BIO

Danatomy

A brief bit of information about me.

I’ll skip any prologue concerning my headfirst arrival into the middle of the 1970s, avoid details about my primary and secondary school educational, and just briefly mention that I spent 2 years at Art College doing an OND in graphic design, and 2 years at university doing an HND in Film and Television design. Having just condensed 22 years of my life into a couple of dismissive lines, I'll also quickly thumb through the next chapter which saw me leave Uni and start up my own business as a designer/illustrator. Despite several years of "moderate" success, I only ever fiscally trod water. So, after 4 years of empire building, I decided that the time had come for me to seek out new pastures where I could swing my proverbial creative udders.

It was at this point (2001) that I interviewed at and joined Leeds-based games company "The Code Monkeys", working and living in this fine city for 2 years. It was a startling introduction to the industry, demonstrating very low pay and periods of very long hours. However I found myself covering many disciplines whilst there, learning and adapting as I went ... there was little time for standing around, and you had to think on your feet.


I started on a Gameboy Advance title called Xbladez, then moved into the latter stages of production on Simpsons Skateboarding, where I covered UI and loading screens, in-game textures, prop destruction animations and level establishing cameras. And whilst there were other tasks, the company slowly transferred all of its resources onto the troubled Neopets title. This game was no easy ride and didn't seem to know what it wanted to be. Working hours began to stretch to 4am, staff grew tired and disillusioned, and it soon became very apparent that both the game and company were in dire straits.

Despite several attempts to rouse moral, a pale faced boss turned up one afternoon, told us to turn off our PCs and go home, thus demonstrating how dire the straits had finally become. Neopets had started as a PS2 title, dropped to a PS1 title and was finally dropped altogether. Now many staff, including myself, were surpluses to requirement and so, after a small apologetic chat, we were given the proverbial boot to the bum.

Faced with this sudden about in my employment situation, I could be forgiven for wallowing in self-pity. But I was armed with the knowledge that it'd be pointless to rest on my laurels, and hardy constitutions win the day. So I applied myself to the task of applying for jobs and, thankfully, it was only a couple of months later that I found myself being interviewed in the modest offices of the Warrington-based company, Juice Games. A second interview later saw me bidding farewell to Leeds and returning to the North West to start afresh in early 2004.

My initial responsibility at this new company was squeezing artwork into mobile phone games ... no mean task considering the limitations of the time. But, after nearly 12 months of pixel crunching, an opportunity arose to help tackle the UI on the follow up to Juiced, and I jumped at it. A very involved 2 years followed as we designed, redesigned and designed the UI again for Juiced 2. When the American car show "Hot Import Nights" jumped on board it pushed the design into new and interesting territories.

Following Juiced 2, I was offered a chance at designing the UI for a new flight sim game called Stormbirds. In addition to this, I would also be involved in testing and assisting in the development of an in-house UI tool. I found this both an interesting and challenging period, as it was quite a juggle designing the game UI and implementing it using fledgling software. But I nevertheless enjoyed myself as a beta team member, on the secondary project, which we hoped would be an addictive multiplayer arcade style flight sim.

THQ, however, started had differing ideas for this game, convinced as they were that the secret to success had less to do with the fight in your flight, and more about the size of your bombers. Suddenly it was becoming apparent that Stormbirds was mutating from a sleek arcade flight-sim, into an awkward post apocalyptic, giganta-hovership "shoot 'em up", which was all elbows. But, like a cold hand beneath the duvet, life can inflict a sudden and unexpected surprise, and so it was on a chilly Monday in November, that the unscheduled arrival of an emotional looking company boss, an ashen-faced team lead and a woman I'd not seen before, sporting an H.R badge, saw my Juice Games career take a notable downward turn. Yes, Stormbirds was for the chop, as were all working on it. After 4 years ensconced at Juice Games, I was now out on my ear, which I needed to keep pressed to the ground, which I had to hit running, by putting my best foot forward, if I wanted to stay one step ahead in this race.

Thankfully a job interview 2 days later catapulted me into the ranks of Travellers’ Tales, or more specifically, TT-Fusion. What followed was a continuous roll of video game credits, predominantly for the LEGO franchise. From Rock Band to Star Wars, Harry Potter and the massive LEGO City Undercover, the subject matter was ever changing and never boring.

Then in late 2013, just after I'd finished with LEGO City, TT decided that they wanted to hire some more UI artists to fill out the ranks, and stated that they wanted me to captain that ship. A little hesitantly I agreed and within the month had two members on "my" UI team. Two became three after I was given a junior ... then three swiftly became six as I inherited the concept art team under my remit as well. This situation lasted until 2018, when Tt suddenly decided to merge the UI team from the Knutsford office with the Wilmslow team. This was due to the fact that the Knutsford office were impressed with our approach to UI and wanted a slice of the action. This decision led to there being 7 staff on 3 projects across 2 sites lead by 1 lead ... that lead being me!


During my time as lead I found myself dealing with more than just games responsibilities. I was also tasked with doing a huge piece of office wall art, creating company anniversary t-shirts and mugs. In 2017, I was included in a team which was tasked with looking into a new company engine, and in early 2019, I single-handedly animated a 2-minute informative movie, used to help promote the formation of an R&D department called "AIM".

In November 2020 I transferred to over to this team and, at time of writing this self-indulgent monologue, that is where you'll currently find me. Like all in this profession, we prefer it for people to say that our art is our strongest point, and not our breath. So a return to a more creative role was welcome fare as, although I enjoyed leading a team of talented people, it's nice to get my hands dirty again!

If you're still reading this, then well done! The last person who was this attentive towards my personal situation wrote a prescription and said things should clear up after a week. Below you'll find a list of all the games I've worked on in my time in the games industry.

GAME CREDITS

HH: Handheld Version  -  UR: Unreleased Title

TT-FUSION

2008 - Present




LEGO DC Super Villains

2018

Lead 2D/UI Artist

PS4 / XONE / PC / Switc

LEGO The Incredibles

2018

Lead 2D/UI Artist

PS4 / XONE / PC / Switch

LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2

2018

Minor UI Support

PS4 / XONE / PC / Switch

LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game

2017

Lead 2D/UI Artist

PS4 / XONE / PC / Switch

LEGO City Undercover (Re release)

2017

Lead 2D/UI Artist

PS4 / XONE / PC / Switch

LEGO Batman Movie (Dimensions Pack)

2017

Lead 2D/UI Artist

PS4 / XONE / PC

LEGO Star Wars The Force Awakens

2016

Lead 2D/UI Artist

PS4 / XONE / PC / Wii U

LEGO Star Wars The Force Awakens HH

2016

Lead 2D/UI Artist

3DS / Vita / IOS

LEGO Avengers HH

2016

Lead 2D/UI Artist

3DS / Vita

LEGO Dimensions

2016

Minor UI Support

PS3 / PS4 / X360 / XONE / PC / Wii U

LEGO Jurassic World

2015

Lead 2D/UI Artist

PS3 / PS4 / X360 / XONE / PC / Wii U

LEGO Jurassic World HH

2015

Lead 2D/UI Artist

3DS / Vita / IOS

LEGO Ninjago: Shadow Of Ronin HH

2015

Lead 2D/UI Artist

3DS / Vita / IOS

LEGO Batman 3 HH

2014

Lead 2D/UI Artist

3DS / Vita / IOS

LEGO The Hobbit HH

2014

Lead 2D/UI Artist

3DS / Vita

LEGO Movie The Videogame

2014

Lead 2D/UI Artist

PS3 / PS4 / X360 / XONE / PC / Wii U

LEGO Movie The Videogame HH

2014

Lead 2D/UI Artist

DS / 3DS / Vita / IOS

LEGO Chima HH

2013

Lead 2D/UI Artist

DS / 3DS / Vita / IOS

LEGO Batman 2 HH

2013

Lead 2D/UI Artist

3DS / Vita / IOS

LEGO Marvel Superheroes HH

2013

Lead 2D/UI Artist

DS / 3DS / Vita / IOS

LEGO Lord Of The Rings HH

2013

Lead 2D/UI Artist

IOS

LEGO City Undercover

2013

2D/UI Artist

Wii U

LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins

2013

UI Support

3DS

Spyhunter

2012

UI Support

DS / 3DS / PSP

LEGO Star Wars 3: The Clone Wars HH

2011

2D/UI Artist

DS / 3DS / PSP

LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 HH

2011

UI Support

DS / 3DS / PSP / IOS

LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 HH

2010

UI Support

IOS

LEGO Rockband

2009

2D/UI Artist

PS3 / X360 / PC / Wii

LEGO Rockband HH

2009

2D/UI Artist

DS / 3DS / PSP

JUICE GAMES

2004 - 2008




Stormbirds

UR

2D/UI Artist

PS3 / X360 / PC

Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights

2004

2D/UI Artist

PS2 / PS3 / X360 / PC

Juiced Eliminator

2004

2D/UI Artist

PSP

2 Fast 2 Furious

2004

2D/UI Artist

Mobile Phone

Callaway Golf

UR

2D/UI Artist

Mobile Phone

Juiced 2D

2004

2D/UI Artist

Mobile Phone

Juiced 3D

UR

2D/UI Artist

Mobile Phone

Protour Golf

2004

2D/UI Artist

Mobile Phone

Trail Biker 2

2004

2D/UI Artist

Mobile Phone

Driver

2004

2D/UI Artist

Mobile Phone

THE CODE MONKEYS

2001 - 2003




Neopets: The Darkest Faerie

UR

2D/UI Artist

PS1

The Simpsons Skateboarding

2002

2D/UI Artist

PS2

Xbladez: Inline Skater

2001

2D/UI Artist

Gameboy Advance