Seiedeh Nahid’s game development dream took her to Skövde

Seiedeh Nahid Moosavi grew up in Iran. After studying Software Engineering, she realised she wanted to work with games and applied for the Game Development Master’s Programme at the University of Skövde. In December 2021, she was part of the team behind the game Purunmachu, which was awarded the “Grand Jury Winner” at Global Game Jam’s “Cultural Heritage Game Jam”.

"I came all the way from Iran to Skövde to follow my dream and work with games," she says.

Seiedeh Nahid Moosavi comes from the capital of Iran – Teheran – a modern city that has almost as many inhabitants as in all of Sweden. While studying Software Engineering, she realised she was interested in game development and started making games during her Bachelor’s thesis.

"I developed a simple 3D first person shooter game."

Chose Skövde because of the gaming community

After graduation Seiedeh Nahid started working as a 3D developer in a company focusing on simulation. But she really wanted to work with games. Therefore, she started looking for a Master’s education in game development. She has two children and as a mother she could not move to another country without her family.

"Sweden is well known for its high standard of living as well as its high-tech industries, so I narrowed my search to only Swedish universities. I found a small town called Skövde and learned there is a big community of indie game companies here. As a mother, I should always consider my children and it is easier to raise children here than in big cities. But the gaming community was the main reason I chose Skövde."

What has been the best part of your education?

"It has been motivating to have contact with real clients, a first-hand experience with the game industry. Also, in many countries, universities only focus on the academic parts of education, not on applied or practical parts. But in Skövde we work on real projects and experience is part of the education."

"In the student community, we come from different backgrounds. When a team from different disciplines work on a project, it is sometimes hard to find a common understanding between the different mindsets. Software developers, game designers and artists have different professional languages, adding layers of different personality and culture, makes it more complicated. But this education has made us learn how to collaborate and communicate with each other. To develop a game project, the most important part is to communicate and collaborate with different disciplines. It does not matter that you are a highly skilled programmer, if you don’t know how to collaborate with your team and understand them. Maybe you can write the best and the most optimised application in the world but I am not sure you can call it an enjoyable game."

Won Global Game Jam

In December, Seiedeh Nahid participated in Global Game Jam’s “Cultural Heritage Game Jam”. In her team were also game developers from Peru and two teachers and former students from the University of Skövde. Seiedeh Nahid was lead programmer, and her job was to take the design decisions and make them come alive in their game Purunmachu, an explorer-type game in which you will be able to transport yourself to the Peruvian rainforest. Purunmachu were eventually awarded “Best Audio” and were chosen as the “Grand Jury Winner”, which essentially means “Best Game”.

"It was so exciting to win! I felt every positive feeling you can imagine. Many people said that we had developed a different game, and pointed to our game design and its potential, but to be the Grand Jury Winner… it was a big surprise. I was jumping and screaming for one minute!"

For the prize money, she is going to buy a more powerful computer, on which she will make more games. The team behind Purunmachu also decided to keep working on the game.

What will you do when you are finished with your studies?

"I came here all the way from Iran to follow my dream. I am planning either to find a job in the game industry or a PhD position in a related field. My children really like the school atmosphere here. Skövde is a different city, it has a relaxing vibe, while at the same time it has many game studios. A smooth combination of everything. Skövde is small but has almost all the facilities a family needs. And game companies and a university! Both my children want to be game developers! If I can find a job in the game industry in Skövde, I will stay here."

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