Making a video game is an odd mixture of science and art, and you never know what problem you'll be asked to solve next. That sort of challenge is exactly why Kathie Flood loves her job as the Managing Director and CEO of Cascade Game Foundry.
Kathie describes her career path as “accidental.” She loved arcade games but didn’t realize that it was possible to get an actual job in game design. After several years working as a technical writing, Kathie realized she wanted to be a part of the design and development process of software rather than the backend. So she moved into Project Management. “I was in the right place (Microsoft) at the right time (mid-90's) with the right skills (technology background, project design and management experience) and interests (sports) when Microsoft decided to get into the entertainment software business.”

From 1994 to 2009, Kathie worked at Microsoft, ultimately becoming a program manager. She enjoyed being able to focus on one game from start to finish and participating in every aspect of the game’s design and production.
Kathie’s background in mathematics is instrumental to her work. It allows her to have a strong understanding on the higher-level mathematics necessary to create realistic physics 3D graphics in her games. This helps her work with the programmers and artists creating these features so she can better understand the challenges they face. The problem-solving skills she learned while studying mathematics help her break down complex problems into smaller, more manageable parts, find creative solutions, and execute them well.

With an interest in creating video games for people outside of the core demographic, Flood developed “Infinite Scuba,” a game in which a scuba diver encounters undersea animals and artifacts that need to be unlocked. The main character is a woman. 

When asked what she enjoys most about her job, Flood responds that she loves bringing order to chaos and seeing people enjoy the games that she helps create. “And, when people ask me what I do for a living, I love to see their eyes light up when I say I make video games!’ I never got that reaction when my answer was ‘I write technical reference guides for programmers!’”

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