Jess Hider

Jess has worked with legendary franchises like Mario and now works at iconic games studio Rare.

BA (Hons) Computer Arts, 2015

How does it feel to be working for a company as iconic as Rare?

Pretty amazing. There was lots of dancing, yelling, screaming and general excitement when I found out I got the job. It’s absolutely fantastic.

You’re clearly a big fan of the company, what’s your favourite Rare game?

Banjo Kazooie! I remember sitting down, playing it on the N64 and just loving it. It’s an adorable bear with a really cute bird on his back, what isn’t there to love about that?

I little bit later on I liked Viva Piñata. Who wouldn’t want to have a garden full of loveable Piñatas? (I still do…)

Throughout your career you’ve had the chance to work with some legendary franchises, including Mario. What was that like?

A dream come true. I was with 4J Studios when they were working on the Super Mario Mash-Up Pack for Minecraft. I re-imagined a lot of the items to make them Mario-themed and to do that you needed a deep knowledge of the Mario universe. There’s a lot of pressure and responsibility because you want to make sure you do the franchise justice.

Working with Nintendo was pretty cool too; they gave us quite a lot of freedom but also gave us great feedback to make sure we were on the right course.

Have courage. When opportunities come your way, even if they’re totally outside of your comfort zone, go for them.
Jess Hider | Rare | Technical Designer

Who or what had a lasting impact on you during your time at Abertay?

The lecturers. Everyone was always willing to talk and I think that’s really useful, knowing you could go up to someone and ask them questions. They were all absolutely lovely.

What advice do you have for our current students?

Have courage. When opportunities come your way, even if they’re totally outside of your comfort zone, go for them. Be kind to people. It’s a very, very small industry and if you act like an idiot it gets around. Finally, be prepared. Opportunities arrive in the strangest of places!

What are your future aspirations?

I’d like to continue to push the games industry so we can showcase beyond what people think of as typical games. There really is a game out there for everyone. We’re kind of like books now; if you want a romance, there’s a romance. If you want a comedy, there’s a comedy. I want to push that and diversify the content that we make so that everyone can find a game that suits them.

 

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