Jul 27

Intern Journal. Day 1


The alarm goes off at 5. The summer dawn already lighting the borrowed room to near full brightness. The sounds of the city awakening outside and my excitement for the day bounce me out of bed and box room. I pass one of the student housemates of my sister, asleep on the couch and quickly scoff breakfast and get out the door. Wimbledon station is already alive and the train mostly full as it departs, beginning my commute down towards Guildford.


I make my way to the technology park and at 8:30 I pass a general receptionist to the building and I’m directed down an unremarkable corridor to a set of double doors. I’m first here. Too keen. Minutes pass, then one of the coders rocks up and we enter together.


Fast forward


It’s 2pm. Morning was an undirected blur of exposure to… to… I don’t know how to describe it. How about “An upbeat, talented, dedicated, free-form creative crucible with structure and tea”. In front of me is a network build of the game, the other testers to my 3, 11 and 7 o clock. Testing is going well – this morning’s attempt to draw an elephant sprite far forgotten (clearly I’m not destined to be an artist).

Elsewhere in the large room a new 3D game engine is being devised. I see a game on it that will never be released, but I itch to play in those underwater depths. In another corner one of the studio’s biggest hits is being ported to a console and it’s all head scratching and breakthroughs.


It’s at this point I suppose I should mention that I’m at Bullfrog – the other 3 testers are Peter Molyneux, Sean Cooper and Alex Trowes. The game engine is flowing from the mind and fingers of Glenn Corpes and would later be the foundation for Magic Carpet.


The networked playtest of Syndicate went well and with much content still to be built. Next I’m shown the level editor and begin to craft buildings and worlds with ease. At least one of those buildings made it into the final product.


Fast Forward


It’s later in the day, the hot July day is still humid and cloying, the Air Con of the office behind me. I’ve experienced something that to my young mind is a revelation. You can actually make games for a living. As a career. With professionalism but passion.


Fast Forward


I’m watching the 2012 E3 streams. Molyneux is on the screen with Geoff Knightly and 2 others. It’s funny that he looks little different than the memory… Flashbacks of exploding cars from minigun fire and laughter at persuadeatron followers come with fond recollection. As I write this I remember the aptitude and joy of creating pieces of a world that others would explore and immerse themselves in.


This crucible will not be forgotten. It truly did spark this career. Had that short time sucked then I’d have likely been a meteorological specialist or an accountant (the top two results from my high school careers aptitude testing). Instead, I took away a… sensibility, a mindset, a mandate of what I could do, should do, and would do – and how.





image by Dan Brown

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  1. Designer Weekly July27 » Live. Play. Design

    [...] « Intern Journal. Day 1 [...]

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