What does life look for you now?
I have graduated from studying video games programming at the Academy of Interactive Entertainment and am now focussing on building a video games development business and working as a freelance software developer.
I am grateful to have the opportunity to work for myself and collaborate with fellow creatives so soon after graduating from Radford. It's been a wonderful journey and I look forwards to what the future brings!
Tell us what you are passionate about?
I enjoy working with passionate people in my team and across various creative disciplines. I find natural human interactivity to be a fascinating aspect of technology and design. Allowing people to engage seamlessly with an experience creates a strong sense of immersion and is something I try to focus on when building games or simulations.
When you were young, what were you hoping to be when you grew up?
After years of playing video games while growing up, I was definitely keen to become a video games developer when I was older. Having studied in that space and worked on several games/simulation projects has solidified that passion. Programming for me has always been a tool to create immersive virtual worlds and experiences.
What is your favourite Radford moment?
Towards the end of my time at Radford, I coordinated the Youth in The City cooking program with Nick S. Together through rain and shine we ran Friday dinner cooking evenings at the Civic Youth in The City Youth centre. This taught me many of the management and leadership skills I now use today in my development management role and gave me a confidence boost to be able to do my own thing.
I would highly recommend for current and past students of Radford to engage in community service programs such as the Youth in The City cooking program. Through that I found such a strong sense of community and humanity that I will take with me on my future adventures.
Do you have a particular role model or inspirational figure from Radford or now?
Radford's chaplain Richard Browning was always a guiding force during my time at Radford. He lead by example for building community spirit, and in teaching strong values of compassion and reaching out to others. From Richard I learned to serve others humbly and with respect regardless of any differences we may have.
Richard also supported myself and Nick while we were coordinating the Youth in The City program. We were very grateful for his guidance.
How easy was it to decide what to do in life?
I'm the kind of person that will jump right into something once I make up my mind about it. In the beginning I was discouraged from pursuing games development as a career by several people around me due to them not really understanding what it entailed.
After taking part in and winning a few games development competitions and showing them some of my programming projects, they started to understand and supported me wholeheartedly moving forwards. After having worked in a team on those projects, I had a strong feeling that it was something I wanted to do moving forwards. Being able to work in a small team environment where we covered each other's creative strengths and weaknesses really appealed to me.
Did your further study or career go exactly as you'd planned?
Pretty much as soon as I finished up with Radford I knew that I wanted to study games programming. I packed up and moved down to Melbourne due to there being a much more active games industry community down there and studied at the AIE.
What do you know now, that you wish you'd known when you were at Radford?
That nobody has all of the answers. It's easy to have the perception that someone is much further along in life than you because of how they present themselves. That is OK, everyone is on their own pathway and brings something unique to the table.
What advice do you have for current students?
Stay true to your passions. If you practice and grow your skills, there will be so many difference pathways you will be able to take to your goals. Don't be afraid of taking on something that's outside of your comfort zone. You'll look back at those times years down the line appreciate how far you've come.
Keep in touch with the people you care about, your support network will help you weather the things that happen in your life both positive and negative. In addition, success isn't a solo mission, we all receive support as we work towards achieving our goals.
Take care of your mental health. Burnout and stress are very real and can really take the wind out of your sails. Focus on good lifestyle patterns, eating well, exercising, and getting at least 8 hours of sleep.
Mental health is just as important as your physical health. Understanding how your mind and body interact is critical to being able to lead a productive and well balanced life.