ABOUT RICHARD PIETERSE
HI I’m Richard.
I’m a huge fan of Night School’s work: the tone, aesthetic sensibility, and slice-of-life drama with a twist. Your games feel very human, with rich characters, who are relatable and diverse, witty writing and accessible gameplay that leaves me excited to see what’s round the next corner. And the next. Something I find all too rare in most narrative games. You’re uniquely great at creating suspense and building player investment.
It’s a lot of what I try to do in my own games, creating story games that are optimistic and funny and vulnerable with something to say about who we are in the real world. I really think I'm a great choice for the position of senior engineer.
I get a huge kick out of building systems and user centered tools that help others to do their best work. I also love collaborating with passionate people, bringing worlds to life. I have the hard skills and experience to meet your technical requirements but I also like to think I have the soft skills of empathy, self-awareness, independence and general good-working-togetherness.
I’ve worked on two major releases, as co-lead designer/director on Genital Jousting (nominated for an IGF award for best narrative), and on Broforce, as well as a cornucopia of heartfelt and experimental indie games including a speed dating game for wrestlers, an ongoing saga about about two sentient ice cream cones going on dates after the collapse of humanity and subsequent rise of frozen treats as the dominant life form, and most recently, Teenage Blob, a joint game/EP release with Philly punk band, The Superweaks, which dropped in August. (This sentence was probably too long for an application to a narrative-driven games company).
"Art makes us feel less alone. It makes us think:
somebody else has thought this, somebody else has had these feelings."
Maybe still TL
10+ years Unity experience
3 major game launches
6+ smaller releases
Self starter/self managed
Good communicator and listener.
Great at managing people and projects provided it doesn't involve filling out paperwork.
I'm highly attuned to the wellbeing of people around me.
I value criticism and iteration.
Have a good understanding and appreciation of all disciplines involved in developing games.
I'm a feminist and am well read, self-reflective and care deeply about the issues inside and outside the industry. I like to think that I know when to speak up and when to shut up.
Discord API and bots
Parsers and compilers
Able to learn new languages quickly
Google sheets integration and automation
.shell and .bat scripting
I love video editing and apply this to creating animatics/game mock-ups.
I enjoy talking to press.
Mailing list geek. I really love a good automation.
A decent sense for color and composition
Sound design. They say good animation is 80% sound.
Biz dev experience.
Experience & Expertise
Dec 2019 - August 2020
At the end of 2019 my 'video game band', Team Lazerbeam, sigend with SUPERHOTPRESENTS to bring our bizarre artpunk game, Teenage Blob, to steam. The game is a collection of mini games structured around an ep by a 'music band' and billed as a split release. The game is intentionally very raw an unpolished in a way that we believe adds a human quality to the experience. The game released in August 2020 to a small but gushing audience.
March 2019 - Oct 2019
In 2019 I decided to take a step back from my own projects to rest and get some perspective. I was lucky enough to get a position with the incredible, women-lead TRU LUV team working on their app #selfcare. I learnt so much from them about the value of creating a caring and validating work environment.
March 2018 - Present
After the release of Genital Jousting I started my own company, Nekropants, to create sincere, experimental and artistic games. You can learn more about them on my 'projects' page.
FREE LIVES - GENITAL JOUSTING
June 2016 - Feb 2018
Although on the surface Broforce and Genital Jousting might not seem like Night School adjacent works they are in fact deeply considered and self reflective projects.
Genital Jousting may be about as crass as gaming gets but the multiplayer was a genuine attempt at creating opportunities for otherwise hard to access conversations amongst friends about sex and the absence of penises in the media landscape, while the single player was a narrated diorama about how toxic masculinity hurts men and the people around them.
Nominated for best Narrative at IGF 2019
AMAZE narrative award 2018
AMAZE Audience award 2017
FREE LIVES - BROFORCE
March 2013 - November 2015
After honors I got my dream job working at a small start up called FREE LIVES right as their prototype, BROFORCE, was starting to blow up. As one of three programmers on the game for it's 4 year development cycle it was an amazing experience. I got to touch every part of the game, but was primarily focused on the systems. I also wrote the entire network engine from scratch (after running into issues with every plugin I could find). It was gruelling and wonderful.
It may not be self evident between the explosions and machismo of Broforce but we thought long and hard about the representation of masculinity in media, both the good and the bad, while lovingly lampooning it.
HONS. COMPUTERS SCIENCE
Jan 2012 - Nov 2012
Honours was, expectedly, brutal but the courses were amazing. I learnt about computer vision, genetic algorithms, security, Web 2.0, gpu computing and data visualisation. The course culminated in six month thesis project. Mine focused on procedural mesh generation for forests. I came top of my class ^_^
BSC COMPUTER SCIENCE
Jan 2009 - Nov 2011
I switched to computer science almost by accident and loved every moment of it from the first line of code. The course covered all the usual suspects: operating systems, data structures, algorithms, networking, design patterns and software engineering etc. I also took a second major in game development, where I came top of my class and placed first in the regional Microsoft Imagine Cup for my final project, a game for the xbox 360 made in XNA.
ENROLLED BA FILM, PSYCH & PHILOS
Jan 2008 - Nov 2008
I began my university career in the humanities before switching to computer science. Although I only spent a year I consider it one of the most influential parts of my studies. A crash course in media theory, film, philosophy, ethics and psychology that profoundly affected the way I make games and think about the world.