1. C 2. C 3. B 4. C 5. B 6. A
7. developer 8. animation 9. book covers 10. user interfaces
11. Star City 12. narrative 13. difficulty level 14. dedication
15. B 16. D 17. C 18. D 19. C 20. A
21. G 22. E 23. H 24. C 25. A
26. H 27. F 28. C 29. B 30. D
The part of the text containing the answer is underlined with the question number given in square brackets . Points that are crucial to understand are written in italics. If you still struggle with CAE Listening, please refer to Listening tips.
Woman: I’m always getting asked where I get the inspiration for my art. I find that a tough one to answer, don’t you? 
Man: Well, I think the answer’s got to be there. The real issue is whether you’re ready to open up to that extent.  Because whether you think in those terms yourself or not, it’s hardly an easy thing to articulate.
Woman: You seem to manage.
Man: Well, take my most recent work. In that, I’ve been looking at the idea of the annual holiday. I was struck by the thought that it was just another thing that we interact with. In the various brochures and pamphlets, destinations are similarly grouped together in digestible sections, making them objects of desire that we use in our leisure time.
Woman: You mean, the gloss and the allure of the images, tempting us to make the visit?
Man: Not just that. It’s also that from there it’s a short step to believing that we’re leaving the pressures of the everyday behind us, when in truth there’s a difference between the actual experience and the sanitised reality printed on the page. And that’s what I want to look into. 
Man: I started out working for a radio station as a studio assistant and because of my love of electronic music, I tried to push it at the station. I pretty soon got my own show because I was pretty knowledgeable about the music scene. It wasn’t easy and I soon discovered that I wasn’t really cut out to be an interviewer – so I wasn’t comfortable in the role.  But once I started doing club DJing, I knew I’d found my real niche.
Woman: Yeah. The connection with the crowd can sometimes be incredible, can’t it?  I’d never have thought that playing records could ever become my life. But here I am, making a living out of it.
Man: And not a bad one either. I play lots of different styles because I like them all in their own way. But it really depends on the party and the crowd – you’ve got to give them what they want. 
Woman: No two sets are ever the same in that respect and that’s the beauty of it. I’m all for being flexible, but I don’t play tracks which I don’t like myself. I reckon that’d be selling out.
Man: Really? I’m happy to go with the flow actually.
Man: Now Teresa, you’ve just opened your own cake shop in town. Was it always your ambition to be a cake-maker?
Woman: Hardly. I left school at seventeen with little idea of where I was heading. I took a job in an Italian restaurant because there was little else available. I had no experience but I found I loved the buzz of working in the kitchen, so I decided to go to catering college. Although I’d never actually done any before, I focused on cake-making there because it’s quite artistic, but also scientific.  Getting the right ingredients in the right measures is not something you can leave to chance. I like that idea.
Man: So how’s the cake shop going?
Woman: Well, after the initial blaze of publicity, you get really worried about whether you’ve made the right decision. People come and try your stuff because you’re the new shop on the block but do they come back? I had lots of expert advice about pricing and the range of goods to offer, but most of it turned out to be pretty wide of the mark. So I’ve learnt to follow my instincts, and fortunately we’re beginning to see a firm customer base emerging as a result. 
Paul: Hi. My name’s Paul Osborne. I work as a designer in the computer-game industry. Like a lot of my colleagues, I grew up playing video games; wasting money on arcades, playing the early game consoles. Computer games have always been a big part of my life.
Basically, lots of people are involved in the production of a game. As a designer, I’m largely concerned with the visual material that you see, so my background’s artistic. People sometimes wrongly assume that I’m a developer  – that’s the guy with a maths background who actually figures out how the game works. We work closely together, of course, also with the game’s market researcher, who tells us what players are asking for.
So, how did I get into game designing? My degree was in art and design, and I did courses in painting and drawing as you’d expect, as well as one in computer graphics, which really captured my imagination, and one in animation. That was the one which enabled me to build up the key conceptual and visual design skills that I use now.  But I wasn’t afraid of technology, so my career could’ve gone in a number of directions.
My first job was as a graphic designer, doing book covers largely , though occasionally video game boxes or CD sleeves did come my way too. After a while, an opening came up in the company’s games division for someone who had art and design sensibilities, along with some technical acumen, to work on things called user interfaces . I saw that as the opportunity to move into designing software. It was interesting to put together visual design, ergonomics, psychology and technology. I had some great mentorship from the head of my section and really developed a passion for the work.
Basically, what you’re responsible for as a designer is whether a game’s fun or not. I’ve worked on a number of great games: Purple Moon was my first big challenge, and I had a key role on Defending Planet X. But the one I got most out of was Star City because I was working on defining the multi-player experience . That’s when two or more people play against each other. We wanted multi-players to play the game as if they were creating their own narrative , as compared to a single player when they’re experiencing a story you’ve made up for them.
I love being able to come up with a cool idea and actually see it happen. The most challenging aspect of the game, however, is hitting the right level of difficulty . You want the game to be hard enough to reward people who gain expertise, but not so hard that people become frustrated and stop playing.
So, what does it take to be a game designer? You need the creativity to have a vision – see what will make a game fun and create a great experience. You need the communication to articulate that vision to other people and get them to do what you think needs to be done. But above all, you need dedication to see your vision through – to work your way through the disappointments and failures . When you’re three months from shipping, working until two in the morning, that’s what sees you through.