I joined London Studio’s core tech team as a Tools programmer working on VR Worlds. I remember being incredibly impressed with the in house tech and the bold vision of where the team wanted to take the tools. The atmosphere on the project was friendly but driven, with everyone pushing the boundaries of what could be achieved in VR. I was immediately given a huge amount of freedom in my work and was encouraged to take on some very large scale and impactful features. Over my many years at London Studio, I have worked on a wide variety of projects, this has kept things fresh as we have had to adapt our toolset and tech to meet the new requirements of each project. Things have never felt stale and there have always been new challenges waiting round the corner.
What does your role entail?
I head up the team responsible for the various tools our studio uses to make games, including our in house level editor Creator. My job involves two things which I absolutely love: talking to people and solving problems. A big part of my day is catching up with people across the studio to make sure they have everything they need to make the game. I then work with my team to solve people’s problems and build cool new features to help deliver the game.
What do you find most exciting about your work here?
I absolutely love helping people, and as a tools team that’s our main focus – making people’s lives’ easier. Something which really excites me at London Studio is the freedom we are given to just get on with our work. There is a lot of trust which is incredibly liberating and keeps me driven even when facing challenges. Right now we are working on something with a much larger scale than anything we have made in the past, so there is lots of work ahead of us but we have an amazingly talented team and the potential to make something truly magical.
What has your career path looked like over the years?
I always wanted to work in games. In fact, I remember coding small games and bringing them into school for my friends to play. This led me to a Games Programming degree at Teesside University. I got my first taste of Tools programming during my placement year at Ubisoft Reflections. But it wasn’t until my first official job in the industry working for Kuju where the role really clicked with me and I discovered how satisfying it is to help improve the process of making games and see how thankful people were when you made things better. After Kuju I joined London Studio where I got to work on a number of different projects, each with very different tooling requirements. It really has kept me on my toes but has been incredibly rewarding.
Do you have any career advice or top tips for people that would like to apply to programming/tech roles in the games industry?
It’s critical to just start coding and building up a portfolio. Try to find which part of the game you most enjoy working on as there are many different areas of coding such as Gameplay, AI, Animation and Graphics. This is especially important if you want to work for a larger studio who normally look for people to fill very specific specialised coding roles. It’s a good idea to learn some of the commonly used engines in the industry such as Unity and Unreal, this will really give you a step up when applying. Finally don’t be afraid to get involved in group projects and game jams. Learning to work well with others is important, reading and debugging other people’s code is a big part of being a programmer, so try to get some experience doing this rather than just working with your own code.
If you could describe London Studio in a few words, what would they be?