Between 2014 to 2018, I worked at an independent games studio called Bankroll as a programmer and game designer. The studio was only between 3 and 5 people in size over the course of the 4 years. We created the open-world multiplayer survival game Hurtworld.
This game ran on PC, Mac and Linux and was built with the Unity engine. My role here touched most aspects of design and programming, such as networking, UI design, tools creation, and the creation of multiple complex runtime systems. There were lots of interesting problems to solve - from building a realtime icon-rendering system that could render dynamically generated items into an inventory system, to environmental systems that emulated dynamic weather and time of day, to shaders and graphics. It was a heck of an experience!
I had just graduated from university and was eager to prove myself. I remember the nerves of the interview well, and that I fluffed up the questions about C# memory allocation. But, regardless, somehow I landed it and threw myself into the development of this very ambitious game that had been born out of the wave of multiplayer survival games that were taking the world by storm at the time.
I made many good friends at Bankroll and learned many lessons about myself and the industry. I learned that I can be a workaholic if I let myself. I learned a hell of a lot of programming from my boss Spencer, probably the best programmer I've ever met. I even managed to save up a bit of savings that would go on to fund my adventures around South America in 2018. I can't claim that it was my vision, but I'm glad that I could help bring it into existance. I met some people for whom it meant a lot, and who really enjoyed it. That's what it is all about, isn't it?
So, check out Hurtworld on Steam.
At the end of this job, I asked Bankroll to spin off a set of level-design tools called Mad Maps, another great experience.