Raza Ahmad

Raza Ahmad

Narrative Creation & Game Design


Commerce, CA USA

Equal parts perseverance, hard work, and luck. You need all three working in your favor in order to put the wind in your sails.


By Roadtrip Nation

Raza Ahmad

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My road in life took a while to figure out.
Born and raised in Pakistan—his mother was a social activist and got him involved in the street theater that evolved out of those activist movements.
He continued to study theater formally for most of his life and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in theater from Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California.
He then went on to earn his master’s degree in film from the University of California, Los Angeles—says he viewed this transition from theater to film as a natural evolution.
After taking a few game design courses in graduate school, he began freelancing in that field, as well as in motion graphics and web design.
In 2012, he was recruited to work for Niantic Labs, which was a startup within Google, working on Ingress, a location-based, augmented reality mobile mystery game.
In 2015, when Niantic became an independent company, he joined the group of creative directors responsible for developing one of the biggest gaming sensations in decades, Pokémon GO.
His work has mainly become focused on developing the intellectual property that Niantic owns and helping to manage the live-action games that they have become known for.
He is passionate about utilizing augmented and virtual reality technologies to further the storytelling narratives within his designs and explore new ways to elevate them.
Keep following my journey


High School
Claremont McKenna College
General Literature
Claremont McKenna College
Cinematography and Film/Video Production
University of California-Los Angeles


Narrative Creation & Game Design

I develop story and gameplay ideas for augmented reality games like Pokémon Go.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Communicating / Sharing Stories

Day to Day

My day always starts with coffee (and that continues throughout the day). I spend a couple of hours syncing with my team to go over the current things we are working on and to brainstorm ideas and plans. My role within the company is cross-functional so I spend a lot of time communicating with a variety of people across the company working on sub-tasks and problem-solving. Later in the day, I go into quiet time which is my time to work on my own to get things I'm working on done.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

You have to be tech-savvy and have imagination. Diplomacy, communication, and people skills go a long way in any career.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

Always be willing to learn new things. Learn to solve problems, think on your feet and drive creativity into challenges. Creativity is about more than just self-expression -- that's important, but it can be targeted into everything. It's a way of approaching the obstacles and opportunities in life and viewing them in a problem-solving manner. It's a muscle that can and must be exercised.


The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"I don't like this game."

Interviewed By

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