I have been programming for 24 years, 14 of those as a professional programmer in the games industry. I'm currently employed by Lionhead Studios as a senior programmer, where I've been for the past 7 years. I'm lucky to have a job that is also my hobby, and this website is for sharing stuff that I work on outside of work hours.
My story is not an uncommon one in the games industry. I started at a young age on some of the first home computers such as the Amstrad CPC 464 and Amiga 1200, writing games, graphics demos and tools. I then went on to achieve a degree in computer science from the University of Bath in 1998.
After university I landed a job at a games development company called Climax, based in the south of England. Climax was generally known for its ports but I was lucky enough to work on original games my entire time there. We developed various games for the original playstation. This was back in the days when programmers were not as pigeon holed as they are today and I was exposed to working on almost every system in the game. This, combined with the relatively fast turnaround of projects was an excellent learning experience.
The second generation of consoles then changed the industry dramatically. With the extra horsepower and content sizes the projects and teams increased in size accordingly. We set out to make a hugely ambitious action/RPG games called Sudeki for the XBox. This was an amazing experience for me; I was part of the small team that started development, tasked with working out how the game would function and the technology that was required. I implemented the component/entity based game architecture, the scripting language, the data format, and the editor. I went on to become lead programmer on this project, and we managed to successfully ship the product.
The main competition for Sudeki was a game called Fable, also funded by Microsoft. Looking back it was amazing that Microsoft funded two RPG style games at the same time, but I'm glad they did. Fable went on to become a huge success, so following the 'if you can't beat them join them' motto I applied for a job at Lionhead Studios, the developers of Fable.
On joining Lionhead I worked on the next two games in the Fable franchise, Fable II and Fable III as a senior programmer. I worked on many areas including the editor, asset build, game data format, the graphics engine, and the low level memory systems. I am still at Lionhead working on an undisclosed project.
In my opinion the games industry is a very challenging and interesting place to work. It is a place that combines cutting edge technology with amazing creativity. There is nothing like seeing your hard work in code turned into something beautiful by the artists and designers. Change is a constant factor in this industry, new algorithms, new hardware, new development processes. Now the games industry as a whole is changing, since new platforms and digital distribution are once again allowing for small start-ups. The cycle is bringing us back to our roots.
|ATV: Quad Power Racing||Playstation||Programmer||2000|
|Fable II||XBox360||Senior Programmer||2008|
|Fable III||XBox360||Senior Programmer||2010|
|Fable III||PC||Senior Programmer||2011|
|Fable Heroes||XBox360 (XBLA)||Senior Programmer||2011|
|Fable: The Journey||XBox360||Senior Programmer||2012|