David Hamilton

Ninja Kiwi's Executive Vice President shares his journey from Abertay to over 100 million downloads.

BSc (Hons) Computing (Games Development), 2004

How important was your Abertay degree in helping you pursue your career?

It was very important, my 4th year honours project ultimately led me to where I am today. One of the options on my course was to create a mobile phone game and, as I had just gotten myself a Samsung T100, I chose to design one for that. I created Babygrow, which was a Tamagotchi style game that gave the user a virtual baby in the palm of their hand.

I teamed up with one of my classmates, Barry Petrie, and, at the same time as studying for a Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship, we pitched Babygrow to the University’s Embreonix programme (a business incubator that helped students and graduates start their own businesses). Our pitch was successful and we formed a company called Digital Goldfish with our first commercial game being Babygrow.

There have been many Abertay alumni success stories, so why can't the next one be you?
David Hamilton | Ninja Kiwi | Executive Vice President

What does your current job involve?

After finishing my PGDip we then carried on with Digital Goldfish and released another mobile phone game called Reach For The Starz.

When the iPhone came out in 2007 we partnered up with a New Zealand company called Ninja Kiwi and brought their popular flash game, Bloons, to the App Store. It went straight to number 1 in America and the company really grew from there. After working with Ninja Kiwi for 5 years, it bought Digital Goldfish.

We are now a 30 man studio in Dundee and have 35 people in the Auckland office. I co-manage the Dundee studio of Ninja Kiwi, so there is never two days the same. One day I could be implementing a new feature in one of our games, the next day I could be in meetings all day with external partners.

Do you have any advice for students?

You will never have a chance to do something different like the opportunity you get when you first graduate. I could not have started Digital Goldfish had I got into a full time job as it can be very hard to give up a guaranteed salary once you start. There have been many Abertay alumni success stories, so why can't the next one be you?

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