Hello Simon, great to have you on board! Could you tell us a little about your career journey so far?
I took an early interest in making games back at school. I taught myself Basic in my spare time and would build small games and apps just for the joy of learning how. When I saw there was a games software course at a nearby university I knew that was what I wanted to do.
As part of my university course I had a placement year. I was one of the lucky ones that procured a games-related placement as others found themselves in other roles like IT support. The company I joined for my placement year was Team Cooper. I must have done something right as once I completed my degree, I was invited back to re-join the Team Cooper team and there I happily made Flash games for a few more years.
Unfortunately, Flash fell out of fashion and I departed to join another games studio using Unity to build a multilingual e-learning game. As part of that role, I also picked up some more PHP knowledge and when the time came to move on I switched paths and joined a web development agency as a PHP developer. For almost 5 years I was making a variety of websites for local businesses and learned more about web architectures, data handling and modern web standards.
When I found out Peek & Poke were looking for a developer, it piqued my interest as I’d missed making games. Now here I am, back with the team, and excited for what’s to come in future.
What is your job title at Peek & Poke and what does your role involve?
My job title is Senior Developer and I have a hand in much of the game production side of things. I’m responsible for building the parts of games that you see and play and maintaining and updating the underlying structure that keeps things ticking.
I also provide technical assistance for customer queries. When we’re asked if something is possible within a certain budget or questions on how to configure certain features I’m often part of that discussion.
What are you looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to getting stuck in and making some games!
I’ve always been the kind of person who’s just as interested in the details of how things work as I am in the final result so I expect at some point I’ll be poking around, figuring out the internals of how projects are put together and see if there’s any way to make improvements there too.
What keeps you busy outside of work?
Mainly spending time with my family. Life is never dull when you have a toddler around.
I enjoy reading and I’m part of a book group where we choose a 99p kindle book each month for us all to read and chat about. We get through a variety of genres I wouldn’t normally try so that can be fun.
I’m also quite musical and have taught myself to play guitar and drums. In my youth I was part several bands and enjoyed playing shows around our local area. More recently I’m more likely to be found playing in services at our local church.
What is your current / all-time favourite game? Digital or physical – there are no rules!
The original Pokémon Blue for Game Boy. How they managed to fit such an amazingly immersive world on a little device I knew best for playing Tetris still has me in awe. I love the idea that your enemy can become your strongest ally.
Last but not least, and the one thing we all really want to know is, in the event of a zombie apocalypse, what’s the plan?
I’d take the family and barricade us into the nearest supermarket. Once we’ve taken care of any immediate dangers inside then we’d wait it out until help arrives. We might end up building a small community there with other survivors.