The Optimum Experience

There’s this one game I really want to make. I’ve been working on the design and story since September 23rd 2003. I got into this line of work thanks to playing Final Fantasy games, and I pretty much wanted to make one of my own. 12 years later and all it is is some concept art, a few pieces of music and a thousand pages of documentation.

Capital of Ranasse, one of the major nations of my story. Concept Art by Sean Thurlow.
Capital of Ranasse, one of the major nations of my story. Concept Art by Sean Thurlow.

I still dream that one day, this project will come to something. But realistically, it probably won’t. Still, pursuing this dream with my limited skills has reinforced something I’ve always believed: be ambitious. Set ridiculous goals. Let your imagination run wild and bite off more than you can chew. Striving for an impossible goal brings out the best of your ingenuity. It forces you to improve yourself. And when you find one day that reality is cruel and you can’t reach the summit of that mountain… you’ll be surprised how far up you’ve managed to climb.

I do a job I love. I design video games for one of a very small number of companies I’d ever have aspired to work for. I mean, short of Square Enix offering me the director’s seat on Final Fantasy XVI, Codemasters is pretty much where I want to be. I’ve been a designer in one form or another for a year and a half now; after working as a Car Handling Designer on a great project (GRID: Autosport) and then briefly on DiRT Rally, I moved to regular old game design on the Formula One team, and I really have found where I belong. This is what I was meant to do.

All things being equal, I’ll be working with this team for the forseeable future. The official F1 games that we make are already pretty good, but now? Now we’re going to make them brilliant. I guarantee it.

When I started my little team with my stupid dream back in 2003, I settled on the name ‘Optimum Experience Games,’ because that, somewhat iffy grammar aside, is exactly what I wanted to create. I may not have the technical skills to go independent and deliver that goal under my own banner, but with the help of my talented colleagues I’m in a better position to achieve that mandate now than I have ever been.

This website will now be a place to discuss my work, show off any little extra projects I do, analyse games in general and probably talk about Final Fantasy IX too much because it’s the best game ever made and that’s an end of it.

Please enjoy the nonsense I put up here. I look forward to sharing more of my spectacular (but constructive) failures going forward.

– Luke

Donna. Scholar, fist fighter and party member for my dream project. Art by Carlo Spagnola
Donna. Scholar, fist fighter and party member for my dream project. Art by Carlo Spagnola

P.S. F1 2015 is coming out on 10/07/15 in Europe. Buy all of the copies. The voice recognition stuff I worked on is pretty cool – the Xbox One version is the best for that (voice controls require Kinect).

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