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Women in Games: The Gamasutra 20

May 21, 2008 Article Start Previous Page 19 of 21 Next

Kim Swift

Level Designer, Valve

Career overview

Kim Swift may have only released one professional title as a lead designer at Valve, but that game is the innovative, humorous, and much-praised hit Portal, released as part of the 2007 Orange Box -- and that makes all the difference.

Swift is a recent addition to the gaming industry. She graduated from DigiPen in 2005, and was hired by Valve soon after graduation, along with the rest of her senior game project team, who had already begun work on the game that would become Portal. Swift recently spoke at GDC 2008 about her experience as a writer and designer for the game, as well as the importance of iteration in the development process.

Major accomplishments

Portal, the game swift helped design and develop, was one the most important titles of 2007. At the Game Developers Choice Awards, it won "Game of the Year," the "Innovation Award," and "Best Game Design" -- along with many more honors from other award shows and gaming publications.


"Doing something new can be a really big risk and adding something innovative to something already exists can often disrupt and create new games," Swift has said. Her mantra: try one thing and polish it to the best of your ability.

What her peers say

Bonnie: "It's great to know that the team who created Portal -- such a unique and enjoyable title -- is made up in part of a strong, young female designer, someone who's sure to go on to do exciting things in the near future. I look forward to seeing what one of the creative forces behind this exciting game can do in years to come."

Article Start Previous Page 19 of 21 Next

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