Martin Caine / @MartinCaine
What do you do now?
I’m now a professional games programmer working for a small but highly talented Games Studio (TickTock Games) working on titles for most mobile platforms and some other devices. I also work on games of my own design in my spare time (as Retroburn Game Studios) and plan to release those over a bunch of platforms too.
Currently residing where in the world?
Still here in Wakefield
Favourite video game of all time?
That’s a tough one, there are games I absolutely loved as a child but no longer class than amongst my favourites. I’d have to admit to being a huge CounterStrike fan having been playing in clans for almost 10 years (but not so much lately). CounterStrike Source I think is an awesome game, I still prefer it over the new CounterStrike Global Assault!
What was the last game you enjoyed and why?
Pudding Monsters on iPad. It’s made by the guys that created Cut The Rope and uses a pretty common core game concept but adds cute graphics to it and a few special moves that make you think. I especially liked how I played the game and got three stars on every level then realised to fully ‘complete’ each level you have to figure out how to finish the level with 0 stars, 1 star and 2 stars too! Really had me scratching my head on one or two of the levels.
Describe any of the bullying you experienced.
When I was younger I was pretty shy and reserved, had ginger hair, wore braces on my teeth and wore glasses too. Most of the bullying directed towards me was in the form of name calling which used to happen to quite a lot of people when I was younger!
When did you manage the bullying?
I mostly tried not to let it get to me to be honest but I don’t think it helped with my shyness, if anything I’d say it made me even more reserved and I only had a few select friends during my school days.
What effect do you think it had on you?
I think by trying to limit my exposure to the bullies and only playing with the friends I trusted meant I had very few friends and I also learnt to be rather insular, rarely sharing anything personal with friends. I would say I ‘grew up’ faster as throughout my teens I would not engage with others in immature behaviour and I think it’s made me quite a serious person and sometimes still find it hard to talk to new people and open up.
How is your life better now? (Feel free to touch on every cool thing about your life now)
Five years ago I met the my Wife and now we have four amazing children together. I’m going to work each day knowing ill be working on something really cool that I enjoy. I’m also super excited to be part of one of the most creative industries in the world and its amazing how small the UK games scene really is as almost everyone knows one-another or has some indirect link to one-another. I’m looking forward to a really exciting future with both TickTock and Retroburn in 2013 and beyond too
Did you think your life was ever going to be this good?
To be honest no. Before meeting my Wife I was content with my job (I worked in Digital Marketing and Web Development) but had very few friends and just spent most of my time playing online games! The past five years has seen so much happen to me both personally and professionally and I see a really bright future for both myself and my family.
What would you like to say to a youngster thinking about getting into video games who is experiencing bullying right now?
All I can say is based on my experience really. If you’re wanting to get in to creating video games just consider what your strengths are and focus on those. Not everyone is cut out to be a programmer, we need artists, designers, writers, sound engineers, composers, testers… The list goes on! Tell people about the bullying, when you talk about it you’ll get help from your friends and they’ll also support you with achieving your dreams and goals too. Most importantly I’d say good luck to anyone wanting to make it in the industry. It’s pretty competitive but if you are determined and work hard there’s no limit to what you can do. Also consider reaching out to people who work in the industry, we might be able to help with information, mentoring or simply just answer your emails when you have questions. We’re a pretty friendly bunch and having given talks two two groups of school children on Game Design last year I think that direct link is really important.