STEFANO DEFLORIOGAME DEVELOPER AT SMG STUDIO
I was born in Italy, where my passion for food led me to pursue a career as a Chef and travel Europe for work. I finally came to Australia in 2007 where I continued my profession by working in many renowned restaurants and even participate to an episode on Masterchef. When I decided to change profession at the age of 28, I investigated where I would have been able to grow strong foundations to move into my ultimate dream career as Game Developer. SAE was as a clear choice for my studies, which led me to my current role as a Game Developer at SMG Studio in Sydney.
- Some of my achievements are:
- SAE Student Innovation Award 2016
- SAE Best Game Project 2016 Award for Octopus Rift (Unreal Engine)
- SAE Nominee for Best Game Project 2016 for Arcane Writer (Unity3D)
- Invited to co-run a workshop at Microsoft Headquarters in Redmond (US).
- Currently working as Game Developer for SMG Studio in Sydney.
What inspired you to enter the career you’re in?
I loved playing games for as long as I can remember, my fondest memories are playing Super Mario Bros on my NES with my mum when I was a little boy. But while a career as game developer was out of reach when I was much younger, I did everything possible to make my “game dev” dream come true once I was more self-sufficient and financially stable in life.
But the real trigger that made me decide to move into game development was when I tried the first SDK of the Oculus Rift during a meetup in Sydney. It truly blew my mind, and since then I made becoming a developer my true mission in life so I could participate in creating new experiences for Virtual Reality.
What are your fondest memories of your time at SAE?
Having conversations with my team regarding the projects we would be working on. The brainstorming, the decision-making process, which art style to follow, mechanics to implement in the game and music to give the right vibe to the gameplay. I could have only lived these moments being surrounded with like-minded people, with the same passion and desire to make great games together.
Are you able to shed some light on how studying at SAE lead you to where you are now?
I have no doubts in my mind that I wouldn’t be in my role if it wasn’t for the learning and connections I made at SAE. In fact, someone literally reached out to me for a job interview right after my graduation ceremony! I was truly humbled by the opportunity. Also, the studio I am currently working for values developers with a study background at SAE, and the recommendation given to them by my former lecturer have surely helped me get to my current position.
What are your career highlights?
At my internship, during my final trimester at SAE, I was given the opportunity to join a company called 2and2 to help them build a VR prototype, supervised by a former SAE lecturer who was working for the company at the time. It was a fun and rewarding experience. Less than two weeks after graduating, I received an offer letter for a Junior Developer position from nsquared here in Sydney.
During my time there, I learned a great deal about code practices, dev-ops operations, Microsoft libraries and ML services. I also got the opportunity to fly to the Microsoft HQ in Redmond to help run a dev workshop – which was incredibly exciting! After working at nsquared for nearly two years, I joined the team at SMG Studio as Game Developer.
The studio is responsible of the developments of very successful games, such as “Risk: Global Domination”, “Fast and Furious Takedown”, “OTTTD” and “DeathSquared”, and I’m truly excited about the new adventures yet to come!
What projects are you working on at the moment?
I am part of the team looking after development for Fast and Furious Takedown game for both Android and iOS. Soon, I will also be contributing to the already hugely popular “Risk: Global Domination” for mobile and PC.
What advice would you give to students aspiring to become successful in their field?
Studying at SAE is a great opportunity to learn and solidify the bases that will allow you to break into the industry while also growing invaluable friendships and connections. While you study or at work, a lot of your skill progress will heavily depend on your passion, drive and dedication, do not expect to be spoon fed knowledge. Last but not least, your Portfolio is paramount – nurture it with your work, make it a symbol of your passion and desire to build great games.