“It’s not enough to encourage more women to join the games industry. We need to create an environment where they can thrive... If we can keep women and minority developers from being worn down early in their careers, and nurture that joy instead, they will be unstoppable.”
Nicole Stark entered the games industry during the formative years of Krome Studios working on their first PS2 title Sunny Garcia Surfing. She worked as the entire character department on Barbie Ice Skating where, despite being angry, slightly goth and decidedly neurodiverse, she achieved one of her life-long dreams – winning praise for her Barbie costume designs from Mattel themselves. Just because you rage against the banality of society doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate the value of a well-placed sparkle.
She went on to lead the character team of Jimmy Neutron where she regularly worked 80 hour weeks despite being diagnosed with and treated for Thyroid cancer at the time. She earned everlasting renown for answering rigging questions on the phone while receiving radiation therapy in a lead-lined hospital room. She spares no nostalgia for her removed thyroid gland, describing it as “weak”. Her only regret is that being radioactive didn’t give her any super powers, not even lame ones.
As well as co-directing a games company and raising four children she currently operates a photography business. She has heard of the phrase “spare time” but believes it to be a myth. As a photographer she specialises in finding the beauty in the commonplace and where no beauty is to be found, she’s happy to photoshop it in.
Follow Nicole on Twitter