Joining us from the mouth of the euphonium he carries everywhere he goes comes Simon. He'a an Audio Coder which came as some relief as we were concerned we'd be working with an Odd Yolk Odour. Again. So tech-savvy is he, Mr Price even claims to be able to debug these text bio's! Ha hah, how quaint the notion! As if by mere coding prowess alone he could
\\initiating style analysis
\\analysing existing data
\\deriving generic text algorhithms
\\reverse-engineering style memes
<create new bio>
<insert new employee name>
<insert archeological term or obsolete tool/device>
<insert naval term>
<insert obscure zoological genus>
<insert mismatched list of unusual materials/fabrics/metals>
<insert list of three things where the third thing is different to the other two>
<insert improbable height, width or other dimension>
<insert second person comic imperative>
Well I'll be... Now I'm scared to touch the keyboard.
Simon Price recently joined the company. He's an audio coder. He is male. That is all.
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 Simon does, how he ended up at Splash Damage, and more.
What do you do at Splash Damage?
I’m the Audio Programmer, which therefore means I must know everything remotely connected to sound, even before its actually happened yet. The truth is less impressive, but my job is to use the new technology to enable our Audio Director to make a better sounding game than was ever previously possible.
Why did you want to work in the games industry and how did you get started? Do you have any tips for people wanting to break in?
I was a late comer to games. I was the last kid in school to get hold of a Sega MegaDrive and suddenly I stopped climbing trees outside and instead spent all my hours inside trying to find every single power up in Sonic the Hedgehog. It didn’t occur to me that it was possible to make my own games until I got my own PC. I very much enjoyed making my own games but there came I point when I realized that I was going to need a lot of help to make that triple A title.
My advice is cheesy - find a subject that you personally enjoy no matter what everyone else is doing, and make the things you want to make. Your passion will make the boring bits of game development whizz by and then you’ll actually put in the hard work that is required to get good, without it feeling all that difficult. This advice is getting more relevant as the subject of games expand and companies are looking for more specialist knowledge – you don’t have to know everything about everything.
What other games have you worked on? Which one did you enjoy the most?
The only game you might have heard of is Haze, and I enjoyed it the most. I enjoy being part of a team, I’m amazed that a group of dozens or hundreds of human beings can cooperate for years on just one final gold disk. I also made a fruit machine for pubs in the north of England, but regrettably I forgot to put in the secret ‘pay out now’ button combo for myself.
How did you end up at Splash Damage?
I’d heard that Splash Damage were the best. I’d played Quake Wars and I very much enjoyed the depth of game play and the focus on teamwork. So when my current job was up, I went straight to Splash Damage and found that what I’d heard wasn’t far off the mark. I was extremely happy when Splash Damage offered me a position.
What is it like to work at Splash Damage?
Everyone here is good at what they do, so it’s a great relief to know that my buddy isn’t busy coding the next snippet for Worse Than Failure. Also, I love all the glass around the office, I think all buildings should be see-through. Even the outside walls.
What are the best and worst parts of your job?
Best parts: When you focus on insanely small details that are rarely noticed individually, you’ve spent hours on each separate part and then it’s great when you get the chance to finally step back and see the whole picture. That ‘aha’ moment when you solve a bug. I love to see people playing my games, I hope to give back for the fun I have playing other peoples games.
The worst part is when you have pretty much the whole picture and then the game crashes. D’oh! Way to suspend belief.
What was your first gaming experience?
I’d mentioned Sonic, I remember the day I discovered (completely independently) the cheat where you could design your own levels – it was the best thing since The Big Bang. My other early memories are of a Japanese version of Strider where I couldn’t read the story so it didn’t make much sense, and a copy of Road Rash that you had to keep at the correct temperature to make it work.
What types of games do you like, and what's your favorite game of all time?
I like action games, but there’s only so far you can practice your twitch skills before you are left wanting something more, so now I’m getting more into teamwork and strategy. I also like open ended games, so my favourite game of all time is a pretty boring safe bet, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The game I’ve put the most hours into is Gran Turismo, every single version. Despite the dent in my car I still believe those skills translate onto the real road.
What's the meaning behind your nickname?
My little brother thought it up. For some reason, everyone’s nickname had to begin with a ‘B’. I didn’t like the nickname until I realized that it was pretty unique and after trying to register every other nickname, Bazee stuck. Then I discovered Bazee was some sort of Indian eBay but it was too late, I was already Bazee. Now there's probably millions of other Bazee’s out there.
What do you enjoy doing when you're not at work?
I enjoy playing guitar, but in reality I suck at it so every now and then I have to play Guitar Hero instead and imagine that I rock.
Lastly, what's with the Mohawk?
I just like the shape, it’s like nothing else in the world of hairstyles. I like the way people treat you differently just based on a haircut, you can have fun playing along with their view of how you must therefore be. The downside is its quite a commitment, it takes 45 minutes every morning and you can’t ‘just not bother today’ because a sloppy Mohawk looks really lame.
If you have any questions you'd like to ask Simon, feel free to post them in the comments below. Our forum-trained tapirs will try to answer as many of them as possible.