Rhett Lezama has been working in the gaming industry for almost 10 years and is a Senior Programmer on the CSR team in our London Natural Motion Studio. Holding a degree in computer science with a focus on games development, Rhett is passionate about his craft, and the teamwork and creativity that go into creating awesome games.
Continue reading to learn more about Rhett’s career journey and his advice to folks that are eager to break into the gaming world. Hint: networking, flexibility and continuous learning are keys to success in this creative industry!
What is your role within NaturalMotion and how did you get here?
I am currently a programmer on CSR. I started out on the Dawn of Titans team and was originally hired to work on Android platform issues, which was a great learning experience. I had actually worked with a few of the original DoT team members with previous companies; the industry is quite small so you get to know people across multiple games!
Tell us a little bit about your background and what you did before joining NaturalMotion.
I have a degree in Computer Science with a focus on games development. My background is in cross platform development and I have worked in the games industry for just under 10 years; much of which has been at NaturalMotion. When I was younger, I really wanted to work on 3D visuals and art but unfortunately, I cannot draw for love nor money. That said, I find programming just as creative if not as elegant. An efficient and optimised algorithm really can be a thing of beauty.
How do you support your team?
I would like to think I am a ‘jack of all trades’ and am willing to get involved with all aspects of the game. I usually deal with gameplay and enjoy working with the design team to create new experiences. I am also very vocal about ensuring the quality standards for commits are upheld. It is important for the team to hold each other accountable for our work to ensure that we are making the best product possible.
What would someone be surprised to learn about your company or profession?
As a programmer you spend the majority of your time waiting. Whether you are waiting for compilers or waiting for completed program specs, there is a lot of waiting.
How would you describe the people within NaturalMotion?
NM as a whole is pretty relaxed and friendly; everyone is really welcoming and easy to talk to. Since working from home this has become even more important as the team has had to be more communicative. Before we moved to working from home, we would often get together for different social activities which is greatly missed.
What advice would you give someone trying to break into the industry?
Make connections, know your worth and be open to any and all tasks. If you have a friend of a friend whose postman knows someone in the industry, make sure to talk to them. Experience and connections are key in the games industry. Be proactive in your search and make sure to follow up on all your enquiries. Once you do get your foot in the door, take in as much as you can from all those around you. You never stop learning, especially in a creative industry like this.