The Next-Gen Darling

Jess and I back in my Codies’ days

There are lots of hard-working, family businesses around the world and one thing many have in common is trust. When I was starting out, I had the support of my brother and my dad. With a combination of business expertise and coding prowess, we felt we would see ourselves through the highs and lows of business. That was so important.

jim richard and david crop Dad, Richard and I at the beginning

As long as they show high levels of talent, I’ve always liked to draw on family members. My younger brother, John, has worked at Kwalee for nearly four years and, at the end of last month, I employed someone very special to me: my daughter, Jess. It was good timing. She had completed a BTEC qualification in Interactive Media but she wasn’t enjoying her HND course in visual communication.
jess and james resized
For me, qualifications matter less than passion and talent and knowing she lived and breathed games her entire life even helping test our games at Codemasters I felt it was time for her to become more hands on. Talking to her about this reminded me of the conversation Richard and I had when we told our parents we wanted to make games rather than go to university.

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Jess and I at a recent team building event

We met with resistance but won them over with our determination to succeed. We benefitted from working in a team, learning on the job and picking up skills college courses cannot truly teach. Jess understands this: she feels involved and part of something and she’s flourishing. She also forms the next generation of gaming Darlings.

Of course, Jess is only 20 and has doubts and insecurities. She worried about entering what, until relatively recently, was sadly seen as a man’s world. Yet times are thankfully changing. Jess heads up a team making quizzes and we want to grow her division with a number of staff working part time from home.
We also want to expand the number of young people we have here at Kwalee and we’re looking for Junior Game Designers as well as Programmers and a Server Programmer. We need committed people with bags of ideas and who want to learn as well. Long may she and our potential new recruits grow with us.
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