Skybound employee Bau Bautista is living the dream. A gaming fan turned game designer, Bau is responsible for bringing bone-crunching, bullet-ridden action to Skybound’s lineup of video game favorites. As part of our continuing celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, we chatted with Bau and asked him to share some of his favorite titles and experiences. Here’s what he had to say…
What’s your origin story?
I grew up in a rough neighborhood down in San Diego. I’ve always been into geeky culture (I started back when it was always derided or misunderstood). I remember having to sneak off and take a bus to a spot a few cities over just to play Street Fighter 2 at an arcade, or staying over with some friends to play D&D late into the night. Once I got older, I did what everyone usually does and tried to figure out what I wanted to do, working a variety of jobs in the process. I worked at a comic book shop, Laser Tag place, arcades, and then at a pizza joint. One day when hanging out with friends, a buddy of mine (who was going to SDSU) mentioned that he saw a job posting at school that mentioned a QA spot for a local game company. I jumped at the chance and applied. The highlight of the interview was correctly answering, “What’s the average air speed of a swallow?” (“Is it an African or European Swallow?” is the correct response ;p). I worked at QA for a year and a half before working offsite at a company in Irvine, who liked me so much they offered me a position as a junior designer, and since then I’ve been doing game design for more than 23 years. Fun stuff!
How did you come to work at Skybound?
I was at another company when I saw a bunch of friends that I’d worked with before making moves over to Skybound, which really piqued my interest (I loved working with them in the past). Lo and behold, a few months later, they reached out to me and told me about all of the awesome stuff going on, and I had to sign up!
Can you describe your role as Lead Combat Designer?
I help to scope, plan out, design and implement all of the crazy action and violence that can take place in a video game title, as well as figure out supporting systems, AI, and different ways to provide challenges for the player. The role involves a ton of research, collaboration, exploration, creative problem solving, trial and error, data processing and more.
What do you like best about working at Skybound?
The crazy and creative atmosphere is awesome!
What Skybound project are you proudest of?
Do you have any favorite Skybound titles?
Invincible is one of my favorite titles. Seeing Mark’s journey and maturity throughout the series was inspiring and insightful.
What else do you nerd out over?
Video games, photography, movies, cooking, and martial arts.
Do you have any advice for someone considering a career in your field?
Be open-minded, passionate, and eager to learn. Inspiration can come from anywhere; you just have to learn how to listen for it. While it’s important to be confident in your work, leave your ego at the door. True growth comes from making mistakes and learning from them.