Meet the Members: Dave Chang

Meet Dave Chang. Games developer, pop-punk devotee and general legend of the Cigar Factory. You’ll find Dave at his standing desk in the Resi area creating the latest game with his Norwegian team Misc. Games or chatting in the kitchen. We love Dave!

We caught up to find out what it is like to work remotely for an international company, how he feels about gaming in his downtime and his work-life balance.

Photograph of Dave Chang

Can you tell us what you do and what an average workday looks like?

I’m a video-game developer aka ‘code monkey’. I write the C++ code that makes a game do things. Right now, I’m working remotely with a Norwegian studio that make commercial fishing simulators; if it’s your dream to catch a tonne of scallops in the waters of Nova Scotia then I’m your guy.

The working day typically starts with a stand-up meeting with other programmers in the team, we run through our current work and any arising issues. Then, I’m mostly left to my own devices to either develop new features in the game or fix bugs, with guidance from the game designer (my boss) in Norway.

How do you find working in a remote role? Any tips for others with teams in other countries?

Remote work can be great but it does have challenges. Communication is probably at the centre of the biggest problems I’ve encountered, it can be so hard to make sure that everyone’s on the same page, so regular messaging and calls are essential. Ideally, you want a culture where calling a colleague over Slack is as natural and frictionless as calling their name would be if you were physically next to them.

Photograph of Dave Chang

What are you listening to/watching at the moment?

I’ve just made the switch from Spotify to Apple Music, so right now I’m enjoying their editor playlists and using them to broaden my awareness of electronic music (which is minimal). Aside from that I unashamedly still listen to pop-punk, folk and rock music.

Do you game in your own time or are you all gamed out after work?

I hadn’t played much by myself for a long time, but I’m just getting into Death Stranding at the moment, which was made by the designer of my childhood favourite game. I’ve always enjoyed playing games with friends who come over, but there hasn’t been so much of that this past year because of all the lockdowns!

Photograph of Dave Chang

What excites you most about the creative process?

I really enjoy the early stages of game development; when you have a blank canvas and can get real nerdy about the design of the code. At this point, you are less of a developer and more of an architect, I like that.

What kit/tools can you not live without?

Since 2016 my work has revolved around the Unreal Engine, the same software that is used to make games like Gears of War and Batman or shows like The Mandalorian. Development-wise I would certainly struggle without Visual Studio, Visual Assist and Perforce.

Photograph of Dave Chang's desk

Where is your favourite place to eat in Bristol?

Chilli Daddy! Spice level 3.

Do you have a favourite artist/designer/photographer who inspires you?

The designer of my favourite childhood game, Hideo Kojima, will always be a hero of mine; even if a colleague who used to work with him has informed me that he can be a bit of a diva.

Photograph of Dave Chang

Why did you choose to come to Gather Round?

It was getting so hard to separate work from home life whilst home-working during the pandemic, when I sat down to have dinner I felt like I was sitting down to do work. Gather Round has been such a good opportunity to meet some awesome and like-minded people; it feels like a real community, much more than an office.

Thanks for the catch-up, Dave! If you’d like to check out some of Dave’s recent work head over to Misc Game’s website. Join us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to get to know all things Gather Round and meet more of our creative members.