TITLE: Managing Director
Managing the company, overseeing development, coming up with new ideas, being disruptive, hiring, firing, setting the direction, providing encouragement, providing discipline, finding new clients, keeping existing ones happy. But what I love the most is giving my colleagues the opportunity to do what they love doing, whatever that may be.
I studied Architecture in Sheffield where I got my degree and masters in the subject – it really helps me in thinking and working with a broad range of aesthetic and technical aspects of development. I’m also an accredited project manager with software development specialism. As a teen I got my grade 5 piano & I once got a certificate for sitting in a room for 5 days – I don’t think qualifications matter as much as experience, enthusiasm and drive.
Back in my youth I was a keen programmer and was always tinkering with computers, trying to make games. Once I finished university I started working in the games industry as an artist / designer, but doing art wasn’t enough for me so I moved back into architecture, where I eventually built and managed an international team for creating architectural visualisation – pretty pictures and animations to help sell buildings to prospectus clients. After a few years I decided the only way forward would be to set up my own games company, so I started PlayGen without outsider investment, preferring instead to grow organically through sheer hard work and flexing the grey matter. It took years to grow from zero to where we are today, and I have loved every minute of it, I know everything we have is because we’ve worked hard for it and deserve it.
- Managing a company encompasses a lot of different skills, the most important is being able to communicate effectively with a wide variety of people. Getting the best from them, be they clients, partners, employees or end users. Being in charge means not being afraid of taking risks, being bloody minded when it comes to demanding quality but being open minded and listening to suggestions and other people’s input
- Since we’re a fairly small studio compared to the big guns, its often up to me to be mr motivator & I have to help facilitate our young staff to gain the confidence and knowledge that will help them flourish into professionals who can be really proud of what they do. Being sensitive to their needs and encouraging them to push themselves further than they have
- Having a good grasp of finances and the ability to exercise restraint and be disciplined when the money is rolling in and not losing faith when it isn’t is important. As is the ability to network effectively with all sorts of people and build connections and nurture them until they come to fruition.
BENEFITS OF THE JOB:
I am the boss! It’s a benefit and a curse. When things are going well it’s really good fun, when things get difficult as they do from time to time I do a lot of worrying and staying up in the night trying to think of solutions.
Because I get to choose what games we make and who we work for, I get a lot of satisfaction from my day to day. After years of doing this, I still wake up most morning really excited about coming in, ‘what new things will we make today?’ In this I’m really lucky to have a great team.
I got into this business to help create games for the greater good and to enrich people’s lives through play. I’ve been fortunate enough to work on a few projects that has reached a few million people, but my long term goal is to create something as ubiquitous as google in the world of ‘play’. I’m not motivated by money, I much rather do something interesting and innovative