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Interview

Posted by Lee A. Stripp, 27 September 2012 · 416 views

  • How many games have you worked on?
About 10 all up, last 4 were: 2up, Bi-Yo, Lolly World and CrossFate.

  • What do you work on in games, and how did you learn to do it?
Well I work on many areas, 3D Modelling, Animation, Programming etc... I'm self-taught from the age of 12, once at school I found like minded friends who really helped focus my learning (Not the school :-) ).

  • How many people typically work on a game, and what did they work on?
Most of my projects have been 2 people but I have worked in a team of 12. In the team of 12, some people started on what they thought their strengths were but they soon found out they could do other things even better. Someone may be waiting on other team members to finish a: model for example, so they help out and find they did a better job. You must be willing to try new things in a large team, unless its a 100+ size team I guess.

  • What are the responsibilities of those people?
One team leader will set out tasks to perform. Then most people take set tasks to complete, with any luck they finish them and move on to another task (if they have other skills). Others are set one role for example, writers cant normally help out with programming etc...

  • Have you worked on a team?
Yes

  • How well did you cooperate with them/did you ever have any problems with other members? Did you interact with them outside the workspace?
I get along with others very well thankfully so this hasn't been an issue for me, Yet :-)
Yes I have had drinks outside the workplace with some people but not all, only in the 2 team member scenario.

  • What kind of lingo do you use when talking to people savvy in your field?
I'm a strong believer in K.I.S.S. I try to keep it simple even with other techies. If you keep things clear, the project will run much smoother.

  • What kinds of problems did you have to overcome in the parts you worked on?
I would say the main issues were always cross-platform related, second is keeping up-to-date with API changes. This is one reason I started writing my own game engine. Some APIs just break a lot, and your not in control so they could take weeks or even months to fix.

  • Did anyone help you overcome them?
Most of the time you can find an answer online through forums etc.. So yes, never be afraid to ask for help.

  • What kinds of tools do you use, and what do they do?
I can use many tools, too many to list so I'll just give a few examples.

3D: Blender, XSI, 3ds max, Lightwave.
Film/Video: FinalCut, Motion, MediaStudio, Avid, Shake.
IDE: Xcode, KDevelop, VisualStudio.
2D: Gimp, Photoshop.

To explain how these all work would take to long :-)

  • Have you ever helped someone else with a problem?
So many I've lost count.

  • If you've worked on a project that isn't your own, how does it feel to work towards someone else's idea?
You have to LOVE the project or get paid very well to keep your interest up. I know thats blunt but its true.

  • What is your workspace like?
I work from home, I like a very clean workspace so I don't spend half an hour looking for notes etc...

  • Are you paid? If so, how much?
Most projects yes, as for the amount, this could be anything from $500 - $1500. All depends on the work.

  • Do you work under a deadline, and if so, what is it like?
Yes you will have to deal with deadlines. I think this is one of the biggest pains on any project, knowing you must stop work on something that isn't perfect yet :-) You must be willing to stop or even pass something on to others to finish so the project has an end date. Very painfull.

  • What do people think about your work on these projects?
I've had some good and bad comments, don't take them to heart! If your able to redo the work just do it. Sometimes a group just wont see eye to eye, its best to say up front that its not working and move on.
Most projects I do I've been in control, so its not really an issue.

  • What do you think the "typical" game developer is like, in terms of personality?
hmmm, thats a hard one. All are very different. Some are outgoing and some like to be left alone.

  • Which demographics/backgrounds do game devs tend to fall into, based on your experience? Age, race, sex, class, location, etc.
I would never pigeon-hole anyone like this, you just never know what someone is capable of until you give them a chance. Game developers come from all walks of life.

  • On what basis do you consider a video game "good"?
If I knew this I'd be worth billions, the age old question. Tell me if you find the answer. :-)

  • Do you ever sacrifice the integrity of the original idea for something that more people will like?
You have to if your running any business. If you doing it for fun/yourself then no I wouldn't.

  • Do you take what people tend to like into account when making a game? (excluding basic things like working controls, a visible screen, etc)
Well not at first, remember you must get the game up and running first then listen to what people say about it, make changes that will make the game better and try not to destroy you vision in the process.

  • What is your opinion on the different kinds of platforms offered to developers?
They all have their good and bad points. Could go on for ever here.

  • What kind of elements do you think influence a child to grow into being a game dev?
I think playing lots of games as a kid helps but also having people around you that tell you you'll never finish that game really helps too. This really focuses me.

  • What were your first experiences with video games and how did they affect you thereafter?
I got an Atari for Christmas, what a machine. After that I begged my mother for a computer for maybe 2 years until she caved so I could learn how these games were made.

  • What do you think pushed you to becoming a game developer?
I'm the first in my family to program so I really don't know. I've always liked to pull things apart and see how they work from an early age. I started making games before I knew anyone else doing it, I did buy a lot of programming magazines maybe they helped.

  • What personal rewards do you get from developing games?
Seeing a finished product is the greatest thing ever. All that hard work finally paying off, what a feeling. For me the money is secondary, if your in it for the money find another job.

Hope this helps
Cheers
Lee




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