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Head of Game Development
Jagex Software

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Henrique O – Jagex

00:00:03 My name is Henrique O, I’m Head of Games here at Jagex, and my work basically consists of creating games, and managing the teams that are transform them in real products – from concept to products.  You have this whole world open in front of your eyes when to be written, and turn into something real.  So it’s almost like we – not really playing God – but we create something from nothing, and the knowledge that people will have fun playing that at some point, makes it really, really rewarding and fulfilling. 

00:00:37 The process behind creating a game sometimes is dictated by business definitions, like who do you want to target with this game?  Is this game intended to be for hard core gamers or for young – youngsters.  Is the demographic female, are they males.  So the game is shaped by those decisions most of the times.  But once that is out of the way, we create something which is basically fun and entertaining.

00:01:02 A lot of games came – comes from a very, very long time ago.  I started at the time that the computers were black and white, no sound whatsoever.  If you wanted to load a game into a computer you’d have to do it through a cassette tape, and it took like ten minutes to load a game, so I always loved computers.

00:02:08 If you told someone Oh, I’m gonna make video games for a living, they will laugh at you.  Oh computer games, it’s kid’s play, it’s nothing serious.  That’s not a real job.  So throughout my teenager ages and so on, I kept on doing video games for myself, for friends, sometimes publishing in a magazine, uploading to somewhere.  And by the time I was faced with a decision to go to a Uni, I took another path.  I started working as a journalist, traditional stories, covering stories here and there.  And then I had the opportunity to become the Chief Editor of one game magazine.  That was brilliant.  I said OK I can know what I – I can do what I know formally, and a little bit of what I really am passionate about.  And that’s what made the leap very easy for me, when the time came for local television company in Brazil, very big, like – they’re like – similar to BBC to some extent.  They wanted someone to transform their intellectual properties, brandings and shows, into games.  I spent like five years there creating all sorts of games, I think I had – I made like 40 games now I’m there.  So when the time comes – came where I felt mature enough, I found a company in the UK that was looking for someone with my skill-set, and I just applied for the company.  And next thing I know, this company were flying me over from Brazil, interviewing me for two days straight, and at the end of the process they’re – the job is yours, when you’re ready to move?  And it was just like that.

00:02:48 Leaving your home behind is always a little bit difficult because your family, your friends and all that, but the passion I had inside me of creating games, it was so overwhelming, so much stronger than anything else, that I really didn’t think too much, I just came.  And I don’t regret it for a second.  It’s like I think that the most rewarding thing you can do with your life is do something that you like and love, because most of your life you’ll be doing that.  We spend most of our time at work, and if you don’t really like your work and don’t really love your work, you’ll be a little bit sad.  Doesn’t matter how good your work is, you’ll always be a little bit sad, and you could be doing something else, maybe.  What happen if I took that other path?

00:03:35 I think my proudest moment is still to come, is where I’ve released my first big game here in Europe, and there’s so much momentum being built around this project I’ve been working the past two and a half years, I think seeing that game coming together, and the stage it is right now, being playable and people enjoying it, but it’s about to be released and open to the world.  I’m starting to feel that this is my proudest moment.  I am almost in the clouds, walking in the sky, so –


Henrique O is Head of Games at Jagex software. Family and friends would have laughed at him if he had told them he could make a living out of his hobby of making computer games. So he worked as a journalist. But then a local television company into Brazil took him on to make games from their TV shows, and his career took off.

More information about Programmers and software development professionals

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

85%  male 
15%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Programmers and software development professionals design, develop, test, implement and maintain software systems in order to meet the specifications and business objectives of the information system; they also design and develop specialist software e.g. for computer games.
Entrants usually possess a degree or equivalent qualification, although entry with other academic qualifications and/or significant relevant experience is possible. There is a variety of vocational, professional and postgraduate qualifications available.
  • Examines existing software and determines requirements for new/modified systems in the light of business needs;
  • Undertakes feasibility study to design software solutions;
  • Writes and codes individual programs according to specifications;
  • Develops user interfaces;
  • Tests and corrects software programs;
  • Writes code for specialist programming for computer games, (for example, artificial intelligence, 3D engine development);
  • Implements and evaluates the software;
  • Plans and maintains database structures;
  • Writes operational documentation and provides subsequent support and training for users.
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