Meet Lee - Senior Producer
Hey Lee, let’s start from the beginning. When did you first fall in love with video games?
As a kid my parents didn’t really believe in games systems. I had to play at friends’ houses. It was all a bit illicit and unapproved of by my parents.
I really started playing religiously when I first got into the industry. Diablo 1 was a standout for me, I gave that game a ton of hours, and I mean a ton.
Cool, so how did you first get into the biz?
Well, when I was studying Sociology & Women’s Studies at University, I wrote my honors thesis on women and video games. When I moved back to Vancouver, I landed a job at Radical Entertainment as a Development Tester. It was awesome for all of us at that time, joining this new industry that was just getting going.
It seems a lot of Relicans started at Radical?
Yeah for sure. I knew Relic’s founder, Alex Garden, Ian Thomson, and lots of those guys from way back then. I worked there for about four years, and ended up running the QA team for my last three years.
Where did you go from there?
Friends of mine had gone to work at an online gaming company, so I went over there and ended up running a big development team for almost seven years. I then moved to Hellbent, again with other Radical folks. We made games including the XBOX port of Supreme Commander and an RTS on the Nintendo DS called Lego Battles.
Switching gears for a second, I hear you like cars?
Yeah, my dad was big into vintage motorcycles and trucks. I got my fist vintage car maybe 15 years ago. Right now, I have a 1980 Porsche 911 SC and a 1962 Alpha Romeo Giulietta Spider. I drive them when the weather gets a bit better. At the moment though, I drive my trusty Fiat 500.
I’m also big into motorsports. I’ve gone to watch Formula 1 in Mexico and Singapore. I’ve driven the Nürburgring and stuff like that.
That’s awesome. You are also known to be fond of cats?
Well Caro stole my cat thunder with her interview! It’s fine though, she can have the cats, I’ve got other stuff.
You’re a spin class enthusiast, what’s the appeal there?
Yeah, I go like four to five times a week. It has all the things that I hate, like getting up early, and dark rooms, and loud music, but I don’t know, there’s just something great about it. I used to run but I can’t run anymore, so yeah, spin class.
We just hosted our Women in Games panel last week. What advice would you give to young women in the industry, or those looking to get into gaming as a career?
Make sure that the people you’re choosing to work with have integrity, that there’s a commitment to inclusivity and diversity, and that you know your voice is being heard. Whatever the product you are making is one thing, but it’s about the people that you work with every day.
What’s the trickiest thing about being a Producer?
The constant balancing of the realities of budget and time, with the alchemy of the creative side. You definitely don’t want to be the crusher of dreams, but the game needs to ship when the game needs to ship. It’s about harnessing that creative vision and innovation, but making sure you’re not stifling it.
You’ve worked at a few different studios. What are your favorite things about Relic?
It’s a really flat organization with lots of inter-disciplinary communication. People are encouraged to be involved in a lot of different aspects. We have some incredibly talented technical people working on our own in-house technology. There’s major value in that.
Also, the social side of things is pretty awesome. I help organize a lot of the in-house parties and activities though, so maybe I’m biased.
To close things out, is there anything you’re particularly stoked about going forward?
Well, when you’re in the trenches for a long time, it’s easy to get too locked into a project. Without saying too much, I’m really excited about a new commitment we’re making to community input, being transparent, and trying to collaborate with the fans. Basically, not being super secretive.