The Hero’s Journey of Omer Faruk Günalan

What is the best thing that I love about my work? I’m a creative game writer. I construct original game universes, determine the unique rules of that universes, and prepare fun gameplay elements per these rules. My favorite part is thinking about new ideas and creative systems shaped by those ideas at the very beginning of this whole business. It is this stage of thinking where my knowledge, experience, and abilities can manifest themselves most effectively. Although it seems like a small detail, it plays a fundamental role in determining the fate of the game development process and then the whole game.

What is my idea of happiness? Apart from the values, we believe in, the only purpose of life and labor is to live a happier life and to transfer this happiness to future generations. I don’t need any ideas or events to be happy. As long as I live and my efforts pay off, I am already happy. But if I have a concern for life or my efforts, I become unhappy. It’s like a baby who always laughs and radiates joy around him and cries when he only has a problem.

What is my greatest fear? I’m afraid to do mediocre work. My biggest fear is to be a mediocre person who can only do mediocre work. If I can’t do anything, I think life has lost all meaning. That’s why my undergraduate education is constantly stressing me out. Because as a student I am worse than the worst.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? There are two things, one physical and one characteristic. Physically, the fact that I’m short compared to the average affects my life a little negatively. It doesn’t matter to me at all, but it is felt in society somehow. Even if it is not said directly, it leads to being in the background in many issues. Even a beautiful and delicate princess like Fiona prefers a brutish swamp giant like Shrek to the noble Lord Farquaad. Characteristically, I can’t stand the bullshit that demoralizes me, and I immediately distance myself from it. I’m not complaining about it either, on the contrary, it reduces my anxiety. However, sometimes it can cause me to be unfair or make wrong decisions. Even so, I don’t feel sorry for that, thinking that if I endure such situations, it will lead to worse consequences in my life. I think people don’t have the luxury of upsetting themselves, life already fulfills that exceedingly.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? As a game and narrative designer, I admire Hideo Kojima, Hidetaka Miyazaki, and Shigeru Miyamoto. Kojima’s cinematic narration, Miyazaki’s non-stop storytelling, and Miyamoto’s entertaining game designs are truly admirable. Gabe Newell’s use of his computer science knowledge to create two major brands in game development and marketing, Valve and Steam, is also an enviable achievement. Far from achieving great success, how many game developers are left in the global gaming industry who are their bosses?

What is my greatest extravagance? Labor and time. For every person, subject, or work that I care about and find valuable, I put more effort into more time when necessary. It takes effort and time to think, carefully implement this idea and pay attention to detail. Although it causes lag behind, it provides smooth development in the long run. It’s like bringing civilization to arid deserts when everyone is trying to erect the same buildings in the city. In the end, even if it is disappointing, it is worth the enthusiasm of hope.

On what occasion would I lie? I can’t lie. I wouldn’t lie unless things got bogged down. However, because I like to make plans for the future, I often stay in a bad situation when I can’t make them.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? I don’t like it when someone has thought before me and made decisions about issues related to my field. In this case, all the magic of the work escapes, and the only thing left is to do labor in technical matters. It’s as if someone took your sugary gum and chewed it, sucked all the sugar, then gave it back to you and asked you to grind it. Yes, it’s extremely disgusting.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? When there is no problem in my private life and where there are people I enjoy working with.

If I could, what would I change about myself? I wish I could move faster. Usually, I have more work than my time. If I could stop time, I would rather rest than work. That’s why moving fast will be more useful for me to catch the flow of life.

What is my greatest achievement in work? It has been 1.5 years since I started my career at Rokogame Studios and I continue to work at the company I started. In April 2022, we launched Rise Online World, Turkey’s largest MMORPG project, and we are still working on it. As the only project, I have worked on and published so far, Rise Online World is my first and only successful work. Rise Online World website: https://www.riseonlineworld.com/en

Where would I most like to live? Tokyo to work in, Amalfi to rest.

What is my most treasured possession? My family. Both are my most valuable asset and the reason why I have many other assets. I’m so happy to have them.

What is my most marked characteristic? “Your all occupation is game.” My mom always says that. It describes me exactly. In every sense.

What is the most inspirational location, in my city? Istanbul is a perfect city that connects two continents. It contains a lot of cultural structures and each district has a different social environment. Different sides of the Bosphorus can evoke different feelings in people. But I’m not usually involved in this mess. Caddebostan coast, which overlooks the Marmara Sea instead of the Bosphorus, is a much calmer and more peaceful place. You can reach Bağdat Street, one of the most luxurious streets of Istanbul, just on the upper street. It is not crowded, its architectural structure is beautiful and its people are more decent. It is the most suitable place to host an inspirational location.

What is my favorite place to eat and drink in my city? I’m not someone who likes to eat and drink outside. Istanbul is a metropolis, of course, there are many places where you can find good food, but I would not prefer any of them to homemade food. If you want me to recommend you for your holiday guide instead of my routine life, I can recommend the buryan kebab restaurants in Fatih. Although I don’t stop by often, kebab is my favorite place to eat. After all, you can’t make a nice kebab without a huge stone quarry at home.

What books influenced my life and how? As a Muslim, Qur’an determines my whole life and belief. I find peace while reading and I try to live accordingly.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen to on my last day? Turkish singer Nilüfer’s song “Son Arzum”. It means “My Last Wish” in English.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? I grew up a little bit to get fictional heroes, but I must admit that I was very much influenced by Lightning Mcqueen as a child. He was fast and got all the spotlight on himself. It was a successful car, loved by other cars, even if it made mistakes. I saw myself as him in elementary school. I was top of the class, everyone thought I was cute, and I was at the forefront of every stage show. “I created feelings in others that they don’t understand.” Most importantly, I had a friend who was just as fun as Mater. Now I am grown and unfortunately I have lost my former shine. But that friend is still my best friend. In the future, maybe with the support of him and my other close friends, I will “float like a Cadillac and sting like a Beemer” again. Ka-Chow!

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? The answer to this is “my parents” for me as well as for everyone else, but if I had to give a particular answer, I can say Fenerbahçe’s legendary football player Alex de Souza. As Fenerbahçe’s playmaker for 8 years, he has achieved great moves and epic successes. He is a real hero whose statue was erected in Kadıköy by those who had the chance to follow him. So much so that his name began to be used as a measure of “perfection” in social life. For example, “- Is he talented? + Yes, but not an Alex.” or “- What kind of student is she? + Hardworking but not an Alex.” or “- What kind of girl is your flirt? + Beautiful but not an Alex.” Okay, that’s a joke. Although we are in different fields, I hope I can be a playmaker who has such an impact on people.

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? Watch Requiem For A Dream the next day when you’re not at work, then don’t look back. There has never been a movie that has shaken my life so much. It’s not my favorite movie and it doesn’t have a good script. It’s a bad movie, not because it’s of poor quality, but because it makes you feel “bad.” Because it talks about addiction and makes you hate it completely. You’ll agree with me after watching and curse me for following my advice. I’m also sure you’ll fall in love with his music.

What role play stories in my life and work? There are different stories in our lives and although we are the main characters of all these stories, we can have different roles. Even if you’re Spider-Man, it could be a simple pizzeria to pay your rent or try something different to impress a girl you like. In my private life, I usually take on a problem-solving role. I usually understand the source of people’s problems and try to help them. But I’m like a bald barber, I can’t use the same methods against my problems. I can say that I played the story of a great boy football player at my job. Even though I am sometimes in the background and do not have enough experience, I can always feel the appreciation of my managers and the high expectations of those around me. I am starting to get the results of what I have learned in the past, knowing that I will use it in the future. All it takes to become a champion is a little patience.

What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life to me? Who knows our own lives better than we do? Although we have witnesses who see what we have experienced, who can predict our feelings, thoughts, experiences, and inferences? No one but ourselves. Others may empathize with you, but this will only be their observation and will not reflect reality. That’s why we can bring only the most accurate interpretations of our lives and create the clearest narrative ourselves.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, or partner in crime? Although I have close friends who can fit this description, my sister Elif is at the top of the list. There is a strange brother-sister relationship between us. For me, she can use her support and encouragement as a protective shield for herself. It can impose many responsibilities on me without giving me any authority. She can do anything for me and put all the blame on me when I don’t expect it. I don’t have a younger brother or sister, but thanks to her, I learned how to be a big brother very well.

Which people or companies would I like to work with in 2023? I would like to work with companies, people, and projects that can best contribute to my development. This could be my current workplace, or somewhere else in the world I’ve never met. Of course, the people and companies that I say I admire are my priority; Kojima Productions, From Software, and Nintendo.

What project, in 2023, am I looking forward to working on? At Rokogame Studios, we have a project called Goody Boody that we have been working on for a while. We want to launch the game in 2023 and continue to develop it with various modes. We aim to keep the fun and competition at a high dose and make it sustainable with different gameplay dynamics in different sections. I’m very happy to be working on it, and I have to say that I’m very excited about the innovations we’re going to bring in 2023 by seeing people’s reactions. You can watch the first gameplay video here: https://twitter.com/goodyboodygame/status/1500870011400986625?s=20&t=dm4RoTVNIdV dVeB4Wa2-QQ Please turn off all the lights, a star will appear on the stage.

Where can you see me or my work in 2023? It wouldn’t be bad if you saw that I received an award in a magnificent ceremony. Like everything about my career and work, I’ll probably share it on Linkedin.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? Passion is what keeps people alive. If you don’t have a passion, your life has no value. Even someone in a hospital bed has a passion for clinging to life. So passion never retires, it lasts until life ends.

Which creative professionals should Peter invite to tell their story? Alper Yenice – Senior 3D Artist Burhan Bilkay – Senior Game Designer Ahmet Tarık Yıldız – Game Designer

How can you contact me? You can connect via LinkedIn or you can reach me by sending an e-mail. My Linkedin profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/omer-faruk-gunalan/ My e-mail address: gunalanomerfaruk@gmail.com

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