the online ramblings of a generally confused game designer

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Mike Bithell - professional game designer

So, I, erm, got the job!

I went for my two day interview, where they intentionally asked me to do some design work on a mainstream male teen game, just to test that I wasn't all about fireflies and gesture controls. They saw promise, it would seem, and have invited me back to work there for a probational period.

The Good

The company I'm now employed by is one of the bigest independent studios in the world, working on several tripple A games at any one time. It is a really exciting place to work, and the people there are fantastic. I can't go into detail (I've signed enough contracts saying I won't) but they have some really neat games in the pipeline that it'd be really cool to work on. It seems I won't be experiencing that, at least in the short term, tho, as they have, amazingly, put me on the pitch team. Basically I will be part of the relatively tiny team responsible for comming up with concepts and pitches for new multi million dollar games. This is obviously every game designer's dream gig and I'm still in shock to be honest

The Bad

Well, this blog really. My issue is that as a concept designer, the work I will do will be secret even from most of my new collegues, let alone the interweb. It goes without saying I couldn't post on anything I was making, but even mentioning the kinds of games I'm playing may give me away, a risk I can't take. So, assuming all goes well in my new company, this blog will simplify into more of an online scrapbook, with links to news articles on games I worked on, or things I'm looking forward to playing myself... there'll be some personal posts, but again, I will have to be very careful in what I let slip. And who knows, way further down the line I may make a little side project in Flash, and I can show that off to you.

Many thanks to all of you for reading this blog, and for helping to get my work out there. I genuinely couldn't of done it without you. I will post again, you have not heard the last of Mike Bithell... promise :)

Friday, June 22, 2007

I survived the interview

wow, well, first interview survived!

The studio I was interviewing for (that's right, still un-named) is about 3 - 4 hours away by train, so after a very long journey there, i accidentally arrived about an hour and a half early. Me being me, I immediately found a nearby game shop and browsed, got a coffee, got some lunch and then went to their office.

After struggling with their door (it never fails to amaze me how someone who loves videogames so much can have serious trouble 'pushing the door when you hear the beep'). Embarassing. I then signed a comprehensive non disclosure contract... so no, I can't tell you all the cool things they're working on.. very cool though.

The interview itself was great. We went through my CV and portfollio and had a chat about Reunion, which they liked. The projects and concepts we discussed that are going on there are really impressive, and I'd love to get involved. After that I was invited to come back next week for a two day interview.. basically I have a trial run, working for them for a couple of days and see what they think of the work i produce.

Very excited, plus I'm going to the finest films awards in Newport tonight, it's the awards ceremony they lay on for film and animation students.. sadly the games design students aren't part of it, but I'm going along anyway to support my friends and, obviously, my girlfriend

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Yay.. just got invited to my first games industry interview... very excited, obviously

I've decided not to write which company it is yet, as I don't want to jinx it... I will say however that it's the only company I applied for a job at so far, it's definitely my first choice... can't wait to go, and obviously this humble blogger will keep you up to date...

In the mean time, is the place to go for my swanky new portfolio in pdf format (this is what I will be showing my interviewer at the amazing interview next week).. it contains the already released reunion concept doc and artwork.. plus documentation for Visiting Day and Tally and Dit, oh, and some brand stonking new Visiting Day imagery.

Cheers for the support readers, couldn't have gotten this far without the blog

Monday, June 11, 2007

massive media magnificent, erm, mextravaganzer

ooohh. many things to put up.. so i'm going to split it over a few posts... first.. the graduate show...

i know.. top hats and waistcoats.. well it is Britain after all. That's george at the controls (a very talented animator who's apparently completed the game 3 times now). In the middle in white is fellow cgder Keith, who did the trombone playing for the game.

A massive canvas I did for the show, acrylic... below it are some screenshots from the game.

The show went really well, I met some great people and handed out an absolutely ridiculous number of toy paper kits (these will appear on the blog in the next media upload). I got lots of people to have a go.. one insanely cute 6 year old got through the opening section of the game in what seemed like 30 seconds. The gamers of the future are gonna give us designers a lot of challenges.

As for job hunting, the search continues.. I'm currently putting together my portfollio (and yes, of course, this will be available online when it's done) which features concept documents and artwork for Reunion and Visiting Day (some of which has not been shown before).

Well, to keep you occupied till then.. here is the long promised concept documentation for Reunion, for your viewing pleasure. It's really interesting to see the game I started off planning, and then where it went in production. Link away :)

art book ...
concept document ...


Friday, June 01, 2007

graduate show

Today is the start of the UWN graduate show, so if your interested in seeing a display of Reunion amongst the other graduating work from the students here, visit the University of Wales, Newport from now till the 4th

(free reunion model kits for everyone!)

photos from the show will appear on here, hopefully, next week.. along with the long promised artbook, post mortem, and I may well even put up the concept documentation for the game too