The designer/developer behind Facebook’s first real-time Player vs Player game Monstermind talks about his path into the industry.
Published on 13 March 2012.
What first inspired you to get into your craft?
I was always into games as a kid. My brothers had a Spectrum and next I had an Amiga. As a programmer I find making games the most interesting thing to code. I was naturally drawn to making them inspired by all the great games I'd ever played.
How did you first break into the industry?
I actually spent the first ten years of my career in web development, mainly doing PHP and Flash contracting. I got to make a few web games while at Endemol but it was mostly web agency work, micro-sites for big brands etc. In 2010 I quit my job to start a social games studio. It was just me coding, designing and producing and I outsourced the artwork to Ukraine. Four months in I met Henrique [Olifiers] and within an hour we had decided to team up with Imre [Jele] and Roberta [Lucca], and that's when Bossa started.
Which professional figure in your field do you find the most inspiring?
I always admired the developers who consistently churned out good games. I don't hold any one individual above others but coders like Jon Hare, Andrew Braybrook and John Carmack are the people I admired the most when I was growing up.
If you hadn’t managed to break into your field, what was your plan B?
I'd probably be web developing still. Actually programming was my plan B. I always wanted to be a film director. Although I think I'm better at making games than films.
Which game do you wish you could have worked on?
I was utterly obsessed with Plants vs Zombies. I'd be very proud to have made that.
What single piece of advice would you give to a young person trying to break into your discipline and get noticed? How do you stand out from the crowd?
Learn to code and make a kick ass casual game. Polish it lots and do something original. If you can do that I'll hire you.
Were there any people who supported/mentored/championed you in the early stages of your career? How important are these kinds of relationships?
There were a few coders who taught me better practices. I personally find that kind of mentoring much more effective than just reading a book. I learned faster that way as they could help when I got stuck.
How do you think the games industry will change in the next few years?
I think the big thing this year will be mobile social games. We're also planning to get into trans-media games; games fused with TV shows. No one's really done it yet so it will be interesting seeing what gets made.