Student at University of Ontario Institute of Technology
Maia Levinshtein is an emerging leader in the game development industry. Having previously studied architecture at the University of Waterloo, she has published a featured blog onto Gamasutra outlining how architects may be useful to a game development team. Currently, she is finishing her IT degree in Game Development and Entrepreneurship at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and has been involved in several projects as a game/level designer. During her architectural career, Maia designed suites for projects like Tridel’s Ten York and Bisha Hotel in downtown Toronto, while employed at Wallman Architects. She led a team of modelers and architects working on a conceptual competition at Yashar Architects, one of Israel’s leading architectural firms based in Tel Aviv. Upon switching fields to game development, she has worked at Gameloft Toronto as an architectural intern, and has been actively involved in academia. In December 2017, she presented a talk about the parallels of architecture and game development industries at the Montreal International Games Summit.
Architecture and Game Development: The Give & Take
Architecture is one of the oldest industries in the modern world while game development is one of the youngest. This talk will explore how architectural principles and design practices can be applied when designing levels and games in general. From the ground up, the architectural design process is quite structured, something that is currently lacking in the level design practice and with proper knowledge can be improved by applying architectural standards. This talk will feature case studies of games that employed architects as consultants or members of the development team in order to add more authenticity to their game worlds.
However, while the games industry has much to learn from architectural design practices, the architectural industry has been somewhat slow to develop over the years. Largely due to the lack of knowledge of where the industry is going, there is a widespread misconception that architecture is a passive experience where users simply “take it in” rather than being actively engaged. This is quickly changing and architecture is evolving to be reactive and immersive, often responding to the human presence. With more knowledge brought onto these developments, there are many opportunities for game developers to engage in the architectural field by applying a gamification approach enabling architecture to becoming a more interactive experience.