As the “boss” I sometimes have unpleasant jobs to do. However, this is one of those occasions where I get to share something incredible and awesome.
Two of our longest serving Dlalans are moving into positions of more responsibility within the team:
Chris Rickett, the longest serving Dlalan is moving into a new role entitled “Senior Programmer” on Ben (Waring, Technical Director)’s team. Chris started working with Dlala within about 6 weeks of the company being formed. He was the lead, and almost sole, programmer on the company’s first game “Janksy”. He then proceeded to work on the mobile port completely solo whilst the studio began it’s incubation with Microsoft. Chris joined the team at Microsoft in 2013 in an official, full-time capacity and has been with the company since. Working on every title, and nearly every prototype that we’ve produced.
Grant Allen, joined the team as our sole artist in 2015. Officially at least. Grant first started working with Dlala on prop art on Janksy. He then was the lead character designer on Overruled! Working on the project in his evenings whilst working full-time at a non-industry job. When Dlala was financially able to increase the team size Grant was hired full-time to join in January 2015. Within a few month Grant showed a natural skill for level design and was quickly moved from his role as an artist into a design focused role. Working alongside the existing team, and working closely with me (Aj, Game Director) Grant flourished in the role. Unofficially taking on the role of lead level designer on Nothing To Fear he relished in the responsibility. After a trial period, which he wasn’t aware of, the decision was made to promote Grant to Lead Designer.
I cannot express in words how proud I am of both of these two. They have shown an unfaltering dedication to our projects, and to Dlala as a whole. However, loyalty is not enough on it’s own, the proof is in the pudding and the two showed their capacity to work together in senior level roles by leading the prototype of the game that would become Nothing To Fear. Becoming the first Dlala title proposed by a non-director level team member, with a prototype led by none of the director level team.
The work the team are doing on Battletoads is miles beyond anything we’ve touched on, and these two are fantastic representations of what I hold this company to be.
Congratulations to both of them, and I can’t wait for you all to see the work they’ve been producing with the rest of the team!