The Key to Ripstone Tech & Gameplay Programming

We caught up with Paul “Paulie” Hughes, Ripstone’s Head of Tech, for his perspective on Ripstone tech, gameplay programming, and what he looks for in a Ripstone Programmer.

A screenshot from the upcoming game, The Queen's Gambit Chess. Ripstone's gameplay programming team recreated Beth's vision from the show, with a chess board appearing on the ceiling.

What’s the key to Ripstone tech?

Our team is always looking for solutions to things that people say are impossible. If someone says “you cannot do this on a console at the moment”, our team is thinking of a way to do it. It’s about having a grasp of what is technically possible to make sure we’re always pushing for that.

Being Head of Tech is basically about looking at what games are out there and figuring out “what’s the thing that everybody’s shouting about”.

The other key part of Ripstone tech is our incredibly close relationship with our art team. I cannot sing their praises enough. They’re just incredible. The sheer amount of quality visuals they put out for a relatively small team is astonishing. They’re constantly providing us with things we can look at proudly and say “that’s the best in class”. 

What makes Ripstone’s approach to tech and gameplay programming different?

It’s genuinely like working with a family – a bunch of people you actually wanna work with! People who back each other up. It’s never a case of artists versus programmers, versus designers. It’s a gang of several disciplines who all want to work together to make each other’s lives easier.

It’s never about scoring points, it’s always about making the best games possible. If I can make the artist’s life easier, or if the designers can make my coding life easier, then that’s what happens.

We’ve got this perfect mix of industry veterans, many of whom have been doing this since before a lot of people were born, and we’ve got people who’ve just come out of university and have an absolute passion for the latest games and the latest technology.

The younger people really drive you and the older people, who’ve written dozens of games, know how to get the games out of the door. That mixture of the two is just…magic!

It really is like a little family. It sounds like a cliche, but it is. People are so friendly here that it makes coming in every day something to look forward to. Even outside of Ripstone, the Liverpool game dev scene has been particularly welcoming to me as a whole. 

In terms of our tech team, the main thing that’s different about Ripstone is that everybody is involved – but not to the point where it’s ‘by committee’. Everybody’s got a voice and the best ideas come forward – because they’re the best ideas – not because of who’s said them.

A screenshot from the upcoming game, The Queen's Gambit Chess. Ripstone's gameplay programming team recreated Beth's vision from the show, with a chess board appearing on the ceiling.

Our Tech team is always evolving, what are you looking for when hiring for game programmer jobs?

We’re always looking for programmers – so get a CV in, even if the listed role isn’t quite right for you.

What we’re looking for right now is a generalist programmer. This is someone who doesn’t have a specific pigeonhole to live in. They care about every single aspect of what makes a game what it is, from the way a character moves to the way something appears on the heads-up display, to the way the credits are displayed. Sound, rendering, or animation. Anything and everything.

If you have a passion for gameplay programming and feel like you fit the bill, we’d love to hear from you.

If you are seeking a new challenge at a studio where you can truly put your mark onto a project, you might be who we are looking for.

We place a huge focus on our culture and our people. Diversity, inclusivity, and maintaining a healthy balance of work and life are all massively important to us. Sound like you’d be a good fit? Get in Touch