Intern Role Profile- Software Engineer/ Gaming

Name: Benjamin Dring

Role: Software Engineer

Department: Tools

Location: Lionhead Studios

Hello, I’m Benjamin and I’m a Software Engineer working in Tools at Lionhead Studios in Guildford where we are currently creating fantasy multiplayer game: Fable Legends.

This internship is a sandwich year for my Computer Science course at the University of Bath. I applied to the Microsoft Game Studios collectively for three main reasons:

• I’ve always wanted to work at a video game developer and I saw the internship as a great opportunity to “test drive” what it’s really like to do so.

• I’m a fan of the games produced by Microsoft’s Gaming Studios (especially the Fable series) and figured it would be exciting to see the behind the scenes of the creation (and I have to say it’s pretty awesome).

• I liked the idea of the challenges that a first party developer has to face being the first to use technologies created by other organisations in Microsoft – for example being the first to make a triple A app on the Windows 10 Store and being able to work with them to help improve the systems they developed.

My Role

My role of a Tools Engineer means I’m a software engineer that makes/improves/fixes tools used by everyone else to make the game or manage things in the studio. A core part of my role is to make people’s workflow easier, faster and less likely to create mistakes.

My day to day role has me interacting with some team around the studio (art, audio, design, performance… etc.) and working on something to make their work easier. Occasionally an urgent issue with a tool which stops people working crops up and I am sometimes called to work out what the problems is and either fix it or work out who can. The company is very agile which means there’s a lot of daily meetings but they help keep my work tracked, organised and prioritised so you can get on with what you need to do.

My Experience so far

Working in tools gives quite a board taster of the different parts of the company, instead of resigning to one team you get an insight into everything, each team behaves very differently and moving between them keeps things interesting. My manager has always listened to my views and preferences so whenever I get an urge to work with another team I can tell him in case an opportunity ever comes up.

Being an intern at Lionhead isn’t really like being an intern but more of a fully-fledged employee, within a month I feel like I am pretty relied upon and that I’m contributing to things in the company. I’ve learnt so much about the industry and the practice from my tooling team, and I find I’ve become much more inspired and creative since I’ve started here and I love it.

My #1 Top Tip for making the most of your future internship

My top tip for making the most of your internship is ask questions! There’s so much to learn not just about the company but knowledge and experiences from other people in the industry, it’s good to make friends with everyone too, you’re bound to bump into some of them down the line. If you have any problems – tell someone, your manager will sort everything out and there’s a vast range of people to go to if they’re not around.

If you are interested in how Ben spends a normal day in the office, make sure to check the blog next week for more information :)

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