Andrew Smith, the promising young lead designer who in January won a place on the Develop 30 Under 30, has decided to split from his role at Proper Games to set up his own studio.
Dundee-based Proper Games partnered with Capcom in 2008 to develop the XBLA puzzle title Flock, which went on to win the studio a GAME BAFTA.
The group went on to score a contract to develop the XBLA version of Final Fight.
Smith, one of the lead designers at Proper Games, told Develop that he felt it was now or never to try and work under his own steam.
“I guess I felt that the time had come,” he says.
“I was getting a lot of interest from other people in my skills from the good publicity I got from the BAFTA and the 30 Under 30.
“So I found myself at that age where I though, y’know, I don’t have any ties – if I don’t do it now, I probably never will.”
Smith is also set to write a semi-regular set of columns for Develop.
Smith’s new independent studio – called Spilt Milk – is based in Essex and is formed to work on design consultancy as well as outsourcing work. Yet Smith has big plans for the outfit.
“I’m looking at this consultancy and outsource work as the funding for an independent studio working on digital PC games. So we’re looking a few years ahead. If all goes to plan I’ll be setting up a team within the year.”
One of Smith’s first assignments will be design consultancy work for his previous employer, which he says will involve “doing all aspects of game design” on their current, as yet unannounced, project.
“The main thing I’ve learnt in my career so far is that it’s not about what you know – it’s about who you know,” he says.
“That’s a good thing. It’s a life-skill that anyone can build. I suppose I’m fairly inexperienced compared to other people doing this, and I’m not a coder, but even through my limited contacts book I know people that want to do work for me help build good quality games.”