Following my Art & Design degree at Exeter Art College I wanted to become a travel photographer, but didn’t know where to start. My big break came when I stumbled across a listing in a popular UK photography magazine for a position as a Cruise Ship Photographer. This seemed too good to be true for a 20 year old, so I applied, had an interview in London and then found myself two weeks later on a flight bound for Miami to join a cruise ship in Fort Lauderdale.
My original plan was to be away for one year then return home. That one year turned into seven years out at sea travelling the world. Highlights included a four-month world cruise, living with a tribe on a remote island just off Sumatra, helping fight an onboard fire at sea and being adrift for five days, swimming with dolphins each morning before starting work in the Bahamas and meeting my amazing wife who joined the ship as a show dancer.
Getting Your Start with EA
A big career turning point for me came when I saw Toy Story in Puerto Rico in 1995. From that moment I knew I wanted to bring characters to life and become an animator. After leaving cruise ships my wife and I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where I entered a local college, learning to model and animate in 3D. I also became involved in the local animation scene and met a couple of great artists who worked at Midway Games, creators of some classic arcade and console games such as Gauntlet, Spy Hunter and Rush 2049. These connections lead to a job interview and my first working gig as a junior animator at Midway Games.
While working at Midway I came across a job listing for an animator to join the Maxis team. I had been a huge SimCity fan and jumped at the opportunity. I was totally sold during my interview meeting such a dedicated team working on the world’s best simulation game titles. Lucky for me the interview went well and I was offered a position as an animator working on The Sims Bustin’ Out.
Working at EA
The variety of opportunities at EA keeps me constantly engaged. I’ve worked on The Simpsons, Dante’s Inferno and The Sims, three totally different games with their own unique challenges. EA also has an amazing marketing team. It’s such a great feeling to see your finished game front and center in retails stores, along with stunning TV advertising such as the Dante’s Inferno half-time Super Bowl commercial.
EA has allowed me to live a huge dream, going to work each day doing what you love to do, making great games! I’ve personally become involved with taking my 14 years of game development knowledge and bringing the excitement of innovation and creation to students. I’m actively involved with local education departments, helping update and improve their school technology curriculum. One school increased their Computer Science class enrollment by 20% due to my introduction of game development for their students. There’s nothing more rewarding for students than learning to solve tough problems while building an interactive gaming experience.
Any Thoughts to Those Seeking a Career at EA?
If you want to grow, innovate and help build the future of gaming then come join EA. Expect to meet many challenges and encounter tough problems that must be solved, but be assured that you’ll be working alongside some of the most talented individuals in the gaming industry.