Screenplay, the nation's only independent festival dedicated to the celebration and exploration of the ever-growing world of the computer game, will be taking place in Nottingham in February.
One of the guest speakers at the festival will be Nottinghamshire's Jim Purbrick, a programmer who has worked in several famous Nottingham studios including Climax, on Warhammer Online. He now runs his own company, Digital World Developments.
The early days
Jim first got into computers playing on Spectrums, Mega Drives and Amigas - the games consoles of choice in the 1980s. However, unlike most people he turned his passion into a career.
"The internet was happening just as I was leaving school and going to university so the idea of being part of that whole technology wave that was happening at the time seemed really appealing."
Jim studied at the University of Nottingham and whilst there got involved with the Communications Research Group (CRG) who were doing lots of research into virtual reality. His involvement eventually led to a PHD with CRG into virtual world technology.
The big beasts
The PHD brought him into contact with many of the people who were getting paid to do the same sort of research and development and the call to join them was too difficult to resist.
|Jim Purbrick, programmer|
"Online games are big beasts. They are complicated and large scale and the ambition of the thing is really attractive. When you're a programmer the idea of being able to build an entire online gaming world is really exciting."
After working at Codemasters (on Dragon Empires) and in the Nottingham studios of Climax (on Warhammer Online) he decided to set up his own company in Nottingham, Digital World Developments. He is presently working on Second Life for Linden Lab.
In Second Life your alter-ego manages your own plot of land and you have the freedom to develop it as you like.
"Second Life is different from other online games in the way that it is a virtual world built by the people who use it. Most online worlds are filled with interesting things to do by the companies themselves."
Find out more
Jim, along with many other programmers, will be heading to Screenplay 2005 (at Nottingham's Broadway Media Centre from Friday, 25th February to Sunday, 27th February 2005) to share his expertise on the gaming industry.
Jim says : "Screenplay is a fantastic resource for people who want to get into the games industry. There are people who are in the industry who you can talk and listen to. Screenplay also uncovers all the nooks and crannies in games - all the slightly off the wall ideas that are being bounced around at the moment."
To listen to our full interview with Jim Purbrick or to find out more about Screenplay click on the links found in the top right hand corner of this page.