Who I Am
My name is Jarrad and I work at the Firemonkeys studio in Melbourne, Australia. I have been working in the games industry for ten years, the last five of them at different EA studios. I started working part-time QA while spending the rest of my time playing in a couple of local rock bands. Since then I’ve worked at game studios in Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne with a couple of EA trips to LA and San Francisco thrown in for good measure. All this moving around has inspired an interest in travel and I try to visit somewhere new every year. I also have a strange and sincere fascination with cephalopods and have recently taken up scuba diving to get closer to my underwater buddies.
What I Do
Firemonkeys is the combination of two of the world’s leading mobile developers, IronMonkey and Firemint. Previously, I was IronMonkey’s Design Director which involved running and developing the design department and defining the design goals of all projects.
I am now in the process of transitioning to a Producer role on a new project. Since the merger we are restructuring teams to be more independent, self-contained and specialized in particular genres so my new role means that instead of being spread across a variety of projects I can completely focus on one and take full accountability for its direction and performance.
Right now we are in pre-production on a potential new IP so things are somewhat atypical. When working on an existing license a lot of pre-production work is handed to you on a silver platter, but when it’s a new IP there’s a lot of exciting work to be done on defining the high-level goals of the project and its own unique identity. So, right now, my days involve working closely with the team to develop the art style, gameplay and technology of the project.
A more typical day in production involves making and reviewing several builds a day, giving direction, passing on feedback or tweaking things myself, sorting and assigning tasks and bugs and tracking our progress and resources with various scheduling tools.
Right now I am solely committed to developing a new hit IP for EA. It’s an incredible opportunity with immense challenges to overcome and has been a personal career goal for a long time.
In the long term my goal is to keep producing high quality games on current and future mobile platforms. It’s an exciting, rapidly evolving part of the business and I want to see the continued growth of the Firemonkeys as world leaders in the space. My career path will be determined by the needs of the studio; if I can continue to add value by directing individual projects I will, but if I can better serve our needs by contributing to multiple projects then there is flexibility for me to return to my Design Director role.