As a Senior Director of Technology on CSR Racing and with three decades of experience in the games industry, Paul Hellier has gone from working as a US-based programmer to collaborating on Nintendo console projects before diving into the management sphere and pushing the boundaries of the mobile gaming world with the CSR Racing franchise. Paul’s expertise in mobile gaming encompasses inter-generational knowledge and personal passion that’s been amplified by working with an international network of developers and a dedicated team at our London studio.
Continue reading to discover more about Paul and the role that game development has played in his life.
What is your role within NM/BA and how did you get here?
I’m a Senior Director in Engineering for the Racing franchise. I’ve spent many years in the US with various companies including Viacom, Konami, THQ and Disney. After NaturalMotion reached out and I met with the folks at the company, it was impossible to turn down the opportunity to join them.
What is your role within the team?
I oversee the engineering team for the racing franchise, so I spend my time making sure the engineers have everything they need to be successful and that they are on a path to grow into the role they ultimately want. I work with the engineering leadership team to make sure we have great processes and technology. I also work with others on the management team to ensure we have enough engineering talent to execute the plans and that the organisational structure will support our continued operations and growth.
Tell us a little bit about your background.
I started in the game industry back in the late 80’s as a programmer, working from home on Atari ST and Commodore Amiga games. I developed a number of games for a variety of Nintendo consoles, before I eventually moved into management full time. I’ve been very fortunate to have visited hundreds of developers across the globe and to have seen many different ways to create games – it’s been a tremendous gift, as I’m a lot more flexible and open minded because of it.
Why is a culture like this so important to you?
I truly believe in the culture – it’s incredibly supportive and respectful, while giving you the time to grow professionally at the same time as encouraging a strong work/life balance. As a member of the racing leadership team, my role is very much to support the team to give them whatever they need to achieve the best results they can.
How would you describe the people within NM/BA?
NaturalMotion is made up of a team of smart, positive, supportive and diverse folks from all over the world. Our team consists of people coming from six different continents. They are driven not just by the desire to create great content and deliver on our player charter, but they also strive to make sure everyone has the support and help needed to thrive and grow.
The UK tech landscape is getting increasingly competitive. Why should someone consider a career at NM/BA versus another tech company?
NaturalMotion is a truly special company. We strive to live up to our Player Charter every day, developing wonderful experiences that constantly delight our players. The company is also very supportive, offering great benefits, opportunities to grow and learn, plenty of social experiences and a strict work/life balance.
What are you most proud of working on the game?
I love the fact that so many players get to enjoy the team’s hard work. From a development perspective, it’s been very rewarding to work with the team to improve processes, further simplifying some of the day-to-day tasks and generally enhancing their quality of life.