04. March 2016

Digital Design

Stephanie Kannegießer develops video games in Adlershof

Becoming a make-up artist was also an option for Stephanie Kannegießer. “I always enjoyed being creative,” she says. After finishing school in Freiburg, she moved into a shared flat and met a nice young man who studied graphic design. That’s all it took. “I always knew that I wanted to do something artistic with other people.” So her goal was to become a media designer. Born and bred in Berlin-Friedrichshain, her professional aims soon brought her back to her home city. In fact, to the fourth floor of Am Studio 2a in Adlershof where the company it Matters Games set up shop in April 2015. There are currently 12 developers working on various games including Stephanie Kannegießer in her capacity as user interface designer. Asked about what that means exactly, she takes out a tablet computer and demonstrates the company’s most recent product. The game is simply called “CatHotel”. The player assumes the role of the hotel’s owner. Brushing, powdering, petting, and feeding, i.e. taking best possible care of the cats are the trusted tasks of the “hotelier”. The player has to be creative. One way is to decorate the little pet lion’s room with additional furniture. These are bought at an in-game shop which the player can access via a glittery pink shopping trolley in a round disc on the user’s head-up display. Designing these elements is one of the tasks of a user interface designer. So is it her responsibility to make sure the player can communicate with the game? Well, she says, that is actually the programmer’s job. Hers is to make sure the player knows where to click in order to communicate with the game: “The user interface provides access to all relevant functions.” As a child, she always used to watch her brother, who was three years older, playing computer games. “Super Mario and classic adventure games were a special part of my childhood.” She moved to Hanover with her life partner, the aforementioned graphic designer, and found a vacancy as a media designer in an advertising agency. Three years later she got her first permanent job in a software company and stayed in Hanover. The company called “Reakktor Media” coded virtual outer space adventures with 40 employees. A former colleague is now Kannegießer’s manager. He was technical lead artist in Hanover, but had bigger plans – his own company in Berlin. He asked Kannegießer if she wanted to come along. In mid-2012 she started working at it Matters Games with only three other permanent employees in Oberschöneweide. Dolphins, dogs, cats, racing, riding bikes cross country – those were some of the themes of the games she has worked on. “That’s the great thing about our job, especially as a creative person – it never gets boring.“ By Winfried Dolderer for Adlershof Journal