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RHYS SELLARS

GAME DESIGNER AT EA FIREMONKEYS
Melbourne
" I have been a passionate gamer since the age of 3 and have actively toyed around with various aspects of game development for years. "

Bio

I have been a passionate gamer since the age of 3 and have actively toyed around with various aspects of game development for years. I am a all-rounder when it comes to development and am constantly seeking ways to improve my skill set. Whilst predominantly a designer, I enjoy programming, drawing/graphic design, animation and am working towards expanding into audio composition in games.

I am also a passionate retro gamer, owning 23 systems and growing, with several hundreds of games (also growing). I am passionate about attaining emotional, meaningful reactions in games.

Achievements:

Highest GPA in graduation cohort

Obtained a Game Designer role at EA Firemonkeys whilst still studying. (Firemonkeys is Australia’s largest game development studio)

Currently a Game Designer working on ‘The Sims Freeplay’

GCAP Assist 2017 recipient.

What inspired you to enter into the career you’re in?
Being an avid gamer since the age of 3, I was sure that I wanted to enter game development at some point in my life. For me, one of the most powerful gaming moments came from a game on the SNES (Super Nintendo) called Lufia: Rise of the Sinistrals. This was one of the first games to get a powerful emotional response from me, and it made me want to pursue a career where I could potentially do the same thing.

What are your fondest memories of your time at SAE?
Working on a VR game using the HTC Vive. A whole class endeavour which forced everyone into new uncharted territory. We produced a vibrant and unique ‘Raypunk’ action game which required players to swing around a futuristic world to stop a robot takeover. It was a project with a massive scope but was a great success to the surprise of our lecturer.

Are you able to shed some light on how studying at SAE lead you to where you are now?
Given how frequently the software and hardware changes with game development, learning how to research, where to research and how to work with various disciplines is extremely important. Given the course structure and the duration of many assessments, I gained a stronger understanding on how to appropriately scope various projects and ascertain and manage risks.

What are your career highlights?
Getting a job in Australia’s largest game development studio (EA Firemonkeys) whilst still studying was a huge moment in my career and life. It opened a huge host of opportunities as well as allowed me to test and grow on my existing skills.

In a short time, I managed to take on new tasks from disciplines outside of Design, and worked on various aspects such as narrative writing, designing systems and mechanics, feature design as well as maintaining day to day live service operations.

What projects are you working on at the moment?
Currently I am working on ‘The Sims Freeplay’ which is an extremely popular entry in The Sims franchise available on smartphones.

What advice would you give to students aspiring to become successful in their field?
Don’t just stick to your coursework, make sure you work on personal projects to build your skillset and portfolio. Do work that makes you stand out and apart from the same mould as other students, employers might see the same project 100s of times.

Collaborate and attend industry events to network. It can be hard, but is invaluable, and you will learn a lot and make a lot of friends in the process. If you struggle to do this, volunteer to help at events that force you to interact with others.

Don’t fear failing or having projects not work. These are the most important ones to learn from. I had some projects that were unsuccessful, and these are great talking points during interviews.

Accept criticism. No one is perfect, and different opinions can often be invaluable.

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