find out what emotions the player should be experiencing at any given stage of a story. We work with the gameplay designers to see what kind of puzzles we can put into a space, and then with the combat team to see what kind of battle we might put in there too. It’s a great role because we get to work with everyone and we also get to have a hand in helping craft all these elements into something that flows beautifully in VR.

What do you find most exciting about your work here?

At London Studio, we’re innovating in the VR space and defining what AAA means for this medium. No other team in the world is doing this right now. With Blood & Truth, I think we provided a template for how to do a AAA action narrative adventure in VR. Hopefully this is something that other developers across the world will pick up on and help evolve!

What has your career path looked like over the years?

At London Studio, I joined as a contractor on the London Heist. The team saw my passion and drive to create high quality gameplay and within the next 2 years, I was promoted to the Lead Level Designer helping define the process we would use to make Blood & Truth. It’s been a great ride and I’m grateful to all the people who have championed me throughout my career!

What is it like to work in the heart of central London?

Central London as a working destination? Well:

  • Soho is full of great restaurants, so you’ll never struggle to find good food.
  • The transport network from central means you can get to any corner of London at the end of work. Each corner has it’s own vibe and the city is full of music venues too. We’re definitely lucky!
  • You can get out of the city to around the rest of the country fairly easily too, lots of people commute into London for work because of the transport links.
  • As it’s England, there’s also a pub on every corner, so you’ll never be too far away from a night out if you want it!

If you could describe London Studio in a few words, what would they be?

Action, adventure, virtual reality, good food, good people, good times.

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