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GDC Speaker Q&A: Amanda Gardner gets your time management on lockdown

At the 2019 Game Developers Conference, you can look forward to an array of talks from speakers across the video game industry. During the week, you'll hear from industry legends, niche experts, and amazing advocates, many of whom will want to learn about you and your work as much as you do theirs. 

For developers looking to manage their time (and prevent crunch), you'll want to know that Deep End Games co-founder Amanda Gardner will be giving a talk at GDC about improving time management (especially when you have a family). To introduce you to Gardner, we reached out for a quick Q&A that you can now read below! 

Would you please introduce yourself and talk about your role in game development?
I'm Amanada Gardner, the co-founder of The Deep End Games and I wrote our debut, Perception, which came out in 2017. I'm a lifelong gamer and mom of four. My husband Bill (Lead Designer on BioShock and Design Director on BioShock Infinite) make games from home and although it's crazy sometimes, we wouldn't trade it for the world.

Without spoiling it, what will you be talking about at GDC?
Time management. Last year I spoke of the role of mindfulness and the benefits of meditation when in crunch, and while that was the crux of what helped me survive crunch with four kids, the real hero was a variety of time management strategies. Spoiler alert: multitasking isn't one of them.     

What excites you most about the future of game development?
What could possibly be more exciting about pushing boundaries while making magic? The industry is changing so fast, but it doesn't have to be a bad thing! I think there's excitement and opportunity that comes with seismic shifts, and we at the Deep End want to ride that wave with our next title. ;)    

What's something about your specific field you want your colleagues to know more about?
Literary nerdery! I taught high school English for over a decade, and I can't say enough about incorporating literary references into games. We've had enough mythology - let's tap into some other resources! I love layering narrative with themes, hints, and full on nods to classic literature such as All My Sons, The Mayor of Casterbridge, and a little Nathaniel Hawthorne thrown in for good measure. It enriches themes, and just puts a really neat and sort of obscure spin on storytelling. I geek out on it. Did you know that the Soul Reaver series was written with influences from T.S. Eliot and James Joyce? Wild!    

Tell us about your favorite project you worked on in the last year.
Bill and I are close to announcing The Deep End's next project, muahaha! Keep an ear to the ground.

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