Sam Hession

Current Employer: So Good Studios

Current Job Title: Technical Director

Current Location: Plymouth

“I would recommend University of Plymouth: it’s really made me into who I am today.”

Tell us about your career path since graduation.

I founded So Good Studios LTD with two other graduates from the same course. So Good Studios is a game development company which aims to both release high quality original game titles as well as creating products for external clients. As Technical Director, I am responsible for the general structure and system design of produced products. As I am also co-founder, I contribute to the overall running and strategy of the company, taking it in the direction I want it to go.

What is the most difficult thing which you have faced in your career?

Getting the company up and running was a long process as none of us had much business experience. Learning all about the structure of small companies, and then going on to create one was an interesting and challenging task. Learning to manage clients and create amicable contracts was another challenging aspect of my career. It is an area that requires hands on experience to fully grasp it, with mistakes often being learnt the hard way.

What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career?

Seeing our own ideas for games going from paper to implementation is a really amazing thing. Knowing that all of your hard work has resulted in a product you can look at and feel proud of is immensely rewarding. Running my own company with a couple of friends has made working something I really look forward to each morning; not knowing for sure what each day might bring, having the option to choose our own path without limitations is wonderful.

What, if anything, would you do differently if you could?

There is very little I would do differently: the whole process has been a great learning experience which I wouldn't want to change.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get in to the same line of work?

For anyone looking to start their own company in game development, I would suggest putting in the ground work as early as possible. Each of us who started the company worked extremely hard on our course and had ambitions to create a company from an early stage. As well as that, there is a lot that we picked up and learnt as we went: so being able to take the risk and actually doing it goes a long way.

How did studying at Plymouth help you?

Computing & Game Development at University of Plymouth provided me with both the skills and confidence to attempt the things I wanted to do. Without the technological knowledge I gained I would never have been able to create the high quality products upon which my company is founded. Equally, without the confidence and gratification I received through feedback and dialogue with my lecturers I would never have taken the leap and started my own company.

How has a degree from University of Plymouth influenced your career?

The degree I received has opened a lot of doors for me. I am now able to go after the jobs I want to do, and not just those I have to do.

What is your favourite memory of studying at Plymouth?

The Game Jams which the University of Plymouth Game Dev Soc ran were great fun. Spending 48 delirious hours on a project and coming out the end of it with something to show off is a fantastic experience. It’s also a great way to meet people and have a laugh whilst doing so.

Do you stay in touch with other University of Plymouth alumni or lecturers?

As a game development company we frequently go to students on the course to both help test out our latest project and also to provide guidance where we can. The lecturers are also very supportive of what we are doing and have provided critical guidance when we have needed it.

Would you recommend undertaking a course with University of Plymouth, and why?

I would recommend University of Plymouth: it’s really made me into who I am today.

Inspired by this story?

For more information about studying our range of computing course please visit our subject area page. For more information about our range of courses within the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics, please visit the school page.

Want to find similar alumni?

If you would like to find out what other relevant alumni from the Faculty of Science and Engineering are currently doing, please visit the computing and mathematical sciences interest area.

Games and Interactive Systems studios equipped with dual-booted Apple iMac computers