Technical Director, Red Kite Games.
I took part in the Dare-to-be-Digital competition in my final year at Abertay and, although my team didn’t win, it did result in me joining a competing team to form a company called VideoBrains as their lead programmer/MD. At VideoBrains we successfully built and shipped a mobile WAP game called Wapletes.
I joined Mobius Entertainment in 2002 and after numerous GBA games, I took the role of lead programmer as Mobius became Rockstar Leeds. At Rockstar I managed the team of programmers and we got to create amazing titles such as GTA: Liberty City Stories, GTA: Vice City Stories, GTA: Chinatown Wars, as well as assisting and contributing to projects external to the studio such as Red Dead Redemption and L.A. Noire.
In 2011, I left Rockstar to form a new company with one of the senior designers with the aim of providing a service to streamline and enhance games being produced by other companies.
After working with Activision on Prototype 2 in 2012 I joined The Blast Furnace as their Technical Director developing titles including Call of Duty: Strike Team.
Sadly The Blast Furnace shut down after two years so I began contracting and worked with Sumo Digital, Fierce Kaiju, Here2Peer and Red Kite Games. In a very short time, I helped to ship Little Big Planet 3, God of War III: Remastered and a Gear VR launch title called Viral.
A year later I joined Red Kite Games as their Technical Director which has since grown substantially and we now work with key industry partners like Sumo Digital, Codemasters and Double Eleven as well platform holders such as Sony and Microsoft.
Abertay arguably taught me some of the core skills I still use today both in terms of programming and management. Without these, I doubt I would have managed to get a job in the games industry and certainly not managed to gain the wide range of experience on some amazing projects.
Abertay stays strong in the field of games because of their high standards. Even now I take notice when I see a developer's CV with Abertay mentioned on it. I always make a point to interview students who've studied at Abertay and, throughout the years, I've hired numerous graduates from the University.
My advice to my younger self would be to work smarter, not harder.
Take a step back from what you're doing (as well as things that other people are doing) and see if there's a way to make everyone's life easier and less stressful.
My main goal nowadays is to prove I can manage to have fun developing games and have a good work/life balance. At Red Kite Games I feel we are doing an excellent job achieving this and we are still growing. I would love for us to continue to make great games with great people whilst having fun doing it.
I guess it must be GTA. I lived and breathed that game for so many years at Rockstar, little else could have such an impact.