Our recent commitment to open sourcing is not the only thing we at PlayCanvas are open about. To help get in touch with our community, we are starting a series of posts about the people behind PlayCanvas. From the informative down to the outright silly, step deeper into our world.
First up is Will, our CEO and co-founder, from everyone’s favourite sleepy little town Bedford, England!
How did you get into the video games industry?
I never intended to get into making games. During my time at Imperial College in London where I studied Computing, I had to do a 6 month industrial placement. I joined a VR company that’s still around today in the form of Virtalis. But being the late 90s, the technology was underwhelming and I wanted to be back near to London, so I took an interview at Criterion Software where I started out as an engineer developing RenderWare. If you haven’t heard of RenderWare before, it powered hundreds of PS2 titles (including the GTA series). I think it’s fair to say, I learned a lot working with such awesome teams.
Can you briefly describe your role at PlayCanvas?
I’m CEO. I’m a technical guy, so although I don’t do much coding myself these days, I know enough to keep the coding team on their toes. I spend most of my time dealing with the mechanics of running the business and promoting what we’re doing out to the wider world. If I had to pick one thing I do and do best, it’s predicting where we need to be 5 years from now and figuring out how we get there. So far, so good!
What is your favourite aspect of PlayCanvas’ service?
Tough question, there’s a lot to choose from. For me, it’s the collaborative nature of the tools. It was the killer feature of Google Docs that completely blew me away. We’re doing the same thing for game developers. It really is a revelation once you’ve experienced it.
How is PlayCanvas changing the way people make games?
It’s becoming more transparent. If you choose to work in public, I can see your project at any time I want to. I can play your games any time, anywhere and on any device. We’re making the process more collaborative, with a multi-user editor where you can see the game come together live before your eyes. And we’re opening game development up to a far wider audience, by making the tools incredibly accessible. Did I mention we’re open source now?
Where do you see web based gaming in the future?
I see it becoming the pinnacle in convenience. Ultimate accessiblity. Completely cross-platform. And even more dynamic and open than it is today.
Can you describe one interesting thing about yourself?
I wanted to work at Marvel Comics when I was 18. I used to take my portfolio along to the London Comic Art Convention looking for a job. In the end, my coding skills won out which is probably for the best!
The Quick-fire Round (this is where things get a little interesting)
Zelda or Final fantasy?
COD or Battlefield?
Mario or Sonic?
Favourite game of all time?
No contest: Elite.
Greatest Gaming achievement?
Can losing be an achievement? I played the UK Nintendo Champion at Street Fighter 2 in 1993. I left his Dhalsim battered and bruised with a mere pixel of health remaining!