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Tacoma's level designer has some advice for devs: Get a hobby

August 10, 2017 | By Chris Kerr

Get a hobby! That's the message from Tacoma level designer Nina Freeman, who says it's important game devs give themselves some much needed rest and relaxation or risk coming down with a bad case of creative fatigue. 

Chatting during a recent Gamasutra Twitch stream, Freeman explained she had a habit of flitting from project to project and filling her days with nothing but work. While that's not necessarily a bad thing -- Freeman admits she's the sort of person who thrives on spinning plates -- it made switching off at the right times more difficult. 

"It's kind of wild. I shipped four games while I was working on Tacoma. So I actually just work way too much. I don't really have any wise words about it, I've always just been someone who thrives on having multiple things to put my energy into," she explains.

"I feel like if I get too focused on one project without separating myself from it once in a while, I can't do my best work. I need that distance, or I need to check in and check out so I can keep having new ideas without getting burnt out."

After deciding it was time to make a conscious effort to do something other than make games Freeman fell in love with Overwatch, and playing Blizzard's popular hero shooter gave her a much needed opportunity to recharge her batteries. 

"One of the things that you have to deal with is being able to cut yourself off from your work at a certain point and be happy with finishing it. One of the challenges is dealing with that attachment to projects, and being able to let go of things. A lot of that is maintaining hobbies and stuff like that," she continues.

"For a while I found myself not really having many hobbies other than working on side projects, and I figured that probably wasn't very healthy,  so then I got super into Overwatch and now I play that all of the time.'

You can hear more from Freeman by checking out the full stream right here. After that, why not follow the Gamasutra Twitch channel for even more developer insights and gameplay commentary.

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