Top 100 Women in Games: Helana Santos

Top 100 Women in Games: Helana Santos

Indie developer and UKIE board member Helana Santos tells MCV about her career, and what her biggest achievements have been to date.

Tell us about your career in games. How did you get started?

I have always been passionate about combining technology and creativity. When I was young I didn't quite know exactly what I wanted to do so I decidedto study Computer Systems and Multimedia Systems at Oxford Brookes University. Despite never having programmed prior to my degree I managed to finish with a first and get a job in the games industry. I started working as a programmer at Pivotal Games afterI graduated. For me the games industry was the perfect fit and I love it.

What have been your biggest achievements? What are you most proud of?

There are many achievements throughout my career that I have been proud of.

Last year alone I started working as a full time indie developer working on LA Cops. Our game has been received very well at the shows we attended.

It has also been on Steam Early access where people have been giving us loads of invaluable feedback. We have also started working with a great publisher, Team 17, that is helping us publish the game on Xbox One. Look out for LA Cops early this year.

In May last year we opened Arch Creatives in Leamington Spa. I am one of the five directors involved. It is a co-working space where like minded peopleshare a desk space and it is part of a community that produces quality games. I truly believe that by sharing with others and collaborating effectively that we all get better and get that much further.

I have also become a UKIE board member last September and have enjoyed every moment of being part of this great entity that does so much good for our industry.

What excited you about this industry that made you want to get involved, and what future developments in the industry are you excited for?

There are many things to love and to get excited about the games industry. You get to meet and work with extremely talented and creative people. Manyare always prepared to share their knowledge and experiences with you too. You get to play fantastically fun games that take you to the minds of their creators.

I have learnt from great people. In fact you learn new things every day. So I have always been passionate about giving back and doing my bit for thenext generation.

More people are able to make games these days, there are so many great tools and information out there that it is even available for free. I'm excitedto see how far people will push their imagination in developing great experiences for us to play.

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