Intern Role Profile- Software Engineer
Name: Keith Stockdale
Role: Rendering Engineer
Department: Rare Studios
Location: Rare, Twycross
Hey everyone! My name is Keith and I am current gaming intern at Microsoft. I am also studying Computer Games Development at the Queen's University Belfast.
I chose to apply to Microsoft because (as you might have guessed from my course title) I want to work in the Games Industry and Microsoft had a game programming stream available for placement students. It was perfect! And it wasn’t just one studio that I was applying for. There were intern roles available at Lift, Rare and Lionhead. So with one application I was applying for 3 studios. Efficiency at its best.
My Role as a Rendering Engineer
I have two main responsibilities on Sea of Thieves.
To implement new rendering features and to improve and maintain current rendering features.
I often work with people involved in different areas of the game, such as art, visual effects, audio and gameplay to create these features. This is because other departments often have an interest in what new rendering features are being implemented. For example I could be creating a new particle effect which is of interest to the visual effects team.
In games, the frame rate is extremely important and as such, if I am adding something new to the game, I ensure that it is as fast as possible on both PC and Xbox One. This means writing in C++ and HLSL (High Level Shader Language) for shaders to use the hardware as effectively as I possibly can.
To aid me in these endeavours I have my trusty battlestation. My workstation has 32GB of RAM, two Xeon CPU’s and a high end graphics card, complete with a 4k monitor and two 1080p monitors… and an Xbox One and TV to test on. Not too shabby and definitely one of the perks of the job!
My Experience of Rare
It’s been amazing. I am working with an awesome and extremely experienced team that are always happy to answer my multitude of questions and because of them, I have learned so much while also having fun doing it. It is also awesome at Rare because I am truly part of the team and taking part in daily stand up meetings and sharing my ideas about the game with my team and others are all part of my job. One of the greatest experiences was putting my first feature into the game. It was insanely gratifying and knowing that people are going to play a game which has my code in it is almost unbelievable. Besides the work aspect though there are always events being run at Rare, like game jams, video and board game nights, and also the odd film night which are always extremely good fun and you get to talk to people in the company that you might not see on a day to day basis.
My Top Tip for the Assessment Centre
Bring something to demonstrate something you have done. This could be as small and simple as a short screen recording of a game or demo that you have created. Being able to demonstrate your skills in any way is always a positive and may make you stand out from the crowd!