“A lot of people don’t see computer programming for the creative art form that it is. Code can be expressive too. Just like music or painting or film, code can be graceful or elegant or be lumbering and brutish. It’s full of imperfections that make it uniquely human and idiotic flourishes that make it uniquely yours.”
How would you describe what you do?
As a designer, developer and director, I run a small independent games studio based in Brighton in the UK. We make video games that cater to the modern weird.
What was your most recent project?
Right now I’m working on a prototype for a new game idea about a caveman named Adam who has to survive on a small island by hunting, crafting and contesting his way to the top of the (online multiplayer) food chain. We’re also working on a wacky little sandbox thing called Will it Golf? Which is on track for release later this year.
What did you find inspiring about Ōtautahi when you lived here?
Inspiration is a tricky thing to pin down. It can come from anywhere. Christchurch has a lot to offer if you know where to look. My experience of the city had me prancing down Worcester Boulevard in my school uniform by day and exploring the city’s rooftops and muddy driveways by night.
What’s the best piece of advice about creativity you’ve had?
Finish things and put them on display. I’ve met a lot of people who hide their work away because they don’t want to look silly or foolish or unprofessional. That’s bollocks. Don’t be afraid to show the world who you are through your work. Creativity is an excellent outlet for self-expression.
What is essential for a creative person to have in their life?
In my case, I wouldn’t get far without my computer. I built it myself and I’m very attached to it. Whatever the tools of your medium are, take good care of them. On the immaterial side, I would say the most important thing for any aspiring creative is discipline. Making a living as a self-employed creative requires a level of focus, vigilance and discipline that may take years to master.
What is the biggest misconception about the creative work that you do?
A lot of people don’t see computer programming for the creative art form that it is. As someone with a background in visual arts and graphic design, I’m pleased to report that programming, for me, is by far the most creatively fulfilling act of the three. It’s not all ones and zeros, you know. Code can be expressive too. Just like music or painting or film, code can be graceful or elegant or be lumbering and brutish. It’s full of imperfections that make it uniquely human and idiotic flourishes that make it uniquely yours.
What work of art or performance has taken your breath away?
If you’re looking for a ride, try a TV series called Black Mirror, or a video game called Journey, or the works of Olafur Eliasson. If it’s deeper insight you’re after, look into a field of scientific research called Emergence, and a sprinkle of evolutionary game theory wouldn’t hurt. Stare really hard at a sunflower. Nothing is more breath taking than nature’s impenetrable might.
What do you wish you’d known about creative work when you were younger?
I wish I’d spent less time being proud and oafish about my work and spent more time listening to others. I also wish I’d realised that everything you make is basically crap and the sooner you accept that the better. Then you can really start to learn what it means to put your little mind-babies out there for the consumers to consume!