I’ve always believed that practicing what you preach is important. Whether it’s prototyping a concept, scamping an idea for a client to understand, showing team members how it’s done or experimenting with new techniques, I’ll roll my sleeves up and get stuck in.
Here are a few examples of some of the skills I feel comfortable with:
I’ve been making games since 1981 when I first got my BBC Micro. I’ve made a lot since. I’ve coded physics engines, multiplayer games, had games that have been played over 100 million times and have made over 150 games from scratch. See some of them here…
Creative suite tools
A lit of a no-brainer for a creative, but you’ll be surprised how many senior creatives have fallen off the bandwagon as they progressed. I still use Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, After Effects, sound editing software etc. as well as the myriad of satellite apps.
Traditionally, I’ve always made the music for my games, occasionally expanding into longer soundtracks when the need arises. I wouldn’t class myself as a musician but I love making music, tinkering with loops and having fun. Here’s an example of a soundtrack for a Halo Wars trailer cover.
Depending on the style, I’ll tackle animation projects too. I’ve always animated game sprites and sequences but have also completed longer form animations too. Even creating media ad spots can require some deft animation knowledge, so it’s always a skill I keep honed. Here’s a simple example for an internal Pfizer presentation.
Illustration and cartoons
I have a varies illustration style, from realism and sketches to cartoon and game graphics. Many ‘designers’ don’t attempt to illustrate but I think it’s a key skill for scamping client ideas or communicating quickly. Here’s an example of a game intro illustration for one of my game characters, Zoikz.
Most designers have been asked to do the off logo here and there. I’m no exception but I’ve also had the opportunity to work on much larger projects such as creating the new branding and stationary for Doco and Noise Inc amongst others.
My usual line is “I’m technical enough to be dangerous”. This means that any new concept is usually game for me to have a go, understand the basic and get a test running pretty quickly. I attend events like GameHack and think nothing of hacking the Xbox Kinect to see what it can do.
WordPress isn’t the most sexy skill to have but it can be a great way to get brands up and running online. I’ve launched 8 sites so far and dealt with everything from design, templates, php, forms, plugins and hosting. A few examples are Trenton and Free Radical, Fit Perfect or Noise Inc.
Facebook and social
I’ve launched a lot of Facebook apps, tabs and promotions over the years and keep track of the latest developments such as the timeline, secure browsing or social graph integration. I recently helped create the Vodafone VIP tab, a face mapping app for Channel 4 and a viral game for Split Second the game.
I had previously created mobile apps for the likes of Universal’s A-Team and Sony’s Fantastic Mr Fox. Two of the games I’d conceived to launch Pixar Cars 2 and Winnie the Pooh were part of the launch suite of apps for the Blackberry Playbook. I also spent a year working with a dedicated mobile apps company creating the official BRIT Awards 2012 voting app and the Ministry of Sound Android app.
I still like to take on print jobs now and again, from stationary and leaflets to corporate reports and posters. Here’s an example of a recent print job for the Pfizer Foundation.