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Glowmade Towers (which during lockdown has become more of a feeling than a place) is home to a team of talented and passionate creators, and support staff. Their creativity and care bubbles over into our games and studio culture daily, and – frankly – we all benefit from it!

It’s always fascinating to understand what makes people tick, and today’s Getting To Knowmade (do you get it?) is a conversation with Jim: Project Lead, keeper and communicator of the game vision, map maker, cat herder, GG.

And don’t forget – WE ARE HIRING and we want to hear from you, even if you don’t see a role listed on our website that fits your skills – get in contact! And tell us about your favourite cake whilst you’re at it…


Ducker Pin board .jpg

Jim Unwin

Project Lead

Thanks for hanging-out-in-text, Jim, it’s always a pleasure! Let’s go!

First things first, what’s your role at Glowmade?

Project Lead.

How would your parents describe your job?

Something to do with computers.

How would you describe your job?

Keeper and communicator of the game vision, map maker, cat herder. Confidant, friend.

I’m gonna level with you, I am a seasoned, scarred, IRL cat herder. If you chose to do that for a living, I am in awe of you. Tell me, do you think you may suffer from toxoplasmosis? Because I’m pretty sure I do.

Have you seen this rash?!

That’s… gross! I have an excellent idea, let’s change the subject!

Soooo, what’s your story? How did you get to THIS point in your career?

It has been a long, winding road!

Previous studios include Core Design, Lionhead, Zoe Mode, and Media Molecule. Other jobs also include architects runner, illustrator, chef, delivery company admin, coder of education software. I also worked at Sony for a while, and helped ship the PS4.

I want to work on things I am proud of, but I don’t want to sacrifice my personal life to do it.

— Our Jim, Project Lead

Give us a top-down, high level understanding of how you got into the Games Industry?

After randomly sending drawings to anyone I could think of, I got offered a job at Core Design, aged 13ish. I did some work experience with them (on a version of Jaguar XJ220), and after college went back again and worked on Tomb Raider 2.

You know, if I had a quid for everyone of our generation I know that used initiative (initiative that only a 70s/80s kid could) to get a job in games, I would have aboooout £34 by now. And I would give it to charity, thanks for asking.

It is wild how unprofessional the industry was back then. It is very different now!

If leading projects is the day job, what do you enjoy doing outside of video games?

Bouldering, cycling, fossiling, birding, hanging out with friends and fam.

…raising bad-ass daughters, writing heartwarming nature blogs, relentlessly purveying good vibes. I see you, Jim!

Would this be a good place to link to the swift essay we collaborated on? 😉

You know you don’t have to ask me twice!

Whilst on the subject of our fave birds, fellow nature nerd, where do you find day to day inspiration?

In pretty much everything! Going for walks with me can take ages, as I like to appreciate paths worn into hillsides, the way evolution optimises for specific niches, how nature nudges against the man-made environment. My kids hate it.

Ultimately, what do you want from your career, Jim?

I want to work on things I am proud of, but I don’t want to sacrifice my personal life to do it. Eventually I want to run my own studio (but not necessarily make games), and to have paid off my mortgage.

I no longer believe in the idea that you pick one career in your twenties and stay on the track for the next forty years. I would like to write a book. I would like to do work on projects about social good.

It’s been -a year- how have you and the team retained a connection whilst in lockdown?

Any team is a manifestation of how they communicate. I’m still figuring out the answer is to this, but I know it isn’t “try to replicate what went before”.

The pandemic has brought on many changes, it will be interesting to se what the world looks like in a year’s time.

Which of your fellow Glowbugs (yes, the name is sticking) do you garner the most information from?

Honestly, we have a really nice bunch of people working at Glowmade, and every day brings some new insight (Ok, its Stef! She’s pretty much my hero)

I’m pleased to report that we will be Getting to Know-made Stef (one of Glowmade’s art team) very soon!

 

If you had to pick one game to play for the rest of your life (let’s hope it never comes to that), what would it be? *

Resogun (easiest question so far!). I’m a really big fan of those games which require you to get into a flow state, where you become a cyborg, melded to the controller. I’m very excited about Returnal, just waiting for someone to buy me a PS5.

In your opinion, who is the keeper of the cutest Glowmade pet? (photos/drawings encouraged!)

Probably one of Mike Green’s rats

If someone was reading this and thinking about getting into game development, what would you say to them?

Make games at home. There are so many tools and so much knowledge available online, that if you have access to computer you can get started now. The first lesson you will learn is about managing ambition.

Recognise where you are, and where you want to be. Make plans to move from one state to the other, but also be flexible to keep reinventing that plan as circumstances change. Where you want to be should include things in the rest of your life, like where you want to live, and who you want to live with. If I interview you I will ask about your ten year life plan.

Don’t apply for QA roles if that isn’t what you want to do.

Jim, you are a scholar and a gent and (it’s about to get weird, mate) we all love and appreciate you. I know, I know, it’s cheesy AF but it was the only way to end this thing. When you have a mo, can you send an all staff email promising you’ll never die? Great, thx.