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Post by Steve Farrelly @ 11:25am 29/10/09 | Comments
As part of our ongoing effort to deliver original, new and relevant content for our community and Australians at large, AusGamers intends to seek out Aussies making an impact behind-the-scenes in worldwide game development...

- Meet Emily Ridgway -

Welcome to the first of many highlight features looking at Aussies working behind-the-scenes in the games industry, worldwide. Our first bio comes from a Newcastle native who found her home in Brisbane (hold onto your hats QGLers), but now works abroad for Tim Schafer's Double Fine Studios as its Musical Director.

Her latest project being, of course, Brutal Legend (our review of which can be found here), really showcased her talents when it comes to marrying videogames and music (though she worked on some other cool titles, as you'll learn shortly), and as such, we're super proud to feature her as our first bio for Aussies ripping it up in the games industry at large.

- Interview -

AusGamers: How did you wind up in the games industry?

Emily: I've always been playing games, ever since I was a little girl. My Dad was a programmer back in the 80s when I was a toddler - we'd play games together, it was really fun.

I didn't really consider videogames as a career until my last year of my Bachelor of Music at Queensland University of Technology. I remember being really critical of videogame audio and music and thinking it could be a lot better. I was pretty ignorant to the challenges videogame audio people face, but it gave me the initial confidence to try and make a difference.

AGN: When did you start working at Double Fine?

Emily: Two years ago.

AGN: Did you study in Australia?

Emily: Yep, I grew up in Australia. I went to high school at Cannon Hill Anglican College in Brisbane, and then studied music at Queensland University of Technology.

AGN: Where in Australia are you from?

Emily: I was born in Newcastle, then lived in Melbourne for a few years, but I'd have to say I've spent most of my life in Brisbane. Recently I've found myself barracking for QLD in the State of Origin to my Mum's disappointment.

AGN: What have you worked on prior to Brutal Legend?

Emily: Before Brutal Legend, I did the audio for BioShock with 2K, and before that, Destroy All Humans with Pandemic Studios.

AGN: What is the craziest experience you've had working in videogames?

Emily: I think working with Tim Schafer is pretty crazy, because when I was 11 I used to love and play his games all the time. Now that I work with him and some of the other old LucasArts team on the daily, it's kind of surreal. It's like if your childhood hero came into your room and was like "hey, have you figured out what song we're going to use for this mission yet?" and I have to hold myself back from being like "holy shit" every time. I think I may have said that a couple of times accidentally.

AGN: How have you found being an Aussie working in the gaming industry at large?

Emily: Everyone loves Australian accents, and loves to try to imitate them. It's fun being an exotic foreigner. It's easy to make friends because you can always make up stories about riding in kangaroo pouches to school and stuff.

AGN: Do you think it's important to branch out of Australia and live abroad for games (if you live abroad, that is)?

Emily: Yeah at the moment, especially if you work in videogames. It would be nice if it wasn't like that as much. I know some of the most talented game developers in the world are Aussies and Kiwi's living overseas. Personally I'd really like to see some more big popular titles come out of Australia. Although there seems to be a really strong indie scene in Aus, so that's awesome.

AGN: What sort of games do you play? And what's your favourite game of all time?

Emily: I don't think I have an all time favourite really. My taste in games is pretty mainstream and somewhat RPG leaning. Recently I finished Mass Effect for the third time. Other than that, both Knights Of The Old Republic, Left 4 Dead, Portal, Halo, GTA 3, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (series), World Of WarCraft, California Games, Championship Surfer (yay Krome!), Leisure Suit Larry, Space Quest, The Longest Journey, all Tim Schafer games, Commander Keen, Biomenace, Zelda, and The World Ends With You. Also I'm really hanging out for that new Miles Edgeworth game on the DS.

Thanks to Emily for her time (and her stellar work on the above mentioned games), and to EA and Double Fine for letting us have her as our inaugural interviewee.

Stay tuned to AusGamers for more Aussies kicking it in the worldwide game development scene as we head out to find them, learn how they got there and let you know just how much we're driving the industry forward from an Australian perspective.

If you know anyone working in gaming at large, feel free to contact us. Special thanks to Saint for the feature's ongoing title - pure gold, mate.