Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked John Harding from ESB to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

John Harding

Mechanical Engineer

ESB

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  John Harding
To be an engineer, a person must firstly have a degree. Having an interest in what you are working at is always half the battle. Being technically minded is also a great benefit.
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Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
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Elaine Reynolds - Games Designer and CEO of Simteractive

Elaine Reynolds is CEO of Games Developmnt Company Simterative. She has an honours BA in Psychology from TCD and an MSc in Computer Games Technology from Abertray University. 

A typical day for me

My typical day revolves around the running of Simteractive to ensure we are meeting our deadlines

My main tasks

To release the game we are working on and for it to be a huge success! Then the plan is to release more great games and to make a success of Simteractive.

What I like

I love coming up with game concepts, but that’s only a small part of game development. I like doing technical systems design and working with artists on the visual design. I like the business side too.

Work/life balance

When I'm not working on games I also like to play them! I also like acting and improvisation and spending time with family and friends.

Has your psychology degree proved useful?

Yes. For game design there is a lot about computer-human interaction, reward mechanisms, motivation and attention. There is also a lot of emphasis on analytics and tracking what players are doing. For game design, it is good to have a broad range of interests and experience. People then have different ideas and approaches.

What is Simteractive?

It’s the company I set up to develop casual, free-to-play simulation games. Games like SimCity and Theme Park were my favourite games growing up and I wanted to develop games like that. We are developing our first game for tablets and smartphones.

Had you worked in the games industry before setting up Simteractive?

My first job was as a programmer with Traveller’s Tales, which is famous for Lego Star Wars. I worked on the game Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. Then I worked at Lionhead Studios as a game designer for four years.

Favourite subjects in school

Technology and Tech Graphics.

The best thing about my job

I like doing technical systems design and working with artists on the visual design.

What would you advise students considering a career in games?

I’d recommend students go beyond their course work and work on extra projects in their spare time.

Work on a small game, get it done and start again. It is good to be able to show and talk about a game you made in a job interview – and it’s important to get hands-on experience. 



Article by: Smart Furtures