People

Kwalee employs a wide variety of programmers, artists and design staff. All contributing to our fantastic working environment, and exciting mobile projects.

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David Darling CBE
CEO & Founder

Kwalee founder, David, has been involved with a succession of Top 10 video games over the last 30 years, including series such as Dizzy, Micro Machines and Colin McRae Rally. David founded Codemasters in 1986 with his brother and father, growing the company to become one of the largest video game publishers in the world. David describes Kwalee as “a completely new business model where you can be creative and hopefully do something new and different.”

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Jim Darling
Chairman

David’s father, Jim, was the Chairman at Codemasters and like his sons, has vast experience of operating a business in the video games industry. David says of his father that “many people do not realise what a huge role he played in our earlier businesses. At Kwalee I am sure he will bring us skills and abilities that nobody else has.”

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Jason Falcus
Chief Operations Officer

Jason has been making games for over 30 years, having had his first game published in 1983 at the age of 13. He founded his first games studio, Optimus Software in 1988 with his brother, which was later acquired by Iguana Entertainment & Acclaim, and has produced games for some of the worlds largest publishers including Codemasters, SCEE, and Capcom. He is used to managing multiple teams and projects, as well as dealing with the commercial side of the industry, and has a lot of recent experience of free to play games for mobile platforms. He is really excited to be working on the fantastic games being produced by Kwalee.

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Andrew Graham
Gameplay Guru

Andrew is a legend of the video games industry, having designed the hugely popular Micro Machines series at Codemasters. He is a specialist in innovative controls, user interfaces and artificial intelligence. He has plenty of experience of working with David at Codies and completes our dream team of incredible games design talent!

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Pedro Miguel de Sousa Caria
Chief Technical Officer

Pedro began his programming career with the Spectrum Assembler. He has created software for all sorts of products, from interfaces for industrial machines to websites. He has also created his own iPhone & iPad game from scratch. In his spare time, he loves to play with electronics and experiments with creating his own devices. HE HATES LEMONS. So much so that he wouldn’t even hold one for his photo!

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Pete Edwards
Senior Programmer

After a brief stint as an Acoustic Engineer and Kwit Fit Fitter, Pete bust his way into the games industry via an MSc in Computer Science at Imperial College London. Since then he has gained over 8 years experience working as an AI and gameplay programmer on titles such as Haze, MotoGP, the GRID franchise and the iOS hit Whale Trail. He loves a game of football and was top scorer in his under 11s primary school team back in 1989, although has never quite reached those dizzy heights again. He can do the 100m in well under 40 seconds.

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Toby Eglesfield
Senior UX Designer/Artist

After a particularly bad effort hand lettering 8 pt text with an uncontrollable Rotring pen, Toby was told by one of his graphic design tutor that he may “need to make a choice between computers and a proper design career. Ever since then he’s been gleefully connecting the dots spanning a variety of design disciplines. 12 years at Codemasters (art lead on Micromachines / Maniacs and contributions to many others), followed by an 11 year stint in New Zealand as a graphic designer (print, web, 3D, animation), Toby is now thrilled to return to video games. He also leads a mysterious other life as an artist in development and if you ask him, he will show you some drawings he made in the NZ bush for his on-going art project. He’s a keen runner and thinks that he may have once turned Madonna down for a date.

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Stewart Perry
Senior Programmer

After graduating from Huddersfield University with a Computer Games Programming degree Stewart began his career at Rebellion as an AI Programmer. He worked on games such as Star Wars, Neverdead, Alien Vs Predator and Zombie HQ. He left Rebellion to make iPhone applications in the automobile business, which only confirmed to him that making games is where his heart lies, and where he wants to build his career. He is very excited to have joined Kwalee and be back in the games industry. He has recently started playing golf whenever he can and consequently his girlfriend has forgotten what he looks like. The only food he won’t eat is Brussel Sprouts.

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John Darling
Games Designer

David’s brother, John, brings even more games industry experience to Kwalee. He has a huge amount of games knowledge having been involved in Q/A at Codemasters for around 10 years, working on everything from the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) to the PlayStation 2. John studied economics at the University of Sheffield and spent five years prior to Kwalee investing in the stock markets, though he admits that he had mixed success! Despite having spent years testing and playing games, John admits to regularly getting stuck in games that he plays at home!

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Tom Aherne
Finance Manager

Tom has the most important job at Kwalee, making sure we all get paid! He also keeps track of the business’ accounts and all other aspects of company finance. He has a degree in Economics and Geography and is experienced in accounting, project management and leading teams. A nice thing to know about Tom is that he says that he has no problem wearing dead people’s clothes. We hope this means that he sometimes visits charity shops and not that his hobby is grave-robbing!

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Andy Grundy
Lead Server Programmer

Andrew went to the University of Leicester to study computer science with dreams of working in the games industry. He managed to get a little bit lost on the way, completing a PhD in Computer Science at the University of Nottingham and working for an online marketing company for a couple of years, but he made it to Kwalee in the end.

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Simon Platt
Producer

When Producer Simon Platt isn’t wrestling around the country as his alter-ego ‘Falcon’, he is ensuring that all of our titles are produced to an incredibly high quality. Starting his career at Codemasters 4 years ago, inspired by his love for games such as Dizzy and Cannon Fodder, he has come full circle to now be working with the men behind the iconic studio. After a year in London working in mobile games development, he moved back home to be a part of the Kwalee family. He’s here to make sure no development issue goes un-suplexed!

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Andy Russell
Senior Programmer

Andy has been programming for 15 years, owned his own indie games company, worked for Blitz Games and Rebellion on various mobile and console titles. His back catalogue of skills is a perfect match for any challenge Kwalee can throw his way. When Andy’s not chasing his two year old around the living room he can be found building Lego, for his two year old of course!

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Manuel Requena
Programmer

Manuel joins us from Spain (Ole!) and cooks fantastic paella. He has a degree in Technical Computer Engineering and has published several scientific research papers. Although he highly values his time at university, he did forgot about his childhood dream of creating videogames. Fortunately for us, Manuel then realised that games were what he loved and completed a masters degree in 3D Videogames Development and Creation. He then worked as a Gameplay Programmer at Gameloft for 3 years on several high quality casual titles including Pocket Dragon and Zombie Rush. He really enjoys playing difficult games such as La Mulana and loves Japanese culture and curry rice. His favourite character ever is pictured with him and rarely leaves his side!

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Alan Tuckwood
Frontend Web Developer

Alan is responsible for our analytics software, data dashboards and writes important tools for the Company. He has a first-class honours degree in Games Computing, finishing in the top 3 in his entire year. Before joining Kwalee, Alan heavily contributed to around 20 published iOS/Android titles whilst at Finblade and various other browser coding experience at IBM and Equilibrium UK. In his spare time, he writes popular science facts series and shamelessly collects mountains of Lego (owning at least £1200 worth of it!).

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Jessie Darling
Games Designer

The Darlings are taking over the Kwalee office! Jess is the fourth member of the family to work here. Being David’s daughter she was brought up with a love of video games and often tested Codemasters titles. She previously studied an Interactive Media course at Warwickshire College before joining Kwalee on a full time basis to pursue a career in design.

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Rob Lea
QA Technician

Prior to Kwalee, Rob worked for four years at Rare QA’ing pretty much the entire Kinect Sports franchise, including a nice sit-down break QA’ing Fable: The Journey for Lionhead. In his spare time he like playing PC games and shoots sporting clays.

Will Beard
UI Designer

After getting his first taste of fame and fortune winning first prize in a local council art competition when he was seven years old, Will knew right there and then that he wanted to be an artist…well if he couldn’t make it as a superhero that is…or astronaut…or spy…But artist was totes in his top 5 jobs. Going on to study Fine Art, Film Making (Will:”Royal Television Society Best Student Drama Award Nominee wooo!”) and gain a Masters in Video Game Development. Will freelanced as an artist and designer, making pretty things for tv, games, social casinos and web before arriving at Kwalee. In his spare time he likes to draw naked people, buy big wordy books that he doesn’t understand and has an unhealthy online course addiction – recent purchases include how to play the harmonica (he doesn’t own a harmonica), how to build a robot and learn Swedish…all of which he’ll forget about one week after learning!

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Tarak Ford
Head of QA

Tarak has extensive mobile and console QA experience, having previously worked at Feral Interactive and Testology. He has worked on over 30 iOS and Android apps and games, including Angry Birds, Moshi Village and William Hill. He holds a Motorsport Engineering / Mechanical Engineering MSc. He enjoys riding fast bikes.. at the legal speed limit…  and once ate his height in Subway (6ft) and then had dinner 4 hours later.

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Veronica Minano
Recruitment Executive

Veronica has over 9 years experience as a Recruitment Manager sourcing highly skilled, technical staff. She has a masters degree in Human Resources Management and a bachelors degree in Psychology. In her spare time, she enjoys photography and spending time with Lennon, her beloved dog. He travelled all the way from Spain with her and is eagerly awaits her return from work (whilst chewing on one of the sofa legs).

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Michael Read
Junior Server Programmer

French but not cursed with the accent, Michael likes programming… and music… and the muppets… in fact a musical about the muppets writing some code is all he wants in life. He graduated from Aberdeen University in Artificial Intelligence and travelled around Scotland for a bunch of years working in QA and Build Engineering. In his own time he makes mini-games, although due to his lack of artistic talent, they feature mostly placeholder blobs running around a monochrome background. He likes cheese, loves cold weather and is the current vice-chairman of the UN (one of those three statements might be a lie).

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Josef Leisibach
QA Technician

After finishing a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology Josef worked as a QA Tester and QA trainer for a QA Outsourcing company in the Philippines testing over 30 android and iOS games, some of them from the top of the charts (it’s a secret which one had tons of bugs at the beginning). Half Swiss, half Filipino and speaking a little German, Josef decided that he wanted to add another country to the equation and decided to move to the UK. In his free time he enjoys playing computer games and learning new songs to sing for the rest of the team while he’s working.

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Derek Hartin
Lead Designer

Derek has been specialising in F2P design for several years and is something of an evangelist for creating ethical F2P games that focus on fun. His most well recognised game is probably Clumsy Ninja. He studied Electrical Engineering at Queen’s University in Northern Ireland and jumped over to Liverpool to study for a Masters in Computer Games Technology to pursue his dreams of designing the games he loves. Now he leads a crack design team in Kwalee and works tirelessly to make every experience fantastic.

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Mark Rayson
Data Analyst

Mark joins us from the online gaming industry where he spent 6 years in analytics and operations. He has a degree in Computer Science and Software Engineering and also brings some commercial experience from his time spent working at Coventry City FC. His interests are playing poker, betting on horse racing, watching Liverpool play football and playing any game created by Blizzard. He was once scammed on the BBC show “The Real Hustle”. He also trains macaque monkeys to use typewriters as part of the infinite monkey theorem. Here he is pictured above with his 3 associates: Donald Trump (head), 50 cent (arm) and Snoop Dog (shoulder). Yes, those are their names!