Kwalee Quiz – Pete Hancox

We interview another of our shiny new game programmers,
Mr. Pete Hancox!

What is your first gaming memory?

Playing Alex Kidd on the SEGA Master System. I remember being amazed that I was controlling characters on a TV and I was blown away by the graphics, even in those early days. I remember telling my brother that “games will look real one day!”

What made you want to work in the video game industry?

Games are awesome! I’ve always been fascinated by computer games and computer graphics. I have always played games, even before I could write my name. As I got older I tried my best to turn this interest into an understanding of how good games are created, from both a technical and a gameplay perspective. At every opportunity I chose an educational path which would give me the best chance to break into the games industry.

What did you study at university?

I studied Computer Science, specialising in 3d Graphics Programming, at the University of East Anglia.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a video game programmer?

Learn how to program structurally sound Object Oriented Programming (OOP) applications. Then learn graphics programming, with a strong emphasis on matrix and vector mathematics. Try hard to practice and refine your skills, embracing any mistakes along the way, because you will learn from them and they will make you a better coder once you do find the best solution.

What is your favourite video game and why?

It is to hard to pick one! I’ve got so many favourites for all sorts of different reasons. Having said that, The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time made me realise just how vast the potential of gaming can be. It got so much right and was way ahead of its time.

More recently, Battlefield 3 really impressed me with its visuals and Geometry wars 2 showed that simple skill-based gameplay can still bring hours of joy.

What is your gaming pet peeve?

The dilution of creative ideas in of console gaming. I understand that big game companies don’t want to stray too far from the mainstream, but they make too many decisions aimed at minimising risks, rather than innovating.

How did you come to work at Kwalee?

I was researching new career opportunities and the Kwalee guys really impressed me. Both professionally and with the terrific atmosphere that radiates from the company. Not only do they have exceedingly strong foundations, they put emphasis on creativity and design which I value very highly.

What is your favourite thing about working at Kwalee?

The 4 Ps:

People, Potential, Passion, Ping-pong!