We recently asked our Engine Programmer, David Grayson how he got into the business of making video games and what keeps him motivated in this incredibly competitive field.
What attracted you to the game development industry?
Ever since I first picked up a controller at the age of 4, my dream was to design & create games that would change people’s lives. My passion further took root when I started learning art and programming in high school. All of these unique passions led me down the path to becoming a game developer as I realized I could combine it all into one!
What are some previous game titles or studio names you’ve worked with?
I first started with Zombie Studios working on titles such as Special Forces: Team X, Blacklight: Retribution, Guardians of Middle Earth, Daylight, America’s Army. Then eventually moved to Motiga and worked on Gigantic. Finally, I came here to Stoic to help complete The Banner Saga Trilogy.
What is the earliest or most intense memory you have of a video game experience?
My earliest memory was when I was a child and played Sonic for the first time. Back then, I was blown away at how you could have a whole new interactive world inside your TV. I still hold a fond memory of the blue blur in my heart to this day.
The most intense memory I have is of Final Fantasy VII. I poured hundreds of hours replaying it, immersing myself into the world and narrative, re-watching stunning cutscenes, and searching for every little tiny secret. I fondly remember analyzing that game for days, breaking down every last bit and even looking into doing my own Gameshark codes. It was just different than anything else I had seen up to that point and showed me another way games could make an impact.
Other than any Stoic games, what is your favorite video game of all time and why?
This is always a difficult question since there are so many games out there that I love for vastly different reasons and they all hold a special place in my heart. If I had to pick and choose, the one I like to talk about the most is Tales of Destiny. I would play it multiple times a year as a kid and each time I would find something new or something I missed.
One of the things I loved was its unique take on a battle system blending RPG’s, Action Games, and Fighting all into one. Another was its character development, story, and plot twists. While they are somewhat cliche now, it had me dumbfounded back then. This is definitely one of the games I played the most.
If you did not work in the video game field, what kind of job do you think you’d be doing?
I would probably be running a coffee/tea shop geared towards game developers. It’s one of the things I always talk about as I’d love to have an open & safe place where people could come, sit down, mingle and/or make games while enjoying a nice cuppa. In college, I actually helped run a tea bake sale during school and LAN parties for those who were studying or playing games. It made the environment more relaxed and helped connect students together. Who doesn’t love brownies and earl gray tea when a project is due?
What do you like to do in your free time?
The thing I love most (outside of playing and analyzing games) is learning something new as I’m a bit of a hobbyist. I like to pick up new things, learn them, and then move onto another thing. Recently I picked up Archery & Bouldering, while now I am trying my hand at Guitar!