Meet The Team

AJ Grand-Scrutton
CEO

Top 5 Games

Day Of The Tentacle Battletoads Halo: Combat Evolved Super Mario 64 Batman - Arkham Series

Background

Dlala Studios founder and CEO focuses on Creative Direction of all products, business development and design. Previously worked for companies such as Jagex, Bossa Studios and Microsoft Games Studios in roles such as Lead Client Developer, Game Content Developer and Executive Producer.

Typical Day

Get into work, take credit for everyone else’s hard work, get paid.

If You Could Be Any Video Game Character, Who and Why?

Batman, I know it’s cheating but he is technically in a game. Why? WHY?!? He’s the goddamn Batman
Ben Waring
Technical Director

Top 5 Games

Super Mario Galaxy Portal Resident Evil 4 Super Bomberman 2 The Legend of Zelda – All

Background

Dlala’s long serving Technical Director, Ben has been with the studio since it’s first year of formation. Leading the technical side of every project Dlala has been involved with. Ben has previously served as a programmer and lead programmer for companies such as Microsoft Games Studios and Bossa Studios. Ben was officially moved into his current role of Technical Director in 2017.

Typical Day

Implementing the many brilliant features/ideas of our design team. Making all the tough technical decisions. Being the team cynic.

If You Could Be Any Video Game Character, Who and Why?

Conker – people that know me understand why…
Gemma Foster
Operations Director

Top 5 Games

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 World of Illusions starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins Call of Duty: World at War Goldeneye

Background

Gemma is Dlala’s swiss army knife of an Operations Director. With a varied skilled background including, but not limited to, over a half a decade in the legal profession. Position as a software developer and a role as Business Improvement and Operations Manager for an award-winning education business. Joining Dlala in 2015 originally as a producer, Gemma quickly found herself not only developing the production processes of the studio but also taking control of financial and operation processes, and in effect rebuilding the structure of the studio from scratch. Moving, officially, into the role of Operations Director in under 2 years of joining the studio.

Typical Day

Typical day is still a little unknown to me but I believe it should ultimately involve: Scheduling and overseeing delivery of the development roadmap; Business analysis and process mapping; Contract negotiation and agreement of licensing terms; Maintaining budgets and budget allocation; Overseeing creative and technical development of games, ensuring timely delivery on milestone deliverables; Scheduling and overseeing timely quality assurance processes and compliance procedures; Making arrangements for beta testing and focus groups; Acting as a liason between internal and external stakeholders; Pitching game ideas to publishers.

If You Could Be Any Video Game Character, Who and Why?

Miles Power (Tails)! Because he is super cute, a mechanical genius and can fly helicopter-style!
Loudon St Hill
Game Designer

Top 5 Games

Final Fantasy VII Legend of Zelda – A Link To The Past Mega Man X Full Throttle League of Legends

Background

Loudon has served over a decade in the games industry, with a mid-career break to snowboard in France. Working for companies such as Jagex and Microsoft Games Studios. Loudon has had roles including Lead QA, Designer and Lead Gameplay Designer. Loudon now finds himself jumping between Gameplay and Level design.

Typical Day

Get into work. Tell Chris to shut up. Make tea. Few hours working on design documentation/bibles. Regular communication with the Tech team. Level building. Bug fixing. Catch up with QA. Dislike Chris.

If You Could Be Any Video Game Character, Who and Why?

Gambit, so I could fight crime, but also have a number of household applications and save on my bills
Chris Rickett
Game Programmer

Top 5 Games

Doom Gears of War 2 Natural Selection Empire Earth Left 4 Dead

Background

With over half a decade’s worth of years as a professional games programmer, Chris was Dlala’s first non-founder team member. Chris was instrumental in the development of Dlala’s first released game “Janksy”, in which he had less than 10 weeks to build the game from scratch.

Typical Day

The majority of my day involves adding content to the game from other teams. Whether it’s animations, gameplay features, tools or audio – the rest of my day is spent making tea.

If You Could Be Any Video Game Character, Who and Why?

The space marine from the original Doom games (“Doomguy”) because no-one knows my name, but I work hard and get the job done.
Grant Allen
Game Designer

Top 5 Games

Pokemon Blue Pokemon TCG Super Mario Bros. 3 Bishi Bashi Special Edition Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2

Background

After working part-time as a character designer on “Overruled!” Grant joined Dlala full time as an artist. Within his first few months it became apparent that he had a talent for design, and after supporting the design team for a month was soon moved full time into the design department. You’ll now find Grant leading the level design team.

Typical Day

Marmite on crumpets with a cup of coffee, Quick catch up with the studio then head down design work then lunch and some more design work.

If You Could Be Any Video Game Character, Who and Why?

Pete from Earthworm Jim, cause it should be socially acceptable to wear a shirt and only a shirt in public.
Mark Ragon
IT Director

Top 5 Games

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves GTA V The Curse of Monkey Island Max Payne Earthworm Jim

Background

Mark comes from a background outside of the games industry. Previously a senior systems technician in the corporate sector, Mark has experience dealing with the creation, maintenance and evolution of infrastructure at large scale corporations. Joining Dlala in 2015, Mark, like a lot of Dlala, was thrown in at the deep end. Having to convert a warehouse unit, previously used as a dance studio for over a decade, into a fully working office with remote and mobile hot desking. No small undertaking on a premises which had only 4 power outlets and no internet access. Mark fully embraced the role and in 2017 was moved into his new role as IT Director of the studio.

Typical Day

I am responsible for the management, strategy and execution of our IT infrastructure. I don’t really have a typical day as the role is quite varied. But can be anything from developer kit setups, continuous integration for our projects to disaster recovery and server / network management.

If You Could Be Any Video Game Character, Who and Why?

Nathan Drake – For The Treasure!
Sam Thomas
Audio Designer

Top 5 Games

Monkey Island Halo Super Mario Sunshine Portal Mega Man

Background

Dlala’s very own Ukulele playing musical maestro. After single-handingly composing all the music and sound effects for “Overruled!”, Sam originally joined the team as a QA tester. After realising that the musical magic couldn’t be held in Sam was moved over to his true passion of audio.

Typical Day

Start my day by picking some sweet songs to listen to. Then I start playing through the game from start to finish, making sure everything is working as expected. I drill down into specific stuff that needs checking, and come up with “Would You Rather” questions to ask Loudon. If anything goes wrong, I replicate it and write it up.

If You Could Be Any Video Game Character, Who and Why?

If I could be anyone, I would be Luigi. He gets a bad rep, but he’s competed in the Winter Olympics and gets to ride Go-Karts.
Jade Grand-Scrutton
Office Admin

Top 5 Games

Mario Party 4 Mario Kart Donkey Kong Bonbos The Sims 2 Super Mario Sunshine

Background

As the studio grew from it’s garage band roots it became very apparent that the founding members were not cut out for keeping an office in proper running order. Jade joined Dlala in 2015 to help keep the place running from an admin perspective.

Typical Day

General running of the office – making sure the place doesn’t burn down! Keeping all of our finances in check, doing all the paperwork, paying the bills, making the office look nice and trying to do what I can to make everything run smoothly!

If You Could Be Any Video Game Character, Who and Why?

Princess Peach so I can wear a crown, a pink dress and look sassy.
Rory Jobson
Concept Artist

Top 5 Games

Fallout 3 The Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker Pokemon Red & Blue Gone Home Sonic Adventure 2

Background

Rory is an example of Dlala’s commitment to young talent. A fresh graduate joining the team after relocating from Scotland. Rory’s role will find him doing everything from Concept Art through to Environmental Production Art. 

Typical Day

I get to work on lots of different and hilariously exciting projects here, so there’s a lot of different visual direction work, quick sketches and visual style research (the fun stuff). Although recently I’ve been doing a lot of polished environment artwork and animation, which has been a really fun learning curve! One of my favourite aspects of the job is the opportunity to jump between different visual styles and tasks, which really forces me to get better at things which lie at the edges of my comfort zone! My other favourite aspect is Hugo the pug.

If You Could Be Any Video Game Character, Who and Why?

Parappa The Rapper. No explanation required.
Eric Ciccone
Lead Animator

Top 5 Games

Sega NHL 94 Nintendo Super Punch Out Zelda Wind Waker Ico Shadow Of Colossus

Background

Starting his career over 20 years ago as an Assistant Animator to Mike Dietz, Ed Schofield and Doug Tennapel on the awesome Earthworm Jim. Eric is Dlala’s youthful veteran. Working for studios including Shiny, Dreamworks, THQ and 5th Cell. Eric’s projects include Earthworm Jim, Earthworm Jim 2, The Neverhood, The Last Airbender and more.

Typical Day

Make things/characters move around. Drink a lot of coffee. Draw. Work with cool people.

If You Could Be Any Video Game Character, Who and Why?

Dhalsim. Because he can levitate…and breath fire. Well and stretch as well…you can’t beat that!
Mike Cooper
Web Project Lead

Top 5 Games

Halo Football Manager Age Of Empires Donkey Kong Country Broken Sword

Background

Mike has 13 years experience working with websites and web software as a designer, developer and project lead. He loves a challenge and finding creative ways to solve complex problems, especially if it involves a spreadsheet.

Typical Day

My day to day work usually involves planning, work allocation, and as much coding as I can find time for.

If You Could Be Any Video Game Character, Who and Why?

George Stobbart - "That was almost a great idea. Almost."
Jason Stone
Lead Web Designer

Top 5 Games

Terraria Age of Empires II Counter Strike: Global Offensive Final Fantasy VII / VIII Rocket League

Background

I am a driven and passionate Designer and Front-end Web Developer with over 10 years experience working with websites, drawing from a background in 3D model making and traditional graphic design.

Typical Day

I spend my working days finding creative solutions with colleagues to realise a projects full potential. This usually revolves around Photoshop and front end coding as well as in depth discussion.

If You Could Be Any Video Game Character, Who and Why?

Cloud. He has awesome hair and kicks ass! He also gets to ride Chocobos which is cool.
Dan Smith
Senior Web Developer

Top 5 Games

Medal of Honor: Allied Assault / Spearhead Counter Strike: Global Offensive Qwak Sensible World of Soccer Timesplitters 2

Background

I have been a web developer for just over 4 years and pride myself on attention to detail and clean code. I’m a big fan of web standards and I’m always looking for ways to make my code more efficient.

Typical Day

On a typical day I would be implementing a front end design, but I like to get involved with the server side of things too.

If You Could Be Any Video Game Character, Who and Why?

Leisure Suit Larry...