I have been in the games industry for nearly 20 years as an Audio Manager at places such as EA, Realtime Worlds and Rage Software. Most recently I worked on the Harry Potter franchise and APB (All Points Bulletin). I think the highlight of my career so far has been working with the Philharmonia Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios.
I've known about Jagex and obviously Runescape for years, a real British success story. The job was advertised in the gaming press, I spoke to a few colleagues, and knew this was an exciting opportunity that I had to be part of.
I have been at Jagex for around 8 months as Head of Audio. My responsibility is for music, sound effects and voice overs across the company, defining the vision and raising the quality bar in every piece of content we release. I manage and schedule a team of extremely talented musicians, sound designers and coders who work across all of our projects including marketing trailers.
It's difficult to define a typical day in the audio department. Whether we are working on new projects or updating old content and technology, each day can bring its own challenges and surprises. Recently I have been working on voiceovers for Runescape which is bringing an extra layer of immersion to the game. My daily focus is on improving quality, scheduling and reviewing the team's work, and making sure we hit all our release dates. I also try to keep my hand in at writing music and designing sound but there usually aren't enough hours in the day.
I love the autonomy we are given and the opportunity that every individual has, to make a difference. Everybody's contribution is valued and helps to shape the future of our games. I was attracted to this role because I feel like I can make a real difference to the way audio is perceived at Jagex both through the creativity of my team and better production values.
Team jolly's are a great idea and help bring the team closer together. For our next jolly we are planning to go sky diving which we are all looking forward to... I think. My second favourite perk has to be monkey nuts in the fruit boxes!
The Jagex Christmas Masquerade Ball was an amazing night for staff and their partners. It was an opportunity to dress up and celebrate everybody's hard work from the last year and we certainly did that, a little too much in a few cases?
There is a definite thirst for success here but combined with a family approach and very little bureaucracy. Informal but professional. Jagex encourages a fair balance of work and play which is really refreshing compared to the usual 'crunch' I have experienced elsewhere.
For anyone interested in becoming part of the audio team you need to make your application stand out from the crowd. Be original and imaginative, concise but creative with your showreel and give it that wow factor! Today's audio is far more complex than it has ever been so also try to include examples of the technical side of sound design and implementation. Most of all if you have fun with creating sound then it's likely we will enjoy listening to it, after all audio isn't really work is it... but don't tell anyone that.