Meet the Matmi Staff - Tom Kail

Working at Matmi, you get used to seeing new faces now and again as the company continues to grow. The latest addition to our rag-tag gang of Matmi misfits is Tom. He actually joined us on a two week placement last March as a coder. We were so impressed by him, we asked him to stay on for another week.

Those three weeks flew by. Before he knew it, he was blazing a path back to Bournemouth University, pining away for a return to the glitz and glamour of the Matmi lifestyle. However, Matmi knows when they are onto a good thing and invited Tom back to complete his year in industry. 

Finally, a six months since his placement, the time came for young Tom to make that journey north again. Ready to tackle anything we could throw at him (editor: I hope he isn’t allergic to Nerf gun pellets). Now he is here I thought I’d collar him for a quick interview to learn more about Matmi’s new coding monkey.

So what do you think of the marvellous Macclesfield?

Well, I’ve only spent 3 weeks in total here but so far I like what I’ve seen. I especially like the look of the countryside surrounding Macclesfield. Looks like good cycling terrain, maybe even some skiing weather permitting.

What drew you back to Matmi after your initial 3 week placement?

The first thing that comes to mind is the people. Everyone seems so cheerful and friendly. I love the philosophy of the company, always trying to inject an element of fun into everything you do. I also learnt alot in my first weeks here so deciding whether to come back was a no brainer. The experience I will get here is sure to help me in the future

What are your hobbies?

Gaming is an obvious one. As is going out with friends and having the odd alcoholic beverage in a mature fashion, like most students. I also enjoy playing the guitar and I love skiing. 

What’s your favourite thing to do on the weekend?

Again, I’m going to have to say going out with friends, finding a suitable and up-standing establishment with a license to sell alcohol.  

What lead you to become a developer?

I only really got into games seriously while at university. My course at university was not the typical coding degree, it was infact titled ‘Interactive Media’. It touched on elements of gaming and other forms of digital media.

As I played more games, late into the night sometimes, I found myself wanting to be able to make my own. I saw it as a great way to express my creativity, to produce something others can interact with and enjoy. So I decided to teach myself the more advanced coding skills which allowed me to begin on my journey to become a games developer. 

So you said that you are a more recent convert to gaming. What is your favourite device/devices to play on?

I love my iPad. The choice of cheap, quality games makes it a fantastically enticing platform for gamers. I also really enjoy playing on my PS3.

Is there a game that has sucked up more of your free time than any other?

For iOS, I’ve found myself spending alot of time with the game ‘Sword and Sworcery’.

I’m a big fan of ‘ThatGameCompany’. They have published probably 3 of my favourite console games; Flow, Flower and Journey. They are amazing at building a game mechanic around narrative and emotions. It means the gamer is truly immersed in the gaming experience, actually feeling the emotions of the characters and caring about the outcome. The game mechanic almost becomes a secondary concern.

I love the fact they try innovative ideas and don’t stick to a boilerplate type game design. They show a glimpse at what games can really do when it comes to developing narratives and as an art form. More and more indie/small companies are publishing some really interesting games with a focus on original game-play.

It’s a really exciting time to be in this industry. As a gamer and as a developer.

I thought I’d finish on a age old tried and tested question - Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Ideally, I hope to be running my own games company. Developing innovative and creative gaming solutions (editor: hmm, scoping out the competition early hey). 

OH, and to have the company offices based on the top of a mountain so I can ski home from work. Of-course having a gorgeous Brazilian wife goes without saying.

That’s it for today. A big thank you to Tom for giving up some of his precious time. We shall say good-bye to him for now as we crack the whip and get him back to tap-tap-tapping on the keyboard. Fear not though, I’m sure we will be hearing more from him in the future. Infact, expect to see a feature where we showcase one of his side projects soon.

For more information on what Matmi can do for your digital design needs:

PHONE: 01625 560771





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