HELLO WILL, LET’S START WITH HOW DID YOU GET YOUR JOB IN GAMES?
I joined Ballistic Moon in the first half of 2021. I was transitioning out of film and into games because Covid had greatly effected the film industry and left thousands fighting for what few jobs there were. I won’t ever forget seeing an application for an unpaid 3rd AD (Assistant Director) appear on my LinkedIn, where over 1100 people had applied within 24 hours. I thought “Well then, time to find a better industry”. I reached out to Ballistic Moon and a couple of interviews later found myself welcomed into the company and thank LinkedIn everyday for accidentally changing my career trajectory.
WHAT DO YOU DO DAY-TO-DAY?
My day to day is all over the place; I work with many different disciplines all the time and am always trying to further the story telling through as many avenues as possible. I work very closely with the designers, cinematics team, the game and creative director, offering opinions, briefs and pitches as well as getting my hands dirty in engine. I’ve also played a heavy role in the motion capture work we’ve done; writing screenplays, working along side storyboard artists and animators as well as producing the shoots that come off the back of these plans.
WHAT MOST EXCITES YOU ABOUT YOUR ROLE?
Exciting for me is watching the pay off of words written and thoughts concieved months, sometimes even years, back begin to come to fruition. Sometimes you come across old documents and designs from a long time ago and think “wow that actually made it”, that’s always a good feeling. Another aspect that particualrly excites me is the creative side, coming up with sometimes wild ideas and then working with other departments to reign them in into something that can work.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE ASPIRING TO BE A NARRATIVE DESIGNER?
You want to know as much as possible about the story you are working on but you can’t neglect the medium it is being told in. A narrative designer needs to be able to bridge story and gameplay and not sacrifice one for the other. There’s a huge amount of ways to tell a story and the other departments are your key to that, you can tell the story through the cinematography, the walk cycle of a character, the props in the environment and so many other intricate ways and that’s not possible to do as just one department, so you have to form good relationships across the board and work closely with them to get your shared vision across.
WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT WORKING AT BALLISTIC MOON?
For me the best bit about working at Ballistic Moon is the understanding that everyone works differently, there is a level of mutual respect where you can work in ways that suit you and in return you give your best because you genuinely enjoy it. I can grab a coffee or snack and step away from a taxing document, I can put on my own headphones and get lost in my music while I churn through some tasks, even if you need a 10 minute break just to clear your head, the environment is relaxed enough to let you do what you need to do as long as you respect that. Although I’m sure there are several people who wished I didn’t turn up at their desk with an inevitibly simple problem that I don’t know how to fix but that’s on them for being too welcoming.
ANY FUN FACTS OR HOBBIES?
I don’t have any exciting hobbies, I just picked the generic ones. I am bit of a runner, when the weather isn’t melting you from the inside out. I also play a little piano and violin and am desperately trying to get to the level I was when I was younger, which is taxing and painful on the fingers. Otherwise I am a “I’ll start doing that at some point” person who has high aspirations of doing interesting things, but is secretly content with doing the bare minimum.