Insights / Spotlights - 4 minutes

Turning Your Passion Into a Career - Meet Lucy, Level Designer at Sumo Digital Ltd

Since the age of four, Lucy had a strong passion for gaming. However, she had no idea you could make a successful career out of it.

Turning Your Passion Into a Career - Meet Lucy, Level Designer at Sumo Digital Ltd


Tech Talent Engine


Hello, my name is Lucy and I work in the games industry as a Level Designer at Sumo Newcastle.

As a Level Designer, my main responsibilities are creating spaces for the player to move through, maintaining and updating documentation, liaising with other departments, participating in playtests, and gathering and addressing player feedback.  

My career path / How I got to where I am now 

Since the age of four, I have been an avid gamer. It was something that I’ve always done in my spare time, from childhood up until now.

One of my favourite series, The Legend of Zelda, was the reason why I ended up on this career path. In 2017, I was in my second year of training to become a Counsellor and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was released, I queued up at midnight to collect my copy and a Nintendo Switch.

The following day, I returned to my studies, and it was a turning point for me, my tutor encouraged me to pursue this as she could see my passion for games.

I was unaware that working in the games industry was an actual job prospect that people went into – it feels odd to say it now, as people were of course making games for a living previous to this.

But while I was studying, I did some research into games-related degrees in the North East as I was unsure where I saw myself fitting in, what with me having little-to-no knowledge about the different job roles.  

I applied for my degree at Newcastle College, at the time it covered a lot of bases, so it was great for me as it gave me a taster of the expectation of the different roles. It was not until I completed the 3D modelling module that I then realised that I enjoyed creating spaces for the player to flow through – and with having a Psychology background, I knew I wanted to go down the Level Design route rather than an Environment Art route.  

What do you love most about your job?  

There are a lot of things I love about my job, if I had to pick a few it would be: 

  • Being creative – Every designer has different methodologies on how they approach a task but having the freedom to be able to tackle the task in your own way allows myself to have my own creative flair. 

  • Collaborating with different disciplines – I enjoy working with other people and seeing what we are making come to life through teamwork and communicating with one another.  

  • Problem solving – I love a design issue and finding a way to resolve it. There has been plenty of these on my journey so far and has always offered an opportunity to learn a new way to approach it. 

What advice do you have for other people who are looking to get into this profession?  

My advice is to be yourself. I did not know anything when I started my degree, all I knew was my passion for games, so I am quite proud to see how far I have come in the last 5 years. Anyone who has a strong work ethic and attitude can achieve anything they want to – if I can do it, so can you!  

My advice to current students would be to research job specifications and tailor your studies to that role. I tailored my university work to fit the job specification so even if I did not have any industry experience, I still had something to show at any given interview.  

How do you find working and living in Newcastle?  

Newcastle is a lovely city to live in, it is a very welcoming place. There is a lot for people to do and explore, and I find there is something for everyone in the city. Whether that’s fitness or a reading club, there is a community for everyone to be a part of.  

Sumo Newcastle is a great place to work. I was meant to be located at the Sheffield studio, but due to personal reasons, I was able to work in Newcastle instead. When I was younger, I thought I would have to move to get the job that I want (in some cases you might have to) but for our industry I didn’t.

Sumo Newcastle offers a lot of flexibility whether you are fully in the office, at home or a mixture of the two, they are flexible to your needs as an employee (which I think is awesome!). The people are amazing to work with, it really makes a difference to your day going to work with great people who share the same vision as you. Everyone has a voice and can have an input on the studio and the games we are making together. 

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