30 December 1976 |
Rowberrow, Somerset, England
|Genre||Video games, fantasy|
|Notable works||Heavenly Sword, Mirror’s Edge, Tomb Raider, Rise of the Tomb Raider|
I did my degree in journalism, and I then went on to being a games journalist, reviewing and previewing games and writing about the industry, visiting and interviewing developers.
The launch of 'Tomb Raider III' was actually my first experience of the games industry.
The thing with videogame characters is that they tend to be really undercooked, and people don't take the time to really flesh them out. They don't treat them with the respect that a writer writing characters in any other medium would treat their character.
I'm an only child, so I never had sisters to tell me what I should like based on my gender. I liked what the boys were doing and thought: 'Why let them have all the fun?'
The type of Alzheimer's Dad has is rare – posterior cortical atrophy or PCA – and it affects his spatial awareness and the way he judges distance. His first symptoms were erratic typing and spelling, but to talk to him, you'd never know there was a problem.
My journalist sensibilities have guided me toward the types of projects I've gone for, even though the projects have been fairly diverse. It always has to have that interesting to attract me, I think.
Dad loved computer games, and I would sit beside him for hours with graph paper, drawing out plans to try and forecast the moves he should make while he worked the computer controller.
A lot of young girls don't realise how diverse the career opportunities are in games development. Many think that you need elite math skills and a vast knowledge of all things tech to work in games, and haven't thought about avenues like design, producing, art, writing or composing.
I studied journalism at university, and I started a little bit of work on a woman's magazine called Minx that was aimed at 18- to 24-year-olds.
I think the Dutch certainly get British comedy. And let's face it; a lot of it is pretty low-hanging fruit for the whole world now. There are probably tribes in the heart of the Papua New Guinean rainforest that know all the words to the Dead Parrot sketch.
I think 'Overlord' has definitely benefited because I work with every single level designer, and working where we have space to tell the story. That's what it's all about – getting writers and storytellers involved in the team and being a back and forth process.
I went to karate classes where it was basically a line-up of hulking man, hulking man, small nine-year-old girl, hulking man, hulking man.
When I was really young, Dad wasn't that well known. I don't remember when I realised he was a writer, but I do remember him leaving his full-time job at the Central Electrical Generating Board to concentrate on books.
Cavorting around fantasy-style environments with a rampaging horde of sycophantic psychos is inherently amusing.
Writing for videogames is really unique. You learn all the rules of writing, but there's a whole other set of rules for game writing, and we're changing them as we move along as well, which makes it more challenging.
Because I once became so distraught watching the film 'Watership Down,' my parents were happier to let me watch action adventures featuring humans and warriors rather than cute animals.
Being 21 years old is not easy in the sense that you're still trying to get to know yourself.
Ideally, writers and narrative designers should be included much earlier in the process, where they can be of most benefit. However, although the industry is slowly getting used to fitting narrative professionals into games development, we're still going through a bit of a 'square-peg in a round hole' phase.
I still rate the bit in the first 'Tomb Raider' where the T Rex comes round the end of the valley and roars as one of the most awesome gaming experiences, and I still adore 'Tomb Raider' for putting that in my life.
We're not used to seeing any videogames character express sentiments like fear, uncertainty or remorse.
Showing a videogame character terrified and scared is something that's not really done that much.
Dad was very into electronics, robotics and computers, so I was interested in what he was doing.
I have been playing games since I was about 6, and they've always been a big hobby of mine.
I liked climbing trees and could often be found up one reading a book. I played games with Dad and drew maps for him on isometric paper. It was very bonding.
I enjoy co-directing or even being there just for support because you get to see your script come to aural life in front of you.