60 Seconds with… Rare Senior Designer Shelley Preston

Rare has been responsible for some of the favored videogames ever made, so much as Jetpac, Atic Atac and Banjo-Kazooie. Last year, the 34-year-old British company discharged the enormously popular Sea of Thieves, a pirate-themed shared-world adventure title. We sat down with one of the company’s senior designers to talk about her role, how she complete up at Rare and her experiences of being a woman in the technical school sector.

Shelley PrestonName: Shelley Preston

Role: Senior Designer

Age: 34

Lives: Market Bosworth

Family: Married – her husband Andrew besides works at Rare

Pets: A cat called Bella

Hobbies: Video games (currently playing Assassin’s Creed Odyssey) and travelling

Tell us about your current role

I’m part of the design team on Sea of Thieves. I’m part of a team that’s responsible for the vision of the game and the experience that we want to offer to players. Part of that is taking on feedback from people playing the game and working out the best way to implement that. We work aboard other teams to make sure we are prioritising the right property for players and adapting to their inevitably. That’s a big part of our work on Sea of Thieves; we have a vision for how we want players’ experience to be and we work to bring that to life.

What were your previous roles?

My first role in the industry was at Rare; I was a games tester. I didn’t have any prior experience and at that time the conception of gambling as a career was thing I was wholly unaware of. I was a gamer and played a lot of games but it ne'er clicked with me that this was thing I could make a living from. When that realisation came to me, I became a tester and fell in love with the industry. I knew it was where I wanted to be. I worked really hard as a game tester and was given the chance to move into a junior design role, and I’ve been involved in that area ever since.

What are your aims at Rare?

I want to create really positive and unforgettable experiences for people. I want to work on games that are meaty and touch people’s lives. That’s thing I think we’ve accomplishd with Sea of Thieves. We’ve detected tons of amazing stories of people who have become friends through playing the game; one couple fell in love and got engaged after meeting each other in Sea of Thieves. Having a positive impact on people’s lives is thing that’s very close to my heart, and videogames can do that for individuals and groups.

What’s the hardest part of your job?

In any creative role, you can have an infinite number of ideas but only a finite amount of time or people to help you create it. It’s hard to figure out how to shape what you want to accomplish into thing accomplishable in the time you have. piece that can be difficult, it’s besides one of the best environment of my job, too, because you are turning ideas into reality.

What’s the best part of your job?

When I see people playing a game I have worked on. Before streaming, we would have conducted user research tests or just happen to see people playing our game. Companies would read about what people thought about their game. Now, with the quality of streaming, we can go to Mixer and watch people play Sea of Thieves for the first time. Seeing the impact it has on people is an improbably appreciated part of the job.

What are your experiences of being a woman in the technical school sector?

My experiences have always been positive. I’ve ne'er had any issues around me being a woman in any of my job roles. Over the years I’ve seen a lot more women in the technical schoolnology sector, which is great.

Jetpac Refuelled
Jetpac Refuelled, part of Rare Replay

What was your career path to Rare?

I was really academic when I was jr. and did well at school, but I didn’t really know what career I wanted to do. At the time, I didn’t realise that you could get a job in the area that you’re ablaze about. That’s an important thing to teach; it’s unbelievable that you can work doing thing you love.

I originally distinct to be a speech healer because portion people was a part of me and thing I was interested in at that time. I got to university and accomplished that I didn’t want to do that for the rest of my life. So, I took a step back and thought about what I really wanted to become. I admired video games and I did some research and discovered that you could be a games tester without much experience.

I saw an advert for the games tester role at Rare on a enlisting web site but it didn’t mention the company’s name. It just aforesaid it was in the same area, so I hoped it was at Rare, because they were one of my favourite companies. When I got the letter stating that I had an interview and saw the address, it was mind-blowing. I was following my dream and it was coming true.

Why is it important to encourage more women into the technical school sector?

Having a diverse set of people creating thing is very important, because the end result is always a reflection of the people who have made it. The more diversity you have in a team, the more diverse viewpoints and experiences you will have echoic in that end result.

What are you most proud of?

The general release of Sea of Thieves and the effect it has had on people. We have seen an amazing community spring up around the game. I’m proud of everything the team has accomplishd.

What inspires you?

The desire to create thing that has a meaty impact on people. With Sea of Thieves, it wasn’t just about creating a game, it was building thing where people could go to make friends and enjoy themselves. Videogames have had so much a positive experience on my life, and I’ve been divine by copulative with games.

What is your favourite Microsoft product?

It has to be Teams. We really started exploitation it during the making of Sea of Thieves and found that it was so easy to collaborate. Our teams could see important conversations we were having and share information. It’s been a really great tool.

What was the first bit of technical schoolnology that you were excited about?

When I was young we had an Amstrad CPC464 and that was my first experience of videogames. I love playing the Dizzy games. I besides remember we used to play a attendant game just to watch him tap his foot if you didn’t touch any controls for a few proceedings. That blew our minds.

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