2011 - Work at Climax

Having had worked on my pet project Metal Crusade for a few months I had produced a functional demo that I used to bolster my CV. This way, in late 2010 I got a job offer from Climax which I accepted, starting the following year in January.

There will be no screen-shots in this article because the title we were working on was never announced. Then the following year the publisher canned it as it often happens in this industry and that was the sad end of it. Makes it hard to write anything concrete. So here's a photo of me at the office instead.At the Climax office in Portsmouth

What I can write about is the technology I worked with. I got introduced to a new model of game development - engine licensing. Much less fun than having your own technology but probably more cost effective. We used the Unreal Engine 3. This meant having to learn and use Unrealscript, a language so good its own creator (Epic) is killing it off. Despite that working with UE3 was a very worthwhile experience. The engine is extremely comprehensive and well supported by third party middleware which all meant I was exposed to many different technologies and solutions. This prompted more integration work than writing from scratch but over the almost 2 years of development I got my fair share of from-ground-up design as well.

For the majority of code we used C++ but I also got a fair share of work supporting our artists, writing plugins and scripts for Maya (in MEL). Continuing from my previous job I was also responsible for the UI which used Scaleform. This meant the whole process spanned across multiple APIs and languages, including C++ and Unrealscript on game side and Scaleform integration down to ActionScript inside the Flash files. Along with some C code I was given to maintain and the C# the UE build process uses I think that was a veritable safari of languages present in gamedev.

In the end though, as I mentioned before, the project was cancelled and we got downsized. I decided to repeat my process from before and started a new project to do something on my own before I began looking for a new job. This time I planned on something small enough to be able to finish it within a couple of months - and not as a demo but a complete product. It's called Lethe and it's a multi-platform interactive fiction engine that is keyword driven and thus touch-screen friendly. It will include a version for Android and a screen reader friendly command line version.

This is probably my last job in games development. I started out 10 years ago, working on an unreleased project and ended on same but I don't find it fitting, more of an annoying coincidence.