Joining us from the Lagrange point between that desk and the one next to it comes Jiri. Originally formed by the gradual accretion of alluvial sediment and the beating of egg whites into firm peaks, Jiri excels in all forms of stealthy sneakery, innocuous infiltration and covert shenanigans. He's our go-to guy for goat-getting. He also delights in tracking down the most obscure bugs, exploits, evil-doing and game-breakables. This he does with a predatory relish, like a jam made from lions.
Jiri's formal responsibilities range from disguising the file-marks on the bars on the windows to calming the turbulent waters of the office coffee-well. His hobbies include forming rubrics, indices and syllabi. His favourite tempi are Allegro Ma Non Troppo and Lento. He recently fitted himself with a spall liner, ERA panels and runflat tires. Distantly related to the Eight Hopeless Rufous Dukes of Hoofnagel, he smells like fresh terracotta and Hooplah. He's currently underneath your desk, just checking. No, don't look. I told you not to look.
Things You Were Too Afraid To Ask...
Every once in a while, we interrogate one of our own and put their answers up for all the world to see. Read on to find out more about what Jiri does, how he ended up at Splash Damage, and more.
What do you do at Splash Damage?
I am a Production Coordinator at Splash Damage and it’s part of my job to help with all sorts of planning and organisational work. I am also the Scrum Master for the art team, which includes having daily meetings and being the artists’ go-to person whenever they need new plug-ins, training videos or looking for reference material. Basically I am the pack-horse the art team use to off-load as many of their practical and mundane tasks onto, so they don’t have to worry about them and can focus on their work. Other task includes keeping track of the myriad of art applicants, organising interviews, and being in charge of the book and DVD library.
Why did you want to work in the games industry and how did you get started?
Like everyone working here at Splash Damage, I've had a life-long passion for computer games, but it never occurred to me that I could actually be working in the games industry. It was really a bit of a fluke the way I got into the business. I had just moved to London and was looking for a job when I saw a post on a gaming website that Splash Damage were looking for testers for their new QUAKE game. I immediately applied and eventually got an interview. I arrived in my best suit (my girlfriend insisted that I wear one), which must have impressed them as I was hired a few weeks later! My clothing style is a tad more casual now :)
Why did you join Splash Damage?
Being a great fan off FPS shooters and especially those set in the DOOM and QUAKE universes, I was determined to join SD when I heard they were looking for testers for the next QUAKE game.
What are the best and worst parts of your job?
I enjoy the big variety of work here at Splash Damage. I do everything from organisational tasks and documenting workflows to game-testing and press coaching. At the end of the day it’s a great feeling to know you are having a positive impact on the project.
The worst part is when, during the development of a game, it’s sometimes required to perform certain tests over and over again until it’s perfect… only to find out it has evolved further and requires even more testing! It might be quite monotonous work, but in the end it’s the only way to make sure a feature is as solid as it possible can be.
What was your first gaming experience?
Hmmm, I believe it was Prince of Persia on a Macintosh back in 1989. This was soon followed by amazing world of Wolfenstein 3D on a 386 PC, and I was hooked on computer games for life!
What types of games do you like, and what's your favourite game of all time?
I have been in love with FPS games ever since I played Wolfenstein 3D for the first time. I find the FPS genre a bit more immersive than other types of games, plus I like all the action! My all time favourite single player game is Half-life as it revolutionised the genre with its fantastic narrative, its action packed interactive sequences, cool AI and overall polish. On the multiplayer side, it’s a tie between DOOM, Duke3D, QUAKE and Call of Duty 4.
What do you enjoy doing when you're not at work?
I like socialising with friends, visiting all the wonderful museums in London, going to the movies, seeing theatre shows and long-distance running. I might do a half-marathon in the Autumn...
While going to university in Sweden, you received about forty (by our calculations) different mini-degrees in various fields and have since been scaring us with crazy amounts of weird and bizarre trivia. How did all that come about?
Well, the difference between Sweden and a lot of other countries is that in Sweden you don’t pay for your university studies, in fact, you get paid! This means it’s quite tempting to keep on studying forever as there is always something new and interesting to learn next semester. In total I spent nearly six years studying all those things I was interested in and I love the fact I was able to do so! (History of Science, Peace and Conflict research, Asian history and politics, Czech language, Art history, Computer Science, The evolution of life on earth).