Who are you and what do you do?
Toby Moore, CTO and Co-Founder of Space Ape Games. I help run the business from a technical point of view, working with the teams to make sure we’ve got the best technology stack and processes in the industry to build games on.
What are you working on right now?
Growing Samurai Siege and building out our live events capabilities, as well as working on our top secret new game, and a bunch of R&D.
What was the first video game or product that you ever worked on in the industry?
I joined the gaming industry quite late, starting with Mind Candy working on Perplex City, an alternate reality game that mixed technology with games and live events. Ultimately it wasn’t successful, but it was an amazing experience.
What was the first video game you ever played, and did you enjoy it?
I think it was Paper Boy on the ZX spectrum. It was a lot of fun, once it loaded.
What was the most recent video game you have played, and did you enjoy it?
It was Supergiant Games’ Bastion and yes, it’s really enjoyable to play. It has great twitchy gameplay and all the art and production values in the game are excellent.
What is your favourite game ever, and for what reason?
I think it’s probably Relic Entertainment’s Homeworld. I love real-time strategy and sci-fi, and they nailed it along with a very emotional storyline and great artist production.
How many hours a week do you spend playing video games?
I’m privileged enough to be able to justify playing games as part of my job, but still not as much as I’d like. Probably about 15 hours. I’m part of a core group of Apes that play Ultra Street Fighter IV most evenings.
What area of the industry do you think needs more ‘investment’?
I think game discovery on platform app stores needs more investment by the platform owners. It’s really hard to get good games in front of people that want to play them, especially for independent studios.
What do you enjoy about the video games industry today?
The video games industry is such an amazing fusion of art and technology. I get to hang out with brilliant engineers and artists all day and I’m constantly wowed by what people can achieve when they’re doing something they love. The passion at work is unrivalled anywhere else.
What disappoints you about the video games industry today?
I’ve hired a lot of people from studios that have shut down due to bad management, and it always makes me sad to hear about teams of amazing people pouring their lives into projects that get canned for bureaucratic reasons or company mismanagement.
Of all the games you’ve worked on, which of them has been your favourite?
I have to say Call:It, Football, Space Ape’s first title. We were facing a huge task of building both a company and a whole new way of experiencing live sports at the same time.
It was very blue ocean, very technically challenging and the team came together in a really great way. It’s not easy making a game that you can only test at 3am in the morning when the NFL is on.
What game that you were not involved with would you most liked to have worked on?
The making and growth of World Of Warcraft would have been an amazing experience.
What other video games developer do you most admire?
I really like the team over at Riot Games; their dedication to their users along with their humility is really impressive. I’ve met a few Rioters and they’re a great bunch.
What hobbies, collections or interests do you have that are completely unrelated to video games?
I love travelling, snowboarding, scuba diving, black and white photography and I tend to spend a lot of time reading about eastern philosophy and psychology.