Employee Spotlight -  William "Billy" Kirk

William “Billy” Kirk is a UI engineer currently working out of our Sprung Studios Brighton location. As Billy joined the Sprung team during the global pandemic, his journey to the studio has been a somewhat unique one.

Billy originally lived in Kent before moving to Bath to pursue higher education in creative computing at Bath Spa University. After completing an undergraduate and Master’s degree, Billy moved to Ilfracombe in Devon to be with his family during the pandemic. While searching for work, he came across a UX/UI developer job opportunity at Sprung and was contacted for an interview in November 2020.

Billy Headshot BnW Billy Headshot BnW

Devon is located out in the country with an unreliable reception, so Billy got his brother to drive him to the local shopping centre to ensure a strong signal for the interview. While Billy’s brother did some grocery shopping, Billy stayed in the car and had his first interview with Sprung. 

During the interview, apart from commenting on Billy’s surroundings, our senior UI engineer Matt Jarvis mentioned that Sprung would be making the switch to Unreal soon. Unfortunately, Billy was not fluent in this software and therefore wasn’t offered the role. 

Not giving up so easily, Billy sent an email after the interview in which he wrote ‘I’ll learn Unreal and I’ll come back and show you what I can do!’ From then on, he spent his spare time learning the software, kept in touch and was later contacted in early 2021 for an opportunity to intern at Sprung Studios.

After accepting the internship opportunity, Billy went through our traditional onboarding process, where he was mentored on the specific way we structure our code and other particular Sprung procedures.

As a UI engineer, Billy is the bridge between the assets our designers create and the games they are designed for. He implements them into the title’s engine and ensures they are looking and working as the designer intended. Now he has finished his internship, Billy is looking forward to applying his knowledge and getting more hands-on with new projects. 

  • What drew you to the games industry? 

“I could use my skills for a job at an accountancy firm or something, but I would die of boredom. This is way more interesting. Working here, things change; one minute you’re working on Apex, next minute you’re onto Mortal Kombat. I like very different projects, different styles, and now I’m gonna be working on a whole different game engine when I begin working on the next project. So it’s challenging but in a good way.”  

  • What game would you like a sequel to or rebooted? 

“If Team Fortress 3 happened, I would pre-order straight away. The ultimate edition with the statue or whatever it would come with. It would instantly be the most excited I was for any game, ever. Yeah, I love that game.”

  • Your experience with Sprung so far?

“Everyone’s very helpful; everyone’s very friendly. It’s an environment where I don’t feel like if I ask the wrong question, I’m gonna get judged in any way, I guess. It’s easy to get feedback on stuff. I feel like it’s just the fact that I learned so much in such a short space of time working here; This is probably a good place for me because I can tell that I’m becoming better as a developer just by being here.”

 

For further spotlights and blog posts, make sure to check out Sprung Studios’ news page.