Making Video Games as an Employee and Solo: Henry Smith, Episode 23

Okay, you gamers out there. What’s your favourite game design studio? You know you’ve got one, just like you’ve got a favourite game platform. Wouldn’t you just love to work there, making video games like the awesome games you love to play?

Have you ever thought that even if you score that dream job, you might discover that there are things that you want to do with your passion for gaming, programming, design that you don’t have the spare time or energy to do?

Henry Smith had a pretty awesome job at BioWare, the makers of awesome games like Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights and, more recently, Dragon Age and the incredible science fiction trilogy, Mass Effect. Yet six months ago he decided to take a year off so that he could work on the personal projects that brought him joy.

I caught up with him a month or so after he released his first game, a science fiction themed iDevice app called Spaceteam, where you and one to three friends try and save your starship from utter destruction by pulling levers, twisting dials and yelling technobabble at each other. Though the game itself is free, Henry is earning enough money from the pay-to-download add-on packs to look at extending his time working solo.

I thoroughly enjoyed my chat with Henry about getting paid to play – by quitting getting paid to play!

UPDATE: After listening to this episode, please have a listen to my second chat with Henry during his (successful) Kickstarter campaign to fund a year’s worth of game development!

Are you curious?

What projects do you have on the “When I can dedicate some time…” back-burner? Which are you working on at the moment?

Show Notes

Henry Smith and Sleeping Beast Games

Breaking the Code: Henry’s game development web log

Henry Smith on Twitter

Making Video Games as a Day Job

Irrational Games


The Technology of Making Video Games

The Unreal Engine



Spaceteam: GO!

The Spaceteam product page on Sleeping Beast Games

Spaceteam in the iTunes App Store

Spaceteam in the Google Play Store

Spaceteam on Facebook


Penny Arcade


Henry’s Inspirations

TaskMaker on Wikipedia

Galaxy Trucker on Rio Grande Games

Featured image from Henry Smith’s About page.