Sunday, April 12, 2015

William Pugh

Name: William Pugh
Twitter: @HonestWilliam
Gender: Male
Nationality: British
Birth date: 02/03/1994
Title: Mr.
Company: Indie
Some games that you have worked on: 

The Stanley Parable
Bird Ball
The Stanley Parable: Demo
Bird Ball: HD
Need for Speed 2: Speed Demon (not accredited)

1-What did motivate you to become a game developer? 

I wouldn't say I had a 'motivation'. It was something I fell into accidentally after making Source Engine maps for fun for 5 years. I'd always liked games, my first time I remember properly playing a game was in a hospital when I was pretty young. They had Mario 64, and later that Christmas my parents bought me a Super Nintendo. I suppose I've played games ever since? I'd always enjoyed being creative, so I suppose pairing the two was something that was just naturally always going to happen.

2-What does inspire you creatively? 

Surprising people? Making people laugh? Finding ways to do these things whilst also expressing or talking about something that I'd otherwise feel uncomfortable or have a hard time expressing via language? We both know this is a bit of a twee question that's not going to have a particularly useful answer, so let's move on!!

3-If you had unlimited resources to make any game you wanted, what kind of game would that be? 

I think that game would be awful and boring. I think hard limitations create some of the most interesting experiences out there. For instance Stanley Parable had to be built on a source engine, with no NPCs and no complex custom models. If we didn't have those limitations we might have never finished the game! Basically I don't know if I'd want to work on a game with no limitations, because I think it'd potentially prove to be the least interesting work that I'd do?

4-What was the biggest challenge of your career? In which game? How did you overcome it? 

I think the first hurdle was just sticking to working on Stanley for the two years. But then again I was working with Davey 50/50 on it, so out of sheer politeness I could never have really quit.

5-What do you usually do for raising the possibility of success in your projects? 

I have no useful answer to this! Work with people you think are clever than yourself!

6-What is the most helpful piece of constructive criticism you ever received? 

The scale on this is wrong. If you want to provide a proper sense of scale you need to have stark contrast between the big and the small.

7-What are the advantages/downsides to working in games?

For me the big downside is how much time I spend alone in a room looking at a computer monitor. The upside is almost everything else.

8-What is your best advice to a beginning game developer?

Severely under-scope your projects. Think of your craft as an art form (as it very likely is). Model yourself as a "t-shaped model employee" (google this). Keep your team small and diverse. Do what you enjoy. Do what people haven't done before.

9-Which skills are the most important for a game developer in your field/position?

The ability to learn? The ability to work with others? There's no such thing as a "field" or a "position" for me, this scene is too amalgamated for us to impose any proper career boundaries upon it.

10-If I want to become a great dev in your field, what games should I play, what books should I read, and whose work should I follow?

Become culturally educated if you have the time and money! Read great works of fiction, go to the theater, go to art galleries and watch good films. Consume this content not only for enjoyment, but also use your imagination and think about how these great deliberate pieces of art could inform your alien process of game design. If you let established game genres be your starting point, I think your final product won't fall far from the tree.

11-What changes do you want to see in the game industry?

Everybody could be more open about everything and the sexist and exclusionary undertones should go away. We should also dress better - stop wearing games t-shirts you awful parodies of yourselves.

Bonus: Tell us a funny story from your adventures in game development.

When I was 20 I managed to sneak into The Wild Rumpus party at GDC in a suitcase rolled in by Zoe Quinn.

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