Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Interview With A Game Developer

I would like to thank L. Spiro for taking the time to perform the following interview.  His responses are very insightful.

David Ransom:     What is your Name?
L. Spiro:    Shawn (L. Spiro) Wilcoxen

David Ransom:     What is your job title and job description?
L. Spiro:     R&D programmer.  I create and optimize the core engine used for our mobile games.

David Ransom:    How long have you been in your field?
L. Spiro:    In games, ~10 years.  In mobiles, ~6 years.  In R&D, ~1 year.

David Ransom:   Do you have any advice that you would like to offer someone who is interested in pursuing a career in mobile game development/design?
L. Spiro:    Like with any other type of game programming, just stick to your goals and produce many demos.
 Most mobile development is not satisfying on a personal level.  At my current job we are making AAA games with huge brand names for mobile devices, which is satisfying, but a very rare case.  Most of the time, especially when you start out, you will be working on very low-budget games and you may easily be finding yourself questioning the value of what you are putting out there.

David Ransom:    What are some highlights from your career?
L. Spiro:     I was the lead programmer for Fit for Rhythm which became the #1 free iOS app in many parts of Asia for a while.

 I am writing a book for Addison-Wesley Professional on advanced game architecture and OpenGL ES 2.0 optimizations for iOS due to hit shelves next year.

David Ransom:    (Bonus) Anything else you would like to add. Feel free.
L. Spiro:    As mentioned before, mobile development is not usually a goal for people; it is usually just what they get stuck doing since the industry is going that direction for now.  But it is an easy place to start and to get into the industry.  Just be ready to move on to more exciting jobs when the initial rush of getting into the industry subsides and you find yourself unsatisfied with the games you are putting out there.

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