Meet the team: Brandon Ludford, Junior Technical Designer
Since joining the skyhook team in October 2022, Brandon has had the opportunity to develop his skills across multiple exciting projects! Read on to find out more about topics such as, his journey to Skyhook & the role of a Technical Designer!
What does your job role entail?
As a Tech Designer, I’m responsible for communicating across the different disciplines, implementing mechanics and systems, as well as making the engine experience for designers easier. As such it is my job to use my technical ability, alongside my understanding of how games work, to create robust features.
As a junior, my main job is to learn and grow with the studio, get up to scratch on correct practice and absorb information.
How did you find your way to Skyhook?
I was recommended Skyhook via word of mouth, I researched the studio and sent my CV for feedback. I was super fortunate that a Junior Unreal Engine Technical Designer position had opened up shortly after. The rest is history.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Every single day presents a new problem that needs solving, be it from a new task, or a new problem that has shown itself while trying to fix the original problem. Either way, the constantly adapting nature of my job keeps things interesting and presents fun opportunities to learn.
Also, I absolutely love the team I work with. Everyone is understanding and knowledgeable, two very important factors for someone looking to grow within a role. The friendly vibe and open-discussion dynamic is honestly, refreshing, everyone’s opinion is valued here! This makes my job so much more enjoyable because you’re never alone on a problem.
What other departments of Skyhook do you interact with?
Art, Design, Tech, pretty much every department.
What project/piece of work are you most proud of so far?
I’m pretty proud of the truck for the TSW: Holiday Express DLC. I used a system that I hadn’t used before, I believe I made it handle and feel fit for the theme of the pack. Overall, it was a great learning experience.
When did Game Art/Design/Production click with you as a potential career path? What made you want to join the games industry as your chosen career?
I never really considered game development as a career opportunity until I applied to College, I realized that they did a Game Development course. I had dabbled in some extremely awful game development throughout my early youth (think fandom games), so I made the choice to take the formal education route for game development.
When I completed the course, I figured out that I could actually do this! I could actually stand a chance in the games industry. Then, I was dead set on continuing this study through my university years.
What education path did you follow to break into the industry?
- College – Games Production & Design (2 Years)
- [Hours upon Hours of YouTube Tutorials]
- University – Computer Games Design (3 Years)
Both formal courses I took were HEAVILY generalised, they covered every aspect of game dev, thankfully the last year of university allowed me to explore my chosen field with more depth.
How did you go about searching for a job after your studies?
Googling every possible studio in the UK and sending my CV to them, fairly straight forward.
What games did you enjoy playing while growing up?
- Sonic Adventure 1 & 2 – Literal obsession
- Dr Robotnik Mean Bean Machine – Borderline obsession
- Super Smash Bros Melee – Pretty fun
Sonic Adventure 2 is that game for me that will never get old! Every single time I get a new piece of tech, I’m always looking to see if I can get Sonic Adventure 2 to run on it. Dreamcast or GameCube version – I’m not picky.
How would you advise those looking to become a Technical Designer or wanting to have a career within the games industry?
Get your portfolio sorted.
Make projects that you enjoy, projects that you have passion in and develop an in-depth system for the project. Demonstrate technical and game design skills in a short form game/demonstration of said system.
On top of that, make your portfolio unique, demonstrate personal style, show that you understand what you’ve done. Make documentation about the system(s) you’ve created, post them up on your portfolio.
Be confident, sell yourself on your CV and portfolio. Your online portfolio is a page completely dedicated to you and your craft, use it wisely. Also make sure your CV looks presentable, a regular word document looks neat etc!