As an Internal QA Tester on SingStar and SingStar: Ultimate Party for PS3 and PS4! I then slowly worked my way from QA, Game Design, to my current role as Narrative Designer. The studio has been very supportive in letting me try new things and find my place within the team.
What does your role entail?
Helping the team conceptualise worlds and doing the nitty gritty of the written side of world building. Trying to think of any gaps, plot holes or potential player/world disconnects that might happen. Breaking down the overall stories for games with a focus on interactivity and keeping players engaged. Right down to writing scripts for character dialogue and the weird noises they make as players control them.
In short: I obsess over a game’s design telling a good story that is better experienced than explicitly told.
What do you find most exciting about your work here?
That the studio has a passion to constantly do new things. We push ourselves to think outside of the box in every respect and it is a very creative space to play in.
What has your career path looked like over the years?
I started at First Party QA in PlayStation Liverpool as a functional tester on Killzone: Shadow Fall for the launch of the PS4. This was a really exciting time to join the industry. Then, after a brief stint testing the PS4 version of Beyond: Two Souls, I got the Internal QA role in the SingStar team for the 2014 release of SingStar on PS3 and PS4.
While singing very badly to test various SingStar updates and releases over the years, I kept asking the designers if I could do some work for them. I did little bits here and there but when we started working on new projects I got to step up and show I could do the job full time. After a few years working as a Game Designer it became clear that Narrative Design is my passion and I was supported to step into that position within the team.
What is it like to work in the heart of central London?
I grew up in a small town in Lancashire with only my group of friends and siblings to share my hobbies with. Thankfully there is always something geeky happening somewhere in London. If you have a hobby there will be a sizeable scene for it no matter how niche it is.
I’ve been able to indulge in my love for things like Warhammer by joining The London Warhammer Gaming Guild. (Age of Sigmar and Blood Bowl are my GW games of choice for those wanting to know!) Spending far too much money on comic books and manga in stores like Gosh! Comics and Forbidden Planet. Buying new board games from Orcs Nest and Darksphere. Going to events like MCM Comic Con, Hyper Japan and EGX Rezzed.
There is so much to enjoy and get involved with. There are also a lot of game development talks and meet ups that happen throughout the year that have been invaluable in broadening my game design knowledge.
Working from home has become a big part of our lives recently. How have you found this has worked with your team at London Studio?
It has been a challenge but it has been amazing to see how the studio has adapted to the change. Within the narrative team we’ve been able to keep working as we were, but with a few tweaks. Breaking a story over a video call takes a bit longer than in person but using collaborative tools and web based solutions has helped a lot.
What have been your favourite tools, virtual events or highlights whilst working with your team remotely?
Being able to draw on a person’s screen as they share it in a Slack call has been very useful, for both creativity and comedy.
If you could describe London Studio in a few words, what would they be?
A place where everyone is as passionate about games as I am.