Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Dave McDonald from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Dave McDonald

Astronomer

Smart Futures

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  Dave McDonald

A caring attitude is essential for Health and Safety – you need to be passionate about getting the message across to people and telling them why it is so important. After all, no-one wants to see anyone suffer harm or be in pain.

For astronomy, a yearning for answering the unanswered questions is a must. You also need to be dedicated and focused and not put off by the weather

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A day in the life of a Games Developer

"My team is at a very early stage in production and we have 3 of the best people in the company on a team of 6, so no stress at this meeting for me." - Hugh Grimley, Games Developer

Working as a producer with IO Interactive, creator of such computer games as Hitman and Kane & Lynch: Dead Men brings me into contact with all the varied aspects of the company from programming, art and animation to PR, brand and marketing and, best of all, playing. Game development always seems to be in a state of flux and I find that the analytical and problem solving skills provided by my background in experimental physics helps me control this continually changing environment.

9:30 – Start the day by collecting some coffee and a croissant from the canteen on my way into to a meetin with our outsourcing manager. We are planning on producing seventy percent of our graphic assets for this new game in Shanghai. Luckily our company’s line art director in China was the art director on Kane & Lynch – a game we finished last year so I know him well.

10:45 – Straight from the last meeting into another one – this time about staffing. We have 4 projects running here at IO all at various stages of production and a limited number of elite staff. This translates into 4 producers fighting tooth and nail for the best people. My team is at a very early stage in production and we have 3 of the best people in the company on a team of 6, so no stress at this meeting for me.

11:30 – Finally get up to my team – things seem to be going great – the feature set for our next company demo is nearly complete and our art direction is finally heading in a direction we all agree on.

11:45 – Time to deal with mail. There are lots of externals that need looking after as that’s my job too – dealing with brand, marketing, PR etc.

12:00 – On the way up to lunch I notice people crowding round the many 50” screens scattered through the building – I had forgotten that the latest version of one of the most popular games of all time has been released today – well that puts paid to any real work getting done today.

13:00 – On the way down from lunch I can see that the new game has penetrated nearly every office

I should really do something about this, get them all back to work – but on reaching my office I find some serious research has arrived on my desk and I sit back with the controller in my hand and get to work checking out the latest from our competition.

17:00 – Is it that time already? Woops J

Hugh Grimley, iopireland.org 


Article by: Hugh Grimley ~ Institute of Physics Ireland