Video-gaming, a high form of art. Simultaneously demanding skill, precision, creativity, ingenuity. Or as Nika explains, “a combination of artistry and engineering”.

Hey Nika! Mind introducing yourself?

Sure, here's a video I made for my MIT Maker Portfolio:

That's awesome! What's your motivator to do all this?

My passion towards programming pushes me to keep learning. I wish to learn everything I can about computer science and use that knowledge to create new and innovative things!

Any interesting stories happen to you?

So I’m at a Hackathon with my friends. Suddenly the wifi modem breaks down. Chaos and despair ensues. Some guy catches wifi from a nearby building. He extends it and the whole Hackathon decides to hack it to gain internet access. Together we managed to get the password and started using that wifi signal. The owner of the nearby building comes over and thanks us. It turned out that he had been unable to recover the password to his wifi, so we basically recovered it for him. He then treated the whole Hackathon to pizza. It was great… though a bit too salty.

Ahahaha what a perfect ending :) Can you explain a bit more about Hackathons?

I try to enter every GameJam and Hackathon there is because they’re unlike any other competition. They’re programming marathons that last for 48-72 hours where you meet strangers and work with them on a project which you come up with during the competition.
I HIGHLY recommend everyone to attend such competitions whenever they can because they give invaluable working experience.

Hmmm about video games... what do you say to those who think it's a waste of time + gets people addicted?

Videogames have been proven to improve concentration, hand-eye coordination, reflexes, and spatial recognition.
Though, games are also harmful if one overdoses on them. This applies to most things in life.

What're some of your favourite games? Or their franchises?

The Elder Scrolls, Dark Souls, Kingdom Hearts, DOOM, Super Meatboy, Terraria, The Witcher, and Minecraft.

What makes a good game design? How do you go about designing your games?

Designing games is not easy, mainly because you can’t follow certain rules to make a great game. Videogames are a combination of artistry and engineering. A game is good if anyone at all has fun playing it.

Is there any shortcuts for me to get started with game design?

The best way to get started is to play videogames, but play bad and good games equally. That way you’d be able to find out on your own what made the great ones so fun. For starting game development, I’d recommend using Unity3D or Unreal Engine 4, because they’re both free and easy to use.

Thanks! Do you have any other advice for aspiring programmers?

Never be afraid to try and learn new things. I used to always be afraid to dabble with new things when it came to programming and I’ve noticed that a lot of other coders share this feeling. One good example of this would be networking. I was always afraid that it would be too complicated to learn, but it turns out that nothing is complicated if you put your mind to it. After learning it, I was able to make even better projects and use that knowledge to embed networking features in my programs. It was very fun!
What I said above also goes for beginners; however, if anyone is unsure of whether to start programming or not, then the answer is yes! You’ll end up using it in your life even if you become say, an artist or a psychologist. Start from Python or C++; they’re both great programming languages.

What's a good easy language to start with?

I'd say Python or C++; they’re both great programming languages.

Thanks again. Out of curiosity, where do you see yourself in 15 years?

Planet Earth, don’t know which country. Married. Two children, both of them are probably boys. I have my own company which I founded as a start-up. I don’t know it it’s successful or not, but what matters is that I enjoy running it. And you're welcome!

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