Next up is PlayCanvas’ Chief Technical Officer who shares his name with beanie clad U2 Guitarist ‘The Edge’, Dave Evans. Dave grew up just outside of Cambridge in Duxford where he says he was regularly dive-bombed by old planes from the nearby Imperial war Museum.
How did you get into the video games industry?
I started writing games when I was around 13-14. Learning to program in C on a Mac LC II, which is not a great introduction to programming. Then I didn’t do anything for a few years and got back into it at my last year at Oxford University where me and a friend wrote a game about a skateboarding monkey called Stunt Monkey.
When it came to applying for jobs after university I fell into game development as it was the first job I applied for. I worked at Rebelllion in Oxford for a couple of years on Gameboy Advance and PlayStation 2 titles. Then I moved to London where I worked for Sony for about 7 years. During this time I made the change from AI/gameplay programmer to Tools programmer.
Can you briefly describe your role at PlayCanvas?
I’m the CTO, which is a grand title for a small team. But basically I make sure that the development of the PlayCanvas tools and engine are all on track. Making sure all the programmers have stuff to do along with making sure what they are doing makes sense for PlayCanvas in the longer term (i.e. it’ll scale as we grow, it’s maintainable for the future, etc). I try and get a bit of coding done most days, but that’s not always possible. Finally, along with the rest of the team, I’m supporting all our users to make sure they are happy and productive.
Favourite aspect of PlayCanvas’ service?
The speed at which you can prototype a game idea and share it with other people
How is PlayCanvas changing the way people make games?
Online communities are massive accelerators where people can learn new skills and create new things. The PlayCanvas community is built around our tools and we can already see it bringing together game developers from all over the world.
Where do you see web-based gaming in the future?
Web-based gaming is the future! If there is one thing you can be certain of, it’s that every device released in the future, from phone, to TV, to something we haven’t thought of yet, will have have a web browser. And we’re right on the brink, as with PlayCanvas and WebGL you can now create great looking games to play on any of these machines.
The Quick Fire round (this is where things get a little interesting)
Zelda or Final fantasy?
I’ve only ever played FF7, so I guess that?
COD or Battlefield?
Mario or Sonic?
Favourite game of all time?
That’s a tough one… Monkey Island or Multiplayer Halo.