Microsoft Game Dev Blog
Lana Lux: Twitch Live-Coder and Creator of Strain
Welcome back to our series highlighting new Game Dev Ambassadors! Our next ambassador profile puts the spotlight on Lana Lux. As a game developer, designer, and Twitch streamer, Lana's invested in creating an accessible, supportive community. Lana uses her platform to educate and inspire new game dev voices. With her enthusiasm for Playfab and a brand-new game almost ready for release, Lana Lux is an amazing addition to the Game Dev Ambassador's program.
What got you into game development? I love creating experiences for people where they get to try something they've never done before. It's so rewarding to let people try on a new perspective, create a sense of wonder for them or expand their own creativity. I started playing around with on and off when I was a kid but went into web development and user experience for a career. While designing a functional and smooth experience to do your banking is a fun challenge, creating a whole world with a story, characters, mechanics, and routines is the height of designing a user experience.
What game development project are you proudest of? My current project, STRAIN. I've been working on it for 2 years and it's finally starting to reach the vision I had for it. I've spent so much time perfecting the details (I've remade each character probably half a dozen times or more) and the hard work and perseverance is really starting to pay off.
What are you doing right now game development-wise? I'm currently working hard to finish STRAIN. The systems are all in, I'm now just fixing bugs, adding content, and optimizing.
What is one (or some) of your favorite MS Game Dev features or tools? And why? (Azure, Havoc, PlayFab, Visual Studio, GitHub, etc) I really love PlayFab. It's a fantastic tool for game development whether you're making something for a jam or working on something bigger. It can be implemented easily and provides powerful tools that would otherwise require so much learning, work and troubleshooting to get going.
What are you most looking forward to in the Game Dev Ambassador program? What do you hope to do as an ambassador? I'm looking forward to connecting with other game developers, especially those who are also interested in educating others and fostering supportive communities. I hope I can also help give some feedback to make the learning of the Game Dev tools more accessible to others.
How has your voice impacted the community and how do you envision your future impact? I am so honored to regularly get messages saying my streams have inspired people to follow their passion or learn development despite previously thinking it was too hard or that they weren't the type of person to do it. I want to break down barriers and stereo types about what we think games and game developers should be.
What skills or resources made you a great fit for this program? After focusing on user experience for a number of years, I'm constantly analyzing information and thinking of ways to present it in a way that is easy to understand and intuitive to navigate. I'm hoping I'll have some helpful feedback! I've made tutorial videos for Azure and PlayFab and conducted interviews for the Azure Youtube channel which I've really enjoyed doing and hope to do more stream segments and videos like these. I'd also love to collaborate with the other ambassadors.
What is one of your favorite game development platforms/communities and why? Twitch has a great game development community. There are some great developers on there. A few people from my community also stream and I love being able to check out what they get up to as well. I'm part of the Live Coders team on Twitch which has been a great experience. Ludum Dare is a bi-annual game jam event which I love taking part in. And of course, my own community.
What are you most excited about in the community's future? I'm excited for the Dragon's Den / Shark Tank style game dev event we'll be hosting as well as the upcoming Ludum Dare jam which will be the 20th anniversary. I am also excited to see members of my community release their games and for me to release mine!
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