We recently asked Casey Griggs, our tools developer at Stoic, how he started working in video games and what keeps him motivated.
How did you get your start in the game industry? What led you to this career?
My first game industry job was at Motiga working on Gigantic. Before that I was working as a web and backend developer at a small integrated marketing company. I’ve always loved video games, so I was working on a lot of small personal projects before I got hired at Motiga
What is your favorite part about working with the Stoic team?
I enjoy working on a smaller team – everyone has to pitch in and wear a lot of different hats, but you also get a lot of input about the direction of the project. I also love learning new things, and our new project is giving me ample opportunity to do that.
What has been your proudest contribution or biggest accomplishment with Stoic so far?
I added a toaster ding sound to our content tool for banner saga so we know when assets have finished compiling. I think it’s honestly the best thing I’ve ever done in my professional career.
What kind of games do you play / hobbies do you have / other activities do you do during your time off?
I play all types of games, but I tend to lean towards more simulation or sandbox games rather than story-driven games. I have a hobby of collecting hobbies – every 6 months or so I get the itch to try something new. I’ve been into drums, arduinos, biking, streaming, various card games like Magic and Netrunner, knitting, and a bunch of other things.
What moment or memory from another game do you have that has always stayed with you?
The one that comes to mind is the months-long saga of me and a couple friends had in the game Ark. We were playing on a public server which can be very very difficult unless you’re part of a large clan – the Alpha tribes on those servers tend to go around and raze anything that’s not theirs and there’s not a whole lot you can do to fight back. So we took our base out to a remote corner of the map, into the deep ocean. We started out with just one raft, but soon we had expanded into a full floating base – it was like something out of Water World. We were able to train Giant Squids, which are notoriously hard to capture. When the Alpha tribe finally found us, they decided to invite us into their group instead of blowing us up.
If you could give some advice to someone who wants to work in this industry / do what you do, what would it be?
Make a lot of small games. It’s way better to have a bunch of small silly games that you can show off to a potential employer than have your magnum opus of a project that you’ve been working on for 3 years that still isn’t in a demo-able state. Starting new projects is really fun, but it’s also important to be able to finish things. Rami Ismail’s post on one game a week inspired me, and the resulting 10 or so games I created from it really helped me to shine as a candidate when I applied to Motiga.
Who’s your favorite person at Stoic? Why?
Oof. This one’s tough. If I had to pick though, it’d probably be John Watson. He’s an excellent programmer and I look up to him as a role model.
What’s your favorite thing about Banner Saga fans and members of our community?
Y’all are so incredibly passionate about the game. It’s amazing.
What would you be doing, if you couldn’t make video games for a living?
I’d definitely still be making games as a hobby, but the boring answer is that I’d still be doing some sort of programming job. Or maybe I’d open up a bike repair shop.