My name is Arielle Shander, and I’m an independent game designer and budding IT professional.
I’ve been playing games since the early ’90s, starting with an Apple Macintosh and educational games like Treasure Mountain! and Math Blaster. The Game Boy, Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, Super Nintendo, and N64 further cemented my love for games. One of my favorite series is The Legend of Zelda because of its emphasis on exploration and solving puzzles.
Despite being exposed to video games as a young child, I didn’t think to pursue game development as a career path until I was 13 years old. I began pondering the creative process of designing interactive adventures, and I became inspired to contribute my own vision to the medium.
I studied game development at Montgomery College and The University of Baltimore. I also took a user experience design course via Springboard to improve and broaden my skills, and I received a User Experience (UX) certificate in December 2018. Most recently, I earned a CompTIA A+ certification for the 1001 and 1002 editions.
I have worked in the game industry as a freelance designer at Red Aphid and as a game evaluator for Globaloria. I officially founded Flow Wing Studios in December 2017 and released a game called Spitfire Sheep, which is available on Android and iOS. I designed the gameplay elements, demoed the game at conventions, performed quality assurance tasks, managed social media pages, and led my team. I also have a year of IT experience working at Virtustream/Dell EMC, where I managed incidents and performed tier 1 tasks.
Prior to earning my CompTIA A+ cert, I had only dabbled in some aspects of software design and certain IT-related tools (I became very familiar with Windows Active Directory when creating accounts and resetting passwords!). Hardware was an intimidating beast, and I hadn’t so much as seated a RAM module into a motherboard’s memory slot or even opened up a computer. Now I’m more well rounded and knowledgeable!
If I had to pick an IT topic that interests me most, it would be cloud technology and virtualization. I think it’s fascinating how there’s data and software that can be accessed without needing a physical drive, and the ability to run multiple operating systems on one machine is cool, too! However, I’m open to exploring all the avenues that are presented to me on my journey.