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Team Member Spotlight: Kala

Member Spotlight: kala

  • Who are you?

I am Kala, 31 years old, from Finland. Stories entice me in all form and manner, from films and books to video games. When I was very young, I played classic adventure games just thinking they were comics, before people around me started insisting that they were actually games and not visual novels.

  • Where does your username come from?

When I was younger and really into Magic the Gathering, I ran across the coolest card: the Island Fish Jasconius. One could really feel there was a story going on with this creature that was not fully told in the blurb, which fascinated me. Variations of this creature’s name, including the Finnish word for fish, ‘kala’, really stuck with me as nicknames I use to this day. Sadly, the Island Fish Jasconius was a pretty crappy MtG-card to play despite all its mystery.

forum imageThe Island Fish, likely a cousin to the World-Bearing Turtle.

  • What do you do at IGDB.com?

Officially, I am the head of research. In everyday practice, I act more as a consultant. I take part in conversations about the direction of the site when needed, as well as help out with front-end features on the level of ideas and comments.

  • How did you join the development team?

From the get-go, this was a very interesting project for me; there were none like it in 2011. Its goals had a lot to do with the research I was doing myself at the time, especially the emphasis on wanting to produce a strong video game taxonomy, that is, of how to classify video games according to characteristics such as genre and theme. In the beginning the project’s video game taxonomy was not very good, so I made suggestions to the team and eventually were invited on board by Christian.

  • What motivates you to continue in this project?

So far it has certainly been a great run, and I have learned a lot about internet development projects of this caliber. What motivates me the most is the atmosphere within the dev team. Everyone is really amazing and friendly, and make you feel like you are appreciated for the work that you do. A big project like IGDB.com could not happen without such a great atmosphere.

  • What are you looking forward to happening on the site in the future?

I want to see IGDB.com really do something completely new! It would also be great to see a bigger community forming, and to see what kind of things end up as important and interesting to this userbase.

  • What kind of games do you play?

I’m an omnivore. Most of my very best early memories are with cliché titles in various genres. All Infocom, LucasArts, and Sierra productions, obviously, on the adventure side. Stuff like Eye of the Beholders, Fallouts, and Lands of Lore on the RPG side. Star Control II, Heroes of Might and Magic and Dune II on the strategy side. Best Nintendo game ever is Probotector. Best storygame ever is Planescape Torment. If I would like to name something hipstery, that would probably be Portal — not the Valve thing but the original by Swigart from 1986. In the 2000s, perhaps the highest respect story-wise goes to Frogwares and their Sherlock Holmes series. The Case of the Silver Earring is probably the most undervalued adventure in history. Emily Short’s work in the indie circles must also always be mentioned in a list like this.

forum imageEverybody loves Portal’s interesting take on an A.I!

I also used to compete in quite a different kind of game, that is, competitive long distance running. Ultimately my knee cap broke, and now I’m mostly competing in moba-style eSports titles.

If you have a question you’d like to ask this member that was not covered by the spotlight, feel free to do so in this thread!

Member Spotlight is a weekly series that showcases members of our community. The series first introduces the team behind IGDB.com, after which a chance in the spotlight will be offered to important community members. Member Spotlights are released on Fridays and our other weekly series, the Dev Notes, on Tuesdays.

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