Changes

After a lot of thought, I’ve come to the conclusion that the time is right for me to make a change in my job. I thought long and hard about what it is I want to do and where I want to be in future. So I’m leaving Rockstar and setting up Lone Sentry to focus on iOS development full-time.

It wasn’t an easy decision. I’ve been at Rockstar Leeds for nigh-on six years now, years that will doubtless figure prominently in my life for years to come. There were some rough patches, as there are with any job, but on the whole it’s been the best job I’ve ever had. I got to work on some of the most rewarding projects anywhere, alongside some of the smartest people I’ve ever met, and I had the thrilling privilege of playing a small part in building the world’s best handheld games.

However, I’ve been a Mac fan for as long as I can remember. Please indulge a short trip down memory lane: I’ve been programming on obscure systems since I was a teenager in the 8/16-bit days (Amstrad CPC, followed by the ARM-powered Acorn Archimedes). But when I saw an Apple PowerBook Duo 210 laptop in the early 90’s I was just blown away. And after I actually got to use System 6 on the little 9” Black & White screen of a Mac Classic II at university, I was hooked. I bought my first Mac in ‘95 (a Performa 6220CD running System 7 in colour) and loved it. I had Metrowerks CodeWarrior, read the original 1992 Macintosh Human Interface Guidelines religiously, and considered the User Experience of an application to be paramount.

But there wasn’t a lot of work for Mac developers when I graduated a couple of years later. Instead, I happened to pick up the Apple edition of Edge magazine, and saw a bunch of adverts for games developer jobs in the back of it. After spending a year of my university course working in OpenGL for the BAe Farnborough Cockpit Group, I knew that I could fit right in to the games industry. So I did, and got stuck into Visual Studio and Playstation development.

But a decade later, after working on some of the biggest games in the industry, Steve Jobs introduces the iPhone SDK and the App Store. And I saw an opportunity to go back to developing for Apple devices. Being at Rockstar’s handheld studio was a great position to be in, but eventually, I realised that I needed to focus fully on the iOS platform.

So here I am.