The Secret Lives of the Sumo Warrington Advanced Technology Team

By day, the Sumo Warrington Advanced Technology team deliver technical excellence to their clients tackling some of the toughest challenges in game dev head-on. But just how do elite tech specialists spend their downtime?  

Join us as we go undercover into the secret lives of the Sumo Warrington Advanced technology team and take a look at how they’re always looking to upskill, learn new crafts or dive into intense techie tasks. 

Matt Jones and the .Net Community

Programmer Matt Jones is currently a Free Open Source Software (FOSS) advocate and community manager for one of the largest programming communities on Discord. Matt was also previously named a Microsoft MVP for his work running the C# community on Discord

For FOSS, Matt is a maintainer of a cross-platform game engine called NovelRT – a small group of FOSS enthusiasts from across the games industry working towards making a 2D and Visual Novel game engine which relies on modern technology and practices, such as DirectX 12, Vulkan, C++ 17-20, true parallelism and hardware intrinsics/SIMD. As part of this, Matt and the team are inventing their own narrative scripting language as one of the tools and developing a multi-programming language engine with the capability to be bound by any of language, such as C#, F# Java or Kotlin. 

The team also participate in the annual Hacktoberfest event run by DigitalOcean as repository maintainers, an event which allows them to reach out to newer developers and provide equal opportunities and an inclusive space to work. 

“I’m incredibly proud to be a FOSS advocate and help others in the industry discover a new passion for this awesome project. I’m really excited to get back to running talks at universities on not just FOSS, but on game development in general.” said Matt. 

Not only is Matt working hard on FOSS, but he is also owner of the C# community Discord which is rapidly approaching 30,000 members and is aimed at being an inclusive space for all to learn the C# programming language and the .NET ecosystem, regardless of skill level. Matt said: “It’s very much a foundry of knowledge (and perfectionists!) that has enriched many developers’ lives, helped people achieve higher grades at University and greatly aided people in changing careers. 

He continued: “I was awarded a Microsoft MVP title in recognition of my contribution to the C# Discord which really made me push myself and my learning to new heights, wanting to discover more and continue to contribute to the industry I love so much.” 

The Electronics Tales of Ingenuous Geek

Elsewhere in the SWAT team, Gio took his coding curiosities to his blog by showcasing new ways to keep entertained during lockdown and how to turn your at-work skills into your free-time passion project. 

“One morning I was enjoying breakfast with a friend when we happened to start talking about how it would be cool to build a video game console from scratch. As we discussed useful resources and how the process could start, I realised I had to give it a go.” said Gio. “So, I ordered a copy of ‘The Black Art of Video Game Console Design’ and a few days later when the one-thousand-page book arrived – I realised the mistake I’d made. It was going to be an interesting, but not an easy task! 

“The book detailed electronics, circuit analysis, simulation and PCB design… and the 30 day return policy looked very tempting! But I shook off my hesitation and began an unexpected journey into something I didn’t see coming.” 

“Luckily for me, the book started out easy and allowed me to get back to familiarity with electronics through a series of general notions, including: how electrons are moved by a potential difference, the difference between AC and DC, the definition of an Ampere, Coulomb, Joule, Volt and so on. 

“While I was progressing through the chapters, something about the subject struck a chord in ways I cannot explain. The more I learned the more I became eager to study. 

“So how did my dive into the world of electronics and game console building turn out? I can’t believe I fell so much in love with electronics and how much I learned in the space of a few months – a lot of which I’m still using every day. Starting on this task was the best worst mistake I’ve ever made!” 

To find out more about Gio’s adventures in electronics, visit his blog

Exploring the abstract with Karl Hutchinson

Karl Hutchinson joined the SWAT team in January 2022 as Senior Programmer after impressing Studio Director Scott with a showcase of projects on his website. The site is filled with projects by Karl where he jumps into the abstracts of programming and looks to uncover the meaning and methods of practical application. Featuring university projects, coursework and personal passion projects, the site sees Karl methodically breaking down concepts from Voronoi diagrams, to Containers in a myriad of programming languages. 

“I worked out I loved programming when I was about four years old and found a love for video games when I was six through playing Crash Bandicoot - I think working in this role in the games industry is where I’ve always meant to be.” said Karl.  

“I did my undergrad and masters at the University of Hull – the latter of which was a compressed course and provided me with a great opportunity to push myself and work hard. 

“My website isn’t just a hosting spot for a range of programming resources and code available for anyone to pick up and use, it’s also a space for me to look at the journey I’ve been on since my first role in the industry over a decade ago.” 

Not only did the website help Karl secure a spot as Senior Programmer, it allows him to display his passion for programming and experiment with projects outside of work to explore new programming languages, new technology and other areas of technology. 

“The topics that I like to do projects on are very abstract. I like to make things which are highly applicable to different scenarios or solve real-world problems – like the Voronoi diagram, which I came across the algorithm for and found fascinating. I took this and created a high-quality implementation of the algorithm which if used in a specific way behaves like K- Nearest Neighbour - the uses of which could be finding the nearest airport to refuel aircrafts mid-flight, pathfinding, dividing or visualising territory or defining response areas for fire stations. 

“There are lots of other projects ready to go on my website – I spent two years working on a compiler but right now I’m developing a mini-game engine which just does 2D sprites. The purpose of my projects is to allow me to further explore computer science and just keep learning.” 

Sumo Warrington Studio Director, Scott Kirkland, said: “Of course, it isn’t compulsory for our people to spend their spare time diving into electronics, running popular forums of exploring the intricacies of mathematical problems, but at Sumo Warrington we do love to see a passion for technology. 

“As a studio, we deliver technical excellence to a range of clients for a myriad of projects – this can often lead to us parachuting into projects to fix bugs, eliminate technical debt or boost performance. We proudly celebrate the extra-curricular activities of our team and love to share new findings amongst ourselves, discover new tech together and collaborate on problem solving.” 

Think you have what it takes to join the Sumo Warrington Advanced Technology team? The studio is now recruiting for programmers to join its elite team of problem solvers. More information on all current opportunities can be found on the Careers Page.