Kim Swift

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Kim Swift
Kim Swift - Game Developers Conference 2010 - Panel Day 4 (1).jpg
Swift at the 2010 Game Developers Conference
Kimberly Swift[1]

1983 (age 37–38)[2]
OccupationVideo game designer

Kimberly Swift (born 1983) is an American video game designer best known for her work at Valve with games such as Portal and Left 4 Dead. Swift was featured by Fortune as one of "30 Under 30" influential figures in the video game industry.[3] She was described in Mental Floss as one of the most recognized women in the industry[4] and by Wired as "an artist that will push the medium forward".[3]


A graduate of DigiPen, Kim Swift and a group of her fellow graduates developed Narbacular Drop, a portal-based game that was later presented to Valve, which led to Gabe Newell personally offering to hire them so that they could create the critically acclaimed game Portal.[5] Kim Swift was the leader of the Portal team as well as a level designer. She was credited along with writer Erik Wolpaw in Portal's Game Developers Choice Awards for design, innovation, and game of the year.[4]

Besides Portal, Swift has been involved in other Valve projects, most notably Left 4 Dead and its sequel, Left 4 Dead 2, where she also played a leading role in development.[6]

In December 2009, Swift left Valve to join Airtight Games. There, in cooperation with Square Enix, she led the team that developed Quantum Conundrum.[7]

Amazon announced in April 2014 that they had brought Swift in to help build games in their internal studio.[8] Swift described her role as senior designer for as yet undisclosed projects.[7] In January 2017, Electronic Arts announced they have hired Swift as a design director within their Motive Studios, who developed Star Wars Battlefront II.[9]

Swift hosted the 20th Game Developers Choice Awards ceremony on March 18, 2020.[10]



  1. ^ "Narbacular Drop". DigiPen. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  2. ^ Dodson, Joe (2007-10-13). "By Design - Half-Life 2: Orange Box". GameSpot. Retrieved 2014-12-16.
  3. ^ a b "Games That Changed Everything: The Most Wired Games of the Generation". WIRED. November 21, 2013. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c Erbland, Kate (October 14, 2013). "Kim Swift, the Woman Behind Portal". Mental Floss. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
  5. ^ "Kim Swift". MobyGames. 2009-12-20. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  6. ^ "Left 4 Dead 2 Interview with Kim Swift" Left 4 Dead 2 Website Nov. 13, 2009. Ret Mar. 2014 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-03-10. Retrieved 2014-03-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ a b McWhertor, Michael (April 2, 2014). "Amazon Game Studios hires Portal designer Kim Swift, Splinter Cell designer Clint Hocking". Polygon. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
  8. ^ Shrieier, Chris (2014-04-02). "Amazon Hires Portal's Kim Swift, Far Cry 2's Clint Hocking". Kotaku. Retrieved 2014-04-02.
  9. ^ Makuch, Eddie (January 19, 2017). "Portal, Left 4 Dead Developer Kim Swift Joins EA". GameSpot. Retrieved January 19, 2017.
  10. ^ "Death Stranding leads the pack of 2020 Game Developers Choice Awards nominees". Gamasutra. January 8, 2020. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
  11. ^ "PIXLD". Airtight Mobile. 2012-10-24. Retrieved 2013-06-20.
  12. ^ "Soul Fjord". Airtight Mobile. Retrieved 2014-01-28.
  13. ^