It's not just the old guard that are stirring up the games

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It’s not just the old guard that are stirring up the games development industry – these 30 young movers and shakers
are doing their fair bit too. Ed Fear shines Develop’s talent spotlight on the new wave of development superstars…




  GEORG BACKER                                           ERIC HOPE                                              GILLIAN CONNOLE
  Audio Producer, Lionhead                               User Experience Evangelist, Apple                      Music Licensing Manager, SCE London

  “We love you, Georg!” cooed the girls when Mr.         27-year old Eric performs user interface and           Gillian, 29, runs the music licensing department
  Backer, 29, went up to collect the Audio gong at       product design consultations for companies who         at SCE London Studio, which means that she
  the 2009 Develop Awards. Georg has been at             are creating their software for Apple platforms.       wrangles those labels to get all that content for
  Lionhead for over nine years in a variety of roles     Whether helping new developers polish and              SingStar plus everything else published by SCEE.
  – including programmer on Black and White,             ship their first products or assisting experienced     She previously honed her music industry
  cutscene designer for Fable, drama work on             game studios in moving their blockbuster               knowledge at V2, and also does a stellar job
  Fable II and is currently focused on audio for         franchises to the iPhone, he’s worked with over        representing SingStar at the South by South
  Fable III and Milo and Kate.                           600 game teams – no small feat.                        West festival in the US.




  JOACHIM ANTE                                           ANDREW SCHEIDECKER                                     ERIC BOLTJES
  Chief Technology Officer, Unity                        Senior Graphics Architect, Epic Games                  Lead Multiplayer Designer, Guerilla

  You might have noticed Joachim’s face on the           Nominated by none other than Tim Sweeney               Despite only being 26, Eric has been creating
  cover of this issue, but what’s amazing is that        himself, 27 year-old Andrew is described by the        multiplayer experiences for half of his life,
  he’s only 27. After failing his programming            father of Unreal Engine 3 as a ‘genius-level           initially as part of the modding community. His
  course in high school – some say on purpose –          programmer’. After working as the primary              efforts caught the attention of Guerilla
  he laid much of the foundations of Unity’s core        developer on UE3’s rendering system, he’s now          development director Arjan Brussee, who hired
  while still a teenager. He’s now responsible for       busy on new geometry techniques for next-gen           Eric as a junior level designer on Killzone. He’s
  overseeing the 35-strong technical team and            hardware. In his spare time, he writes – get this –    quickly risen through the ranks since then, and
  steering the direction of Unity platform itself.       genetic analysis software. Amazing.                    his personal motto is ‘playtest, playtest, playtest’.


  2009’s Develop 30 Under 30 is sponsored by OPM Recruitment, the leading specialist recruitment consultancy in the computer, console, handheld, mobile, online
  games and interactive entertainment sectors. OPM recruits for a diverse roster of clients in the UK and worldwide with jobs available in every area of business
  associated with entertainment products and services. www.opmjobs.com

DEVELOP-ONLINE.NET                                                                                                                     DECEMBER ‘09/JANUARY ‘10 | 27
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  NAT MARCO                                JEFF LYNDON                            MARTIN FIELD                           DAVE POLLARD
  Art and design,                          VP of Greater China,                   Artist,                                Director and Lead Programmer,
  Honeyslug                                Interzone                              nDreams                                Eiconic

  Nat started doing work experience        If there was an award for most-        Martin joined the games industry       29 year-old Dave first came to the
  at Morpheme inbetween classes at         nominated person, it would go to       just two years ago after working in    attention of his peers when he
  University, at first just testing and    Jeff Lyndon: a whopping six times.     TV, and found himself straight in      joined LT Studios after completing a
  then progressively moving into           By the age of 22 he’d founded his      the deep end creating top-quality      post grad degree at Oxford. He’s
  game balancing, level design, and        first company, starting RMT farms in   PS3 environments single-handedly       described by his current co-workers
  even creating design documents.          China. Don’t worry, he realised the    alongside some of the most             as having a phenomenal talent for
  Now Nat, 25, works at Honeyslug,         error of his ways, and has since       experienced artists in the industry.   programming, in particular “his
  creating levels and managing a           founded three companies including      We’re told that the 28 year-old has    speed at generating code and
  small team of artists – although in      iPhone dev Humble Gaming,              “matured into a superb and             establishing gameplay mechanics.”
  true indie style she does a little bit   altogether working on over 18          versatile artist, with a superb work   He co-founded Eiconic in 2006 and
  of everything, and is described as a     titles. He’s also a prominent media    ethic, and he's a real team player     is now the core gameplay architect
  ‘huge asset’ to the team.                go-to guy in the local market.         with a wicked sense of humour.”        and central in establishing design.




  DAN MARSHALL                             PETER LOVELL                           RICHARD HAMER                          STEPHEN GAFFNEY
  Founder and all-round hero,              Senior Recruitment                     Junior Designer, SingStar              Studio Director,
  Zombie Cow Studios                       Coordinator, Jagex                     SCE London Studio                      Splash Damage

  The lovely Dan Marshall, 29, first       When you’re a company as massive       Hamer joined the SingStar team         At only 29, Steve’s certainly had an
  started out his working life toiling     as Jagex, recruitment is a big deal.   mid-2007 as a tester, but quickly      eventful few years. He joined Splash
  away in the TV industry, but atoned      Although 26 years-young Lovell has     found his responsibilities widening    Damage from Bizarre as IT manager
  for his many sins by creating indie      only been there for two years, he’s    to the point where he’s now the        before becoming business
  games in his spare time. Dan             already made himself indispensible     primary designer working on My         development manager, helping set
  founded Zombie Cow in 2008 and           to the company, recruiting roles       SingStar Online. Spies tell us that    up the studio’s partnership with
  went full-time in 2009 after the         across the board from executive        the 24 year-old is a thorough chap     Bethesda. He became development
  success of Time Gentlemen, Please!.      producers to IT managers. He’s also    entirely adept at creating deep yet    manager once pre-production on
  He’s now working out how to              contributed to other efforts such as   simple designs, and that his           BRINK started, and is now studio
  peddle filth to kids together with       creating the company prospectus,       ‘attitude and demeanour make him       director, overseeing the day-to-day
  Channel 4 in a wonderful sex-            improving processes and raising        one of the stars of the SingStar       operations of Splash Damage and
  education game.                          the studio’s profile.                  team.’ Awwww.                          the development of its titles.


28 | DECEMBER ‘09/JANUARY ‘10
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  HANS ANDERSSON                           CAT BURTON                              JIM GRIFFITHS                              JOEL BEARDSHAW
  Chief Development Officer,               Front-End Engineer,                     Writer and Producer,                       Junior Level Designer,
  Hansoft                                  Mind Candy                              Mediatonic                                 Codemasters Birmingham

  Hans was part of the original team       Cat, 24, graduated in 2007 but          Previously a journalist before he          A graduate of a games design
  at fellow Swedish super-team             didn’t jump straight into the games     joined Mediatonic, 29 year-old Jim         course – see, they can work! – 23
  Starbreeze, but co-founded Hansoft       industry – in fact, she entered the     started off by writing the story and       year-old Joel joined Swordfish in
  in 2002 with Erik Olofsson and           world of finance at Lehman              characters for the wildly successful       2007, and has already been actively
  Patric Palm (both of whom are just       Brothers, working on shell scripting    Alan Probe: Amateur Surgeon game           involved in 50 Cent: Blood on the
  over 30, bless ‘em). They committed      plus stuff in Java, Perl and SQL. She   on Adultswim.com, and has since            Sand and Operation Flashpoint:
  to Hansoft development in 2005,          joined Mind Candy in October 2008       been producer on over 40 different         Dragon Rising. We’re told that he’ll
  and Hans – now just scraping into        and now spends most of her time         projects of ‘wildly-varying sizes’. He’s   take on any job that needs doing –
  the list at 29 years old – has served    working in Flash. When she’s not        also created the story and                 probably handy for when the
  as chief development officer of the      coding up a storm in the office,        characters for Mediatonic’s own            toilet’s blocked – and has a “positive
  much-loved project management            you’ll probably find her deep in        upcoming IP, including Monsters            attitude that leaves an impression
  software ever since.                     World of Warcraft.                      (Probably) Stole My Princess! on PSP.      on everyone who works with him.”




  PETER ROE                                ADAM CAPONE                             RAY KHALASTCHI                             SIMON BERRY
  Digital Artist,                          Freelance artist                        Associate Producer,                        Assistant Producer,
  RealtimeUK                                                                       XDev Studio, SCEE                          Exient

  Roe, 29, joined Realtime UK at the       A Teesside University graduate in       Ray, 24, learnt the industry ropes         Joining Exient as a tester straight
  start of 2009 in order to ‘fulfull his   2005, Capone managed to secure a        during a 13-month internship at            from University 18 months ago,
  dream’ of working on pre-rendered        short-term contract with Streamline     Disney Interactive Studios’ growing        Berry initially worked on Need for
  marketing trailers in the games          Studios and relocated to                London office. After graduating            Speed: Undercover and impressed
  industry. He’s since taken a detailed    Amsterdam. He impressed them so         with First Class honours from Brunel       management so much that he was
  role in the production of some of its    much, however, that he remained         University he quickly found himself        made assistant producer on the PS2
  biggest projects. What’s most            there for years, working on titles      moving to Liverpool to join SCEE.          and Wii ports of DJ Hero. Now at the
  lauded is not his positive attitude      like Saints Row, Unreal Tournament 3    He is currently working on the             age of 24, his ‘enthusiasm and drive
  and sense of humour, but his             and Gears of War. His nominee           super-anticipated PS3 exclusive            to succeed’ has seen him managing
  cooking skills – largely because he’s    ‘seriously believes that he will grow   Heavy Rain, as well as a launch title      his first solo project, supervising
  always bringing in cakes. Sounds         to be a Western equivalent of           for the PlayStation 3 Motion               eight programmers on a new IP. A
  like the ideal co-worker to us.          Fumito Ueda’ – high praise indeed.      Controller.                                speedy ascent indeed.


DEVELOP-ONLINE.NET                                                                                                                    DECEMBER ‘09/JANUARY ‘10 | 29
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  JULIO PEREZ                             ANDREW SMITH                            BEN CURTIS                               MATTHEW BROWN
  Co-founder and CTO,                     Lead Designer,                          Vehicle Artist,                          Environment Artist,
  Gbanga.com                              Proper Games                            Evolution Studios                        bigBIG Studios

  One of the founders of new Zurich-      Picking one of the three leads from     We weren’t given many career             Again one of the many submissions
  based ‘ubiquitous game studio’          Proper was impossible, so we            details about Ben, but we were           from bigBIG, all equally qualified,
  Gbanga, 29 year-old Perez – who         flipped a coin; each is 27 and          given a pretty convincing personal       we were swayed when we found
  has a whopping two Masters              kicking up a storm at Proper. Smith     testimony – describing the 26 year-      out that 25 year-old Matthew was
  degrees – created an MMO game           joined soon after the company was       old as ‘one of those people you can      originally one of the youngest
  server with geographical info           set up, and was lead designer on        depend on, someone who                   members of bigBIG. He began his
  services, a location-sensitive client   the BAFTA award-winning Flock.          constantly goes above and beyond         career there working on Pursuit
  app for Symbian and J2ME devices,       He’s also heavily involved in events    but never asks for anything in           Force: Extreme Justice and also
  and a RESTless Puppetmaster API in      like Dare to be Digital and Next        return.’ Well, with a argument like      created two of the environments in
  just two years.                         Level, so he’s got a caring side too.   that, we couldn’t say no…                MotorStorm: Arctic Edge.




  CLAIRE BATEMAN                          MAGNUS ALM                              TANYA JESSEN                             ADAM GREEN
  Game Designer,                          CEO,                                    Producer,                                Managing Director,
  Six to Start                            Muskedunder Interactive                 Epic Games                               Assyria Game Studios

  Claire, 27, has had quite the career    Alm has, in his 29 years, founded       Now this is the kind of story we like.   A hobbyist developer in his teens,
  journey: she’s worked in theatre        Swedish developer Muskedunder           Originally a recruiter at Volt, she      Adam brought together a team at
  with Punchdrunk as a scenographer       and steered its growth from three       was herself recruited as a tester by     University and made them an
  and Mask Mistress; created fibre        people to seven. During those three     Microsoft. Her successes led to her      official company last year. Since
  optic light installations for Sharon    years the studio has released over      becoming Microsoft’s in-house test       then they’ve developed four iPhone
  Marsden, and designed origami           50 casual and Flash games for           lead on Gears of War, and was then       games plus a proof-of-concept for
  plates for Warm Rain. She’s been at     clients like Disney, Pepsi and          tapped up by Epic themselves as an       PSN/XBLA. You’ll often find him at
  Six to Start for two years now, and     McDonalds. He’s also become a           associate producer on Gears of War       conferences networking his socks
  also moonlights under the name          board member of the Association of      2. She’s now working on a secret         off or at events dedicated to
  Minkette. We are confused.              Swedish Game Developers.                title. Wonder what it could be…?         pitching and business best practice.




HONOURABLE MENTIONS
No less worthy of mention, but victims of our ruthless one-person-per-company policy, were the following bright young things:
Matthias Sala, co-founder and CEO, Gbanga; Simon Berry, associate producer, Exient; Chris Bradwell, senior artist, Proper Games; Daniel Parker, senior coder,
Proper Games; Ben Robins, digital artist, RealtimeUK; Ben Calderwood, environment artist, bigBIG; Kinwai Lee, animator, bigBIG Studios; Laurel Austin, senior
concept artist, Splash Damage; Jared Hefty, lead tools programmer, Splash Damage; Steve Hessel, community relations manager, Splash Damage; David Johnston,
senior level designer; the other 35 people under 30 at Splash Damage. We love you all.

30 | DECEMBER ‘09/JANUARY ‘10

				
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