Q&A with King’s 2019 GDC Scholars

For the fourth year in a row, in partnership with Diversi (a non-profit organisation which works for greater diversity within gaming), we offered female students a complimentary All Access pass to attend the 2019 Game Developer Conference in San Francisco and also an internship in one of our game studios. The scholarship is a part of our long term plan to encourage more female talent to join the games industry and so far has been a success, with all five scholars of 2018 joining King in full-time roles.

This year, the scholarship positions were tripled to fifteen, and the scholars have since returned from GDC ready to start their individual roles. We asked the scholars a few questions around their experiences at GDC, King as a workplace, and of course, an insight on the tech sessions at GDC!

Nicole — Game Design Research Intern — Stockholm

Were there any tech sessions you enjoyed? If so, what was the session and why?

The best tech talk I attended was ‘Automated Testing of Gameplay features in Sea of Thieves’ by Robert Masella from Rare. Although I am slightly biased considering Sea of Thieves is my favourite game of all time (and I play it nonstop!), I enjoyed the way the speaker was so informative and I could see a glimpse of the framework Rare has built.

What from GDC will you hope to take back to your work at King?

Even though GDC only lasted for less than a week, the day-by-day experience I had felt like five years, rather than five days. The knowledge, people and courage I gained from this GDC trip is irreplaceable, and I will forever be grateful to the people involved in bringing me to GDC, and to all the speakers that taught me so much about this industry.

Jennifer — Game Artist Intern — Stockholm

What attracted you to King?

  • Large company with good reputation
  • Company values
  • The wide target audience
  • The huge amount of players
  • Their constant work on diversity and inclusion
  • Stylized art

Were there any tech sessions you enjoyed? If so, what was the session and why?

I think the closest I came to a tech talk was during “Substance Days”, hosted by Allegorithmic. The company along with other speakers presented new features, talked through how they used the Substance programs in their pipeline and how they created procedural materials in an effective way.

I enjoyed these talks because I use their products for creating materials and texturing models and their tech develops really fast. It was exciting to see how many new cool features their programs have, can’t wait to try them out.

Yiota — Software Developer Intern — London

Were there any tech sessions you enjoyed? If so, what was the session and why?

A very interesting and informative tech session I attended was Machine Learning for Everyday Programming, by Angelo Pesce (Technical Director, Activision), which was a session that gave great insights and useful tips on how machine learning can be used to solve a variety of programming problems.

What will be your day to day role/tasks at King?

I will be interning at King as a Software Developer Intern this summer and will be working as part of the Shared Tech Data team and will be involved in the development of internal tools for the company.

What from GDC will you hope to take back to your work at King?

Attending GDC was a truly life-changing experience for me! All the knowledge I have gained from attending various programming sessions led by experts in the industry will undoubtedly help me perform better during my internship at King.

Olga — Level Designer Intern — Barcelona

Were there any tech sessions you enjoyed? If so, what was the session and why?

The best I attended was “Marvel’s Spider-Man AI Postmortem”. I loved AI when I did the course in college, so it was very interesting to see it applied in a commercial game. With this talk in the first day I felt more capable, more aware about all the skills I already have. For me, this fact was very useful to enjoy and benefit from the rest of GDC!

What attracted you to King?

There are several reasons why I wanted to join King:

  • King has a reputation of being a nice place to learn with a well-structured program for interns, so it was my goal to be part of it.
  • I am a passionate hardcore player, although I don’t want to develop games that I play in my spare time. Instead, I am interested in titles targeted to a broader audience like puzzle games. Again, King is the obvious answer.
  • The last reason is that I need to feel connected with the company I work for, or otherwise I can’t be completely happy. I was aware that King does all sorts of efforts in participating with causes and in making this world a better and fairer place for everyone, outside and inside the workplace. This point is very important to me.

Mayra — Game Developer Intern — Barcelona

What was the best session/talk you attended?

I was really looking forward to Mike Ambinder’s talk about ‘Brain-Computer Interfaces’ and it definitely didn’t disappoint. ‘Experimental AI for Games’ was amazing too, Phoenix Perry left the room wanting more after her demo of supervised learning tools for working with sensor data!

What from GDC will you hope to take back to your work at King?

First and foremost, the motivation to learn more everyday and give it my all. Also, hopefully some fresh ideas and new algorithms from the talks.

GDC is an opportunity for King’s scholars to learn more about the industry and to gain a greater understanding of not only what tech is used when developing a game, but other areas they may be unaware of before. This experience will be useful during their scholarship and hopefully beyond!

If you would like to join our Kingdom, check out the opportunities on our job page!